Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Explore.

travel, one word, thoughts, emotions, single mom, mother daughter, vacation, work, business travel, flying, airline travel, life, family


I have never done a word for the year before.

I often thought about it. Figured, what better way than to pick a word to focus on as I faced a brand new year? Different than resolutions. More flexible. More relaxed. Just one simple word.

But nope.

Never happened.

And then this year came along.

At the end of 2018 I found myself making plans for 2019.

Stating out loud, ensuring I was heard, that I was going to travel more in the new year.

That I was going to bring my daughter to somewhere beyond Maine, New York, or Florida.

Three states she'd definitely been to and could easily get to again.

I want to travel with her.

And without her.

I want to ensure that she sees me taking off and doing things on my own - knowing with certainty that I am capable, and when the time comes, she will be JUST as capable of doing so herself.

And then I thought, where will we go?

We have friends in so many places. A community to call our own.

I do. She does. Our family does.

So many options.

Would I toss a dart at a map?

Spin a globe and drop my finger onto it while it was twirling by?

I won't be that relaxed about it - but I WILL make it happen.

As for me, I already have two conferences scheduled in the coming months. One in Maine and one in New Orleans. The one in Maine will be in a place I have never really explored. The other, a dream destination of mine. What more could I ask for?

Lots, honestly.

Which is where the shift in my word came in.

You've seen the title of this post. You know where this is headed.

I've changed my word from travel to explore.

Why?

I don't know, exactly.

Because it's my word and I'm allowed to do whatever I want?

Because it's more encompassing of the things I want to experience in this 46th year of my life?

Because it just means so much more, as I can do some exploration in my own backyard, if I choose.

So. Travel remains a focus. I want to travel. I WILL travel.

But I will also explore.

I will find places that bring out the awe in me.

People who bring out the best in me. Or the worst. Who knows?

And I will find my way through this year with all that I am and all that I have.

Sounds like a vow, doesn't it?

Indeed.

A vow to myself.

A promise.

To do.

To be.

To explore.



Thursday, January 3, 2019

Defining Family.

grief, family, loss, divorce, relationships, connections, in-laws, spouses, extended family


When a couple has been together for a long long time - their families intertwine.

His family becomes her family.

Her family becomes his family.

I use his-her because that is the couple I was a part of.

But know that this applies for his-his relationships, and her-her relationships.

And yes. I know. It does not happen all the time.

Sometimes families remain divided. Separated. Distant.

But. Not always.

Because.

When family is good.

Because.

When family is open.

Because.

When family is real.

There's a love and respect that develop simultaneously.

A nature that leads to calling the family members of your partner by their familial titles.

Aunt so-and-so.

Uncle whatshisname.

Cousin 'yes-that-is-the-one-we-like'.

You can laugh. You know you do it, too.

But then. There are those who don't need description or definition.

Those who are just immediately family.

And when a couple dissolves it's so so very hard.

It can be so difficult to distinguish - maybe that's not the right word - but determine is wrong, too.

It's just so hard to define (there you have it) who remains family and who does not.

Because when spouses are no longer spouses, in-laws are not quite exactly in-laws.

Not anymore.

And yet.

[You'll notice this is one of my favorite phrases. I don't know why. It just is.]

After years.

After a decade and then some.

Family doesn't just leave the heart.

Family doesn't just fade away.

And family is still loved.

Even when - by the very definition of the word - they're no longer family.

No longer related.

No longer family by marriage.

No longer.

And yet.

Still.

The circle I once described as family recently lost one of their own.

Someone who was, in the very essence of the word, a member of my family.

Once.

So now I offer condolences to loved ones.

For this is not my pain to bear - this is not my loss.

And yet.

Still.

I weep.

My heart hurts.

I recognize the weight of this loss. 

For the entire family.

And if you take a moment, after reading this, and want to offer your condolences, please consider - instead - a gesture in honor of someone who deserves to be remembered. Take a few moments to do something for someone. Whether someone in your life, or someone simply crossing your path. Bring a meal to a friend. Treat a stranger to coffee. Call that person you haven't spoken to in a while. You don't need a reason, just call to check in and see how they're doing. Do it in honor of someone who always treated me like family. Someone who is greatly missed. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Ink.

motherhood, transition, divorce, tattoos, markings, pain, life, love, transformation, connection

It's no secret that Jewish people aren't supposed to get tattoos.

I know that.

You (might) know that.

And I'll admit it.

I thought that I would observe that.

Follow that belief. Law? Tradition. Rule?

I thought I'd adhere to it for my entire life.

And yet, I sometimes thought, what would I get if I ever DID change my mind?

What would I do - what sort of marking would I want on my body for-permanently-ever?

I don't know.

That's what I said to myself.

Then.

Because.

I didn't know.

And then that shifted.

I had thoughts.

I felt connected.

I had experiences.

I felt stronger for them.

And so. I decided.

I decided that I wanted to mark the moment.

Moments.

The change.

The feelings.

I wrote about this before.

Kinda sorta.

No Mud No Lotus.

I've written about another way of being marked before.

On the day she was born.

Why is this so different?

A moment of change.

Growth.

Strength.

And so. I write again.

And show you all.

I've been inked.

Twice.

On my own accord.

And once.

On the day I became a mom.

