Virtual Valentines 

Since I’m spending today with those people closest to me, I thought I would give a shout out to some of the ‘things’ that are currently brining joy into my life.

My beloved Keurig, 

You are the last thing I think about as I fall asleep each night and the first thing my mind goes to when I wake each morning.  Our relationship is pretty much one-sided, but at least it’s consistently hot. 

To The Best New Show on television; This Is Us: 

Thank you for making us laugh and cry and care about a TV family again.  But most of all, thank you for giving me the opportunity to snuggle my youngest son for one uninterrupted hour every Tuesday night.

Dear 2013 VW Passat, 

You came into our life as a complete and utter surprise.  But ever since, you have provided a safe and reliable mode of transportation for R and me.  What a great feeling it is to jump in you for last minute road trips and adventures! Ps. We really love your ample legroom, sunroof, and kickass stereo.    Danke!

 And last, but certainly not least…

Cupid, 

Thank you for your persistence.  No matter how many times I duck your arrow, your aim continues to be spot on.  Don’t give up on me and I won’t give up on you.

xo 

 

 

 

 

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The Birth of a Queen

These days she has a solid sense of her own significance.

When people ask how she is doing, she replies, “Strong.”

She announces it in the tone of a queen, escorted with a satisfied smile.

She is a new kind of Queen.  Not the kind to execute her subjects, as they serve as reminders of all she is not.

She is no longer bound by the vines of materialistic pleasures, she is not measured by how many things she has purchased.  She rebuffs the shitty labels society reaches out and tries to slap across her chest like a name tag at a trade show.

Little by little she sought her truth and little by little pieces of it appeared.  Some had welcoming faces that she embraced fully, while there were others that were harder to look at…harder to accept.

But change could not happen before acceptance of herself entirely – demons and all.

She was surprised at how the life of royalty would be so ….

simple..

yet significant.

 

**photo credit: pinterest

A Single Mom Milestone

So, after five long years, I made my last car payment this morning.  It may not seem like a big deal to many, but for me it’s a considerable occasion.

In my 29 years of driving, I’ve bought several cars, but I’ve never paid one off.  You see, I am a self-proclaimed “car junkie”.  I generally get the “car bug” and end up trading in my current ride for something cooler.

This event is also special to me because during my marriage I went out and bought this car on my own (without his approval first). I brought it into my new life and one income household.  We survived the five months I was without a job.  There were some close calls where I thought i was going to lose it, but by picking up odd jobs and keeping in close communication with Wells Fargo, we made it through. Thankfully.

Now that it’s paid off, here are some things I need to do~

1.) Celebrate! Besides announcing it on social media, I also sent a text to a few close friends.  I’ve asked one of my girlfriends to meet me for a quick beer after work. The office car wash guy comes tomorrow and I can’t wait to have her all detailed and maybe even snap a photo.

We tend to get so wrapped up in our day that we forget to celebrate the minor things in life.

2.) Make a plan of what to do with that extra money each month.  I have already decided 1/3 will go into savings, 1/3 will go towards paying off old debt and the remainder will be used for “stuff”.

3.) Make notes to follow up with the lien holder in regards to the pink slip.  Once received, I will store somewhere secure.

4.)  Call my insurance company to see if I can lower my coverage.   I also plan on obtaining quotes from other companies.

If you have any other tips, please share!

 

 

 

 

 

Assembling My Tribe

March’s Full Moon was termed The Worm Moon by Native Americans because with the warm weather came the appearance of worm casings above the softening ground.

On a balmy evening the night of March 23rd nearly 40 women from all over Ventura County gathered under a starlit sky for another Women’s Full Moon Hike.

The feedback I received from last month’s was the perfect blend of positive and motivational-exactly what I needed.  In lieu of feeling anxious, like I did in my post here, this time I felt empowered.  This month, I felt a little more  Gandalf -like, leading the women up the hillsides of Ventura.

