fortygirl

Forty Girl…that's me! I am a recently divorced woman in my 40s, and am now a single mother with a career. Join me as I start this exciting new chapter in my life. Let's chat!

Life Changes and More

It is has been awhile since I have visited my blog and written. I have missed it, and good grief how things have changed in my life. I have to say this year has pushed me to reflection, and has run me through a vast variety of emotions. The reflection has been beneficial, but I have also found it to become my very own “beat up on me fest.” I know you know what I am talking about, because I even read one of my friend’s posts on Facebook and she, too, was beating herself up and had promised God she would “be better.” It was while reading that post that I truly took pause.

God does NOT want us to beat up on ourselves. That is not who God is. I am, by no means, an aficionado of the Bible, quite the contrary. I, admittedly, have not read the Bible cover to cover, and believe me I am flawed, humanly flawed. That being said, I know God does not want us to tear ourselves apart when we make a mistake. He is a loving God who wants us to recognize what we need to change, and make changes to better serve him, but that does not mean beating ourselves up with negative self-talk and comparisons of our life to others. Believe me, the image that people put out there on social media and in public is very different in many ways to what their lives are really like, so why do we continue to compare?

I have been a Christian all of my life, but a baptized Christian at 16, and quite frankly, baptism was quite premature at that time, because I truly did not recognize what it truly (emphasis on truly) meant to be baptized. So, after the dunk in the water, I pretty much continued my wild ways. It was not until my 30s that I was really ready to make the commitment, thus I was baptized again. That being said, I have still tripped, fallen, and made my share of mistakes, but here is the beauty of God’s grace…I can ask and be forgiven.

This morning, I woke up in  state of melancholy. I have so much to be thankful for: a beautiful and healthy son, my parents are healthy and live close by, have a home I like, a career I love at a place I love, small circle of true friends I can count on, and old friends far away that I keep in touch with, I am healthy, and on and on. Yet, there I was, sitting on my bed, thinking about who, I think,  may not like me, why certain people are behaving the way they are, what I need to do differently in my life, what I need to be better at, the state of my life in general, and…seriously, Forty Girl, seriously. Enough!

So, my point to those of you graciously reading my blog…quit thinking you are not enough, because you are enough! Not everyone is meant to be in our circle, and not everyone IS going to like you, but have you really found someone that did not like you that you truly cared for either? I mean something to ponder, right? The difference…you are not out to be rude, malicious, mean spirited, etc. You simply are not a part of each other’s lives, and that is ok.

My blog is all over the map today, but it has been awhile and with the life changes I have experienced in the past 6 months, reflection is the name of the game. Would you like to know exactly what the life changes are? Well, in June my husband and I of 16 years separated. I freed him to go find the life he wanted, and in the meantime freed myself to do the same. I pray for him to find happiness. In August our divorce was final. The hardest part of the process…we have an 8 year old son. That being said, I truly believe that had it not been for our son, I would never have left, but when you have an audience as you argue and debate, a different perspective sets in.

A family member went to prison around the same time as my separation. It is devastating. Poor choices, and continued poor choices, combined with poor choices in friends and lifestyle choices and well…they are in prison. Any more to say?

In August, my nephew left for Navy boot camp. I was there the day he was born. Now, he is a man starting a new adventure. I am so excited for him, but watching him leave that day was still terribly hard.

In October, my dog of 14 years passed away…so difficult to say good-bye. While I know he is frolicking on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, it is still tough. Shortly after the passing of my dog, my sweet son needed to have his tonsils removed. Who knew tonsils being removed would be such a tough recovery, but it is no joke! So, those are my recent life changes, oh, how can I forget Irma…you got it…Hurricane Irma hit as well.

Life…we were not promised an easy road, and I refuse to be defeated, for I know that God is with me every step of the way, every challenge of the way, every celebration of the way. He is with me, and He is with you…if you let him. We can’t beat ourselves up about our shortcomings though. We just regroup, have a conversation with God and let him guide us, allow him to work in our lives. He is there always…even during our life changes. I am praying for every reader of this blog. Say a prayer for me, if you will. After all, you can never have enough prayer.

My blog will be different going forward as I will share my experiences as a recently divorced woman, who became a single mother overnight, who is a mere mortal with lots of flaws, but I am loved, loved, loved by a gracious and loving God. My adventure, your adventure, awaits…

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What Do You Mean I Am Just a Human?

This week was the week I found out that I am a just (sigh)…a human. If you have read some of my recent blog posts you already know I wrote about a surgery that I recently had. The surgery was a complete hysterectomy, ovaries and all. Needless to say, pretty major on the list of surgeries. The recovery period is 6-8 weeks and that is just the overall physical healing part. That does not include the stamina recovery and hormone balancing aspect. They say it is months before you truly feel like yourself. Which brings me to the profound truth that has recently come to me…

I was told when I had my surgery that there were restrictions…no lifting of anything as heavy as a gallon of milk, no pushing and pulling, lots of rest, limited work, if any, you get the picture. Well, how do I word this…I pushed myself thinking…”I am a superhuman!”…I guess in my mind I was (drums play)…”Super Forty-girl”!!!

