About Carla Izzard

I am a divorced single mom of a wonderful eleven year old boy. Being a people person with a very busy schedule, I am always striving to find that healthy balance between a career and a personal life. I would never be where or who I am today without the endless support of my parents and I hope every day that I instill in my son what my parents have instilled in me. Learn more about her here.

Could YOU Abandon Facebook?

addicted to facebook

Facebook is a much needed necessity and important way of life for a vast amount of people these days.   In the ever-growing world of social media,  Facebook provides so many opportunities that were not around even just a few years ago.    When I graduated from high school, we did not have social media as we do now, much like  e-mail and cell phones.     Twenty-five years ago, it was difficult to keep in touch with friends or people you went to school with as you grew up and moved on with your life.   I can guarantee you that if Facebook had been around when I graduated from high school, my life would have been very different.

Facebook provides a level of interconnectedness that otherwise would not exist.  I  love Facebook for many reasons.  It helps me keep in touch with my large family who are located all over the country, puts me in touch with friends and co-workers from years gone by and it has provided me with so many ways to meet new people and become involved with new experiences.   Trust me when I say that I have many reasons to be thankful and grateful for the invention of Facebook.

Why do I mention all of this?  I mention it because I was starting to think about what my life was like before I was on Facebook.    I was thinking about how my life is now versus the pre-Facebook days.    Sometimes you don’t realize you need a break from something until you actually get it, and you see how nice it was to just have a little time away.   On occasion, I found that Facebook took up more time  than it should  and I was beginning to neglect or put off important things. What started as a “Let me check Facebook for a few minutes” quickly turned into an hour or sometimes more and, in turn, put me behind schedule in so many ways.   Sine this was becoming a small issue for me, I decided to take a few days off from it and see what it would be like.

This “break” was by no means easy – not at all.   In all honesty, it was so hard in the beginning.   I was shaking and crying and needed to be restrained from logging into Facebook at times (well, not really, but you know where I am going with this).   I  actually felt a little lonely, disconnected and in a way afraid that I would be forgotten or, even worse, that people would not even know I was gone and– in some cases– this was true.

As the days progressed, it was still hard but it did force me to balance my life and the responsibilities I have.  The Facebook vacation was difficult to take. During those few days, I was able to accomplish so much and felt more organized.    Now please understand me when I say that I am not saying that Facebook is in any way a bad thing.   To the contrary, I think Facebook is a fantastic outlet as long as you do not abuse it or let it affect your other responsibilities and priorities.   I am happy to say that I am back on Facebook with a greater appreciation for it.  I’m now able to stop looking into everyone else’s life while watching mine fly by.    There can be a balance and I’m grateful I’ve found it.

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How Procrastination Keeps You from Achieving Your Goals

Procrastination is something that all of us have done at one time or another.  Even if you do not want to admit it out loud, we all have put things off for one reason or another.   I can speak for myself and admit that I procrastinate all the time.  In fact, if you all knew how long it took me to write this blog, you would all feel better about your own lives.  We basically delay projects or items on our “To Do” list that we do not want to deal with or address at that moment in time.   Some of us procrastinate because we honestly just do not feel like handling it at that time.  There are some of us that love that adrenaline rush you get when you are “under the gun” to get something accomplished or completed on time.  Then there are some of us that just have too many things piled up on our priority plate.   Procrastination to some of you could be something as easy as getting your floors mopped a few minutes before your guests come over for dinner or completing that report or project for school the night before it is due.

Putting these things off can lead you to feelings of depression, or being overburdened and anxious just to name a few.  By being able to determine why you are procrastinating can help in finding ways to deal with it right away and face it head on.  Procrastinating does not necessarily mean that you are lazy, but you need to be able to determine what kind of consequences usually follow with “your” kind of procrastination.   Procrastination could have a detrimental effect on your job, your relationships and ultimately your life.  Don’t put off resolving these issues before they could get worse.   There is help.

Figuring out why you are putting things aside or not dealing with them right away is paramount to fixing the problem.  One of the major reasons for procrastination is fear.  Whether it is fear of failure, success, or even the unknown, it can put us in a paralyzed state so we will put it off so as not to deal with our feelings.  Procrastination can speak volumes as to who you are and what you want from your life.

At the beginning of 2011, I decided that I needed to work on some areas in my personal life, including procrastination.  I started to do some research and reading on the topic, and the advice I found has really helped me.   Here is a quick list of tips that I have been using over the past six months to help me with my procrastination issues.

