Thoughts…

A travel ban doesn’t stop terrorism. Racial tolerance, having respect and understanding for one another’s culture, religion and traditions might minimize the threat of terrorism. You might think that someone’s culture and beliefs are extreme – that someone might think that your culture and beliefs are extreme too. It is not fair to impose your way of life as the only way of life on someone. At the every core, we are all humans, governed by morals and a basic love of humanity and the same blood flows through our veins… 

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Finding Support

Dear friends,

Yesterday my daughter attended a ski class with a bunch of kindergarteners from her school. The class was arranged by my next door neighbor whose youngest daughter is the same age as my daughter and attends the same school. We also ran into a couple of her schoolmates at the ski resort since it’s one of the closest ski resorts to where we live. We had fun and my daughter picked up a couple of basics. 

Later that evening I told my close friend about our ski adventure and she mentioned something that’s stuck in my head since. She said that even though a bad thing happened to me, I have a good support system now.

And it’s true. As luck would have it, my next door neighbor has two older kids who also attend the same school as our daughters so she’s introduced me to a couple other parents. I have a close friend living in my building whose daughters also attend the same school and who I’ve relied on to help drop off or pick up my daughter on those days where I had early morning or late night meetings. And my work is pretty flexible and allows me to work from home as needed. My bosses know about my situation and are very understanding. In return, I’m 100% when I’m at work. 

I can’t stress enough about the importance of having a support system to help you through a bad situation and establish a new life. Some people like keeping their lives private but the danger of keeping bad feelings bottled up when you truly need help is that one day you might explode. You should reach out and ask for help when you need it. And you’ll be surprised at the most unlikely people that would show up for you. 

When it comes to sharing about your personal life, it’s up to you whether you want to share but sometimes telling someone might make you feel better. I’m an open book when it comes to my personal life but some people prefer remaining quiet about their lives. I say – share to an extent that you feel comfortable with and with someone you trust. Sometimes you’re most comfortable sharing with a complete stranger – hence a therapist may be a viable choice. I saw a therapist for a little over a year after I discovered the affair and I thought it helped. Or maybe it doesn’t even have to be someone to talk to – maybe writing is a better outlet for you to capture your thoughts and vent your emotions. Whatever it is, you need to do something to relieve yourself of the stress and feel better. 

I hope that if you have a good support system that is helping you get through this. And when you are strong enough and have gotten through the worst of it, you can be the support system for someone else too. 

The 3 Asses

Dear friends,

It’s time for another healthy dose of empowerment! 

It’s not easy leaving a bad situation. It takes a lot of guts walking away from something or someone that you’ve been so used to. It’s scary to imagine a different life from what you are used to. And it’s disheartening listening to fears and cautions from other people who are concerned for you. And of course it takes a lot more guts to change your life. In fact to succeed, you need to summon your inner 3 asses. 

You need to be a Bad Ass.

You need to be a Hard Ass.

You need to be a Kick Ass. 

Be a Bad Ass. Be the bad ass who dares to turn against current ways. Be the bad ass who dares to march to your own beat. Be the bad ass who dares to stand up to your aggressor and say “Enough is enough!”

Be a Hard Ass. Be the hard ass who turns a deaf ear against the naysayers who try to convince you otherwise. Tell them “Thank you for your concern but I GOT THIS!” And move on. Be the hard ass who dares to envision a different life, a different outcome for yourself. Be the hard ass who perseveres no matter how steep the way up the mountain is – the view will be gorgeous at the top. 

Be a Kick Ass. Be the kick ass who puts that plan in motion and tinkers it till it succeeds. Be the kick ass who successfully shuts down the doubters. Be the kick ass that others admire. 

And craft that beautiful life story of yours. 

Envisioning Yourself

Dear friends,

We always talk about New Year’s resolutions and goals for the year and all that jazz but it’s really hard to set these goals if we don’t have a vision. When companies set goals, they usually have a vision and the goals are in line with the vision. When you can visualize the type of person you want to be, it is easier to motivate yourself to work towards your goals. 

