Saturday, January 31, 2015

Guest Blog from Huff Post "Feeling Like a Fish Out of Water After Divorce? 3 Ways to Jump Back In" by Dr. Andra Brosh

Yet another great guest post from Huff Post.  Hope you enjoy.  As usual my comments will be in red.  Please feel free to leave your own comments on my blog.
"Feeling like a Fish Out of Water After Divorce?  3 ways to Jump Back In" 
by Dr Andra Brosh
You don't know anyone who's divorced, all your friends are married, and you can't wrap your head around being "single".
There's something about the experience of divorce that makes even the most confident person feel marginalized and excluded. Perhaps it's social stigma or confusion around how society is supposed to respond, but feeling like you don't belong anywhere is one of the most demoralizing human experiences you could have.
Obviously the people who leave their marriage for another person, or who are lucky (or desperate) enough to meet someone right away don't have to endure this feeling of being outside the circle.
But for those of us who have chosen to take a more mindful and patient path, the long days, months and even years of feeling like a refugee can hurt the soul.
No doubt you will return to some form of normalcy within the confines of your new world, but in the meantime how do you deal with the feelings of being an outcast, third wheel, or fish out of water?
I'll give you the 3 pieces of advice that I have given myself and all the other people I work with living on the peripheral.
Swim up stream
Being married is part of the social status we have built as part of our societal norms. It's easy to buy into the fact that being married and living that life is the ultimate goal for everyone, and that we should all aspire to that destiny. Since you've been let out of the constricted view that most other people still hold of marriage, you can take the opportunity to shift who you are. I would recommend that as long as you feel different why not BE DIFFERENT. Being like everyone else is underrated and it harkens back feelings of wanting to be part of the club in middle school. You are an independent and unique human being so run with this new freedom and teach the world about new kinds of role modeling for divorce.
Get back in the water
Getting back into a social experience is an important part of your recovery. You don't want to close yourself off completely because you'll restrict your natural need for connection. You are wired to be social and to feel a sense of belonging so it's essential that you find a way to do this. It doesn't have to be dating or forcing yourself to go to parties if that's not your thing. Try showing up to an event related to your interests, or attend a workshop where everyone is alone and there to learn. Socializing doesn't always mean talking, hanging out and having drinks. We're always being socialized even when we chat with the checker at the grocery store. The point here is that there is no need to wait to be invited to something, and there are no rules about how you exercise your right to belong to something greater than yourself.
Find a New School of Fish
So many divorcing people feel stuck in the abyss between their old life and their new one. Old friends slip away with divorce, and it can feel awkward to hang around married people at this point in your life. Making new friends is daunting and feels impossible sometimes, but it's really more about re-inventing yourself. When you keep your life the same after divorce, and don't use it as an opportunity to explore you limit your chances of developing new relationships. Don't expect your old models to fit the new version of who you are, and remember that you are changing for the better not getting worse. While having things remain the same is comfortable and familiar, it can also become complacent and boring.
I am finding so many people that are in this situation.  I had no idea there were so many of us.  Initially upon finding out of my husbands plan to leave me I did feel alone and without hope.  No direction, only fear.  It is different now.  I am in a very large group of wonderful women on this journey and I no longer feel alone.
For me socially it has been about building friendships and having new experiences.  I have reinvested in old and new friendships, joined a social club and I am still working on finding the joy in things I once love like photography.  In all of this I am finding a new school of fish.  A friendly school of fish and it gives me joy.
God Bless You on Your Journey:-)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Words of Wisdom From Pinterest

(from Pinterest)
Keep holding on.  Breath.  Stay Strong and Have Faith.
Love and prayers

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Guest Post from Huff Post. "What Smart Women Do After Divorce" by Alison Patton

