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…

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

The Fabulous Life of…

In this day and age it is so easy to take a look at your life and think that you must have more, more, more. One click of the television remote and you can have your pick of reality television shows. The sad reality is most people know more about what is going on with the latest reality show, but have no idea what is happening in our country…the world. You would think with reality shows being so prevalent, people would be more concerned about, ahem…reality. With all that we are inundated with it is so easy to get caught up thinking that what you see on television is truly a reflection of that person’s life.

I have even found myself thinking, if only…I had a better body, a bigger home, more confidence, a husband who whisked me away on trips around the world, if I made more money, if my husband made more money, if I was a better mother, a better cook. Whew! The list can go on and on, but you know what I have to pause and remember? I am truly blessed! I have a loving and gracious God who has blessed me when I have not deserved it. He has guided me through challenging situations time and time again. He has blessed me with ALL that I need. The Fabulous Life of…ME, really is a reality!

I think for women it is especially easy to get caught up in the comparison game. It is easy to think that the woman standing next to us in line must have a better life than we do, or the woman on the latest reality show must have a better life because, after all, have you seen her home?  Stop! All that comparison does is tear at you. The negative self-talk does nothing to make you feel better, to lift you up.

I must be honest, lately I have struggled comparisons. I have found myself over analyzing my life, questioning decisions I have made in my life, and the list goes on. Maybe it is hormones, maybe it is mid-life :), I truly do not know, but I have felt down about a lot of things. I have to shift out of this though, because I am a woman who is blessed beyond belief. I am married to a husband who still thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread, blessed with an amazing son, parents who are going to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year, a career in a field I love, good health, not only for me but my family members, and on and on. So, why on earth am I spending time focusing on what others have? Something for us to remember too…someone out there is looking at our lives and thinking we have everything together too. Isn’t life ironic?

I have always been a believer, but now I am trying to really dive into what that means. Sound funny? Well, I am trying to learn more about God’s word, surround myself with people who are Christians as well, get involved in church, make sure that my son is involved in church. In a nut shell I am trying to live a better life, looking up, not around. I am joining bible book studies, I have led a book study, I am reading Christian focused books, praying often, trying to simply be more of a Christian. My big goal is to read the Bible. That being said, I need to be honest about that. I have tried to read the Bible and have gotten so confused by the language of the bible…”Thee this and Thou that”, all the more reason to get involved in church, begin reading the Bible and feeling comfortable to go to my pastor and ask questions. I have got to step out of my comfort zone.

The other step in my walk as a Christian is less comparison, more focus on helping those around me, loving my family and being grateful. Grateful for the blessings that God has already blessed me with, continues to bless me with, all of this when I am not worthy of his constant forgiveness and blessings. What an amazing God we serve! How loved we all are! No need for comparison…we are ALL loved unconditionally. Whew! What a true relief! Thank you, Lord! We must each celebrate The Fabulous Life of…You and Me!

Stop for a minute and pray…Lord, please help me to stop comparing myself to others. Help me to stop looking around and help me to look up. Thank you for the blessings you have graciously given me, and I ask that you help me to look to you to address the areas of my life that need work. Always looking to you for answers, not others, and not through comparisons. That being said, help me to not judge another, because I truly have no idea of their journey. Amen.

Leave a comment »

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!

Leave a comment »

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!

5 Comments »

Who Gets The Reward? YOU!

We, as a culture, tend to be focused on getting more. You know it’s true! As a matter of fact marketing strategies are set on that human feeling of comparison and having more. Have you ever thought the following…I will be happier if I looked like that person, had that car, was able to buy that or go there? Sad to say, but these thoughts have crossed my mind a time to two, well, maybe three or four…you get the picture!

Well, yesterday my husband and son had just finished with soccer practice, and we were on our way to dinner with my parents. As we were leaving the soccer park we saw an elderly lady pulled over on the side of the road. She looked distressed, so my husband pulled over to check on her. She had gotten lost trying to find her church. Normally the church bus picked her up, but tonight they had not. My husband sought more information as to where her church was, and sure enough she was headed in the opposite direction. It was a that point whatever decision we made was going to make a difference…we could have just given her directions and started on our way to dinner, or we could make a better choice that would curtail our plans a tad. We made the better choice…I knew where the church was, and we were heading that direction for dinner. I am so proud of my husband because he cared enough to stop and check on the lady, and he offered to drive her vehicle and follow me to the church.  When we arrived at the church, another lady in the parking lot came over to check on the lady. I am sure it had to do with some stranger driving the woman’s car, being led by another car with strangers in it. Both ladies were so apprciative…truly appreciative.

