turning a corner

The day I knew I had turned a corner, in the midst of my 2nd divorce,  started out like this:

  • Do some work
  • Scan my Counter Petition and send to my attorney
  • Get an email from my attorney that they had filed the counter petition and emailed it to my soon-to-be-ex’s attorney
  • Get an angry phone call from my soon-to-be-ex letting me know that he was going to cut off the little financial help for the utilities that he has always paid (guessing he read through my counter petition)
  • I got upset and worked up and then my attorney calmed me down
  • My business grew a little that day
  • I was able to feel accomplished that day through my work
  • I didn’t feel angry or sad or anything toward my soon-to-be-ex. I felt apathy toward him.

And that’s the day I knew I had turned a corner. I no longer want to talk about him or what could have been. I no longer missed him.

I’ll still have moments when I miss what could have been for our family but I know that it’s not even worth wishing for because my soon-to-be-ex isn’t the same person that I fell in love with and married.

I’m ready to start my new life and in fact I’m really looking forward to it. I’m no longer ‘faking it till I make it’ and slapping a smile on my face to force myself into a positive mood. And it feels amazing. A load has been taken off of my shoulders.

I know that I’ll have to deal with him for the rest of my life but I no longer want to see him suffer or have regrets or anything….I just want my life to get into more of a routine and clear him out of the picture as much as a judge will allow me. Now that’s not to say that I’m going to lay down and let him walk all over me during the divorce process, but it does mean that I won’t be rattled by him any longer. Should he decide to make poor choices, it will only affect him and I will continue to rock it in life.

I’ve never been so scared about my next chapter but thrilled and excited all at the same time. So many things are on the horizon for me…so many exciting, inspiring, challenging, hopeful things that I have to look forward to and he was dumb enough to throw me to the side…but because he did that, I was forced to push and push and push myself further than I ever thought I could go.

The best part about the whole thing is that I’m calm…oddly, weirdly, calm. I have to see this man almost six days a week because he works where my kids play hockey, and I’m not nervous anymore. I walked into the rink recently with zero butterflies, no nerves, no nausea, and with my head held high because it’s there, not because I faked it. And it was marvelous. I honestly haven’t felt that for years because I would even dread seeing my sons’ father at the rink. (Yes, I’m a glutton for punishment – both of my ex’s play hockey where my kids play and one even works there – don’t repeat my mistakes…just don’t.)

The calm I feel is equivalent to the calm I felt after each c-section when the pain killers kicked in. It’s glorious.

The other person that I need to thank for this sense of calm, is my mother. She recently went to a bible study, that clearly I need to be going to, and she shared some of the most poignant messages that I needed to hear:

  • When you’re in circumstances that you can’t control and you don’t know the answer to the issues, look up.
  • “I know the Lord is speaking to me when what I hear and am led to do cannot be done without his assistance, protection and guidance. He only speaks what brings glory to himself!” ~Bishop Kenneth Ulmer
  • God doesn’t punish you or condemn you…he will always love you no matter how much you screw up.
  • God offers solutions not guilt. He encourages, not humiliates.
  • “When I finally do the thing He has been nudging me to do, whether it’s letting something or someone go, or taking a step toward the unknown, there is a deep calm in my soul.” ~Kathy Troccoli

And I have experienced that deep calm. And it’s calming.

I know I used the word (or form of) calm twice in two sentences but there is no more perfect word than that.

Everyone experiences that calm at different points in the divorce process. I experienced it with my ex-husband two years after the divorce was final…with my soon-to-be-ex – I only had to wait a few months after he moved out.

I’m oddly proud of myself and sad at the same time. Sad only because it means it’s really over…at least for me…he has lost me forever. BUT I’m proud of myself because I never thought I’d get to this point in my relationship with ‘me’.

I’m really looking forward to what the future holds for me in the respect of a personal life/dating life and my career…which will likely be on my terms through my own business.

How cool is that?? I got exactly what I always wanted, minus the husband, for my kids and myself. I’ll be able to provide for them and fulfill dreams of supporting myself and them COMPLETELY on my own.

But I have to admit – it is as scary as HE double hockey sticks and back.

I don’t know why I’m where I’m at in my life and career but I can’t deny the doors that God has opened for me. So I’m going to stop fighting the scary stuff and conquer life!

So excited to start a new month tomorrow!

Remember – If it’s too hard to focus on the fact that the glass is half full, focus on the fact that you can refill the glass tomorrow!