Then last week, I feel a little pain, it continues over the next couple of days, and by Saturday night I am miserable! I immediately panic because no matter what I do I cannot get rid of the pain and discomfort. My mind races…blockage? Complication? What is going on? Needless to say, I ended up in the ER. The minute I stated to the doctor that I had surgery as recent as four weeks ago, I knew I was in for the long haul. This was not going to be a simple evaluate and discharge. Now, I am an educator, and I am sitting in the ER the night before the first day of school. Now, not only was it the first day of school for my school, but for my son as he starts First grade, so…emotions set in as I was told I was being admitted. The more frustrating part was that I put myself here. I pushed and pushed myself working to get ready for the school year, did not get enough rest after the first couple of weeks, because I began to feel better. I did not eat a bland diet…so, yes, I am responsible. Goodness, is that hard to admit!

As the doctors came in to visit me, and the tests were run, the message I was being given was one I simply could not process…what do you mean I can’t do it all? What do you mean I need more rest? What do you mean I can’t work ten hour days yet? What to you mean I can’t eat just whatever I want? What! I can’t leap tall buildings in a single-bound? You can’t be serious? UMMMM…they were serious! I also found out that I don’t control anything…God is always in control, and in this situation my body had a big say in the situation as well. My body was telling me “I need a break, a rest, a chance to fully heal, and you are pushing it”. I got the message…I am not superhuman (long sigh).

As I laid in my hospital bed and pondered my situation, I realized that my health, your health, is so valuable. To not take care of our body is simply put…dumb. I also realized that not taking care of ourselves does not just impact us. It impacts those around us. My family was worried, my son especially did not like visiting his mommy in a hospital. My husband and parents worried, and lectured me I might add. The folks at my school were concerned, and stated “we need you, so you better take care of yourself!”. I realized I impact a lot of people; therefore, I needed to take care of me, not just for me, but for the people around me. Does that make sense? I also realized that yes, I am a human, and humans need rest, nutrition, and as much as we don’t like it…to follow doctor’s orders. I am listening from here on out.  So, my message to you is to take care of yourself, because YOU matter to so many! YOU matter to more people than you even know. Oh, and by the way, you are not superhuman either! Does that surprise you? It sure surprised me!

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Life-changer…Yes!

Well, I had my surgery…the Life Changer as I call it. Let me say, I cried throughout the weekend leading up to the surgery…just trying to wrap my mind around the whole idea of the surgery…a total abdominal hysterectomy including ovaries. I knew it was the right decision, but still struggling with the woman side of me…does that make sense? It is hard to explain to anyone not facing a surgery such as mine, but my feelings were mine nonetheless. I have a beautiful son, a caring husband, and doing all that I can to make sure I am around to watch my son grow-up, and be a partner to my husband drove my ultimate decision to have the surgery. I want to have a healthy active life for my family.

The morning of the surgery to say I was full of emotion is an understatement. It made me feel better when my nurse told me that everyone cries when this type of surgery is about to happen. It is just a very emotional surgery…

After waking up from the surgery, pain and feeling as if I have been hit by a truck is putting it mildly! However, I am now heading into week three after the surgery, and I am on the mend. I have little energy, but the doctor says that takes time…more than eight weeks to be exact! I have started bioidentical hormone therapy the day after my surgery, which has kept my hormones from crashing completely. Now don’t get be wrong, I get teary-eyed, and my hormones are not where they need to be, but my body has just endured a complete shock. The great news is, I still feel like me, which I was really worried about. I thought this surgery would inherently change me, but thankfully it has not, well not really. My doctor says I will feel like a new woman, and that the condition I had could only be treated with the surgery I had. So,the right choice was made, the journey to get well is going to be slow, but good things are on the horizon.

Now, I know I said the surgery did not inherently change me, but I still believe this surgery was a life changer, why? Because while I have had to stop myself and rest, I have also had time to reflect. I have reflected on myself as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, Christian, friend, leader…many aspects of myself. I have had time to review what I need to work on, focus on, and…let go. In the challenge of this whole process, one thing I am realizing is that life is too short, health is too important, and every moment matters. I need to quit focusing so much on tomorrow, and experience and appreciate the moment.

As people have sent me flowers, cards, well wishes, brought meals, stopped by to visit, even bringing gifts for my son…I am moved by the genuine goodness of people, something that I think I may have been questioning prior to this life-changing event. God truly does work in mysterious ways, and many times life events show us so much more and become about so much more than we ever thought.