It was in that moment that I felt a great feeling…we had made a difference in another person’s life by changing our plans and taking time to help someone else…someone in need. I was proud of my husband for his caring, proud that we had taken the time, and I also realized we had just set an example for our 6-year-old son watching from the backseat. While the lady we helped was thankful…WE got the reward! Our evening was made better because we took the time to help someone else. The focus was not on us, it was on someone else.

That right there, my friends, is the key…helping others. Taking the time to be aware of what is happening around you, and offering to help someone else. In other words, take the focus off of yourself for a while. The bonus? Our son was able to witness his parents showing care and concern for another human being, in a safe environment, of course.

Last night the reward was ours…simply because we agreed to take time to help someone else. Who will you help today? The reward can be yours…I guarantee you will feel great!

Leave a comment »

Angels Among Us

Goodness! It has been a long time since I have written as FortyGirl. Well, with the new year I have done some reflecting…as I am sure you have been as well. It is funny how a change of the year can cause deep reflection, and at the same time motivates us to set goals.

Well, my new year started out in a way that has given me an even deeper perspective and cause for reflection, even a change of attitude. My goal this year is to look at humanity through a more positive lens. Now, I know this won’t be easy, simply because as humans we tend to focus on the negative…just watch the news. However, after my New Years Eve and New Year’s Day, I think seeing the positive just may be a lot easier. By now, you are probably wondering…what happened? Well, here we go…

On New Year’s Eve we always get together with my mom and dad. My husband, son, myself and my parents usually start the evening with dinner, then we like to go listen to the music at a local town square. The town square we visit is located in a rather large retirement community known as The Villages. No, my husband and I are not retired, but the nice thing about The Villages is the music is nice and the atmosphere is a friendly environment in which we feel comfortable taking our son. Probably more information than you needed about our choice of location, but anyway…

As we were walking up to the square, my son was being a typical 6 year old…bobbing and weaving while walking down the sidewalk, as he was very excited about New Year’s Eve. My dad and mom were walking behind him. My dad tripped on my son’s foot and began to fall, and fall he did. Now, I have not ever seen my dad look vulnerable…not ever. But when he fell, he fell on his face. His face was covered in blood. At this point, we had no idea how bad he was injured. Here is where I know there are angels among us…two complete strangers fell to their knees, one on each side, and began to comfort my dad…and us. As my husband called for an ambulance, they made sure my dad stayed awake, they continued to talk with him, held his hands, etc. These two individuals, who were out to enjoy New Year’s Eve, took care of a complete stranger and his family. They were amazing. I only know the name of one of the individuals, a wonderful man named Jerry, and the other individual was a fabulous lady who is a retired PE teacher from Wisconsin. I do not know her name but I am forever grateful to both individuals. They stayed with us until my dad was loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital. They are truly angels! As we arrived at the hospital, we did not know what to expect. I am happy to say…my dad does not have any broken bones, no concussions…simply some bad abrasions and a sprained wrist…Thank God!

That was my New Year’s Eve, now for my New Year’s Day…as I am shopping for items for a bridal shower I am throwing in February, I apparently left my wallet sitting on a counter in the store. I realized I had lost my wallet at another store during check-out. I hit the panic button! As I went back through my steps, I contacted the previous store, and someone, another angel, had turned in my wallet-all contents in tact! I am so thankful to that unknown person as well.

So, in less than 24 hours I was touched by the work of angels. Now, believe me or not..your choice, but as a Christian I have always known there are angels, but I can honestly say I have witnessed the work of angels, and have experienced their works first hand. Who knows…You just may be someone’s angel. You may have had an impact on someone who has moved you into the angel ranks….God always has a plan! Many times we do not have any idea what is plan is, but know this…there ARE angels among us! Thank God for that!

Leave a comment »

Saying Good-bye is never easy to do…

Monday was one of the hardest days of my life. It was one of the hardest days for our family. We had to say good-bye to our family member and companion of 13 years, Cookie. She was 15 years old. My husband and I adopted Cookie when she was two years old. She has been a part of our family ever since. She was a sheltie mix, and she was wonderful. Believe it or not, she even smiled, yes, smiled. She would raise her gums and show us her teeth when she was excited about something. She was our “baby girl”. We added a male sheltie, Max, to our family 3 years later and then our son, Alexander, was born 3 years after that.

Cookie was a part of our family through many changes, and she was loyal and loving. We have had the hardest time getting through this week without her.  We knew the time was drawing near, as her age began to be more and more obvious. She was sleeping more, and just showing signs of aging. On Monday, we knew we needed to take her to the veterinarian to have her checked and as I sat in the waiting room with her head on my lap, crying, I just knew. I cried the entire time as we waited. As the vet checked her out and then told us that he believed she had cancer and it was “time”…I can simply say I, we, were devastated. 