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website)(I do not get commissions from sites where you donate money or things). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and viewership!
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if nothing else, be nice

Don’t tell my ex-husband, but I owe him a huge apology. I was mean, I was persistent, and I was the one that wanted the divorce. I made the decision to divorce because of some poor decisions that he had made and I then was bitter about the fact that I felt I had been backed into a corner, forced to make a decision to keep my kids safe, but yet at the same time, made to completely uproot and change their lives.

So I was mad that I had to divorce him. And I made sure that he knew that I wasn’t going to just be simply cordial with him during each of our interactions. I was upset that he had changed my future, changed their future, made me the bad guy.

Yet, by the time I had made the decision to divorce, I had already come to grips with it and with what my future had to hold.

He hadn’t.

And that’s what I should apologize for. Because I expected him to ‘grieve’ the loss of our marriage as well as accept his mistakes at the same time and all within months.

I’ve now been on the other side.

The only difference is that I’ve done nothing to cause divorce #2. I was even told by my soon-to-be-ex that I was an amazing wife and I did nothing to deserve the divorce.

Yet, he still seems to be mad at me, all of the time, for things not just having to deal with my little redhead; or at least he treats me as though this divorce is all my fault and the consequences of his uttering “I want a divorce” all fall on me.

He has no idea what leaving our family has done to the kids and the fun memories that they had. For example, the other night, we were leaving hockey practice and we started talking about things that were fun that happened during our day. My #2 little man then took it one step further and said that one of his favorite days was when I took him down a big water slide and Erik took my little man #1 down a big water slide and how much fun he had and how he thought that was the best day ever and he wanted to do that again soon.

The sting that I felt from that memory and the fact that it was his favorite memory caused me to have to choke back tears.

…This is reality. This is divorce. This is what I didn’t want but Erik did because he thinks that the grass is greener on the other side…(aka the mommy-side, the McDonnell side).

Yet, the lack of compassion that he has shown for any of the kids, let alone me is astounding.

I don’t get it. I at least cared about what the boys were feeling after I made the decision to divorce their dad. In fact, the boys and I grew closer than ever. Yet, Erik has barely made the choice to ask specific questions about how the boys were dealing with the divorce and what new things the little redhead was accomplishing, let alone actually talk to the kids about the divorce or express empathy or sympathy or any kind of emotion to show that he cares about what they are going through.

Part of me thinks that it’s guilt that he can’t deal with but then again, what human being with REAL human emotions can watch two little boys struggle with ‘desertion’ by someone that they love and not feel anything. I’m probably hoping for something that is completely unrealistic but I am saddened more and more every time I have to talk to Erik. He makes me realize that, unfortunately, the divorce may be the best thing that could happen to me.

So, with that said, I have some advice for those that may be the one making the decision to divorce, that should, hopefully, help you understand the pain that the other person is going through.

11 Things to remember if you are the person filing for divorce:

1. Your spouse never thought that this would actually happen.

The big “D” word had been thrown around during arguments but the day after showed that the issue had been resolved. Everyone always apologized for ‘taking it there’ after the big “D” word had been thrown out.

And because the word ‘divorce’ had been thrown around before, it really won’t sink in that you are serious until the day that your spouse is served. Your spouse will think that you just need to cool off and clear your head. So expect a breakdown the day that they are served with divorce papers.

2. They loved you with all of their hearts…and still do.

Don’t toy with it. Don’t feed their egos. Don’t be friends.

Just walk away…like you ‘say’ you really want to do.

Don’t hurt them more than you’ve already done.

3. They really want to hate you but can’t.

If you said, today, that you wanted to fix the marriage, you would have just handed them the biggest Christmas present ever…until they realize that you were just patronizing them into prolonging the divorce process. Only commit to the reconciliation process if you really want it. We don’t want to ‘fake it till we make it’ at this point.

Be understanding if they go from being ‘soft’ to ‘hard’ in a matter of minutes. They are having a hard time knowing how to read you now. They thought they could before but they figured out quickly that they didn’t really understand who you were because they never thought that you would put another woman ahead of them or actually file for divorce.

4. They still can’t grasp why they weren’t good enough.

We internalize why the marriage failed and we are likely to place blame on ourselves.

We fill our days, nights, and free time with ways that will make us feel like we aren’t insane for ____XYZ____ reason because the second that our time frees up, we start running through every scenario to try to figure out where everything went wrong.

