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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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.

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Social Media…blessing and a curse?

Now, I am not unaware of the irony of my title considering I am writing a blog that I will tweet out soon, thus using social media. That being said, social media has been a super resource for me professionally. I love utilizing Twitter to connect with people all over the world. I obtain some great information and ideas through my connections on Twitter. Pinterest has given me some great DIY projects for my home, and ideas for my son’s birthday party. Facebook has allowed be to reconnect with friends I have not seen or heard from in years. I love seeing how my high school friend’s children have grown, and what my college friends are up to. I find social media to be so positive!

The flip side of that is, some people truly believe that social media is a forum for their therapy.They express everything and anything on social media thinking there should not ever be consequences. I am amazed at people who post on a social media site, which is public, but then are surprised when everyone “knows their business”, really? I have even had people say that they are entitled to freedom of speech. Well, that is true, we all have freedom of speech; however, freedom of speech does not mean without consequences.

I also wonder about the people who must post their every waking thought or movement on social media. Are people really interested in your date night, or the latest batch of cookies someone made, or the song lyrics going through someone’s head, and on and on. Truly, if you are on a date night with your spouse, maybe turning off the phone and spending the date night with them would be better. I imagine it would be appreciated by their date!

Again, social media has so many positives, it is the use of social media by some, or maybe not just some, that leaves me scratching my head. As I think about it, maybe it isn’t what is being said, but who people are “friends” with? I am pretty selective about who I am “friends” with, and definitely careful and cautious about what I post. I am always aware of my profession, and the perception of what I say, and how that can be perceived. Who we socialize with and the comments we make are forever out in social media space. They can even keep us from advancing, getting a new position or job, and can affect personal relationships and professional ones. I guess, with everything, one must consider the consequences, and truly be responsible in all of their actions, social media included. Oh, one last thing…selfies in a bathroom mirror are less than impressive…please pick a different location to show off your latest hair style!

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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?

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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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