We knew that letting her go was the right thing to do. We did not want to see her suffer, but letting her go was also the hardest thing to do. Coming home to her bed, toys, and of course, Max our other dog, who is still trying to figure our where she is…we were, and are, completely heartbroken.

Our son has drawn pictures, and says “Cookie is peeing on pansies in Heaven”, something his grandparents told him, and a phrase that did bring a smile to our faces through the tears. As a Christian, I believe in a loving and gracious God, and I know that I will see our Cookie again someday. In the meantime, I will remember the precious times with our “baby girl”. So many people have told us what a good life we gave her, but the fact of the matter is she made our lives better.  She made us better people. 

Our Max is now getting all of the attention and is not quite sure how to take that, but is enjoying it all the same. He brings a smile to our face each and everyday as well, and we are thankful for him. Our son, Alexander, told me just a day ago that he misses Cookie, and my only response was “me too”. 

Pets bring so much joy to our lives, in our case our dogs, and saying good-bye has been one of hardest things we have ever had to do. I just want the hole inside of me to close, and I know it will get smaller as time passes. In the meantime, I just cry when it hits me and miss her and remember her.

We love you, Cookie…so very much…we are heartbroken without you.

We said good-bye on July 28th.image

2 Comments »

The Impact we make.

I read a quote today…”If your presence doesn’t make an impact, then your absence won’t make a difference”. I thought about that quote and then really thought about it. How powerful is that statement?  As a wife, mother and educator that statement is very profound….It is so important for us to make an impact on the people we come in contact with, and more specifically a POSITIVE one.   As a Christian, I want people to “see” that I am Christian by my actions. I know I fall short every single day, but the goal is to try, try again. Over the past couple of days, I have tried to pay compliments to people from telling one woman, ” I really like your dress”, to a man in the elevator,”don’t take this the wrong way, but you smell very good”. They were genuine compliments, genuine be the key word. Her dress really was beautiful…kind of a peacock print, and he really did smell great. 

I know these examples are simple and not real high on the profound list, but I think it is the simple acts and interactions that make a difference. 

As an educator, I must make a positive impact on my students. I am a school Principal and every single student that walks through the doors of my school deserve to be impacted in ways that make them feel valued, respected, important, and the list goes on and on. Schools should be safe havens for all children…places where they are going to be met with success because the adults in the building are willing to do anything to make sure they are successful…to make an impact. I don’t think educators are aware of the power they have, how they affect the students they come in contact with, but we cannot forget. I can only remember two educators that had a positive impact on my life, truly a positive impact. Now, that is sad. What is even more sad is I have heard that story more often than not. So…my goal and purpose is to make an impact on people’s lives as much as possible, and to make sure that the students I encounter every day feel valued.  I want to make a positive impact on my family, my school, the world. 

How about you? What impact are you making? Are you going to make?

1 Comment »

Stepping into a new realm…stay young…learn something new

Well, I am currently attending a conference to become a better educator…it has been amazing….inspiring in so many ways with a focus on what education is all about…the students!!!!  At this conference, I, too, have become a student. I am now tweeting!!!  I have attempted to tweet in the past, but I must say have been a little unsure…kind of like a student being presented with a new skill. Well, not kind of like, EXACTLY like! I am now on Twitter and I am loving it. I have learned a new skill and it has made me feel younger and more a part of what is going on. Isn’t it funny how learning something new can make you feel renewed? 

With Twitter I am connecting with people I will more than  likely never meet, but seeing their ideas and thoughts…so interesting. It is like a clinical study on human behavior!  So, as I blog on and on…the lesson here…is step out of your comfort zone, be a lifelong learner…after all, it really is the fountain of youth.  Learning something new and feeling unsure can really make us feel confident and young again. What are you going to learn today?

1 Comment »

Father’s Day…post about a special memory

Today is the day in which we stop for a moment and thank our fathers. Please post a special memory you have with your dad. I would love to read about all those special moments with you, so share out and talk about a special time with dear Ol’ dad.  

I have quite a few special memories with my dad, but I will not ever forget our father-daughter date nights. They started when we lived in Germany. I was in the first and second grade. Every couple of months I would get all dressed up and my dad would take me out to a nice restaurant…just he and I. I loved having all of his attention to myself. My brother was at home with my mom, and I was the special one those nights. I know that I chatted the night away, and I am sure my dad found it hard to get a word in.  We continued our father-daughter date nights even after we moved to Colorado, and I must say that every other month we still get together for a quick bite just he and I. I treasured those moments then and still treasure them today. 

Now, let’s read about your special memories with dad…

1 Comment »