My answer is something most people already know, but nonetheless is the greatest challenge of divorce: You commit to being happy or commit to being right. The smartest women I know choose happiness, and this has been the key to rebuilding their life. I've observed five actions and attitudes these women adopted that made the difference in their recovery process. It's never too late to start.
#1: No More "Woe Is Me" (ideally after the first year)
Smart women make that mental shift from victim to survivor, and they take the necessary steps to get there fully. (It took me about a year to see myself as a survivor.  I think everyone has their own time frame.  Everyones grieving process is unique, and you can't put a time limit on it)
By far the most important (and most difficult) step is to impose a statute of limitations on feeling sorry for yourself, even if the conflict is ongoing. The first year, it's normal to dwell on the loss, to cry, grieve, vent to your family and friends about every last detail. But after that, even though you're still raw, it's important you make a deliberate mind shift from seeing yourself as a victim. Regardless of what your husband did or is still doing, you don't want to make the pain of your divorce your identity and your calling card. (Amen to that)
Your negative feelings won't disappear miraculously, and of course this isn't a one-time mind shift. Sadness and despair roll in when you least expect it. You're not unusual (nor should you be embarrassed) if you need antidepressants for some period of time to get unstuck. Many women also find it beneficial to examine their feelings in a therapeutic setting, such as private therapy, a divorce support group, or counseling services from their church/synagogue.
Friends can be a great resource, but don't use them only as a sounding board for self-pity. If you're hanging around a friend -- divorced or otherwise -- who spends her time man-bashing and telling you how you've been screwed, that friendship is keeping you stuck. Spend time (and connect online) with women who are upbeat and can be role models for moving forward with strength and optimism. Two blogs I like, created by women who did something constructive to deal with their divorce, are Chick Chain Walking Club and One Mom's Battle.
One client summed up her recovery process: "I developed the strength and discipline to give my victim feelings a shelf life ... I'd say to myself, 'I get tonight to feel sad and then tomorrow it's back to business.'"
An added benefit of taking this step is you'll be a role model for your children, especially a daughter, about how to recover from a life crisis.
#2: Accept the Economic Reality of Divorce
The smartest women come to terms with the reduced lifestyle they have after divorce. They reaffirm their priorities or commit to changing their lifestyle. They do not rely on their ex-husband as their long-term financial solution, nor do they see "finding another man" as the solution.
Unless you're wealthy or a movie star, your economic level will decrease as a result of divorce. The same income that used to run one household is now running two. Women often don't get paid the same as men for comparable work, and women's careers are impacted by choosing to raise children -- but these are facts, but not obstacles to happiness. Smart women deal with these realities in one of two ways:
• They accept this reduction in lifestyle. Their joy comes from other things, like their children and the opportunity to be an involved parent or appreciation of their job and the flexibility it affords them even if it doesn't pay as well as a high-paying career.
• If/when the timing is right, they make the decision to increase their earnings through their own means, such as a better job, increased hours, or additional education and training.
Either of these choices leads to greater peace and self-confidence.
#3: Develop a 10-Year Financial Plan
Smart women take charge of their finances during and after divorce. They hire a financial planner or an accountant to review and organize their finances and map out spending and goals for the next decade. Although daunting at first, this step is immensely empowering.
Divorce may be the first time you've managed the family finances and planned for the future. Although it feels overwhelming, don't stick your head in the sand with the naive hope that you'll be able to make it forever on what you're getting in support and assets (or that you'll meet someone who will take care of you).
First, educate yourself about financial planning through a book, seminar, or online resource. Second, find an expert (an accountant or financial planner) with whom you can review your finances and spending. (I strongly suggest you choose an expert who charges by the hour instead of on a commission basis.) (2015 is my year to do this.  I need to make a plan)
Looking at the economic reality is a wake-up call for most women. One client said after her meeting, "I quickly saw that I need to be much more thoughtful about how I use my assets and how I spend what I am getting in support. I'm now focused on my short-term goals -- reducing my spending and finding ways to supplement my income -- and my long-term goals of getting the kids through college and saving enough to have a dignified life in later years. I feel more in charge of my future and less anxious as a result."
# 4: Repeat After Me: "I Cannot Change My Ex"
Smart women recognize they can't change their ex-husband. They pick their battles, they let go of issues that don't really matter or can't be changed, and they accept with grace and maturity the general unpleasantness of an ongoing custody share -- knowing this is just the reality of divorce.
It's normal to want to have a say in how your ex behaves -- particularly related to the kids. But save yourself the struggle. In a strange way, this step is about taking control of your inner life by letting go of outside control.
Sharing custody involves a lot of frustrations. The most common ones I hear from women are: he cancels or is late; he feeds the kids junk food; there are no limits at his house on TV, video games or computer; he buys them toys/electronics you said no to, instead of buying the shoes and school clothes they need; he gripes about expenditures for the kids' extracurricular; he lets them stay up past their bedtime; he doesn't return their clothing or returns everything dirty; he doesn't make the kids do chores, so they complain when you enforce this rule at your house; he has joint custody but you still have to take the lead on doctor and dentist appointments, school, homework, extracurricular activities and sports.
Is this behavior fair or considerate? No. Is it worth getting upset over? No. Unless he is abusing the kids or repeatedly not showing up, you can't generally control these kinds of actions. It's a costly endeavor to try.
I'm not saying smart women allow themselves to be doormats -- they definitely don't. Sometimes you have to put on the business hat and confront an issue with your ex. Sometimes legal action is required. Be sure the issue warrants it and has a good probability of resulting in change. And work to let go of the rest.
#5: Focus on the Future, Commit to Growth and Introspection, And
Build a Relationship with Yourself
Smart women channel their energies post-divorce into examining their life, their goals, their mistakes and how they can learn from the past. Instead of jumping into another serious relationship (or spending their time complaining about their ex), they focus on their own life issues. They redefine their priorities and discover what's meaningful to them. They mature fully into themselves as women whose identity is not tied to the role of mother or wife.
We've seen this or been there ourselves -- how men and women "lose themselves" in marriage. For many women, their identity becomes tied to their husband or children early on, and so when the marriage ends and these roles are lost or diminished, the woman feels unsure of who she is. This is one reason divorce can be a real moment of crisis.
The smartest women I've observed use their divorce as an opportunity for growth and maturity. They take inventory of their life, mistakes and all, and devote time and energy to discovering who they are and what they want for their future. This process takes time, patience and dedication, but in the end, these women are able to put their divorce behind them. They go on to be centered, stable, self-assured, capable women who find the happiness they felt they had lost. In fact, when I asked these women if they could turn back the clock and stay married, the answer was overwhelmingly a heartfelt "no" -- they would never go back, even with all of the known challenges. (Yes I too want to use this time in my life as an opportunity.  To look at it as an adventure.  A time to work on my goals, to grow stronger in my faith, and develop deep friendships)
What would be on your list for recovery?
I wish you joy and happiness on your new journey:-)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Words of Wisdom Found on Pinterest