When I first found out about the affair, my life was the pits. I felt so bad and embarrassed about myself. I was overweight. I was living with my in laws. I wasn’t exciting anymore. I’d lost myself in that marriage. 
So I started to build a vision for myself. My overall goal was to LGFG – look good feel good. I know looks aren’t everything but I wanted to feel good about myself again. And the one thing that was within my control was my weight. I wasn’t looking to be stick thin. I just wanted to be within a weight range where I could feel good about myself. So I started to eat healthy and exercised more often. Every time I felt tempted to stray from my diet or gave excuses to not go to the gym, the vision of my physical self would be at the forefront of my mind, reminding me not to give up. 

The vision that you build for yourself should not be limited to physical attributes. It should also extend to other parts of your life – you could envision where you would like to live or how you are going to build your career. It could be a far reaching fantasy right now – that’s ok – the best ideas come from the wildest dreams. And my mantra for you is to Never Say Never.

Here are some tips for you on how to envision yourself:

  • Physical attributes 

Envision how you would like to look like physically. If there are changes that you would like to make to your physical appearance, it’s easier if they are within your control to change – for example adjustments to eating habits to lose weight. Or getting a hair cut. Or getting a new wardrobe. For me, I wanted to lose ten pounds and made sure I always dressed well. So I envisioned a slimmer well dressed  version of myself and that vision was my constant motivation.

  • Where you would like to live 

Envision your ideal habitat. It could be a place. Or it could be the type of home you would like to have once you are out of the bad situation. For me, my vision was to move to New York City. I envisioned how life would be like once I’m in the city. My other vision right now is to lead an international life – I would like to live in London and Singapore for a few years and then retire in some remote village facing the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Your career 

Envision where you would like to be in your career in the next year and the next couple of years. Maybe it’s a career switch. 

  • Your lifestyle

Envision the sort of life you would like to lead. A quiet, peaceful life in a small town? Or maybe the excitement of a big city? 

Happy dreaming! And let those dreams guide you towards your goals! 

Happy But Scared

Dear friends, 

I had a very fulfilling long weekend. On Saturday, I took my daughter to her dance classes and swimming. On Sunday, my ex and I took her skiing for the first time. It was a pleasant day – the weather was great and my ex and I got on splendidly. My daughter also did well on her skis and enjoyed herself. On Monday, she had a play date with a classmate and we went to the Museum of Modern Art. It was my daughter’s first time at MoMA and I gave her my iPhone to snap pictures with. I’m amazed and impressed by my five year old’s picture taking skills.

It was a satisfying weekend for me as a mother and as a person because I also did one thing on my bucket list of single life goals this weekend – give myself another shot at skiing. I tried skiing a few times 9 years ago but never really got the hang of it because I hated going downhill at fast speeds, losing control and not knowing how to stop. I’d pretty much given up on skiing. However I want my daughter to learn to ski. Having a kid makes you step out of your comfort zone and I’ve made it a goal to try and overcome my fear and give skiing another chance. So I took a lesson this past weekend to properly learn the basics for once and did pretty well at the lesson. I’m still terrified of losing control and crashing into people but I hope I’ll soon get the hang of it. 

Now it’s almost bedtime for me and I’m wiped from our weekend activities. I’m not sure if it’s the exhaustion, the post long weekend blues or the time of the month – but I feel the familiar onset of despair setting in. 

At this point in my life right now, I’m at peace and happy. But I’m also scared. I have a list of things that I would like to achieve while I’m single, but I’m also afraid that I will never find true love and that I will descend into loneliness and depression. 

I’ve taken a break from dating and deleted all dating apps from my phone. I’ve been struggling with an inner conflict as to whether I should just go cold turkey and ‘revirginize’ while I find myself … or if I should continue having a friend with benefits. While having a guy on the side is good for validation, I don’t really want the emotional nonsense that comes from being physically intimate with someone for an extended period of time. As it is, I’m still getting over my most recent friend with benefits and I’m really looking for peace in my life. 

