Category Archives: chasing dreams

Medals

One of my siblings lives in San Antonio, TX. Every April, the city celebrates Fiesta San Antonio. Each year, new commemorative medals are issued as part of the festival. There are some people who have been collecting commemorative medals for years. Collecting the medals is like collecting pins from different places and events.

I have my own medals – they are known as wrinkles and gray hair. Yesterday, I went to get my hair trimmed. As the stylist was showing me how much she had trimmed off, she showed me the back of my head. I gasped! There, buried under several strands of dirty dishwater blonde hair was a streak of gray hair! I have gray hairs here and there, but I did not know I had such a big streak. I began to laugh!

I have earned every single one of those gray hairs – three terrible two-year-olds, three teenaged drivers, three children away at college, three weddings, one hard-earned Bachelor’s degree, one $%@# ex, four moves in less than two years and four jobs. Those wrinkles around my eyes and mouth? Laughing with my children and friends, smiling at my grand baby, singing in choirs and praise bands, and loving Cycle Dude with my whole heart.

Am I afraid or ashamed of my gray hair and wrinkles? Heck no! They are reminders that the life I have lived thus far has not be easy and has not always been happy. But I am grateful for these visual reminders that I have not stopped living life, that I am not afraid to share that life with others and that I am grateful to God for this amazing life He has given me. (And yes, I do use sunscreen and always wear a hat when I am outside.)

My wrinkles and gray hair remind me that my life has not been perfect, but I would not trade my ‘medals’ for anything in the world! Stay tuned. . . .

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Learning to Walk

I am so excited that I get to see my grandbaby over Easter. I am flying to where my son lives and will spend Easter weekend with him, my daughter-in-law and my grandbaby. My sister also lives in the area, so I will spend time with her and her family as well. The fun thing about having a grandbaby is watching her grow and watching my son and his wife marvel as she reaches her developmental milestones. One of these days, my grandbaby will learn to walk. (Not quite yet, though. She was born in at the end of 2017.)

Learning to walk is a huge milestone for a child. There is so much involved – balance, gross motor skills, muscular and skeletal development, hand-eye coordination, etc. Learning to walk is no small feet (misspelling and pun intended!). Many adults have had to learn to walk again, too. They have had to progress from that infant-like state as well. One must learn to stand before one can walk. And one must learn to walk before one can run. There’s no skipping the proper physiological progression.

Life can  be difficult after a traumatic experience – divorce, an accident, etc. It is tempting to want to curl up in a ball and hide under the covers. We all know that’s not practical. In order to move forward in our lives, to heal and become stronger, we must learn to walk again. What does that look like?

1. Don’t be afraid: When a child is afraid to walk, she will sit down and cry. A child who is eager to walk will pull herself up and walk around the coffee table, then walk as you hold her hands, then she’ll walk to you and then with you. Yes, she will fall, but she keeps trying. Fear kills dreams, adventure and even life. Fear not. Move forward.

2. Don’t look back: The past is the past for a reason – because it’s done and over with. Look forward. Set and achieve goals. Dream big dreams. Laugh at your own silly jokes. Experience the freedom that comes with moving forward.

3. Don’t dwell on it: Whatever “it” is – a divorce, an accident, a death – let it go. We will grieve for that which is lost, but the grief cannot and should not last forever. Grief, despair, depression, anger and bitterness – these are all soul-destroyers. Don’t let the negative emotions and thoughts destroy you. If you are stuck here, seek out professional help.

4. Do stop and take a deep breath: Trauma – whatever it is – saps your energy. From days spent in court to days spent in the hospital or in counseling – you feel drained. Stop. Take a deep breath and know that you will be okay. Give yourself the grace and the time to heal – to renew your energy.

5. Do have a grateful heart: There is always something to be grateful for. Your support group, the medical personnel, your friends – these are all the ‘scaffolding’, if you will, who held you together during the trauma. Be grateful for them. Be grateful for your life.

Sometimes, it hurts to walk. Your muscles may be sore. You may have a misshapen limb. You may have fallen and bruised your knee. Walking is a milestone in your healing journey. It represents months of hard work. Soon, you will be running and will never look back. Life is an adventure! Live it! Stay tuned. . . .

 

Boogie Shoes

One of my favorite bands of the Disco Era was KC and The Sunshine Band. They sang a song called, “Boogie Shoes”, about how KC couldn’t wait to put on his boogie shoes and get movin’ (dancing) with his favorite lady.

Now that the new year is here, it’s time to put on our boogie shoes and get movin’ as well! We’ve gotten past the holidays which were, for many newly divorced women, their first holiday season after their divorce. Pep talk time! The new year brings new adventures and new opportunities for growth – but only if you get movin’!

Resolve to move forward with life, to live the adventure! Forget about all those other New Year’s resolutions – loosing weight, saving money, working less. Those resolutions tend to bite the dust sometime in early February. The easiest resolution to keep is to move forward!!

Don’t allow ex, his latest lady friend, etc. to keep you from moving forward with your life. Don’t cyberstalk him, ask his friends about him, use your children as spies, or anything else you may think of in order to keep tabs on the jerk. Do resolve to do what you need to in order to move forward – sort through your stuff and toss whatever belongs to him, make sure you know how to manage your finances, and don’t be afraid to chase your dreams, to set goals, and to live the adventure!