1. Stop thinking about it and just do it – It is important to not think and just do!  The more you accomplish, the better you will feel.  This, in turn, will bring you the confidence you need to keep going.

2. Break up the project into small steps – Sometimes when you visualize all you need to accomplish with a project or a goal, it starts to become intimidating or overpowering.  Taking one step at a time will give you the focus you need and put you in a positive mind set.  This is very important when challenged by projects at work or at school.

3. Change your environment – Different environments that you interact in during your day can have either a positive or negative effect on your attitude and productivity.  Look at your desk at work, your home, and even your bedroom.  Do these environments put you at ease or into a state of panic?  By making some simple changes to these surroundings, either by adding a new set of curtains, or getting a desk organizer, or even some pictures or plants, you can create the most positive changes.

4. Spend time with people who motivate and challenge you – You remember your parents uttering the words, “You are who you hang around with”.  Truth be told, if you hang around with certain people, you begin to adopt their attitudes whether positive or negative.  Spend more of your time with people who motivate you, and begin to identify those “go-getter” and hardworking people in your life.   The more time you spend with these kinds of personalities, the more you are likely to adopt their behavior and attitude towards life.

5. FACE YOUR FEAR! – Enough said on that.

6. Keep your eye on the prize – Accomplishing the goal you set for yourself, getting that school project in on time, or meeting that deadline for your boss at work is all part of our daily lives whether we like it or not.  Closing your eyes and pretending it is not there or waiting until a day when you MIGHT feel better will not help you.  It may make you relax for 24 more hours but, trust me, it will be STILL be there when you wake up the next day to wish you a good morning.  Once you realize that you can achieve success and keep checking off those items on your “To Do” list, it will be the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself.  You can change your lifestyle and you can adopt new attitudes.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”.  – Martin Luther King.

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Do You Have the Post-Event Blues?

If you compete in sports, I am sure you can totally relate to the feeling of complete accomplishment and exhilaration that you experience when taking part and finishing a sporting activity.
As some of you may know, back in May of this past year I completed my FIRST MARATHON!    I had promised to report back once I had completed the race to tell all of you how I did.     I remember the unbelievable feeling I had crossing that finish line and getting my medal.   I was trying to hold back all the tears when hugging my loved ones who were there to be a part of the special day.  It was a day like no other, and one that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life.  However, I woke up the next morning to find myself feeling very down, sad, and dare I  say, even depressed.  I should have been ecstatic, but instead I was left feeling empty inside…and more than a little sore.
How is it that I was sad and ready to cry even though the goal that I had been working so hard for was finally accomplished?!  I was mad and upset with myself for how I was feeling.  I could not understand it, and, unfortunately, that made it all the more harder on me.  I thought I would feel better in a day or two, but I was mistaken.  Fact is, I was still feeling down after a full week had passed and I was starting to become concerned.   I did what any person would do and turned on the ole’ computer and started to GOOGLE my heart out!   After some research, I realized that what I had been feeling was in fact, normal.   I was experiencing the post-event blues, my friends.
Post –event blues?  What is that? This type of sadness or depression can be commonly found in runners, but can also be found in musicians or people planning  a big event such as a wedding or a reunion, etc.  When anyone spends large periods of time either mentally or physically preparing and training for an event such as a marathon and then, in what feels like a second, it is over, it can be hard to deal with– on an emotional level.   It is similar to the letdown many of us experience the day after Christmas or after a huge event or fundraiser for which you have been working and planning.  It was such a relief to know the feelings I was experiencing were normal and natural.  So, now, the question became, what do I do to feel better?  Can I feel better? You certainly can fight those negative and depressive feelings, and here are some tips that can help.\
1.         Rest and RelaxTake some time off and just rest your mind and body.   I trained for over 18 weeks for the marathon, and I  needed at least a week or two off to rest and help my body heal.   My body had just gone though a huge ordeal, and it needed some time to recoup and rest in order to be back in working shape.   If you have just planned a huge event and you are suffering from the letdown of the day being over then  you can take this opportunity to catch up with friends or go out to that movie you have been planning to see.   Do something for YOU!  You accomplished something extraordinary and special to you, and you need to enjoy and revel in it.
2.         Get back into a routine After the mini-vacation, you need to get back into a daily or even weekly routine.  It is important to start slow and take your time.  Your body and mind are going through a huge emotional and physical roller-coaster, and it takes a lot of drive and willpower to get back into the grind.  It is not going to happen overnight. You need to get yourself back to being energized and focused on the next event in your future.  Set a pace that you are comfortable with and proceed from there.
3.         Plan New Events And Set New Goals for Yourself This one was very important and necessary for me to get out of my depression.  A huge part of why I was feeling so depressed was the fact that I had accomplished this huge dream of mine, and I no longer had that to look forward to.  It really hit me harder than expected. I needed to set a new goal,  and once I did, I found my spirit and enthusiasm returning as quickly as it had disappeared.  I started to set my sights on another full marathon for the end of October. Focusing on setting a new goal for my finish time and starting a new training schedule felt good…and I was quickly becoming myself again.

