What would you do if someone else treated you the way you treat yourself? How would you react if someone criticized you the way you criticize yourself? How would it be if someone forced you into the same self-defeating behavior that you choose to do on your own? What if someone else prevented you from enjoying life as much as you deny enjoyment to yourself? You would, no doubt, be outraged. If you would never let someone else treat you that way, why do you allow yourself to do so? You have control over your own actions, your own thoughts, your own feelings. Stop defeating yourself. Allow yourself to live, permit yourself to succeed, let yourself enjoy life. Be good to yourself. You deserve it.


As I complete another trip around the sun I compiled a list of 57 things I have learned so far in my life. 

  1. Life is for living. Don’t wait to do all the things.
  2. Not everyone has the same heart as you. Don’t take shit personally and if you do, don’t dwell on it. 
  3. Listen more than you speak.  The less you say, the more weight your words have. 
  4. Breathe. Really…pause and take a breath. It is going to be ok.
  5. Trust your gut. Learn to listen to yourself and trust your intuition.
  6. Let things go. If it is not yours to carry, put it down.
  7. Enjoy live music. Big venues, small venues, festivals, street fairs, buskers…. Just listen and enjoy. There is nothing that compares to a live performance. 
  8. Learn to love the person staring back at you from the mirror. She is all you have.  Love her unconditionally.
  9. Give yourself the love you give to others. 
  10. Buy yourself the flowers once in a while. 
  11. You are stronger than you will ever realize.
  12. C-PTSD sucks but you will learn to manage. 
  13. Ask for help once in a while. You like being independent but asking for help sometimes helps you and others too.
  14. Drink your water.
  15. Read all the books. Even if you think you will not like them, try. You might learn something.
  16. Keep learning. Stay curious. Learn something new every day. 
  17. Gratitude is so important. Always be grateful and tell people you are grateful.
  18. Be kind. Especially when you don’t want to and it is hard. That is when kindness is needed most.
  19. Make sure you always have a valid passport. See the world. Explore cities, cultures, countries. It will teach you so much.
  20. Laugh. It is not always easy but find the humor in each day. 
  21. Heal your inner child. Do the work and allow her to come out and play. She has been through a lot and deserves your love and attention.
  22. THERAPY saves lives. Do the work and own your shit with the help of therapy. It will not be easy but it will be worth it.
  23. Eat good food and eat junk food. Just do it all in moderation. 
  24. You do not have to fit in. Be you. People will either like you or not and that is on them. Just be true to you.
  25. It will work out. It may not work out like you planned but it will work out and you will be ok. 
  26. Your friends may change over time and that is ok but your OG, ride or die friends will always be there. They love you like no one else. 
  27. No one cares how you fold your sheets or if you match your socks. Do it in the way that makes you happy and leave it at that. 
  28. Cook for yourself. Make the foods you love and savor the experience of cooking. 
  29. Love your people but allow them to own their own lives. You can’t save them and you can’t control them. Just let them go and be there if and when they need you. 
  30. Learn your worth and DO NOT give discounts…not in relationships or business. You teach people what you are worth and you are priceless!
  31. Take yourself on dates. Love yourself enough to treat yourself. 
  32. Make the appointments and keep them. Go to the doctor, dentist, optometrist and all the other doctors. Take care of yourself and your body.  You only have one body so take care of it.
  33. The kids will be ok. Hold space for them along with firm boundaries and they will love you even more. They may take ‘relationship vacations’ but they always come back home because they love you. No one else is Mom.
  34. No is a complete sentence. Full stop. 
  35. Regret is a waste of time. Take the lessons learned and move forward.
  36. Love the child that is right there in front of you …..not the child you envisioned. You were chosen to love and care for your child. Do not let others or yourself cloud your vision. Be the mom to that child. Just be their mom.
  37. Talk to strangers once in a while. Your interaction might be the only one they have all day. 
  38. Dance. Alone, with others, in the kitchen, in your car….just dance. Who cares who is watching!
  39. Quality over quantity. This goes for clothes, friends, food…..
  40. Parenting is not sissies. It is hard work but worth it all when you see the amazing humans you have sent into the world. 
  41. Have a plant in your space. At home and at work plants are important for the lessons in patience and health benefits they offer to us.
  42. Time is far more valuable than money. Spend it wisely.
  43. Loss is never easy. Cherish moments and hold memories close. 
  44. You job is just that…a job. You can always be replaced at work but your life and your family are irreplaceable. 
  45. Volunteer. Work with charity organizations. This will fill you up like nothing else in your world and help others in the process. 
  46. Say you are sorry and mean it. Ask how you hurt someone and apologize. 
  47. Make peace with the past. You can not change it so find a way to make peace with it and face the future with the lessons learned. 
  48. Forgive others. You do not have to forget how they hurt you but forgive and release them to face whatever karma awaits them. Do it for you, not them. 
  49. Opinions are like assholes….everyone has one. So take it or leave it but don’t be ruled by the opinions of others. 
  50. Move your body every day. Walk, run, dance…whatever and however but move every day. You joints will thank you. 
  51. Step out of your comfort zone once in a while. Do something that makes you uncomfortable like trying something new or talking to someone you just met. You may just surprise yourself. 
  52. Pick your battles. Not everything is worth fighting for and sometimes peace is more valuable than being right. 
  53. There is so much so much beauty and freedom of the other side of fear. Push through the scary stuff. 
  54. Vulnerability is life changing. Showing others your softer side allows them to see a side of you that will change your relationship for the better. 
  55. See color. Life is not all black and white. There are so many different sides to issues and so many colors in the world. Embrace them all
  56. Life really does get better with age. The middle can be messy but love yourself through it knowing that it will get better. 
  57. Love. Love yourself and love others. Love is always an answer and love always wins.



