Sparkle

When you least expect it, life surprises you!
I enjoy being creative and sharing that creativity with others.
I love teaching and coaching others.
So when an opportunity to combine so many of the things that fill me up,
I jumped right in …..
which lead to the creation of Sparkle Social Media!
Women ‘of a certain age’ run businesses that need to be relevant and present on social media. Younger social media managers often do not speak to the needs or wants of this group of women. Enter Sparkle Social Media!
Sparkle Social Media was created to offer coaching on optimizing social media profiles, systems to streamline content creation/posting, as well as full service social media management. 
I help business owners at all levels maximize engagement on various social media platforms.
Want more information on or services and plans?
Click the CONTACT tab at the top of the page and let’s connect!

Divorce

Monday, August 15, 2016

Divorce. That was not a word that was used in my family. It was a dirty word. A word that was whispered. A word that was for others. A word that was like a scarlet ‘D’ on the chest of those “other people”.
I was born and raised Catholic. I went to Catholic school and even Catholic College. I devoted my life to teaching my faith to children, other children and my own.  I was taught, at home and through my faith, that we do not divorce. We pray. We talk to the priest. We go to Mass. We say the Rosary….we DO NOT divorce. Divorce is a sin.
My family does not “do” divorce. No one got divorced. No one talked about problems either. People stayed married in my family. That is what I wanted when I got married. I was made to believe that divorce was for quitters. People that did not do the work before or during marriage were the ones that got divorced. So I planned to do everything right. I was going to pick a man that was ready to do the same.
I dated lots of guys but when I found “my Guy”, I looked at his family. Everyone was married and no one divorced. Yea….good role models.
When I got married I was in it for the long haul. I was dedicated to my husband and would soon start family. As the family started to grow, my dedication and activity level grew too. I was “that” mom. I took the kids everywhere. We went to zoos, museums, sports, dance….you name it…I had my kids doing it. What I didn’t realize was …it was just me. I was the one doing it all. I excused it all because my wasband was working. He was always working (Or so I thought).
So I did what good moms do….I “mommed”. I worked and I “mommed”. I lived for the nights my wasband was home for dinner with the family or nights he would treat me like a queen by taking me out to dinner.
Years passed and the kids grew.
People always say that the wife is the last to know….that is so far from the truth. The wife is the FIRST to know. She is usually the last to admit it to herself and others. That was me. I knew. I knew the first time it happened and I listened to the excuses from my wasband. I let it go and thought that it was a one time thing.
The second time it happened….I let it go hoping it would go away…and it did.
The third time? Well..that was enough. I had had enough. My kids were older and other people knew about this affair.  I knew about the affair. What I didn’t know then was that this was not number 3. This was, well, let’s just say a number more than number 3.
I knew for over a year before I was ready to admit it to myself. I knew. I knew and I knew I was done living like this.I knew and I knew both my kids and I deserved better. I knew and I knew that I needed find the courage and strength to leave this toxic marriage. I knew…And soon it was time to let my wasband know what I already knew…..D Day was upon us.
Here’s to soaring again…..

Rebuilding

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

re·build
rēˈbild/verb
1 .build (something) again after it has been damaged or destroyed.

In order to rebuild, there has to be something rebuild to begin with.  Something that has been damaged. As the definition states, it is to build again after it has been damaged or destroyed.
So what was damaged? That would be me. My children. My family. My faith. So much has been damaged that rebuilding will not be easy, nor will it be fast… but it will happen.  
I am starting to find my way. I have been collecting the tools I need for this project for a long time.
It is finally time to put them all to use and build something stronger and better for the future.
The telling of my story no longer makes me cry….at least not as much as it used to and for entirely different reasons now. Thus I know I am on the road to healing. I am ready to share this rebuilding process in the hopes that it will not only help me but help others as well. The journey will take twists and turns and the road may not always be without danger, potholes, and other nastiness but what is life without at least one wild roadtrip?
So …here’s to soaring again….