If you have experienced anything similar to this, or if you have any remedies for helping to fight the depression, please share.

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The Kindness of Strangers….

“Sometimes when we are generous in small  ways, it can change someone else’s life forever.”

This saying rings true for a very special woman I have had the pleasure of getting to know this past year.  Truth be told, I would never have had the honor of knowing her if not for her generosity and kindness to everyone she meets.  Her kind and generous ways have changed my life forever.  Let me explain…

I am talking about my friend and the owner of this website, Allison Alexander.It was just about a year ago that Allison’s path crossed with mine.  I was involved in an event committee for a local fundraiser to celebrate the life of Camden A. Fry, a beautiful eight-year-old girl who was killed in August of 2009.  It was my responsibility to reach out to the local television and radio personalities to line up emcees for different time slots throughout the day.   As time passed quickly, I was still coming up empty in being able to obtain any television personalities for the event, and needless to say, I was becoming a little FRANTIC as the event date was less than a month away!

Well, it was around that time that I received an email from Allison, who at the time was an evening news anchor in Providence, Rhode Island.  Allison was unable to attend on that date, but through her kind efforts she went the extra mile for me and not only arranged for an emcee for that day, but she also kept in touch with me until the event arrived.  I still cannot thank her enough for her help and generosity.

The kindness of strangers is what I think of when I look back on this moment in time.  We not only have stayed in touch with each other, but any chance she could do something out of the goodness of that big heart of hers, she would.  She arranged for my son to tour her television station for his birthday, and not only did she show him around the station and introduce him to everyone there, but she also  let him sit and watch the news broadcast, LIVE.  She made my son and me feel welcome and special that day. Words cannot express how much that meant to us.

Just recently, she asked me to be part of a wonderful new adventure in her life.  Allison was developing her own website www.amomknowsbest.com, which is a website not only geared toward moms, but also toward women, in general.   I was touched and honored not only that she asked me to be a contributor, but that she thought I might have something interesting to offer.  It has been an opportunity for me to express my thoughts on many different subjects including divorce, parenting and friendship.    It has also given me the chance to meet the other amazing women who contribute to the website and who have  become my friends.  I thank Allison every day for giving me this creative outlet which has changed my life and my outlook on life as well.

Over the past year, I have gotten to know Allison and she has become a wonderful friend.  She is a person that looks at you and sees all the good in you, all the promise in you and makes you see it too.  She is a diamond in the rough, and I am a better person for having met her.   Allison recently moved with her family out of Rhode Island.  Although I am very sad about her leaving,  I know that through my contribution to her website, and because of the kind of person that she is, we will remain friends and in each other’s lives for a long time.  As I have told her, she is a bright star that only gets brighter…

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How to Talk to Your Kids About the Birds and the Bees

“Mom, when are you going to talk to me about where babies come from?”

Wow, that question certainly packs a punch, huh?    There always seems to be an immediate sense of dread and anxiety when our children start asking these questions.  It really does not matter how close you are to your children, or how comfortable you feel discussing things with them.   Because when this line of questioning arises, you immediately feel as if you are up on the witness stand.  Only recently has my 11-year-old son REALLY started to inquire about sex.   Since I have already been “outed” on Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, I have to come clean with him and not depend on the “Stork” for the easy answer anymore.

Studies show kids, who feel  they can talk with the parents openly about sex, are less likely to engage in high-risk sexual behavior as teens.    If you are feeling uncomfortable about discussing the subject with your children, then it might be a good idea to read up a little on the topic or even to reach out to a friend who may have already experienced the  “talk” with their own children.  The fact that these parents have already gone through this may enable them to provide you with a list of pros and cons that could be very productive and helpful.

