Saturday, May 31, 2008

Defining Moments

It's hard not to be defined by the situations in your life. What you are going through, including the work that you do, is who you are to the outside world. People that know me, however, have a tough time describing me. I'm a bit of a moving target to them. I think that quality intrigues some and repels others. I used to worry about the ones that I was repelling.

Can you believe that?

All that time and energy spent on wanting to be acceptable to those people... the ones that wanted to use one or two words to define me, or anyone for that matter. I was not perfect enough for them. And so I made it my job to constantly manage my thoughts and actions depending on who I was in front of. I had friends that I could get drunk and fall down with. I had friends that I had to sit properly in front of. I had friends who knew that I had spent the better part of a night in a holding cell in Orange County. And then I had friends that only knew that I was a well-dressed pilot's wife who always had every hair in place. Those two worlds had to be kept completely separate. All the time. I even had names for myself for each of those groups. That's where Sugar came from. I liked Sugar. But the people that were repelled by that didn't. So I became "Sugar Free" in order to be liked by those that I wanted to be like. Even though the whole time, I was thinking, boy do I miss my Sugar Friends.

Is it any wonder I eventually cracked?

All of the moments that lead up to today are who I am. All of your moments are who YOU are. Embrace them! The good... the bad... and the f'ugly. Now... without going into denial, I want you to bless the bad and the f'ugly for all that it taught you and all that you learned. I want you to look at it like you looked at a dead goldfish floating to the top. Scoop out those times and flush them away. Now remember this as you are watching it swirl down and out of your life... it never didn't happen. It DID happen. But you don't have to keep it around stinking up the tank. You can think back on it and remind yourself to change your reckless behaviors. But you don't have to beat yourself up about it forever. We are all human and we all fall short.

Including the people that wish to confine us to a one or two word definition.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Dream Man

Okay... so I know I'm only six months into this separation... and I know that I have waffled a few times in there... but give me a break...

So, if it wouldn't be too much to ask... if anyone sees someone that very much resembles Jack Johnson in mind, BODY, and soul, would you please hold on to him and call me? I'll head right on over. All you need to tell him is that I'm okay and I'm ready to invite someone good into my heart... in about another year. Do you think he'll hold on that long?

Lord I hope so.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Some of you know who Heather is. She is Dooce (rhymes with moose). Most of the time, she has us laughing about the bawdy words that just came out of her mouth and into the blogosphere to jolt us out of our suburban coma.

Today Dooce is in tears.

How strange to go to a site that I find so witty and funny to read about the sad news about her step-father and her questions of faith. It seems so prevelent in my life right now. I go to Dooce to escape, but today I understood that not even Dooce is immune.

And how selfish of me!

How many times have I gone there to get away from my reality. To have Heather tell me all about her demon dog and see the pictures of the venerable chotchkies. "I wish I was Dooce" is written on my forehead... if you look close enough. I know she has a husband and a beutiful little girl who doesn't like to wear pants. I had no idea whe was mourning her miscarried baby due this week. I have been following all of her press interviews with raw, green envy for the last couple of weeks. The same two weeks that she and her family have befallen the curse of cancer.

Dooce is real. She's a girl named Heather who is still trying to figure it all out just like the rest of us. She just happens to do what she does really well and seems to have an outstanding level of belief in telling it like it is. She is my Livin' For Real hero. You may not always like her take on things... and she really could probably care less. Do yourself a favor and make her part of your day. Let her infect you until you want to wear a bracelet with: WWDD

"What Would Dooce Do?"


Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Conversations this week are ringing in my head. And it's only Wednesday!

Ryan: Mom... when we were on the freeway, Hannah...

Me: Ryan... are you going to tattle on Hannah?

Ryan: No, I's just gonna tell you a story.


Me: Is this story going to get Hannah in trouble?

Ryan(without missing a beat):
Well, it's SUPPOSED to.

Oh my little man. Well, at least he was honest. Honesty in a man is so admirable. Probably because it is so rare.

There was a moment of I-Just-Can't-Help-Rubbing-It-In texting.

Ex(ish) husband: Happy Birthday :)
(The smiley face always makes me nervous...)

Me: Thank you. (almost hit send then added)
Another year sexier ;)
(that was me rubbin' it in...)

