Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was recommended this book to me several years ago by a friend. He was the most positive person I had ever met and I asked him how he was that way. He was going through a divorce and things in his life were quite difficult but he was always happy. He told me that this book transformed his attitude about life.
It has taken me a while to actually sit down and read this book but this was definitely the right time. For many years, I was a wife and mother and all my goals and dreams involved my husband and kid. Five years ago, that all ended and my youngest graduated from high school a couple of years later. I am finally ready to focus on me and my goals again. I don’t think I realized that until I read this book. I have been thinking about goals and dreams now and am making plans. I have broken a lifelong habit of picking my skin. Tomorrow is two weeks since I picked and I actually have not had a hard time in days. I am no longer a picker. I have tried to quit all my life. Quitting smoking was easy compared to this. Suddenly, after reading this book, it has been easy to quit.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that is wanting to make positive changes in their life. I will continue to work on the assignments in the book and continue to grow and follow my new dreams and goals.

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Life has been a bit busy and crazy for the past few weeks. I thought about blogging many times and about many things BUT just have not been taking the time. I have 24 more hours with my son home and I have been enjoying every moment we have had together. I also have been doing a lot of reading and self reflection. One of the first guys I dated after my divorce was the most positive person that I have ever met. I asked him how he could always be so positive and he told me that it was because of this book by Tony Robbins that he read.

I have finally been reading this book after almost four years. I will go into it a bit in a later blog but I wanted to share one major thing that I have realized. I am GLAD that I have been alone mostly for the past five years. It has enabled me to grow. It has enabled me to learn who I really am. Time (and this book) have given me the ambition to set goals again. My life had been, for so long, all about our kids, our marriage, his career. Our kids are grown, our marriage is over and his career doesn’t affect me anymore. I have not been focusing on goals for years now. If I had stayed in the relationship with BFF or gotten serious with someone else, my focus would have become on them, their wishes, their lives, etc. This has been a great time of growth for ME and maybe, eventually, I will be able to let someone back in that fits into MY GOALS. I truly love myself and enjoy my own company. I am setting my own goals and have my own dreams now all because I have taken the time to get to know me- post marriage.

Things I Overheard While Talking to MyselfThings I Overheard While Talking to Myself by Alan Alda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, I LOVED this book. I could enjoy another 200 pages of things he learned. There is so much to think about in this book. There were things that made me laugh out loud and things that made me cry. This book is a series of speeches that he has given and him talking about them. I highly recommend this book and think we can all get things from his insight.

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Over the past ten years or so, I have been working real hard to try and look at things differently. I have never been an optimistic person by nature. I think it is part of my depressive nature. My mother used to tell me all the time to not be so negative. Since my last depressive episode, this has been a goal of mine. I knew that I had to try and make changes to save my life. I have gotten pretty good at this recently and today was a good example of it. Today, it was snowing. It is our first snow of the season. I love snow and was so excited. On my way to work, when I got to the highway, I never was able to get any traction and slid off the road almost immediately. I went straight off an embankment and slid into the bushes. I was sure that I was going to flip the car but luckily, that did not occur. When I came to a stop, I immediately called USAA to get my roadside assistance. I sat there for a while  waiting to hear when the tow truck would be there. I had many people stop to check on me but I was fine. I was told that there were several cars off the road in the next couple of miles so I knew that it might be a while.When the USAA gal called, she let me know that it would be about two hours before the tow truck driver got there. Instead of getting upset, I planned on walking home (about 1.5 miles) and thanked her. The driver called and told me it wouldn’t be that long so I decided to hang out in the car and read. Several years ago, I would have been sobbing by now. I would have been stressing about work, my car, money, everything. Today, I sat there and read and enjoyed watching the snow fall.

I had so many people stop by- a few that I knew but many that I did not. I had one guy stop and ask me if I needed anything, I told him (jokingly) that I wanted more tea. He actually went home and brought me a travel mug full of hot water, a thermos with more, several teas, sugar, a blanket. I had never seen this man before. He told me to call if I needed a ride home or anything else. When he left, that is when I cried. I couldn’t believe the kindness of strangers. Eventually, the tow truck got there. He had a hard time getting my car out safely but managed and I drove to work. The rest of the drive was uneventful. An event that would have stressed me out years ago instead made me look at life in a good way. I was glad it was snowing. I was glad my car and I were fine. I was happy with where I have chosen to call home. I was loving seeing random acts of kindness from so many. I was smiling like a fool all day., so happy about the snow. Nothing could shake that happiness, not even sitting in a car, in a ditch, for three hours. Actually, the worst part of the day was needing to pee after drinking all the tea. I had to climb through the other side of my car to pee in the bushes. It really upset the cows on the other side of the fence but it was worth it.

