Wow – it’s been over a year since my last post, and what a year of transformation it has been.  I want to start this post off by saying I AM HAPPY.  I’ve come so far in the past year, not despite of but AS A RESULT of my challenges.   I have proved to myself and others that GRATITUDE and the right attitude can make all the difference in the world.  I have chosen to view each and every opportunity that I am presented with as a GIFT that I am extremely grateful for.  And for this I have been blessed time and time again.  Is my life all rainbows and unicorns?  Of course not.  That’s not what life is about.  Life is about the journey, and making the most of every moment of it.

One of my most recent blessings is to be part of the brand new global movement  #IAmToWeAre.  This movement is to empower and inspire people to celebrate their “I AM” core values so that they can break through their limiting beliefs.  We are encouraging people to take pictures of themselves with signs that say #I Am with their core values listed, post them to our I AM facebook page @IAMTOWEARELEADERS.  We are also planning to take our inspirational message and core values training to middle schools and high schools to help build student leaders through community projects…. going from I AM to WE ARE.

#IAmAccountable #IAmAdventurous #IAmAmbitious #IAmBalanced #IAmBold #IAmBrave #IAmCheerful #IAmCommitted #IAmCompassionate #IAmConsistent #IAmEnthusiastic #IAmFair #IAmFaithful #IAmFit #IAmFocused #IAmFun #IAmGenerous #IAmGoodness #IAmGrace #IAmGrowing #IAmHappy #IAmHealthy #IAmHelpful #IAmPositive #IAmReliable #IAmResourceful #IAmSerenity #IAmService #IAmGrateful #IAmLoving #IAmHonest #IAmJoyful #IamStrong #IAmUnderstanding #IAmALeader #IAmMakingADifference

Filling in the Gap

I’ve started many blogs over the years, but this is the first time I’ve actually published any of them.   My first blogs were more like personal journals.  I never intended for anyone else to read them.  They were written to help me remember how I was feeling, because I am really good at blocking out painful experiences and eventually pretending they never happened.  They were also written so that I could process what I was going through, and so that I could discuss situations with my husband when he was sober in hopes that he would realize what he was doing when he was drunk and maybe he would stop drinking.  That didn’t work.  Occasionally I run accross one of them…. and I’m pretty sure that I’ve deleted a lot of them.

In October of 2015 I started a new blog, under a fake name.  I wanted to write about what I was going through, but I wasn’t quite ready to share my story with the world.  I wasn’t sure what was going to come out of my writings, and I didn’t want to hurt anyone in any way.  I was grieving the death of my husband just 8 months earlier, and my daughter had just been indicted by a Grand Jury on drug charges.  I did put the blog out on wordpress, and I did share a few of my posts with a few of my friends.  In December of 2015 my daughter went to jail, and eventually prison, and my blog fell by the wayside.  I was alone for the first time in my entire life.  My greatest fears of losing my husband and my daughter had manifested and for the first time in my life I was forced to look at my own issues instead of trying to fix everyone elses.

I spent the next 12 months finding myself, learning to live alone, and learning to break free from my codependency.  I even tried dating, but decided that I wasn’t ready to commit to anyone, and that it was going to take a very confident, secure man to be able to handle the fact that I wasn’t divorced and would always be in love with my late husband, and that I had a daughter who was getting out of prison soon and would be living with me.   My daughter was given a rider and a chance to get out of prison early – and she made the choice to view her arrest as a rescue and turn her life around.

I had a lot of support from my friends and family during this time of my life, and the thing that helped me the most in not only surving the events  but actually Thriving because of them was my Attitude of Gratitude.  I had learned just one month prior to my husband’s death to look at everything in life as a gift and to be grateful for it.  This was not always easy – but it was definitely effective.

On November 2, 2016 I attended a lunch of my WOWI group – which stands for Women of Wisdom and Inspiration.  We were talking about gratitude, and I told my story of my “gifts” and spoke of how I was grateful that my daughter was coming home on November 18th.  At that lunch, an amazing women heard my story and offerred my daughter a job when she got out.  Talk about overwhelming gratitude!!!  On November 3rd I attended a fund raiser by myself to support a friend.  I was being brave and putting myself out in the world again.  At that event a handsome and charismatic man sat next to me, we chatted during the event and he asked me to coffee the next day.  I had just decided that I wasn’t ready to date, and was up front and honest with him and explained why when we went to coffee.  He understood where I was at and still wanted to date me so I decided to give it a try.  He invited my daughter and I to attend a self help seminar that he was facilitating on the day following her release from prison, and he came to court with me on the day of her release to support me.  November 2016 was definitely a month overflowing with blessings and gratitude.  I even started blogging again!

I recently launched my web page and officially started my public blog.  I decided to go ahead and re-post my anonymous blogs from 2015 and 2016.  I’m actually writing this post on June 16, 2017 – but I’m using November 20, 2016 as the post date so that this post appears in the appropriate chronological order – filling in the missing gap!  If you are reading this, I thank you.  I hope that you find it insightful and entertaining.