My surgery was a life changer, one that has made an impact on my life in many ways, but a new journey has just begun!

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Life changer…

Monday I am having surgery. A total abdominal hysterectomy to be exact. I have researched, not necessarily  a great idea I might add. I have had much discussion with my fabulous doctor. She took time to discuss my options, why this was the right procedure to have, truly cared about my decision, and my comfort and understanding of the procedure. At the end of the day though, all my doctor had to say to me to truly get me to understand the seriousness was…without this procedure Cancer is coming your way. UMMMM…the “C” word is not an option. I am sure anyone can understand that! I have a six-year-old son and my need to be present for his life is a priority, as is being a wife to my husband. So, accepting the total hysterectomy was agreed upon.

The surgery date has been set…this Monday…again logically I “get it”, but emotionally, as a woman, I am struggling. There is just something bizarre about having my reproductive organs removed, it is final, there is no going back. Now, my reproductive organs have been an issue of discomfort for me since I was ten years old, yes, ten. I have struggled with infertility, monthly discomfort, the list goes on and on. I have had atypical uterine cells, MRI mammograms every six months…so, you get the picture. Still I have cried and struggled with this upcoming surgery. Now, I know in my core that it is the right decision, that I will feel better than ever…eventually, but this time leading up to the surgery seems to have my anxiety at an all time high.

My doctor is a believer in balancing holistic health with modern medicine, so she is all about the bioidentical hormones…so glad! She has created a hormone specifically for me. Knowing this has helped, because the last thing I want is to be thrown into menopause, followed by no desire for belly button time with my hubby…that is not an option either. 😀 So, I am two days out from my surgery. I know it is what I need to do, but I guess fear of the unknown…the after the surgery, has me so concerned. Oh, and did I mention a six-week recovery? Wow! Laying around, taking it easy for six-weeks? I am thinking the healing process needs to take about three weeks…I think that is all I am mentally going to be able to stand. I have a feeling that is all my family is going to be able to stand too 😃. I am just not used to sitting idle! Oh well, doctor’s orders, right?

Well, I have prayed, because I know God is with me throughout this entire process…daily as a matter of fact. My faith is so important. How can anyone not have faith? I get so much comfort knowing at anytime I can pray to God and he is there for me…Whew! So glad!

Well, another chapter, another experience, another journey in my life begins…onward with prayers…here I go! Oh, by the way, did I mention six weeks? Uh oh! Prayers, for sure!

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Blessings…

As I sit here drinking coffee, watching my son play on the floor, hubby sitting nearby, beautiful red Cardinal perched outside on the patio, I am reminded of the blessings of God.  My job is a stressful one, but one that I truly love. I must say that with the stress of the job many times I can get stuck looking at the negative and missing the blessings in front of me. Today, I am trying to take a moment to truly focus on the positives.  Yes, there are people in this world that drive us crazy, the economic situation of our country is a mess, but that being said, the world around us  still has so much beauty.  There are beautiful people in the world still too, and I do not mean in a Hollywood sense, by any means.  There are people that still hold the door open, allow you to go ahead of them in line, give you a smile, and on and on.  I have found that if I give positives I tend to get them back.  I am sure most of us already know that to be true, so it is not as if I am saying anything profound.  But, do we really stop and think about it?  When I leave the house I try to send positives into the world.  If I am going to wear a cross around my neck, then I should live by  His principles, right? People should see Him in me, right? 

In the scope of my job, I have tried to make sure I lead by His example. I have prayed for my staff, prayed for my school, prayed for my students, prayed for their parents. Many say that prayer in not allowed in schools, I disagree!  Prayer is alive and well.  It may not be directed over the PA system, but I can guarantee you prayer takes place in classrooms.  I pray on my way to work for guidance and to make the right decisions for the greater good of my school and community.  Do I fall short still?  Of course, after all, I am human and making mistakes still happens and always will, but I will not give up. 

I hear people comment about the demise of society, and I have even made the comment, but then again, I imagine everybody at some time or another felt the same way.  I do believe that we must focus on interacting with each other in a positive way, and become a blessing to the world. One person can make a difference, and I am determined to make a difference.

 I sent an email to my staff yesterday, simple telling them how hard I know they are working, and that while they are not always thanked for their hard work and sacrifice, I have noticed. I also asked them to lift one another up, because we had members of our community that were struggling personally.  I had no idea that my staff needed to hear that as much as they did.  I had responses from them saying “I needed that” and many more. We highly underestimate the power we have as individuals.

 Imagine if each person, or the majority of people had the attitude they are going to go out and be a blessing to the world?  Our world would begin to improve drastically!  So, let’s get out there and become a beauty and blessing to the world! That smile you give just may be the smile that keeps someone going!

 

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Struggle…

Struggle….