Earth

I am a Capricorn. Capricorns are an Earth sign. I need to feel grounded in the earth which I think is why I love my plants and gardening so much. I also think that is why I like running. My feet hitting the pavement with each footfall is my connection to the Earth.
There are also places on the Earth that ground me. One of those places in the Chicago Lakefront Trail. During the height of my “high conflict” divorce (the PC way of saying super nasty, craptastic divorce from an abusive narcissist), I found solace and comfort in my long bike rides along the Lakefront. I would head out in the morning with my bike, some water and a book. I would ride for 10 miles, take a break to read and people watch, then ride the 10 miles back to my car. It was an escape from the pressures of life where no one could find me for a while.
Once we got Lucky, I started taking him down there to run with me. We would run 5-7 miles together along the Lake and take a rest in the shade before coming home. He was living his best life and I could take a break!
Last year, when Covid took over, our trips to the lakefront ended. We stuck close to home and found new paths around the neighborhood but it was not the same. I felt out of sorts.
Last night, as I was falling asleep, I thought about the lakefront. I thought about heading back there for a run. I planned it in my head as I drifted off. When I got up this morning, I almost talked myself out of it. I dilly dallied and found things to do rather than getting dressed and going for a run. Then I took a look outside and the sun was coming up. I could see the skyline and feel the pull of the trail. So I leashed up the dog and got in the car.
We drove down to our “spot” and parked. I tried to pay but the box was broken and the app said it was “free” today. Score! With my water bottle on my waist, I turned on my “lakefront playlist” and we headed off for our run.
It.
Was.
Glorious!
I took in everything….every sight, sound and smell! I noticed all that had changed since our last visit. I took pictures both in my head and with my phone!
I am not going to lie and say that this was a perfect run….it was not. I have not run a lot since I broke my arm (nerves!) so there was some walking, some crying and some cursing….but I loved every minute of it!
The small signs along the way were not lost on me….. no traffic, making the greenlights in Irving, the open parking spot, “free” parking, the sailboat named “Namaste”, the phonecall from my kids as I ran, the homeless woman who asked me to stop so she could pet Lucky (she lost her dog “a while back” and missed him), the little girl who shouted, “Hey! I love Girls on the Run” (I was wearing my GOTR shirt….and forgot I had it on until she shouted at me!)…..the list goes on and on. I am a firm believer in signs and angels….and today they were out in full force, letting me know that this was exactly where I needed to be as well as what my heart and soul needed.
Over a year ago, I took that last run for granted and today vowed never to let that happen again. I will not take the glorious views of the city and lake for granted ever again.
Today was a reminder to trust my instincts and take chances. Today was a reminder what grounds me. Today was a reminder of how far I have come, the moments and things I cherish as well as how much I have left to accomplish in this world.
My motto is #forwardisapace and I will always move forward. I move forward with my feet firmly grounded on the Earth, my heart full of love, and my soul full of peace.
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Happy

You know it’s okay to be happy, right?
Sometimes we suppress our happiness. Sometimes we suppress our happiness so that we don’t make others feel bad. Sometimes we suppress our happiness because we feel we don’t really deserve to be happy. Sometimes we suppress our happiness because we don’t feel worthy of happiness.
Happiness is for everyone. Everyone deserves to feel happy sometimes. Everyone goes through ups and downs all throughout life and some days we are so happy want to dance or shout it from the rooftops!
Sometimes when we are in a happy place, others might be going through a difficult time. Your ability to shine your light and share your happiness allows others to feel hopeful. Happiness is a gift. It is a gift to be celebrated, cherished and shared. Those who love you will be so happy for you when things are going well in your life. Just as we can also be happy for others when things are going well for them too. Do not ever think that your happiness is taking anything away from someone else. We want others to be happy because when others are happy, it helps us all to be happy too.
So today, take a deep breath, think only happy thoughts, turn your face to the sun and soak up every bit of that warm sunlight!
Happiness is good.
You are worthy of happiness today and every day.
Peace
#tutulady
#forwardisapace