Then there was the conversation with the Captain of a group of about thirty Special Ops in Training gentlemen that came to sit with my friends and I at my birthday/girls night out/karaoke night.

Me: Sorry my friends and I are blocking the view of the cuties dancing.

Special Ops guy: Huh?

Me: Well, I just thought you guys would prefer a front row view to the action.

Special Ops guy: Uh, no... we all have daughters that age.

Special Ops friend: [wince-laughs]

Special Ops guy: We appreciate women like you.

I have not forgotten the word appreciate and the emphasis he put on it. Wow. I'm starting to get it...

Then there was the email from my self-excommunicated daughter. I'm going to respect her privacy by not divulging the words. They were wonderful to read and I am looking forward to whatever the future holds for us.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Today is my thirty-eighth birthday!

I tell you the age because I am gloriously happy to BE my age and to look and feel like I do. I never thought it would be this good... not even when the "old" ladies I knew in my twenties told me that this would be the time of my life. They were right, of course. This is the time when life starts to make sense AND you still have the body to enjoy it! SWEET!

Last night, I went to bed with some words from Marianne Williamson's book, A Woman's Worth. I woke up with a smile on my face. I want to give a gift to all of the women I know and those that I have yet to meet. These are the words that lulled me to sleep on my last night as a thirty-seven year old:

"Joy is our goal, our destiny. We cannot know who we are except in joy. Not knowing joy, we do not know ourselves. When we are without joy, we grope in the dark. When we are centered in joy, we attain our wisdom. A joyful woman, by merely being, says it all. The world is terrified of joyful women. Make a stand. Be one anyway.

Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things are. Joy is not necessarily what happens when things unfold according to our own plans. How often that's happened -- we married the [right] man, had the children, got the job -- and we've still known despair. Joy is what happens when we see that God's plan is PERFECT and we're already starring in a perfect show. It demands that we have the audacity to embrace the knowledge of just how beautiful we really are and how infintely powerful we are RIGHT NOW -- without changing a thing -- through the grace that's consistenlty born and reborn within us.

...Such an embrace is not arrogant but humble; it is not crazy but realistic. It is an appraisal of our lives through the eyes God gives us...

...Perhaps joy can be practiced. Perhaps we can decide to BE happy, to give joy before waiting to receive it. This is not denial but affirmation of the power inside us... Then we become the ones who teach the meaning of joy to our children, as well as allowing them to teach it to us. We bring joy to one another, to men, to children, to God. Just knowing we're meant to do this increases its presence within us. Our deciding to be joyful demonstrates our willingness to relinquish the petty and negative preoccupations that stand in the way. When we give these up, a more joyful life has a chance to emerge."

JOY IS THE GOAL. This day and all the days that follow are the beautiful journey. Much love and joy to you on this, my thirty-eighth birthday!



Monday, May 12, 2008

I Am Such A Bitch

There are reasons that I become a Bitch in one hot second. I have some fundamental flaws that I have developed... so sue me. I'm human. And most of the time I forgive myself for my moments. Those moments when I allow all of that to explode into my day.

Like today, for example.

My cell phone, or rather, Life Line was turned off. Completely shut down. Non-communicable. My husband's was not. (aaarrgghhh) My attempts at reaching him were unsuccessful as he is travelling (grumble-grumble, aaarrrgghh, grumble). So I left a not-so-nice message about how he was not acting very cooperative in our Collaborative Divorce, damn it! I called the cell company to chew someone's ear off and find out what I needed to do to get my phone back up and running since my (aaarrghhh) A-Hole husband was being a jerk and had not notified me of this action. That's when I found out that someone had reported my phone lost. "It's not lost! I'm on it right now? Who would have said it was lost?"

Uh-oh... Shoot!

Yesterday at church, someone gave me my old phone that had died. I had reactivated a new phone and let the kids play with the one that crashed. They took it to church and left it there last week. Somehow, someone was able to "resurrect" it. They saw that it was my phone, and thinking they would do me a favor, called the cell company to report it found. Well... the cell company doesn't have a system for Found, only Lost (so pessimistic). So today, my replacement phone got zapped as the "Lost" phone.