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Struggle…

Here is my current struggle as a Christian…how to not let other people affect me.  I admittedly am an outgoing, yet shy person. Let me explain…when I am in my comfort zone…lookout, I am outgoing, funny and relaxed.  When I am out of my comfort zone, or in a setting where I do not know many people I am rather reserved.  Some people have seen my reserved side as even arrogant, which could not be further from the truth.  The struggle is that I am amazed at how many people in this world, who do not even really know me, can make snap judgments about me…or anyone for that matter.  I really am working hard to make sure that I am not judgmental.  I do not think you ever really KNOW someone, so I try to put myself in their place and think about why people are the way they are, and do the things they do.  So, I guess it is just frustrating when I think people are very quick to make judgments based upon little information, if any.

The struggle is that we are not supposed to even worry about what other people think, only focus on what we think God would want us to do.  This is my mission, but I must say, I still get bothered, no hurt, when people think they know me and they really do not.  It hurts when you are friendly to someone and you are met with less than friendly, if not downright rude. I don’t know maybe my issue is that I am too focused on other people and what they think? Who knows, but either way it is a struggle.  I wonder if this is a struggle that other people have?

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Getting soaped!

Okay all!  You know I am on a no paraben and sulfate kick, well, after looking at numerous body washes and soaps, I was given some all natural, homemade soaps, and they are WONDERFUL!  They smell great, make my skin so soft, and they are absolutely homemade, without a bunch of items I can’t even pronounce.  www.naturessimplicity.com is where you can order the soaps.  One of my favorites is the Lavender Luxury, oh my word…fabulous!  I also located a soap called African Black Soap at my local health food store…amazing!  From what I have read, the African Black Soap is great for clearing up any type of skin conditions, like acne, etc.  I am sold on these soaps…no going back.

Well, as I continue on my quest to go healthier, I am now on my way to making sure my largest organ is getting some healthy treatment…did you know your skin absorbs 60% of any substance you put on it…so, my guess is we should make sure we are absorbing stuff that is healthy for you.  What do you think??

Oh, one last thing before I close for the day…nutmeg and cinnamon is naturally anti-aging, do I have your attention now???  It did not take much to get my attention!  Let’s face it, men look better as they age, like a fine wine…however, women, not so much.  I intend to fight looking older every single solitary step of the way!  So, I read about this concoction…put nutmeg and cinnamon (equal parts) in a coffee filter in your coffee machine, brew like coffee, what you will have in your coffee pot is what you will put on your face with a cotton ball.  I keep my anti-aging concoction in the fridge and every night, dip the ol’ cotton ball into it and apply to my face. Now, call me crazy but I believe it is working…my fine lines are getting smaller-yippee!!  So, give it a shot and let me know what you think. Now, if only there was a concoction to rub on your hips that made them smaller, hmmm, I need to do some more research! 🙂

 

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The healthy part of my journey….going organic and natural

In my quest for self-improvement I am also working on getting healthier, and all that encompasses.  I have been doing a lot of healthy reading…magazines, research on the web, books, you name it I am definitely in healthy research mode…must be the educator in me.  I also know it has a lot to do with the birth of my son.  I want to be healthy for him!  I have got to stay active to keep up with my “little man”!  so, back to my healthy quest…

I attended a workshop on going organic…I could not believe my ears when the speaker told the audience that all breast cancer tumors have parabens in them…good grief!!!!  So, imagine my shock when I looked at some very famous baby lotions and found that they too had parabens in them.  Needless to say I was a little upset to think I had been lathering my precious son up with lotion daily and they all contained parabens. So, I guess you can say that I am making it a mission of mine to go paraben free!  Thankfully, it is getting easier to go paraben and sulfate free because more and more products are available. 

it may sound crazy but since I have been working on being healthier…supplements, natural skin care, natural hair conditioners, just to name a couple I truly feel better!  As a matter of fact, I am sitting with my all natural Moroccan clay mask-feels great, even though I look a little hilarious. My son must be getting used to seeing me wear masks because he looked at me and did not even bat an eye! 🙂 I just conditioned my hair with almond oil and peppermint oil-almond oil to condition and peppermint oil to stimulate the scalp.  I soak my hair with the mixture, then wrap my hair in a towel and leave it on for 30 minutes, then wash out.  My hair truly feels softer and looks better.  I would recommend giving it a try!  So, by the end of this evening I will have soft and silky hair, and fabulous looking skin, more toned with small pores…my goodness I sound like an infomercial! 🙂

More healthy tips to come and more stories as I continue this journey of getting healthier and becoming a new me…should be interesting!  If anyone out there has any fabulous healthy tips, whether eating or beauty please share!  This is a journey I can by no means make alone…lots of prayers, tips and ideas from other folks, and I am one day closer to a healthier, better me! 

Whew! I better get this mask off or I am going to be drawn a little too tight in the pores department…

 

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