The truth is, the more informed you feel on the subject, the more confident and comfortable you will feel, and this will make it so much easier to approach the subject with your children.  You may even want to do a “trial run” of your opening remarks with your friends or discuss them with your spouse.  It is very important for your children to hear this information from you as soon as possible before they start being influenced on the subject by their peers or from information on the internet.  You, as the parent, should be the trusted point of contact for your child at all times.

All of this interrogation from my son lately has led me to wonder when it was that I  started to have the same questions for my parents.   I do remember being a few years older than my son is now, when I approached my parents with the laundry list of questions.   My parents handed my brother and I a book called Where Did I Come From, written by Peter Mayle, which is still available to purchase all these years later.  My brother and I still get a good chuckle  when we remember this book.

As a parent, I’ve had to do a fair amount of research in preparation for these discussions with my own son.    One thing I have found which may already be pretty obvious to all of you is the belief that “honesty is the best policy.”   It is important that you stress to your child that there is never a bad question to ask, or that none of their questions should be “off-limits”.  You should be able to have an open dialogue with your children, in order for this to run more smoothly and to be ultimately more beneficial for your children.

You need to inform your children not only about “how babies are made” but also the emotional feelings involved between two people when babies are made.    It is important to discuss the facts, but also the responsibility involved and the possible consequences about entering into a sexual relationship.  Being able to give age-appropriate information to your children is the best way to proceed,  in my opinion.   Although you would probably much rather be reading Green Eggs and Ham to your children than sitting them down and discussing puberty, you are providing them with information that will educate them and protect them for the future.  Try to relax and let your child know you respect them and trust in their ability to make good and responsible decisions.   One day they will thank you for it.

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How to go from “Forty and Frumpy” to “Forty and Fabulous”!

Raise your hand if you have heard any of these?

“You know you’re not getting any younger.”

“Age is nothing but a number.”

“You are only as old as you feel.”

I don’t know about you, but all I seem to be able to hear is that teacher from the “Peanuts” cartoons when people start to utter these cliches.  Turning 40 can and should be a momentous occasion in a person’s life.  Some people embrace it, while others, such as myself, had to be dragged kicking and screaming toward that big ol’ number.  Many of you are juggling children, husbands, jobs, errands, finances, and at the end of the day, you feel like a wet dish rag rather than someone fresh off the set of “America’s Next Top Model”.  But taking your attitude from “feeling frumpy” and getting out of that housecoat and slippers to “feeling fabulous” and getting into that slinky little dress is easier than one might think.

By making a few tweaks to your daily routine, you will begin to see positive changes in the way you feel about yourself and, in turn, others will see the changes in you as well.  With an improved positive and healthy attitude, you will soon realize that getting older is not as bad as you think, and maybe the best is yet to come.  Here are some tips I would like to share that I have greatly benefited from over the past few years.

1.         “EXERCISE, EXERCISE and EXERCISE!!!” Now friends, this tip does not mean going up and down the stairs doing laundry.  NO!!!  I am talking real exercise.  We are in a world where we never have enough time, so if your idea of exercise is just walking around the cubicles at work on your lunch break then do it!   Find a half-hour in your day to do this for yourself.    I promise it will help with your physical and emotional well-being.

2.         TURN OFF THE TV AND GO TO BED!! Now I will admit that I am totally guilty of NOT doing this at times, but it is really important.  Trust me, as you get older, you want to wake up looking well-rested, rather than looking like you could pack for a vacation in those bags under your eyes!  Getting a full night of sleep not only helps with the way you look in the morning, but it improves your attitude 100% as well.    You do not want to end up taking a catnap at your desk while at work.    Get your zzzzzzzzzzzzzs.

3.         EAT YOUR VEGETABLES,  OR TAKE A MULTI-VITAMIN. How many times did we hear this one?   I will admit that I would much rather sit down to a pepperoni pizza than a bowl of salad, and I do not always eat as well as I should.  Taking a multi-vitamin is something that has helped me to feel better and has given me more energy.  Once I turned 40, I also turned to “One A Day Women’s” Multi-Vitamin, and it has really helped.