Different kinds of ink.

And yet.

Markings I'll remember forever.


motherhood, transition, divorce, tattoos, markings, pain, life, love, transformation, connection

The dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. It stands for wisdom, power, courage, energy, and magic. Soaring above all others with strength, joy, and bravery.

The dragonfly is also considered a symbol of good luck and represents positively embracing change for its freeing qualities.

The semicolon is a reminder that my story goes on, despite and/or because of, all I've experienced. ;

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Intentions.

goals, plans, shoulds, needs, what you need, what do you want, self-care, self-love, respect, true to yourself
image source

Happy 2019, y'all!

This isn't a word of the year post.

I've actually come up with a word that I want to represent my mindset and plans for the new year, and that word will come. 

Instead, I want to talk about intentions. 

We all have them.

I'll do that tomorrow.

I'll call her next week.

I'll get back to that text. Soon.

And then.

Well. 

Time goes on. 

And intentions - as good as they may be - don't turn into actions. 

As a therapist, I am someone who works with people on turning their intentions into actions. 

I'm also someone who advocates to remind people that every intention is not always in their best interest. And so the guilt we feel at the lack of action? It's not always required. 

Listen. I'm a Jewish girl from Brooklyn. I'm pretty sure I've got the guilt thing down. 

But I also know that there are no reasons for SHOULDS. 

There can be so so many intentions. 

But as long as you don't turn them into shoulds? You'll be okay. 

Because your intentions won't turn into actions if they're "I should do this," or "they said (they? who the heck are they, anyway?) I should do that".

They'll only turn into action if you NEED to do these things you're thinking you should do. 

Get it?

This is free therapy here, y'all. 

I teach this to clients at least once a week. 

Needs. 

What you need?

Create your intentions around what you need. 

In your life. 

Your world. 

Your days. 

Your moments. 

What do you need?

Create your intentions around those thoughts. 

And come and talk to me in a few weeks. A few months. 

Heck, let's talk January 1st, 2020 (Oh MAH goodness, TWENTY TWENTY!) and see where you are and where you've come from.

Intentions. 

Set yours. 

And dive in. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Books.

fiction, nonfiction, reading, Goodreads, Kindle reads, Kindle, I recommend, read, books,


If you know me you know I'm a reader.

And right now I'm in the fight of my life when it comes to books.

My hands are full.

I have SO many books I want to read, and yet, I keep ordering/buying/borrowing more.

Oops.

So.

Here's what's on my nightstand currently.

And you know what? If you and I are friends on Goodreads? These might not even be on the Currently Reading list. I'm just THAT ridiculous, friends. Really.

Also - there are affiliate/referral links in this post. Which means if you use them to purchase the books I'm recommending I'll make a few pennies, which ultimately wind up returned to my world as more books.

READ ALL OF THESE BOOKS



read, reading, amreading, Michelle Obama, Becoming, nonfiction, First Lady, Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle reads, bestseller

Y'all. Everyone and their mother is reading this book right now. Michelle Robinson Obama is America's forever First Lady. She's a powerhouse and then some. And she's opening up and so so real in this book. I'm not that far into it because I literally went to the bookstore on Wednesday and got my copy of Becoming because I needed it immediately. Although now I'm considering buying the audiobook, even though I have never ever listened to an audiobook before. Sigh. I miss Michelle. And that husband of hers. 


read, reading, amreading, fiction, Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle reads, series, Kerry Lonsdale

The third book of Kerry Lonsdale's Everything series, I finally got around to breaking into Everything We Give last week. Have you read books one and two? You really must. Just grab the whole set while you're at it. I'm NOT a series reader. This one is a must.



Janelle Hanchett, Renegade Mothering, read, reading, amreading, nonfiction,Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle reads,

Janelle is a friend of mine. I'm not even sure how we met. I mean, I know it's through Facebook. Because we haven't actually met in real life yet. But I adore her and I am so excited to finally get my hands on her book. I'm Just Happy To Be Here is her story.  Find out more about her on her blog, Renegade Mothering. Then go buy her book.



read, reading, amreading, fiction,Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle reads, Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi

This book is on my Goodreads list. I'm partway through and I actually borrowed this from the library and they took it back! So now I'm waiting. And I'll either buy it for myself at some point, or it will come back around from my holds list. Children of Blood and Bone is a different kind of read for me. And I'm really enjoying it. I wasn't sure I would, which is why I opted for the Kindle borrow. But it's fantasy and young adult, and yet not, and so much more. Find out for yourself.



The Proposal, read, reading, amreading, fiction,Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle reads, Jasmine Guillory

My copy of The Proposal is literally sitting and waiting for me. It's going to be the perfect read after all of the heavy stuff I've been shuffling through of late. I ordered it for my November Book of the Month pick. Yes. I have a Book of the Month membership. Yes. I'm a little book crazy. Fine. A lot book crazy. *wink* But this one looked so good I had to get myself a copy. You can buy it on Amazon, just like everyone else. Or you can join BOTM yourself and get a free book by using this invite!

Okay, y'all. I need to go to bed 'cause I'm exhausted. But I figured I'd get this post up before I crash and burn. Sleep well. 

Also, who am I kidding? I'm going to be reading before I close my eyes. It's just a matter of deciding which book to pick tonight. Which would you choose?