Life has been a bit busy for me lately and my mind has been all over the place. I really wish that I could blog every time I want to. I usually have things come to me at work and then I come home and have to feed the dogs, do things in the house, and then read and go to bed. I haven’t been dating at all.

Ex-bf and I had a rough spell in which I almost told him to leave my life. He was/is making decisions that really bothered me and made me uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure that our friendship was going to survive. I am glad to say that we worked past it.I was so sad to think that he wouldn’t be in my life anymore. We basically decided to not try again. He said that I was not showing interest but I was afraid. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to “fix” him. He is looking for a woman to fix something big. I tried for two years. I truly think that a woman will not fix the problem. I think he needs to see someone for mental help and to change a few things in his life for the problem to be fixed. I was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to love me again. He ended up saying some real mean things to me on a day that was already stressful. It is funny though that as angry as I was with him, he was the first person I wanted to contact when I needed to talk to someone and needed comfort. He was interested in this one gal and she said some not nice things about me and he decided to not see her anymore and defended me. I guess we are back to FWB. I spent a few hours with him yesterday. It is just so nice with him. It really is a shame that it won’t grow into something more but I have finally accepted that we won’t be together forever. I am going to enjoy what we have when we have it. He is my family. He is my kids family. We all love each other.

A Woman on the Edge of Time: a son's search for his motherA Woman on the Edge of Time: a son’s search for his mother by Jeremy Gavron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up at a book rescue not knowing much about it but it definitely drew me to it. The speed in which I read it says something. I did not want to put this book down. Hannah was such a strong woman and so ahead of her time. It made me think of being a woman before now. My grandmother was also ahead of her time. I often thought about my mother who was in the same age group as Hannah. Women were expected to be a certain way and women who chose not to had a difficult road. Unfortunately, Hannah ultimately couldn’t handle it and took her life. She left two young boys and a family that never spoke of her again. This is written by the younger of the boys as he tries to understand his mother and her choice. This book also made me proud of my daughters who are in no hurry to marry and have babies. They are living their lives before they go down this path, if they choose that path I sure wish that I had done so. Hannah’s thesis that was later published is The Captive Wife. I wonder how many of us feel the way this book implies. I think Ii will have to find it and read it. I know I can probably relate. I gave up my life for the “dream” and it was a mistake. Now I am alone, poor, and fifty, trying to figure out how to live my dreams. I will make it as I have made it this far. This book is worth the read. It is not anti-man. It is not anti-marriage. It is more about having the strength to follow your dreams. The women back then had so many more obstacles than we do now. It has improved but many are still there due to our gender. We need to continue to change things for our daughters and granddaughter.

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I thought that he had. I thought that the holiday season was ruined for me forever. I used to be one of the crazy holiday loving people that so many people complain about. I would think of the Solstice, Saturnalia, Christmas and just feel bright inside. I loved the music (even the religious ones), the colors, the lights, the cooking, the food, the giving, the receiving, even the crowds. I would wear my Santa hat every day. I felt so alive during the holiday season. The holidays were not always good with the ex-husband. He was a bit of a scrooge and made things more tense than they needed to be but I still loved it every year. That is UNTIL…….

He filed for divorce two weeks after Christmas. We had been having problems for a few years but that Christmas was one of our better ones. He even gave me great gifts. I was sure that things were getting better. I thought that maybe he loved me again. Even our oldest told me that he really loved me and thought things were better for us all.

I felt so betrayed. I felt lied to. I felt that the entire holiday had been a lie. I have not looked forward to it for years.  I have put off the decorating as long as possible. I have dreaded putting  up the tree and seeing the ornaments that remind me of various things in our marriage. I had thought about cancelling my annual party. I went through the motions for my kids but would have been perfectly happy just skipping the celebrations.  I actually have had good Christmases in the past few years but I still dreaded them. BF/ex-boyfriend has been with us for a couple of them.

This year, for some reason, I am more myself. my kiddo/roommate was working today and I brought in the decorations, put on the music and almost finished decorating the house. Last night, I went to Noel Night  in town with my nephew. I am excited for my party. I am excited for the holiday season again. I enjoyed singing the songs while I decorated today. I have my holiday back. I have no idea what changed for me this year but I am happy  about it. This has always been my favorite time of year. I definitely do not have any more money this year, things are not perfect but I can enjoy all the things I love about this time.  I am lucky that all three kids are choosing to spend the holiday with me this year, too. Now I just need snow to make it as perfect as it can be.