So my mind has been wandering and my fingers have been itching to download Tinder again, or give Match or eHarmony a try. But then I stop myself. Not yet… I tell myself, don’t fear the loneliness, don’t fear the occasional despair. Just like I am trying to give skiing a second chance, I should also give myself another chance at learning to be by myself and love myself. Overcome those fears and eventually, hopefully I will become a better person for it and someone good will come into my life.

So I will stay strong. Stay single. And just focus on myself. Focus on my daughter. And continue living a fabulous single life. 

Living Well

Dear friends,

I live in a wealthy neighborhood in Manhattan. But I’m by no means rich. I don’t own a place – I rent. My child attends a public school – a really good school but it’s free. 

Today I was speaking with my daughter’s classmate’s mom. She was talking about how they spend summers at their summer home in Cape Cod and about how she wants to sign her daughter up for golf and tennis lessons in the summer. These are kindergarten kids that we’re talking about here. She wasn’t being a show -off or anything. It was just matter-of-fact because that’s what we as parents do – plan activities for our kids to give them the best tools for their lives. But given that this is Manhattan, of course these activities can get very expensive. 

I rent – I can’t afford to buy my own place yet as I have hardly any savings leftover from the divorce. My daughter and I live in a “junior one bedroom” which is technically a studio apartment with a wall put up in the middle to make it look like a one bedroom apartment. My daughter goes to an after school program because I can’t afford New York City nannies. I work full time during the day in the office and when I come home, I start my second job as a mom. I could definitely use more sleep. So life is not perfect but I’m living well.

Because I’m living life according to my own terms.

Living well doesn’t mean you need to live in a fancy home and lead a luxury lifestyle. Living well means you live an authentic life according to what you want and not by somebody else’s expectations. It means that even though you may not have everything, you are content with what you have.

And this, my friends, is my goal for you this year. I want you to find the courage to get out of your bad situation and start living well, living authentically and doing life according to your own terms.

How do you do that?

1) Have a vision even if that vision scares you.

Maybe you are in a bad relationship and you really want to leave the relationship but you are scared of being alone. Don’t dwell on the negative. Focus on the positive – leaving a bad relationship now gives you an opportunity to be in a better one later on. Envision that and work towards it.
2) Decide what you can live without.

You really won’t be able to have everything. So decide what you can cull out of your life. For example, I didn’t need to have a huge house with a big backyard. Huge houses scare me. I’d rather be in the center of where everything is happening because it makes me feel less lonely and also increase the chances of me meeting new people.

3) Set milestones.

Rome wasn’t built in a day so you can’t realistically expect your life to turn around immediately either. Set some goals that extend out a couple of years. For example, your goal this year could be to get over a bad relationship and focus on healing. And next year your goal could be to get comfortable being single. And the year after to open yourself up to new relationships.

4) Back it up.

In case life doesn’t work out the way you want it to, or another curveball gets thrown your way, what are your alternatives? Could you delay your plan another year? Could you rope in some help from family?

5) Execute.

You won’t know if it’ll work until you actually do it. Overcome the mental fear. Put the plan in motion and adjust accordingly. Believe in yourself. 

Starting Out On A Positive Note

  
Dear friends,

We are almost two weeks into the new year. I hope 2017 is going well for you so far. It certainly has been good for me the past week and a half. 

My resolution for this year is to Gain A Life. I am determined to rebuild my life. I want to move past the bitterness and move onward and forward toward a fabulous life. Yes I will trip up at times. Yes I might regress. But in my down moments, I want to take a step back and look at the big picture. And when I put things in perspective, I hope to see that everything is positive on the whole.

On December 31st last year, I read somewhere that in 2017, we should keep track of good stuff that happen on a weekly basis. And we should write it down on little pieces of paper and store it in a jar or a box. And then on December 31st this year, we should empty the jar or box and take a look back at all the good stuff that happened throughout the year. I thought it was a really cool idea and I’m going to start doing that. I think you should too. Because as the law of attraction says, when you start to see positivity, positive things will come to you.