4          LAUGH.     This one is one of my favorites.  Laughing makes everything better in my world. Try to find some humor and laugh at least once a day.   If that means having to put on a funny movie, going to lunch with some friends, having someone hold you down and tickle you, or, if all else fails, head to the dentist for some laughing gas.  Do whatever it takes to get this done or the joke’s on you!

5. SPLURGE ONCE IN A WHILE.   Now this can apply to a lot of different things.  It can be anything from a new outfit you have been eyeing, to a new pair of shoes, to a book you’ve wanted to read, a scented candle, a bubble bath, or even your favorite bottle of wine.   Life is short and you need to take time to enjoy the things that make you happy.   Getting older is much more enjoyable and less torturous if there is a smile on that face of yours.

6.     DRESS IT UP!!!!! Most of the population comes home after a long day and immediately puts on their favorite pair of sweats and a t-shirt to start an exciting evening full of cooking and cleaning.  Once in a while, you need to take off the old comfy clothes and put on the little black dress.  Every once in a while, plan a night out on the town.  It can range from dinner with your significant other to drinks with friends or family.   Dress up and go have some fun.  You are guaranteed to feel better about yourself.   PLEASE REMEMBER IT IS NOT WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE, IT IS WHAT YOU FEEL LIKE INSIDE!!!  IF YOU FEEL FABULOUS THEN YOU ARE FABULOUS!!!

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Reflections of September 11th..

With the recent turn of events these past few days and with all of the images of Osama Bin Laden and September 11th flooding back to all of us, it is important to think of what we lost that fateful day and cherish what we still have.  All of us can remember as clearly as if it were only yesterday where we were and what we were doing when we heard the horrific news.   For me, it was only until I returned home from work that evening that I actually saw the images on the television screen.   I remember picking up my twoyearold son right out of his bed while he was still sound asleep and just holding him for hours.  
 
There was an overwhelming feeling around the Country during that time to try to find a way to help or contribute in any way possible.   I turned to my emotions and a pen and paper and began to write.  I had been writing poetry since I was young, and had used that as an outlet to help me get through some of the greatest and worst moments in my life.  The words seemed to flow out of me and onto the paper, and within a halfhour, my poem was finished.  I turned on my computer and immediately emailed a copy of the poem to Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  I think I speak for so many of us when I say that Mayor Giuliani was such a reassuring and comforting force during that time, when all of America was in a sheer state of panic.   I wanted to be able to reach out to him and thank him in the only way I knew how to at that point in time.
 
About a week had past, when I turned my computer on to check my email as I did every day, and could not believe my eyes when I saw a response from Mayor Giuliani in my inbox.   I honestly sat there in a state of shock for about five minutes before even opening up the email to read it.   His email kindly thanked me for the poem, but it was this sentence that brought immediate tears to my eyes and will forever be a part of me for the rest of my life.  His last sentence read….. “I will be placing your poem onto the wall with the people who still remain missing.”    
 
During a time such as this, when we are all seeing the images and reliving the horrible moments of September 11th all over again, I would like to share the poem that I wrote over nine years ago: 
 
 
This is written to a City so special….
A City which stands for the USA….
Nothing will ever make us forget….
That horrific September 11th day….
 
A Part of you was taken from us….
A part that could never be replaced…..
Your majestic presence will forever have….
An impact on the world and in our hearts, an empty space…..
 
With our melting pot of communities….
On that fateful day, we have become one….
To continue to fight together for our freedom…..
For those terrorists will wish this fight they had never begun….
 
For they do not know who they are against…
Our Nation is something so unified and so great….
With our hearts glowing and our flags flying….
Osama Bin Laden…. You just wait….
 
Our Firefighters and Police Officers….
You are America’s Heroes, it is so true….
You make us proud to be Americans..
You should know the Nation is in awe and in love with you…..
 
For New York, we fight for you….
Nothing could ever bring this Country down….
We stand for everything that is right with the world…
With our Statute of Liberty in her American gown….
 
For the terrorists pulled down our buildings….
But our people we are the glue…
We will put this Country back together again….
For we love this land…. THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE…

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A Mom’s Guide to Dating After Divorce

According to statistics, 1,000 people get divorced every day in the United States ALONE…WOW! That means fewer than 50% of first marriages end in divorce.  Now most of you out there reading this who might be married will probably gasp a little, and I do not blame you.  But those of you who are divorced might be doing a little happy dance right now at the thought of all those possible divorcees out there for the taking. But first, be forewarned, my friends. If you are recently divorced, or have been divorced for a long time, whether you are old or young/have kids or do not, entering the dating world can be a very exciting time in your life.   It also presents itself with some challenges that you should really think about before making the decision to jump back in and get into the dating driver’s seat.  You are going to feel scared, and at times, intimidated. But never let that hold you back in finding and meeting other people because, in turn, you will find out more about yourself along the way.  If you let it, it can be one of the most rewarding things that can happen to you.