March’s group was twice as large as our group in February.  I saw several familiar faces and even more new ones.  This time some of the ladies came early to picnic.  We had another adventure trying to locate the elusive moon, but cheered in unison as it made it’s appearance just as we were leaving.  I was overwhelmed with euphoria the entire night.

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Studies show spending time with friends has a larger impact on our physical and emotional well-being than spending time with family.

When I was married to husband #1 (at the ripe old age of 22), I didn’t take much time out for me – let a lone my friends.  I completely threw myself in to the role of wife and mother for eight years.  I naively thought I didn’t need anyone else in my life, but my little family.  In retrospect, there are memories of feeling isolated and even a bit depressed.  If I could share some words of wisdom to 20-something year old me, it would be to maintain some level of independence and connect with other mothers, wives, sisters on a regular basis.

I believe when women continue to come together in a safe place – an immeasurable bond is created.  A sisterhood.  The benefits of female friendship are endless.

I am proud to say, I have found my safe haven, under the moon and within my tribe of these magnificent women that gather with me.

Our next hike is Friday, April 22.

 

 

The Snow Moon


Last month, I joined over 1,000 women on a Full Moon hike in Griffith Park.  This was poignant in my life for a few reasons.  First, the hike was to take place up the street from my ex-boyfriend, K’s house and at the park where he and I spent a lot of time.  We haven’t been in touch in over four months and I had his dry cleaning (long story).  Secondly, one of my goals this year was to venture out of my comfort zone more often. So, I decided to go on this hike alone. Since a full moon represents “release”, I decided this was a good time to rid myself of K’s dry cleaning.  I knew I had to let it go in order to move on.  I thought about dropping it by his house on the way, but with the suggestion from a few friends, opted to donate it beforehand.  He had plenty of time to contact me to arrange to get it back and hadn’t.  On my way to the hike I dropped it in one of those green bins you find in parking lots.  The physical act of ridding myself of these items was really a weight lifted off my shoulders.

While at the hike, I made a new friend and was also witness to sisterhood in its highest form.  The feelings of unity and empowerment among the women were just what I needed at the time.   I wanted to find a way to bottle it all up and drink it in whenever I could.  I wanted to provide this experience to others.

Driving home I devised a plan.  I wanted to host a hike that was closer to home and a bit more intimate.  I not only wanted a smaller group of women, but the experience had to be just as powerful.  I’m not a natural born leader, but convinced myself that this was something I could do (again taking me out of my comfort zone).  All it took was a little coordinating and creating an event invite on Facebook.

Native Americans referred to the full moon in February, as the Snow or Hunger moon because of the rough winters, which made hunting difficult.

Before I knew it Feb 22 was fast approaching.  When I got the reminder on Facebook, my first thought was, “Shit! I HAVE to go to this!”.  The day of the hike, I did have a little anxiety.  Would anyone show up?  Would they have fun?  Would they be able to tell I was nervous?  Also, I was also a little concerned about leading everyone up a mountain in the dark, ( I think it was partly because of the warning signs for the mountain lions and snakes).   About 25 women showed up and all seemed happy and at ease, thus helping me relax.  Once we got going, and with my daughter by my side, I felt confident in my leadership abilities.

We had a little game of hide and seek going with the moon, but once  we reached the point where we had a good view of the moon, we paused for awhile to soak it all in.  I loved listening to the women sharing things with each other.  You could tell some of them were already friends, others were just getting to know each other and there were even a few women who hadn’t seen one another in a few years!  As we descended back down the hill, this time I witnessed the women physically supporting each other through the steep, rocky sections.  Though we weren’t a group of one thousand; we were just as bad-ass.

Last week’s hike was beautiful in so many ways, but it is just the beginning.  My vision is for more women to come together and release the old, renew themselves and regroup with each other.  I want there to be deep conversations and the births of new ideas.  I hope we will support one another in every dream, goal and desire. I want unbreakable bonds to be formed.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and enjoyed something that had caused me worry just hours before. I uncovered another part of me, that I didn’t know existed; I could not only be a leader, but I actually enjoyed leading.