(From Pinterest)
Stay strong my friends.  Remember God is beside us and because of that we can "finish the race in victory"
(Let me know how you are doing.  Post a comment on my blog page)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday Morning Motivation "In Peace I Lie Down"

The alarm goes off,  I get up, say hi to Brodie and then brew my coffee.  Coffee is my comfort food:-)  Then I shower, pour myself a cup of java and get ready to spend time with God.  I usually read a devotional, then the Bible, and I sometimes use an online devotionals that I have subscribed to.  It is a wonderful routine that  can set the tone for the day.  (To be honest some days I have to push myself but 99.9% of the time I look forward to this daily routine)
I am reading a devotional by Holley Gerth.  "What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days." I liked Chapter 2, "God Makes Sure Even the Darkest Night Leads to Dawn"
Holley asks,  in regard to difficult times...
"What's going to happen?"  
"How will this work out?"
"Do I have the strength to get through this?"
Questions we all ask ourselves when going through a painful times.
She answers this question with a Psalm
"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord make me dwell in safety"
Psalm 4:8
It is a comfort to know that God does walk beside us and guides us and gives
 us rest, (sleep), even in the hard times.  Thank you Lord:-)
Happy Monday Everyone
Enjoy Your World

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Guest Post from Huff Post "5 Steps to Avoid the Sunday Evening Blues" by Kat Forsythe MSW

