Monday, July 27, 2009

Living the Questions

I am reading Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun, for the third time. I rarely read a book more than once, but I love her descriptions of life in Tuscany, the people, the countryside, the house she restores with her partner and the food, ah the food! When I started harvesting from my garden this year I wanted to go back and be inspired once again by the gardens of Bramasole and the recipes Mayes shares. On this subsequent reading, a passage strongly resonated with me. Mayes talks about how after her divorce she felt the need to change her life, to not let her life “narrow.” I felt much the same way after my divorce, and knew I had to take steps to change my life for me. Mayes goes on to quote Rainer Maria Rilke, one of my favorite writers/poets: “You must change your life.” And I will quote him even further: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves…Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” I spent a lot of time anxious about the future and worrying about what would happen next until I realized, it didn’t matter! All that mattered was that I live each day positively and confidently. You will survive divorce and if you live each and every day, and I mean LIVE them to their fullest, even though you do not know the answers, you will live into those answers and they will be what you want to hear if you are living with determination and in a positive manner. This week, choose a book to inspire you! Spend time writing your “questions” and how you will live them!!! Choose Happiness! NOTE: The movie of the same title Under the Tuscan Sun, though a lovely story, was only inspired by the book; it is nothing like the true story held within the pages and cannot touch the abundance of life Mayes describes. Pick up the book if you want to be transported to Italy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A little activity is good for the brain!

Imagine my happiness when I ran across this little factoid, “a daily tipple and gardening boost longevity.” Being I enjoy my glass of wine and putter around in my garden most every day, not necessarily at the same time though, I figure I’m putting up a defense against dementia and increasing my lifespan exponentially. What a great bit of research. And this did have me thinking about choosing happiness and the importance of finding activities that you enjoy and at the same time are healthy. I couldn’t wait for spring this year, to plant my first garden in five years. After having spent three years on a mountain that could not sustain much other than pine trees and a Rosemary bush, and then spent two summers traveling extensively, when I realized I could finally support a garden again I dug out my gloves and headed to the garden store. It has been a great source of fun for me this summer, even though I have had to share with too many squirrels, but I have herbs galore and nine different varieties of tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant, jalapenos and chili plants too. When I go to the garden and pull weeds or pick my harvest, I find such peace in my head and in my soul. There is something so gratifying about seeing your hard work bear fruit and likewise, when you choose to work at being happy, and the results of your hard work start showing up in your day to day life, there will be great satisfaction. I encourage you this week to think about healthy activities you might enjoy. Choose something that will get you up and moving, out of the house, taking advantage of the longer hours of sunshine available in the summer. Even sitting outside in the shade of a tree reading or thinking is good for the soul. Take some time this week and write in your journal a list of activities you might like to try. Find a friend or go it alone, but choose to be active and keep that brain working and that body moving! Choose to actively be happy! (the above mentioned article can be found at:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When the ex remarries

I have been on hiatus to New Mexico and Colorado for three weeks and then entertained family and friends for two straight weeks in my home, making this a whirlwind of a summer so far! I am excited to be back in my office writing and finishing up my book! Today I thought I would share with you choosing happiness when your ex remarries. The feelings can be overwhelming when an ex becomes involved with a new person. If this happens soon after a divorce or possibly even during the midst of the divorce it can be devastating, churning up anger, bitterness or even hate, but what I want to encourage you to do is to work hard on putting these feelings behind you as they will only hurt you and your children. There is no ideal time for a person to start a relationship after divorce, as there will be tough emotions no matter when it occurs, but the fact is, the majority of divorced people will seek a new partner at some time or another, and more than likely one or both of you will remarry and statistically the male in a relationship is most likely to remarry within a short period of time after divorce. Mothers play such a crucial role in their children’s lives and your acceptance of an ex’s girlfriend or spouse will make a tremendous difference in the long term for your children. All of us need love in our lives. The more people who love us and we love, the healthier we tend to be. Allowing your children to love their father and his girlfriend or wife is important for their future relationships. You are demonstrating for them that though life doesn’t always turn out perfect, we can learn to adapt and make the best of our lives no matter the circumstances. Allowing them to accept a new female in their lives, not to replace you, but to be another adult who cares for them gives them the ability to be with their father without anxiety and fear, and demonstrates your love and kindness. Children need their fathers. They need to have a relationship based on their own judgments and feelings for him, not yours. If you are forming their opinions for them, they will have difficulty trusting their own opinions of others and this is not healthy for their future relationships. This does not mean that you tell your kids to love and respect their father and then add a “but he is a lousy person” or any other “but” as they need you to assure them that it is okay to love him in their own manner. So your ex really is a lousy person? Then eventually your kids will see it for themselves and have the best relationship they can with him, but this needs to be their relationship, not yours, and it needs to be on their terms, not yours. Too many children are traversing this world without a male figure in their lives. And psychologists see the fallout of this everyday. Having a father, even a not so perfect one, is better for them than none at all. Allow your children to love and be loved. They will be happier and healthier adults for your having done so. My ex remarried this summer and I will tell you, the first time I saw a picture of his new wife and one of my grandkids my heart fluttered a little, but this is what I know, my kids like her, my grandkids like her and she in turns cares for all of them, and what more can I ask for in their lives? How wonderful for them all to have another person to love and be loved by! Stepmoms get a bad rap far too often. One last note in closing: I realize that if true abuse is involved, you will need to seek help from a psychologist and possibly legal help. Do not hesitate if this is the case.