The only thing that you could do to help the situation, for this, is to attempt counseling – not to reconcile – but to help them understand why you won’t put any effort into repairing your marriage and that it’s not necessarily anything that they have done (I know that sometimes it is), but that it’s something that YOU can’t deal with or work through.

5. Try empathy and softness, before you decide to be irritated that they ‘can’t move on’ within 6 weeks.

Try to understand their point of view and where they may be coming from, more than where you think they should be in life. They are in so much emotional pain and every time you get mad at them for still being in love with you is one more form of rejection and the knife is dug even deeper.

Be kind in your words, gentle in your actions, and patient with the time they need to cope with the end of something they thought would last the rest of their life because of the vows that you made.

6. Be gentle – they are hurt and want to hurt back sometimes. To them, you’ve already hurt back – you are divorcing them.

Using the term ‘hurt’ honestly doesn’t even describe how they’re feeling. They are feeling rejected and destroyed by the one person that they thought would always protect them and never let another soul hurt them. And the person that was supposed to protect them and be their support system is the one that has hurt them more than anyone else ever could.

A natural reaction is to strike back. Refer to #5 when this happens. Try to diffuse the situation with kind words or words of gentleness instead of biting back. You made this choice – you’ve already done the hurting…stop hurting them even more.

7. Remember – you wanted this divorce…not us. Should you really want the bedroom set, fix the marriage or walk away and buy a new bed.

We didn’t want to have to divide our belongings. We thought that everything we had would be ours, together, until the day we died. The memories are the priceless artifacts – not ‘things’ and when you fight for these types of things, we get confused. Why would you want something that was so intimate to our marriage, our relationship, to us??

You chose the divorce – the kind thing to do would be to let us choose the ‘stuff’.

8. Don’t flirt with us.

It’s confusing and then the rejection cycle happens all over again when we confront you about it and you deny that you flirted.

Don’t send funny texts; don’t call to reminisce with us; don’t hug us; don’t ask us to dinner to talk through the divorce; don’t share things about what is new in your personal life or with your family.

We are trying our best to cut our feelings off and when you flirt with us, it opens Pandora’s box and then we have to work even harder to shut the box afterward.

9. Have an understanding that it will kill them emotionally to see you with another person.

If they seem strong, just know that it’s killing them inside – so be gentle. Consider preparing them before they witness the relationship up-close-and-personal. Don’t expect them to like the other person and be ready to hear everything that is wrong with the ‘new girl’.

The perfect relationships that you see on TV between 1st wife and the new girlfriend are rare – it likely won’t be like that. Maybe consider avoiding the situation altogether for a while until things are calm between the two of you and then introduce the new girlfriend/boyfriend.

10. Every time you want to sing the blues about how tough your life is because you have a job and have to ‘pay for everything’ just know that your soon-to-be-ex absolutely hates asking you for help.

The last person that they want to contact is you but they don’t know what to do because you were the person that was supposed to be their support system for the rest of their lives and now that’s gone and they have nothing, including the income that you promised that you’d provide; all ripped out from under them because of a selfish decision on your part.

Don’t throw salt in the open wound by complaining about things that we wished we had.

11. Know that when you shut us off, we will be ‘found’ by someone else.

We WILL find someone better than you, much better. Someone nicer, someone more loving, someone better looking, someone smarter, someone with a better job, someone that isn’t you – that won’t hurt us…because you’ve taught us valuable lessons about relationships and how to define love.

Don’t become bitter when this happens. It’s likely that, unless we really did something to cause the divorce (which isn’t the case for me), you will repeat your relationship mistakes over and over and will end up alone much longer than us. Don’t take it out on us when this happens.

We wanted to work it out, we wanted to help you figure out your issues, we didn’t want the divorce. So it really makes us mad when you get upset when we find someone better suited for us. This was YOUR decision, NOT ours…get over yourself.

In the end, the biggest thing to remember is to be patient with us. We are trying to get to the point where none of this hurts anymore and a place of aSELRES_42c6c6dd-895e-4fcc-9361-4bfc8c49d3d2SELRES_351b38eb-f9d2-4f9b-a5e8-879205c2505bSELRES_351b38eb-f9d2-4f9b-a5e8-879205c2505bSELRES_42c6c6dd-895e-4fcc-9361-4bfc8c49d3d2cceptance, but it’s going to take a little while because we didn’t want our life to turn out like this.

If nothing else, just be nice.

