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Thursday, May 29, 2014

it's getting better

Thank you for all the calls, texts and emails. I am still kicking. It was a bad day. But it's getting better.

First off, the job came through. The terms have changed a bit but it is still a great gig and a huge step forward for my business. With it came some great learning about how to put this offer forward to other organizations in the future.

Second, I have a plan for the financial side of things. I'm not going into detail about it yet (or maybe ever) but it is going to be very painful and difficult for me. I think some pain and difficulty is exactly what I need to finally learn how to manage money.

I've been trying to get better about remembering that a feeling is just a snapshot in time, and that it isn't necessarily permanent. That is hard for a person like me who sees the world through feelings. But I'm slowly learning how to be less of a slave to my feelings and to be more of an observer.

When I am getting beat down over and over, it is very difficult to maintain any sort of coolness. My head has been spinning for the past two days and that is usually not a very good thing.

However, from all that spinning has come ideas and solutions. New ways of looking at a situation. I'm not completely out of the spin cycle yet but I'm getting there. And now I am formulating a plan.

I'm going to be okay.

it just keeps getting better (heavy sarcasm)

On a bad day...

The past 48 hours have bitch slapped me hard.

First the ex informs me that due to an error in his payments to me, I now owe him a ton of money that I do not have. I am barely surviving on what he pays me; I definitely don't have extra cash lying around. Supporting myself and two kids on less that half of what it used to be isn't working. However, due to our divorce settlement, if I go to work and need to put the kids in daycare I need to pay for it all myself. Kind of negates the money I would make working.

And now summer is upon us. Which means kids 24/7. Which means when I do work, I need to scramble to find childcare.

Then I found out that a big contract I was about to sign is up in the air. It was going to alleviate some of the financial pressure.

Then to top it all today, Ethan started throwing up.

Feeling pretty down. I know this is just a moment in time--it doesn't mean things are really this bad. But man, it feels like crap.

I created a Pinterest board to wallow in for a while. Join me if you too are having a bad day or three.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

two years

Two years ago today I signed my divorce papers.

When I sat down to write this, I was sure it had been three years. Kept looking at the dates and realized that sure enough, it's only been two years!

Many of you have been with me since the beginning of this journey.  You've stuck with me through great times and awful times.  Your love and support has carried me though.  I would like to take this opportunity to share with you all I have accomplished (with your help!) and the valuable lessons I have learned in the past two years.

In the past two years, I've:
-learned that taking the trash out is NO BIG DEAL. Seriously.
-learned how to operate the beast of a snow blower my ex bought right before he left. It is heavy and hard to use but dang, it clears snow amazingly well!
-learned how to mow my lawn. Although thankfully Jimbo has become my lawn man and does it for me most all of the time. :) (Love you Dad!)
-handled a basement flood, not once but twice and repaired the damage without spending a penny (many thanks to the handy people that came to help me out!  A special thanks to my brother who watched YouTube videos to learn how to stretch carpet!) 
-learned that using my network is the key to surviving single motherhood and home ownership! 
-helped my friend start a cooking business in which she is able to use my awesome kitchen and I get free cooking lessons while she leads classes.
-refinanced my house so now I can say it is MY HOUSE!!!
-paid off my minivan.
-completed my coaching program (with an A average!).
-launched Rachel Olson Coaching!
-made boatloads of new friends.
-gone on many dates, some good. Many not good.
-stayed single--by choice.
-learned how to parent--finally.
-learned how to set boundaries and priorities that work for me and my kids. 
-fallen in love with my kids.
-been to the Grand Canyon twice and camped with my dad
-taken my kids to Disney twice. Each time just gets better!
-done lots of little things around my house to make it feel comfortable to me.  Like painting my front door a zingy shade of yellow! 
-gotten rid of at least half my clothing.
-gotten to a good place with my ex where we can cooperate in the business of raising our kids.
-learned how to cover my gray hair on my own for $2 thus only having to get it done at the salon twice a year.
-worked (am am still working) with a financial planner to set and stick to a budget

Valuable lessons I've learned:
-Infidelity is awful. Divorce first, date later. Seriously. That has been BY FAR the hardest part for me to heal from. When my kids talk about her, it's like a tiny knife stabbing me in the heart. However, the knife is getting smaller and smaller. Eventually I know it will stop hurting.
-I am surviving and thriving. Never believed it would happen. 
-No amount of determination can speed up the healing process.
-Distractions (dating, drinking, eating, dancing, sleeping, etc.) might make it FEEL like you've healed but the pain will always be there until you deal with it.
-Nothing helps healing like a really great therapist!
-My kids were not ruined. It was dark for a while but we have emerged better and stronger.
-I love to reflect on my self growth and development. Probably why I was a psych major. Definitely why I love being a coach!
-I have a sparkle that people are attracted to. It's magnetic.  I'm coming back to life.
-I LOVE to have people in my house! Parties make my world go round. 
-I actually do have a head for business. I've surprised even myself. 
-I LOVE working for myself. I'm the best boss ever. EVER. :)
-The busier I am, the more productive I am.
-Single parenting works well for me.
-I love the team mentality I have with my kids right now. I'm still in charge but they want to do their best for the family. I love that.

What's yet to come?
-a road trip with my kids. Plan is for Fall 2015, Washington DC. Would also love to take a trip out west with them. Since I don't have a spouse to join me, Jimbo is coming! He and I are similar in our love of road trips so it works out well. Plus he is a pro camper and takes care of those details.
-lots of fun stuff planned for the summer. Trying to juggle growing a business and growing kids is tricky but so far it's working!
-a business that is going gangbusters. I have SO MANY ideas.  And they are so good. I need to put them into action.
-my first ski trip since 2005 to Whitefish, Montana
-I hope to have a solid relationship again, possibly even a marriage (waaay in the future.  I still have a lot of learning and growing to do). Although I am currently ambivalent about it, I know that deep down I want to find love and commitment.

I really can't believe it has only been two years. It astonishes me. I never believed things would turn around so quickly. When you are in the midst of a life upheaval, it feels like it will never end. I am so happy to be where I am today. Do I wish it could've come with less pain? Of course. But what is important is that I'm here. I've been blessed with smart people around me that encouraged me to make smart choices when I was at my worst. I have a giant circle of friends and family that are there at a moment's notice. I have a promise written down thousands of years ago in the Bible that assures me there is a plan for my life and for my kids. 

It's good stuff.