Dating after divorce can be very overwhelming, but over the past five years, I have developed my own “Method to the Madness” for dating after a divorce. Here are some tips that have helped me in the dating scene, and some tips that have basically helped me in ALL of my relationships as well:

1.         WHO AM I AND WHAT AM I DOING?  –  Make sure you can answer these questions.  If you cannot, then you should not be dating anyone until you can.  DO NOT PASS GO and DO NOT COLLECT $200.   I cannot stress this enough to all of you.  Being able to re-establish your identity is PARAMOUNT to the success of any relationship you have or want to have down the road.  Whether you want to admit it or not, you lose yourself sometimes when you are in a marriage, and you need to take advantage of this time alone.  You need to take the time to re-discover who you are and what you like.   You need to make sure you are ready to move forward and know what you are looking for in a mate.  You never get a second chance on life, but sometimes, we do get a second chance on dating. TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF IT!

2.                  BE ACCEPTING BUT DO NOT SETTLE –   This one is very important.  Never let possible post-divorce loneliness, sadness or insecurity make you lower your standards when you start dating again.  Everyone deserves and has a right to be happy in life.  Be respectful of what it is that you want, and be proud of who you are and what you can offer a person.  This is one of the most challenging but rewarding tasks you can achieve.  Believe in yourself and others will follow. 

3.                  DON’T DISH THE DIRT AND TRY AND LET GO OF THE PAST – It is important to not discuss your ex on your dates.  It is within reason to discuss your divorce, but you do not need to become the Daily Gazette with all the dirty details on your date. This tip is extremely important, especially if you were recently divorced or it was a messy or sticky situation.   I am not going to lie and say you will not be tempted to talk about the details on what went wrong, or who did what to whom and how and when, etc.  It is important that you try to resist the temptation and focus on the person across the table from you instead.

4.         PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!!!   IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, TAKE YOUR TIME AND INTRODUCE THEM TO YOUR PARTNER SLOWLY!  –  I find this tip invaluable in every possible way.  My son adores my boyfriend, but we waited and took our time before we introduced him.  You need to be able to identify your relationship and what you are as a couple FIRST before you bring your children into the picture.  It can be an incredibly stressful situation for all involved, and timing is everything when bringing your children into your new relationship.   Make sure you give your children enough time to be able to adjust to the new changes on their own.  Do not ever force your child to accept the relationship, but also do not let your child call the shots on who you do or do not date.  It is important to have a healthy balance in this situation.

5.         TAKE YOUR TIME, STAY POSITIVE AND ABOVE ALL, ENJOY YOURSELF –   We all know that divorce can leave you with baggage, and we have to stay positive and believe that someone out there has that “matching set of baggage” just for us to make a complete luggage set.  It is very important to take your time and have fun with it.  This is a time of re-discovery for you in so many areas of your life, and it would only benefit you to live life to the fullest and be confident in what you can bring to a relationship. 

6.         IF ALL ELSE FAILS, THERE IS ALWAYS WINE AND CHOCOLATE –  Of all the tips out there, this is the MOST IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE ONE!!!  Well, not really — but I have benefited from this one a time or two myself.

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Can’t we keep our babies from growing up?

If you are a mom, the following most likely sounds very familiar on some level. It seems like just yesterday I was laying in a hospital delivery room after a luxurious 29-hours of labor to hear the doctor say “It’s a boy!!!”  From that moment on, it has been a constant struggle to try and make time stand still to keep my little baby just that — a little baby!

 You constantly tell your children all the time, do not rush growing up. Stay a kid for as long as you can.  Are we really giving them this advice for the sake of our children, or is it more for us?   How ironic it is that children spend their entire childhood wanting to be older than they are, while we as parents spend our childrens lives wishing they would stay forever young.

 

How does this happen? Where does the time go? Please stop the ride, I wanna get off!  Truth is, my friends: you cannot stop the ride. You can only hope to slow it down a little to enjoy it for as long as possible.   You look once, and your children are small and look to you for everything. Then, within the blink of an eye, you are waving to them as you drop them off for their first year of college.  I am actually holding back tears now just thinking about it.