Our next adventure will be to witness The Worm Moon on Wednesday, March 23.

Until then!

xo

The February Experiment

img_5914-1    The month of February was called Februarius during Roman times.  Februarius was derived from the Latin term Februum, meaning purification.  The Romans held a purification ritual the day of the full moon in Februarius.  I found this intriguing because, in February I am going through a purification of sorts.

But for a better word choice, let’s call it an experiment.  I got to thinking, what would happen if I removed drinking and online dating from my life for the entire month (hey, it is Leap Year) of February.

What will happen if I stop drinking for 29 days?

I will probably save money and have 29 hangover-free days.  (insert 2 thumbs up emojis here).

What about if I delete my online dating accounts for 29 days?

I will have a lot more time and energy, less distractions, and maybe even more data rollover at the end of the month. (insert Big Smiley emoji here).

Over the last three years that I have been single, the majority of my recreational time has been spent either meeting friends for happy hour, going to concerts or online dating.   I can pretty much guarantee that had you seen me out at any of these events, I would have had a drink in hand.

So, I made a list of the pros and cons of consuming alcohol and as you can probably guess, the cons far outweigh the pros.  Drinking brings absolutely nothing positive to my life.  So why do I do it?  Why do I spend the money?  Why poison my mind and body?  I hope after this “experiment”, I can provide myself some real answers.

As far as dating goes – basically I am exhausted!  Online dating could easily be a full time job and if it were legal here in California, perhaps I would get into it (kidding).  But seriously, to put it simply,  my heart is in need of a sabbatical.

I have a tribe of friends supporting me by keeping me busy with things such as hiking, yoga, good food and meaningful conversation.  Plus, I am spending a lot of time alone and I am really enjoying my own company.  With that said, cheers to a new experience and the many changes ahead.  Who knows, maybe I will make this a ritual of my own…

Stay tuned.

xo

 

 

Twenty or so Thank Yous

A few years back, my dear friend, Julie shared with me her rekindled love of handwritten notes and cards.  She realized handwritten communication was quickly becoming a lost art.  So, she started a crusade (of sorts) to bring them back.  She had just read a book called, 365 thank Yous by John Kralik.  I decided to read it while my husband, kids and I were at our vacation home in Utah.  It was the first book in years, I finished in one day.  The story is a recount of Mr. Kralik’s experience of writing one thank you note a day for a year, what he learned and how his life changed by simply letting others in on how he appreciated them.  I was inspired, to say the least.

It wasn’t long after, I began to see posts on Julie’s Facebook wall from grateful friends, who received cards and notes from her in the mail.  I wanted to do this! But as a wife, mother and business owner, I barely had time to write out my grocery list- let alone 365 letters sharing my feelings.

Fast forward to a few years ago, when I became single.  In November of 2013,  I started a ritual.  I committed to write one thank you card for each day I was at work. First, I made a list of 20 or so people/businesses that had touched/helped me over the past year.  I would write them out on my 15 minute break and pop them in the mail at lunch.  The feedback was rewarding to say the least.  It made me feel good that I could share my feelings of appreciation with others without actually having to engage in a conversation with them.

This is my third year in a row, and I wish I could tell you that I’m up to 365 Thank Yous a year or even a full 30 for each day in November, but my list is still roughly 20.  However, I believe the rewards are just as sweet. This year I have thanked:

An Ex-Boyfriend

The tire shop, where I get air in my tires every other month

A long-lost girlfriend

And even a guy I went on one date with last month.  Actually, he just received the card yesterday and called and left the sweetest voicemail.  I had thanked him for reminding me there were still true gentlemen out there.  The appreciation was apparent in his voice and I don’t think I will ever delete that message.

The lesson here, is never suppress a kind thought.  And once you put those thoughts in writing they will never be forgotten.

Check out Julie’s Blog A Letter A Week