Once upon a time
I dreamed of a husband that was my best friend.
Once upon a time
I dreamed of a big house filled with family.
One upon a time
I dreamed of nights around the table with my kids, playing games, laughing and creating core memories.
Once upon a time
I HAD that big house and big family
However, the house was filled secrets and the family was filled with chaos.
Had I known that my dreams would become something of nightmares, maybe I would have had different dreams.
Now, as I enter my 57th year standing on the balcony of my small rental condo, my eyes filling with tears, I listen to the laughter of my kids and their significant others. I see them all sitting and standing together, just happy to share space. I smell the ‘team effort’ dinner that is almost ready. I stand here taking it all in and realize that my current reality is so much better than that of my dreams.
I no longer have a spouse but I have realized that I am far stronger and more capable than I ever realized. I can do it all on my own.
I don’t have a big house but I now have a home that is a safe space for not only my own kids, but their friends and my friends too. I have a big family that is still chaotic but in the best way possible now. We laugh, cry, disagree, play games, communicate, get loud, get quiet, are protective of each other and love each other fiercely.
Here’s the thing about dreams, eventually you have to wake up and face reality and my reality is looking pretty good right now.


I will begin with a trigger warning.
*This post contains opinions on abortion.
*This post contains opinions on faith and religion.
*This post contains facts that may change your perception of me.
All that being said, it is time. I have authored this post over and over again in my head for years. I have thought about the way in which I wanted to tell my story. I have talked myself out of sharing this time and time again ….. mostly due to shame.
Over 30 years ago, I had an abortion.
Full stop.
The story of how and why…those are mine to own. I do not have to share my reasons with anyone. I share those parts with those who deserve the details.
I live with the choice I made each and every day. To dismiss my choice by saying it was the easy way out is to not understand the weight and gravity of the choice.
I remember every part of the events leading up to and after the day of my appointment. There are certain sounds and smells that trigger the memories when I least expect it. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my whole life……and I went alone. I lived with my secret for years out of shame from my church, from my friends and my family.
I was raised Catholic and taught Catholic school for over 20 years. Once I got married and had more children, I raised them Catholic. I went to mass every week and I prayed every day for forgiveness. But the longer I stayed and prayed, I could not escape the nagging feeling that the God I loved thought less of me because of my choice as a young woman. The God, the Jesus, the Mary that I pray to each day were ones that believe in forgiveness. I just needed to forgive myself. Not for having the abortion….but for allowing the church and others to make me feel ashamed for the choice I made.
Once I forgave myself, I made another choice. The choice to leave a church that preaches shame over empathy, condemnation over acceptance and hypocrisy over sincerity.
I have written before about my faith. My faith is steadfast and strong. I still pray daily, but I pray to the loving, accepting God that I believe created each of us in their image.
I live with the choice I made every single day. But here’s the thing….I HAD A CHOICE.
I had a choice because the government recognized that the choice is personal and should be made with a medical professional not a priest, pastor or politician. I am fortunate enough to live in a state that protects a woman’s right to choose but I fear for my children, especially my daughters. They now live in a country with less reproductive rights than I had at their age.
The reasons a woman would choose to have an abortion are as individual and unique as each woman. Each and every woman should have agency over her own health and choices.
I realize that finally sharing my story opens me up to criticism and commentary. I am ok with that. If the fact that I had an abortion in my 20’s changes the way you feel about me, well then that is your choice to make and I respect that choice.
I will always help those who need support. I will always be a safe space and place for any woman. I will always support a woman’s right to choose.