How to Let Go: The Back Story

Is this a “How to Let Go” or a “How to Move On”? Or maybe it’s a “How to Be Successful”. Because, essentially, it is really a little of each and I was quite torn on which title would best suite this post. But for all intents and purposes, when listed in the preceding order these how-to’s are placed exactly in the order by which you would get yourself from the first point to the last point. So, maybe this should be a mini-series? I might just let you all decide.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it somewhere before, I’m not one to let go. To me, letting go has always meant giving up. Except, maybe it’s really not.

I’ve always had a penchant for sticking things out. You know that one song with the lyrics that go, “hold on loosely, but don’t let go”? Try “hold on tightly and don’t let go.” That second one is me. Don’t get me wrong, perseverance is a mighty good thing but only to a point.

When I was in high school and I had to move to a different town I was determined to remain faithful to my boyfriend- even though my dad didn’t want me to have anything to do with him. No telephone contact. Not even letters. Only, the letters rule was a surprise. I found out when I accidentally stumbled on a few and a picture the boyfriend had sent me that didn’t make it to the trash can. I found a way to make contact. I didn’t date anyone else. I didn’t even go out because I didn’t want other guys to get the wrong idea. For  TWO YEARS!!!

Do you know how long that is in high school time? It’s kinda like dog years. In the end, there was an end. I met someone else and he wasn’t right for me either, but by that time I was much more willing to move on.

Flash forward a few years to my marriage. Crumbling after only TWO years. Hold on tightly, I thought. Don’t let go. But the tight holding only made things worse. It made the fighting worse. It made me miserable. I lost 20 pounds in just a few weeks time. And then I did it. I told my husband, “If you need to go, that’s okay. But I love you.” I left him alone. I let him think. I let myself think. Was this even what I wanted? [Read more…]

How to get a YES.

We’ve talked about this before. No. It’s not necessarily a bad word. Sometimes saying “No” is good for you. And it’s just as good to let your children sometimes say “No” as well. In the previous link, Zen Mommy and Practical Mommy discuss respecting the boundaries your children set for you. Letting them say no, giving them choices, and still getting to the end result. Well lately my son, who is not quite two, has been ALL OVER the word “No”.

Sometimes he says it in a way that sounds more like a question. Sometimes he shouts it. And sometimes it is a long and drawn out “Noooooooooo.” And at this stage in his life, he isn’t really understanding the concept of choices.

We went trick or treating for Halloween. One family had two bowls. One had rocks in it (don’t ask me why!) and one had candy. They asked him which he wanted. He reach one hand into each bowl, grabbed and ran.

We’ve tried the this or that plenty of times. Sometimes it works. Sometimes not. So, what does a mommy do when the kid is headstrong, wants what he wants and is firmly not budging? Furthermore, what does a mommy do and still maintain her sanity? [Read more…]

How to Improve Your Photos

You probably already know that I use my spare time to photograph people, things, and scenes. I use a Canon Rebel, two different lenses, an external flash, lights and other fancy gadgets when I’m shooting. But I haven’t always. And you don’t have to either. There are simple things you can do to improve your everyday photos. **Please note: For this tutorial, I used my little cousin’s Sanyo S670. It boasts 6 mega-pixels and 3x optical zoom! Also, I’ve used a very compliant model.

1) READ YOUR MANUAL. I cannot stress this one enough. Every camera comes with one and it details all the settings of your camera. Many people get all comfy-cozy with the little green box. Auto. It works okay. But knowing how to use the other settings is very helpful and can improve your photos more than you may imagine.

2) Getting to know your settings:

[Read more…]

How to Just Say No

This post was originally going to be titled “How to Celebrate Five”. As in 5 years of marriage. My husband and I just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary so it seemed to be the appropriate path. However, over the course of the last 2 weeks a more pressing subject has been flooding my brain, weighing it down. (I know what you’re thinking. More pressing than FIVE YEARS??!! Well, if I want the next five to be joy-filled, then yes.)

I don’t know about you all, but I have a tendency to be the Yes Girl.

Yes, I can fit your wedding shoot in after I get off work on Friday. You’ll need me the whole night? Okay then. And I won’t even charge you what I’m worth. Sure, I’ll help you move all of your personal belongings into my house and then help you move it again when you change your mind. Full time job and part time job and blogging and school. Babysitter, counselor, heavy hauler, party planner… no problem.

It’s not always bad to be willing to help and to put yourself out there. You know, helping others can be it’s own reward. But when the answer is always yes…

So, what’s the trick? When do you turn down an opportunity? When do you let the problems of others go in one ear and out the next without stepping in to help out? When do you say no?

I’ve formulated a five step program. I know, I’m really proud of me too!

[Read more…]

How To Stand

Well, sort of.

I actually don’t know where to begin here. This from a girl who is not usually at a loss for words. For those who know me well- jaws up off the table now please. Thank you.

There are very few things in our lives over which we have total and complete control. It’s an unfortunate by-product of being human. But I’ve alway been a firm believer that, no matter a person’s beginnings, every person can achieve greatness on their own individual terms whatever those terms may be. That may seem presumptuous given that not every person is dealt an ideal hand. And on my worst days I start to pedal backwards and I start to think I might just be wrong. Some people might just have no options. This is when I pull from storage some of my favorite inspirations. Helen Keller, Stevie Wonder, and this armless woman.

Oh yeah, there’s that. And my ‘woe is me‘ is shattered. Normally, that’s enough to get me back up and kicking. Except that there are those things that I can’t change. No matter how hard I work or how much time I put in. And maybe not even if I drain my bank account trying to turn ‘no‘ into ‘yes‘.

Things like when my body tells me no. Again.

[Read more…]

How to Be an Expert Mommy

When I first spoke with Zen Mommy about guest posting here, my heart was all a-flutter. This is probably because she told me that I’m funny. My husband doesn’t think so. Obviously, he’s WRONG. And it was great fun to throw THAT in his face. So, I was driving along swimmingly, my heart full of happy bubbles and my mouth moving at the speed of light when two very critical words seeped into my consciousness.

Expert Mommy.

I suppose I was so stoked by the offer that I forgot for a moment that this site is a cesspool of knowledge. You know, useful information. Me, an Expert Mommy? Hell, there are so many days when it takes every ounce of my being to just be a mediocre mommy. And right at that moment I almost backed out. I was intimidated at the thought. These women are educated and experienced. I’m a 27 year old mom of one with an uncompleted college education. How could I compete?

Then it hit me.

This is not a pissing contest ladies. It’s a sisterhood. [Read more…]