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website)(I do not get commissions from sites where you donate money or things). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and viewership!

i have 4 diapers…

…and 24 pull-ups left.

My choice is either to buy more diapers or potty train a 23 month old and my daughter is ready to potty train and it will be one less drain on my bank account so, ‘why not?’.

I know she’s ready, but I’m not sure if I am. She’s my baby and I know she’s my last and I don’t know if I’m ready to call her my ‘big girl’ yet. She’s everyone’s baby…my boys especially. This little girl is so spoiled and I don’t stop the love or the spoiling.

Tonight in Target we bought new ‘big girl Minnie Mouse panties’ (her fav is Minnie Mouse) and as we walked through the store a little boy, about 12 months younger than her, called her a baby. She was mad! She didn’t like it! I even tried to say, “Well, aren’t you Mom Mom’s (me) baby?” and her defiant answer was, “NO”!!

So then I asked if she was a big girl and was ready to sit on the potty (Men – forgive me – I know you’re ready to hit the “x” but don’t yet) and she said no, she didn’t want to be a big girl. She told me “baby” and pointed at herself. I was sooooo tempted to let my little girl continue to think that she was my baby but all that would have done is stunt her growth, mentally and physically.

Not her fault.

As much as I hate the torment that her father has chosen to put her through mentally because he has ‘ducked’ out of his marriage without trying to put any effort into it, it’s not her fault. I just have to protect her from the harm that his lifestyle may bring her.

My little lady is so much stronger than I could ever wish to be. And she doesn’t even know how strong she is or will have to be in the future. I sit and tear up sometimes just watching how care free she is because she has no clue how much her father and his family don’t want to play an active, healthy, role in her life. They only play an active role when they are ready to or choose to or have time to or have money to.

For example, it’s normal that her father will get mad at me for something and then will pull the “I want to see my daughter” card. So I say, ok, as long as she isn’t around your felon brothers (still on probation until 2022) or mother (who has her own issues), then I’m cool with it.

Control.

Then he always responds with, “you can’t control who she’s around when she’s with me” which basically, confirms all of my fears – that she’ll be around his entire dysfunctional family that drinks a lot, excluding the one brother that isn’t dysfunctional (because he wants nothing to do with them). So, then I say that I’m uncomfortable with it, and then I become the ‘witch’…because he can’t possibly take care of himself and live on his own or take care of his daughter on his own, right? That’s too much to ask, right? He gets to be a bachelor and live like he’s 23 again, with a felon roommate/brother (that has a conviction that includes aggravated assault with a weapon) (and not just a conviction – he was in prison for 6 years) right? I should have NO say who my 23 month old daughter is around, considering how much her entire fathers’ family treats women like garbage.

False.

He’s a dad now. He needs to act like it. He just doesn’t know how. Good luck to him.

Thank goodness I have an amazing attorney.

My confidence level has come from so many places but one of them (not the main one) is that I found an attorney, at the last minute, that didn’t make me feel like I was being overly dramatic, or needy, or anything but jilted and wronged. She believed me. She felt my pain. She is going to work to get the most for me that I can possibly get, under laws written strategically for the protection of fathers.

Whether it was an act or not, I told my attorney exactly how I felt, how every other male attorney made me feel like I was ‘every other jilted wife’ and why I felt as though I needed to fight my hardest to win what was rightly mine, even after only seven months of marriage. And she agreed, she believed me, she got it, she understood…she took my case.

My soon-to-be-ex made soooo many mistakes including possibly opening up his girlfriend, Bethany D., for a lawsuit herself, that all I can say right now is to take your time…think through your choices…make sure you really want to do this (…or if other people are influencing your decisions.)

Dating a divorcee’.

Ending a marriage isn’t as easy as walking away. If you decide to date a divorcee and they’ve told you that they were the one that walked away after seven months, without question, without remorse, …you should be the one questioning things. Don’t hesitate to think, “this man is almost 40 and he can’t keep his marriage together more than seven months?? He must have issues.” And if you think these things, I promise you will be on-target.

Luckily, I’ve begun to move on. I wasn’t the one that inflicted the pain this time (or the last) so my conscience is clean. I will smile with a big smile and know that I’ve been true to my kids…that I tried everything. I wasn’t the one that bailed or chose another ‘thing’ over my marriage.

I will know that I was the one that taught my daughter so many important life lessons including how to live without diapers. That I told my soon-to-be-ex that these big life events were happening in her life and he offered zero support.