I will start out the new year by visiting my first grandbaby. Cycle Dude and I may take another long weekend trip in the spring. I am re-learning to roller skate. Life is too short to let someone else have power in your life that they have no business having! Stand up, shake off the divorce dust, put on your boogie shoes and move forward! This is going to be a great year for us! Stay tuned!. . . .

Looking in the Rearview Mirror

MyState is home to a wonderful dairy. The dairy makes great ice cream, milk and other products. The dairy’s ice cream plant, about an hour south of Mytown, is a popular place for school groups to visit. The dairy also has several large (fake) cows that they haul around to different events. One day, as I was on my way home from work, I glanced in my rearview mirror. I almost wrecked! I had to glance again, then I burst out laughing! In one of the lanes behind me was the HUGE cow from the dairy. Eventually the cow, and the truck hauling the cow, passed me as I exited the freeway, but I laughed all the way home!

Sometimes, looking in our review mirror can show us things that make us laugh. Other times, we see things that aren’t so funny. Life is like that. We can look at our past and find humor in situations or we can look at our past and see pain and anguish. That’s how it is with a divorce – we choose how to see our past. We can choose to see all the bad things in our marriage or we can see the good things. Most of the good I see when I look back at my marriage has to do with my children and the joy they’ve brought to my life.

If we spend too much time looking into our life’s rearview mirror, we miss what is ahead of us – the chance to start over, the chance to chase your dreams, the chance to make a better life. Don’t spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror. Focus on what lies ahead – your healing journey and an amazing destination of joy! Stay tuned. . . .

Why I Am a Vegetarian

Looking at the title of this post, you may wonder, “What does this have to do with being divorced??” Vegetarianism is something I embraced during my divorce. The reason why has very little to do with my divorce and everything to do with a change in lifestyle and a concern for my health.

Background: I have my Bachelor’s degree in History. I minored in Environmental Studies. Why? I had a great professor for several classes I needed to take as electives. His name is Dr. Michael McKinney. After I got to know him and his passion for our environment, I decided to minor in Environmental Studies. I was the first student to do that as the program was brand new, so I was the “guinea pig”. Dr. McKinney showed us films like “Food Inc.”. That did it. I could not be part of the inhumane treatment of animals just so we could have something to eat. I am sad every time a chicken truck or a livestock truck passes me on the freeway.

When most people think of vegetarians, they think of hippies. My children thought I had joined a cult. I feel  much better being a vegetarian. My stomach problems are few and far between. How do I get protein? I eat eggs, beans, peanut butter, tofu, etc. I love fruit and vegetables. A plant-based diet is much better for the human body.

I have blogged before about life changes after a divorce. This is a time to start again, to find out who you are and what you can do, a time of dreaming big and pursuing those dreams. Embracing vegetarianism is one of those life changes for me.

If you are divorced, going through a divorce, or coming out on the other side of a rough situation (eating disorder, domestic violence, etc.), know that you are a survivor. You are stronger now that you thought you could be. This is a whole new place for you and whole new chance to live the adventure called ‘life’. What does that look like for you? Perhaps it looks like taking up a new hobby or a new sport. Perhaps it looks like volunteering in your community. Perhaps it looks like a lifestyle change. This is your chance to be the best you that you can be. Embrace it! Life is an adventure – live it! Stay tuned . . . .

Yes, You Can!!

In previous blogs, I’ve written about divorce and PTSD, divorce and menopause, etc. Divorcing in mid-life might make us think that the best years are behind us. We married, raised our children, had a career, etc. We might feel weary, let down, beat up. Instead of feeling defeated from our divorce, we need to feel empowered!

I was divorced when I finally got my Bachelor’s degree – 31 years after I first set foot on a college campus! I was a non-traditional student in classes with students my children’s ages! I experienced the death of my father and a divorce while I was a student. I balanced work, school and being Mom for several years as a student. I ended up with a 3.3 GPA out of 4.0 for my college career.

Being divorced mid-life means you have a chance to start over. All the big stuff is behind you. What do you want to do with the next 30-40 years? Go back to school? Volunteer in your community? Learn a new skill? Travel? I got back to the identity I had before I got married, then I improved on it.

Being divorced does not need to hold you back. Find out who you are. Discover new things about yourself. Take this time in your life to look forward, not backward. Become a new, improved you. You can do it! Yes, you can! Stay tuned. . . .

Who Are You?

I used to be a die-hard fan of “CSI – Crime Scene Investigation” back in the day. The theme song for the program was The Who’s “Who Are You?” – obviously chosen because that was the CSI team’s question to the victim and/or to the criminal. Using the latest science and technology, the team had to try to answer that question.

When we marry, have children and live our lives in the roles of wife and mother, we can often lose track of who we are. We throw ourselves into those roles and give our lives doing things for the people we love. Our dreams often have to be set aside as we raise our families, walk alongside our spouses and carve out a family life. What happens when we divorce and that all comes crashing down? We are left to ask ourselves, “Who am I?” If you divorce with small children, you are still Mom, but you also become provider, disciplinarian, and a host of other roles. If you divorce as an empty-nester, your roles are less defined – you are still Mom, but to adult children – or Grandma to those precious grandbabies.

So, who are you? I have blogged before about taking this time to figure that out. Divorce, if we make it such, is an opportunity to start fresh, to chase those dreams we put on hold in order to raise our families, or to pursue something new. What have you “always wanted to do”? Where have you wanted to go? Now is the time to find out who that lady is staring back at you when you look in the mirror. Don’t be dismayed if you don’t know her that well. Spend some time with her. You may just find out that you like her! Stay tuned . . .