I found this interesting article on Huff Post…wonderful site.  I always wondered why I felt so down on Sunday evening, even before this divorce stuff started.  My comments will be in red…..
"Reinvention After Divorce: 5 Steps to Avoid the Sunday Evening Blues"
From Huff Post
By Kat Forsythe MSW

It's late afternoon on Sunday. The weekend hourglass is trickling down to its last bit of sand and you feel a pervasive sadness cascading over you.
As the afternoon wanes into evening, the intensity of the "Sunday blues" gets worse: job worries, angst and anxiety over undone weekend projects, and financial responsibilities.
You're not alone. Most people get gloomy on Sunday evening. Research shows that most people are saddest on Sunday and happiest on Friday. But do we need an expensive study to tell us that?!
There seems to be plenty of help for garden-variety Sunday blues. Dr. Andrew Weil, one of my favorite teachers, addresses it here. There's even a 10-point program for getting over the Sunday blues on WikiHow. Our friends over at The Third Metric have addressed it, too.
But if you're dealing with divorce, death, or any situation in which you're alone at midlife or beyond, the Sunday blues can be even more difficult. ( Recent death and divorce:-(
There's no partner to fill the silence - no one to banter with, laugh with, cry with, even argue with. Memories of the past also seem to come flooding back on Sunday evening. The end of the weekend points out, more than ever, that you're now on a new journey.
Here are my top five unconventional tips to counter those Sunday demons, specifically for those of you recovering from divorce or other big life changes.
A basic rule of thumb: Forget all other responsibilities and take care of Numero Uno. You.
  1. Accept that the Sunday blues will arrive anytime after 3 p.m. If you get misty eyed, here's my unconventional advice: Go ahead and have a good cry! It's one of the fastest ways to clear stress hormones and toxins out of your body. Another suggestion is to write about your sadness. When you read your journal later, you'll see how far you've come.(I do write about my journey.  I also tend to go somewhere on Sunday afternoons)
  2. Don't do any prep for next week (Part 1). Exception: Care for your body. That means get a massage, take a bath, wash your hair, select your clothes. Exercise only if you love it, lie around and rest if you don't.
  3. Don't do any prep for next week (Part 2). Exception: Neaten up your house. Note the word neaten. That does not mean clean your house. It simply means tidy up. Do not cram any of the guilt-driven projects you "should" have done into the remaining weekend hours. It will all get done in due time, believe me. (I find that the chores will wait for us)
  4. Do anything that makes you smile or laugh. I mean that literally. Suggestions: Phone a favorite friend. Watch your favorite non-violent television show or movie. Catch up on magazine reading. If nothing else, go to for non-stop belly laughs.
  5. (I did check out the site they mentioned.  It is funny.  I put one at the bottom of the post for you to enjoy:-)
  6. Go to bed early with a good book. If sleep is difficult, add a couple hours of rest to your bedtime. Hunker down and read. Turn off all electronics and place your silenced phone face down if it's next to the bed. (I have found that reading is difficult for me since this all began.  I think I have only finished one book in a year and a half.  I need to get back into reading.  I used to read 2 books a month.It is a process and I am determined to get there)
Above all, remember this: you've come a long way on your journey. You've worked hard to regain your balance, and you can be mighty proud of yourself. Don't let the Sunday blues get in your way! Stand tough! (Stand Tough, I like that)
If you'd like to learn more about re-inventing yourself after divorce when you're at midlife or beyond, please check out my previous blog posts.
If you need help concerning your own personal challenges, contact me personally. 
Need upbeat energy first thing in the morning after those Sunday blues? Get my morning inspirations to get you energized for the day ahead. Go here for my 30-day audio download of inspirational (and often funny) four-minute messages to kick start your day for 30 days.
Kat goes international! Her book, Exhale Midlife Body Blues, was featured in the Irish Examiner.
I hope you enjoyed this article by Kat Forsythe.  I found it interesting.  Please leave a comment with any thoughts.
Get up and face the day!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. 
 Albert Einstein
Happy New Year Everyone!  Do your best to make it the best year ever.