I did it.

She did it.

We did it. (or at least this week we will do it!)

Girl power!

childhood cancer: what $5 can do

I’ve written this blog post a couple of times, each from different perspectives, but after this weekend, I have a whole new clarity about it. This past weekend, I faced something that I never had before…the potential to be swallowed alive by a massive hurricane all with the responsibility of having three children under my care, on my own, without a partner, without a husband.

It was really intimidating, but I’m so thankful for my family. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my parents and my sister and brother-in-law. We all stayed together and rode out the storm at their house and ate waaayyy too much, enjoyed a few games, laughed a lot and stressed some too. Hurricane Irma left all of Florida guessing what would happen and what strength it would bring. In the end, we’re all good. My home has power and little damage and my family’s home has little damage and never lost power.

Through all of it though, I had moments when I would have flashes to, what would I do if: “there was a tornado”, “there was flooding”, or “I had to protect the kids against …….”. It’s a little panicky to think that you have three kids lives in your hands and the choices that you, alone, make, may really affect their lives tremendously.

BUT…

This is nothing compared to what some parents have to deal with. Some parents are sitting by bedsides praying for one more year, one more month, one more day to hold their child. The pain that a parent feels when they are told that their child has cancer has got to be the most excruciating pain that anyone could go through. Forget my divorce…I would give that any day to make sure that my children will be healthy for the rest of their lives.

With that said, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In case you were unaware here are a few facts about what families and loved ones are facing every day:

* Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region. ~Source: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/childhood

* Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the U.S. ~Source: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/childhood

* One in 285 children, in the U.S., will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20 years old. ~Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2014, American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics/cancerfactsfigures2014/

2015-childhod-cancer-facts-infographic

There are so many other facts, but the biggest is that this is an underfunded issue. Our future, our children, are being underfunded more than many other cancers out there. It’s a hard pill to swallow but it came full circle for me this weekend because the hurricane was a bleak reminder of how quickly life can flash before your eyes.

Being prepared for something (aka the hurricane) is similar (only slightly) in fashion to the importance in helping to fund childhood cancer initiatives and cures in advance…in advance to it affecting your child, your niece, your cousin, your friend. And I’m, by no means, trying to compare hurricane preparedness to preparing for childhood cancer…I’m just relating how it hit home for me this weekend.

If more people contributed to childhood cancer causes, right now…instead of waiting until it affected them, there may be no need for a parent to worry about when the last day, last breath, last I love you, may come from their child.

That is what is scary…not losing your furnishings, not losing your car, not losing your pool…losing your legacies – your children to something that you have no control over. That’s scary. That’s real. For hundreds of thousands of families in the U.S. every year.

My oldest fell in love with the Oregon Ducks football team years ago because they had impressive uniforms. I know, it sounds silly, but when a five year old loves football and loves neon yellow, cheering for the Oregon Ducks is an easy decision. This past weekend, during Hurricane Irma, we were at least able to watch a few football games, one of which was a ‘rivalry’ in our household – Oregon (my son’s team) vs. Nebraska (my father’s team).

And Oregon won…impressively.

But that wasn’t the coolest part for me. For me, the best part was that Oregon highlighted Childhood Cancer and raising money for a cure by working with Nike and the children affected by cancer.

The highlights of the uniform were:

* The gloves have the word ‘overcome’ written on the knuckles.
* The sleeves featured a duck ‘stomping’ on the word Cancer.
* The #StompOutCancer items are for sale with all proceeds going to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

What a grand way to highlight the needs of their youngest fans!

While my best friend may not have the national exposure that the Oregon Ducks have, she has worked her tail off (pun intended) to raise money for organizations that benefit kids, and more specifically children affected by cancer. She’s simply amazing.

She’s has been personally affected by childhood cancer in so many ways. It has affected her family, it has affected loved ones, it has affected those that have become family members because of Camp Sunshine, where she volunteers every.single.year.

This woman, my bff, my Rach, my kids Auntie Rachel, is now in training for her fourth or fifth or sixth (I can’t keep up anymore) marathon…all to raise money for Camp Sunshine to help benefit children whose lives, and their families’ lives, have been affected by life-threatening diseases, including cancer. These are the people that she pounds the feet to the pavement, for.

In October of 2014, I chased this woman around Chicago, and if you know me, you know that I get lost in my own hometown (where I’ve lived for almost 30 years) let alone a big city like Chicago…so needless to say it was a ‘fun’ adventure for me.