 As each day goes by, I see my son growing up so fast before my eyes.  He is growing taller and acting older, and it is sometimes bittersweet, as I have to let him go a little in certain ways.   I have to let go of his little baby face and embrace his big boy face.   I have to let go of the goo goos and gaa gaas, and try to embrace a boy with ideas and thoughts of his own.  I have to let go of my little boy wanting a hug and kiss from his mommy before school, and try to embrace a growing boy who would rather have a high-five from his mom so people will not make fun of him.   Sigh.   These are the things that come with our ever-growing and changing children.

My son has just turned eleven years old, and he’s asking me about the birds and the bees (GULP), asking me to buy him the new brand of deodorant with the chocolate scent in it because the girls like it and then– get ready for this one folks– my son is about to take his first trip on a plane ALONE!!!   Am I ready to throw up??  Ummm, YES!

 I wish there was a way to give some magical advice to all of your parents out there, or some remedy to stop it from happening, but unfortunately, I can’t — because truthfully, it doesn’t exist.  All I can say is your children WILL grow up. They WILL change, and although they will not need you in some of the ways you wish they still would, the fact of the matter is your children WILL always need you in some way.  There is a song that I have heard, and each time I hear it, I think of my little boy who is now growing into a wonderful little man who I love more than myself.  I will leave all of you with a piece of it. Please enjoy every minute you have with your children while they are still young.

 Sunrise, Sunset

 Is this the little girl I carried?

Is this the little boy at play?

I don’t remember growing older.

When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?

When did he grow to be so tall?

Wasn’t it yesterday?

When they were small

Sunrise, Sunset.

Sunrise, Sunset.

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Proof That it’s Never “too late” to Find Your Passion!

Now I am sure there are many of you out there right now who are all trying to figure out how to balance your busy lives.  We are always trying to juggle a variety of things, which can include any of the following: spouses, children, working, cooking, shopping, paying bills and keeping your house running in some kind of organized fashion, just to name a few.   We can all understand and relate to these issues and then you take me, a  40 plus-year old, divorced and now single mom of an 11-year-old-boy who is also working a full-time job.  As if that wasn’t enough to keep me busy, I decided to throw training for a FULL marathon into the mix.   26.2 miles!!!! 

“Have I always been a runner?”  Well, that answer would be a profound NO!  Truth be told, I did not like running when I was young.  So who would think that after all these years I would be getting ready to run my first marathon in less than two months?  Correction…ATTEMPTING to run a marathon!

It started almost two years ago, when one of my friends approached me to see if I would like to run a 5K road race.  This would be a 3.1 mile race run through the streets of downtown Providence, Rhode Island.  She gave me a training schedule, and my first thought was “Where on earth will I find the time to do this?”  I was eventually able to run about three-miles without completely passing out,  but as the race date was starting to loom over me, I woke up one morning with the worst cold I have had in a very, very long time.  It took almost two weeks for it to run its course (no pun intended), and that brings us right to the day of the race.

“How am I ever going to do this when I have been sick and have NOT RUN AT ALL?”  This thought and a million more terrifying thoughts were going through my head the whole morning before the race.  My son, my parents and my boyfriend were all there for the big day, and all that kept going through my mind was,

“Will they need to call an ambulance for me?”Tight shot of runnings shoes Well, the gun went off, and so did I.  I did eventually cross that finish line and the feeling of accomplishment and pride was so overwhelming to me.  As I was just getting over that dreaded cold bug, I had officially caught another bug — the “running” bug.

So, now we jump ahead two years, and I have run in almost 26 road races, which include a number of 5 and 10Ks, along with two half-marathons.   I will be celebrating my two-year anniversary participating in the exact same Cox Road Race in which I had started.  The only difference this time is instead of it being a 3.1 mile race; it will be a 26.2 MILE RACE!!!

Looking back now, making that decision to start running was one of the best things I have ever done for myself!   Considering how crazy life is, I was able to find something just for me which,  in turn,  has made me a happier and healthier person.   If each of you can find that “something” just for you, the rewards for yourself are incredible and so worthwhile.   This is something that may not happen overnight and like me, it could take 40 plus years to find, but once you do… enjoy it!  For all of the things we do for everyone else, we all deserve to do something just for us!!!

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