The whole time I was getting it all straightened out I kept thinking about the message I had left my poor husband. (Please note how he went from A-Hole to sympathetic innocent within seconds). Now I have a nasty message out in the ether AND a guilty conscience. YAY! Just about that moment, my office phone rings. I know who it is by the voice of my inner accuser (You are such a bitch!) ringing in my ears. "Helllloooo...." I sheepishly explained myself and luckily we had a good chuckle about it. He understood the confusion and I was able to say sorry without feeling like I was giving anything up.

I think I'll be okay. Minus the occassional zero-to-sixty-bitchiness-explosion. But hey, I own it.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New Beliefs

Part of healing and recovery is replacing old Belief Systems (BS) with new empowering beliefs. Easier said than done. Definitely nothing that comes overnight. But it is possible, and so I move ahead.

This morning was spent in the presence of a group of wonderful women, all in a room to promote their own businesses and to partner with each other for the good of everyone. We chatted over coffee and learned about our past month and goals for the coming month. That was Part I of our meeting.

Part 2 was very special. Our speaker was Claudia Jean, self proclaimed Queen of Self-Esteem! She began by talking about aging and how the alternative is "you not being here to share and to bless others." That quieted me quickly. If I don't want to age, then I have to give up my place here... and all the fun that comes along with it. Simple truth... yes. But how often do we look in the mirror and sigh unhappily about the state of gravity on our parts? She asked us to pretend we were ourselves in the future, take a look back at our image today and then say (from the future), "Damn! You looked good back then!" 'Cause back then... that's what's happening right now. She also said something very simple yet true: "The fact that I showed up means that I am good enough!" But she admitted, just knowing you are good enough doesn't mean that you will feel it, too. We talked a little more about loading back up with good and positive beliefs.

Enter MY guest this morning, Lorretta Shughrue. Lorretta is a hypnotherapist who, aside from having her own therapy practice, offers over-night rejuvination CDs that unlock the yuck that we say to ourselves throughout the day, sends it on it's way, and refills our subconscious with positive affirmations. She gave us a sampling by ending our meeting with an affirming breathing exercise reminding us that we are wonderful, beautiful creatures. The word I took away from that exercise was "magnificent." Later that morning, I thought, "this must be how a princess feels!" Wonderful. Beautiful. Magnificent.

In emptying out the old BS, I am actively replacing new thoughts. I used to feel like How much worse can it get? Now I feel as if I am on a platform ready to jump off and soar into the sky. All my fears are still there, but they are diminishing and I am getting stronger. This life... this new life of my own making... it's going to be...


Claudia Jean's site is currently under construction. She is, however, available by phone at 760/692-0439. She speaks to women's groups from the teen years to those celebrating their seventies and above. In her talks, she will share the three parts of Self Esteem and how to be kinder to the woman in the mirror.

Lorretta Shughrue, DCH has earned a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Master’s Degree in Counseling. She has a passion for empowering others to reach their personal goals and improve their quality of life. Her practice is Experience Empowerment and can be found at

Friday, May 2, 2008

Rich Single Moms?

A long time ago, I was taught not to cheer so loudly for myself. I was taught that it was bad to boast about my talents. Just saying that I had talents was difficult. Actually earning money from those talents seemed to me to be the ultimate transgression. That's why I really had a tough time getting used to the idea of working AND having fun AND making money. The queeziness of it all is still just under the surface... I am feeling anxious just writing about Fun, Work, and Money in the same sentence! Old Belief Systems (or rather, BS) are hard to break free from, but once you do, the abundance flows!

I just came across a great blog that explores that for single moms. The title cracked me up because it seems like a complete oxymoron: Ms. Catalyst is the author of Rich Single Momma. Check her out for some sage advice on abundance in what would otherwise be considered a scarcity-based lifestyle. Here's a sidebar description:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Now trust me when I say that I know in my head that this is true. But living it out has been my challenge. At least I thought it was until I reviewed what I have accomplished this year. I am out of an unhealthy relationship. I am living well on my own with my two youngest children, not starving and not working 70 hours a week. I am surrounded by friends who love me and appreciate me for who I AM. I earn real money doing what I love. All in all, I have designed a life of my own making in which I am free to be myself and to be right in the center of God's will for me.

How Awesome!

It's great to see other single moms living life and claiming themselves brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous! Way to go, Ms. Catalyst! I'll be checking in often!