One of my favorite presents that I’ve ever received in my life is a cuff bracelet that she gave me that had the Chicago subway system engraved on the cuff…because…I got lost sooooo much. I was her do-or-die that weekend. And that’s defined as, I needed to beat her to where ever she was going to be so that I could do anything or bandage anything or give her what she needs. And I wanted to be that girl…because she was giving up a lot to raise a lot of money for her charity. I felt like if I let her down, I was letting A LOT of people down that pledged their money to support her.

So the pressure was on.

And pressure + Staci Beth = a stressed out mess.

Leading up to the marathon, we had soo much fun. We had lunch at a restaurant that fed my bff walnuts and she’s severely allergic to nuts (which we previously told them) and we ended up in a hospital (nothing like E.R. (the show) much to my disappointment), I discovered I’m not good in emergency situations (more about that another day), we had breakfast on the other side of one of the bridges in Chicago (over the river that they turn green on St. Patty’s Day), we had A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Chicago pizza, I got to experience a ‘real runners’ expo and it made me want to lace up my sneakers, and then had a girls night at an amazing local eatery. Literally, made my whole year complete.

Then the next day, I got to watch my best friend in action.

That is after a night of pain and ice and ibuprofen or whatever she used to alleviate the daily pain she was in just from the rigorous training that she had put her body through.

There is nothing like watching one of your loved ones cross the finish line of something that they have worked their whole lives for. I was able to virtually watch her the year prior when she ran the NY Marathon (months after the Boston bombing) and I don’t think I could have been more proud of her even if she were blood related to me. That cringe on her face made me even more proud of her for pushing past her limits…something that I had yet to do myself.

And yet, I knew she didn’t do it for the beer at the end of the race, or for me to say how proud I was of her, or for the recognition of her family and friends and Camp Sunshine…she did it because she loves every little heart that has to undergo cancer treatment…that has to hear that they have a life-threatening illness.

What she physically puts her body through every year, in order to run 26.2 miles, is excruciating. But she does it every year. Because of love. Because of her family. Because of her commitment to Camp Sunshine. Because she believes there should be a cure.

Believe with her.

Donate to her run. (Click on any of these links.)

Donate to Camp Sunshine.

Donate $5, or whatever you can, to make a child’s life a little more filled with hope than the day before. They deserve to love life like we do…for the next 90 years.

This weekend, I’ve focused on my kids and they say that where your mind wanders, that’s where your heart is. This weekend, I was consumed with my kids, with keeping them safe…and thoughtfully, so many of you reached out to me to worry with me and I’m so thankful!!

Now worry, with me, about those families that have to hear that their 11 year old has brain cancer or that their two year old has leukemia. Those are the things that we should really be ‘preparing’ for and funding. And start with donating to Rachel’s run that supports Camp Sunshine and those with life-threatening diseases.

Thanks in advance!

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website)(I do not get commissions from sites where you donate money or things). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and viewership!

i will never apologize for being me again. my new goal: stop being a people pleaser.

Okay people pleasers. This is a lesson for us…for you…and especially a reminder for me.

I’m a people pleaser.

If you’ve been around me for more than 10 minutes, you’ll quickly figure out that I’m a people pleaser. I truly admire those that are the opposite of me because it’s a black hole that we get ourselves into, those of us that are people pleasers. We can’t stop ourselves. We want everyone to be happy even if it’s at our own expense.

So we bend and twist and give in to everyone else’s needs until we realize that we can’t please everyone…and then we start the next day and try a different route to please everyone for something different. It seriously is an addiction.

And when we get into a relationship, it’s easy for us to lose ‘us’…to lose who we are in a relationship with, order to adopt our partners wants and needs so that we can make them happy. And in a way, it’s not a bad thing because that’s who we are…making people happy makes us happy. But the problem begins when we choose partners or friends that don’t understand who we really are and they take advantage of our personalities instead of giving back to us in order to make US happy too.

My newest life.

I’ve given up, at least at this moment, in the hope that I’ll ever find a guy that can fully understand who I am and give to me unselfishly, just to make me happy because they love me. And that’s ok with me. It’s oddly calming to know that I can take care of myself. I think that my friends have clearly shown me in the past 90 days that I have people in my life that love me and they want nothing from me other than for me to be happy, which is more than what I’ve experienced from either of my ex-husbands.

My life has been packed with social events and it’s because I’ve opened myself up to me…doing things that make me happy, regardless of what others think I should be doing. And the biggest thing that makes me happy is experiencing life with others…with other people that make me laugh, that understand my humor, that don’t judge when I’m not perfect or when I say silly things or can’t focus on a darn thing and jump around from topic to topic. That’s who I am. I’m imperfect. And I’m proud of it.

I love life. I love to be silly. I love to laugh more than anything in the world. My poor sister used to get in so much trouble, when we were growing up, because she would sing at the dinner table and try to eat at the same time in order to prove my dad wrong – that she could sing and eat – and she’d get in trouble and then I would laugh. This occurred probably five nights out of seven. I couldn’t help it. I’m that girl that laughs at the wrong times. I did it this weekend when my own son was getting in trouble by his grandpa for being gross at the table. And I don’t care anymore. It’s how I’m wired and I am no longer apologizing for how I’m wired.

If laughing at the wrong times is the worst thing I do…then I’ve lived a good life.

I’m not perfect.

Unfortunately, laughing at the wrong times is not the worst thing I’ve done.

I’ve said the wrong thing at the wrong time. I’ve insulted people unintentionally. I’ve insulted people’s talents without realizing it. I’ve judged people without seeing the whole picture. I’ve thought that I was better than people, unfortunately a lot more than I want to admit. I destroyed my sons lives by leaving their father. I’ve cut people off in the church parking lot because I was starving. I’ve critiqued my ex-husbands choices. I’M. NOT. PERFECT.

BUT, I am who I am.

When you screw up, it’s how you deal with the screw up that will really define who you are. That’s where I think I do ok and why my incessant need to please everyone comes in handy. I care about others and their feelings a lot! And if I even think for one second that I’ve insulted them, then I internalize it, over think it, send an email, send a text, call, send another text, just to say I’m sorry.

So, I’m just a little proud of myself for being able to say, “I am who I am” without caring if anyone approves of my choices or not (and in all honesty, I do care still a little, just not nearly as much as I used to).

Dating Life 3.0

So…as I’ve started thinking about dating, flirting, or whatever with men…I’ve really decided to just be me. I’m not going to apologize, ever. I’m a lot to handle but I also have a lot to give…a lot of love…a lot of attention…a lot of intelligence…a lot of a lot to give to another person. So if the worst thing that they have to deal with is that I have a lot of emotions, then if they can help me keep my ‘up’ up, then we’ll be good, because I’ll be willing to devote the same amount of effort into that person that they put into me.

Whenever I date again, I refuse to hide who I am. I likely won’t lay it all out there on date #1, but I will be who I am and not feel bad. If nothing else, it will give the ‘other party’ the opportunity to think “holy crap, this girl is for me” or “holy crap, this girl is nuts”. But even if he thinks I’m nuts, I won’t internalize that to be “I’m not enough”…it’s simply, “He can’t handle all I have to offer.” And that’s how it will be and that’s ok with me.

And I will no longer accept that they can’t handle me because in reality, they aren’t mature enough to realize that I’m not a lot to handle…I’m a normal woman, normal human being, normal person that has emotions…and if they can’t handle grown up emotions, then they can leave. Sorry, they missed out on a grown up. And if they walk away, then I’ll know that they weren’t a grown up because I promise, the issue isn’t me. I don’t require large sum deposits in my bank account, big presents, lavish dinners and date nights…I require attention…anything that anyone else wants.

So until then, I won’t ever apologize for being all that Staci is, again. If they don’t appreciate it, then it sucks that they won’t be a part of my amazing life. I refuse to ever apologize again for who I am. And neither should you. You’ll find the perfect person for you if you are never ashamed of everything you are – the good and the bad (or at least what YOU think is the bad).

So one day, when I’m ready, I’ll write my bio for an online dating site and it will be nothing but the truth…just bullet points (because I love bullet points):

* camo lover
* jeep lover
* country music lover
* fine dining expert
* a passion for roller coasters
* has a love of scary and girlie movies (and anything with Marky Mark in it)
* lover of sushi and Mexican food
* would love nothing more than to throw her hair into a pony tail and hat in order to go fishing, eat matzo ball soup, and go to Gator football games

Perfect girl, right?? I think so…and at this point in my life, I don’t care if anyone else agrees with me. 🙂

Who cares what everyone else thinks!

Keep your chin up. A lot of us love you out there!

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