Here we are, smack in the middle of the holiday season, and I’m waffling on how much good cheer I plan to spread. Too much will spread me too thin, and too little will make me feel crusty and crotchety. I’ve already told my kids that I don’t feel like buying a tree this year. “Jeez, mom, why not just cancel Christmas?” my daughter said.
See? There’s pressure everywhere to be jolly and generous, to shine brightly, to bake and shop and make polite chitchat. It’s the time of year for white elephants—the kind that come in wrapping paper or as 2-ton grievances that crush the joy out of family gatherings.
“Author Tammy Letherer describes life after divorce in the most beautiful, healing way. You’ve got to listen. This perspective is your gift to you.”
—Jessica Ashley, Creator and Editor-In-Chief of Single Mom Nation.
I know I’ve entered the wilderness when my son says, “Dad laughs. You don’t.”
It’s true. So we are embarking on our first post-divorce vacation. I’ll have the kids for a solid week, on my own, and I’m scared. I’ve chosen a YMCA family camp in Wisconsin as our destination because at least there […]
I just finished working with a wonderful story coach named Pat. We spent a month together shaping and defining my upcoming book. Pat was a pro about finding the arc of the story—the only hitch was that what I called the end, she said was the middle.
Ugh. Anyone who has tackled a long-term project knows that the last thing you want to hear is that you’re halfway there!
I didn’t want to write about my dad dying—too painful, or about the long overdue breakup with a boyfriend—too embarrassing.
Ryan is a busy, successful guy who just turned 50. He’s had a long career that allows him to travel, drive sports cars, and have a beautiful home in a posh suburb of Atlanta.
When Ryan and I spoke, he was stressed about his job. He said he felt like a “road warrior” and that he was expected to make his boss look like a “hero.” He was tired of “soldiering on.” He spoke of his need to achieve like it was a quest, and said that he didn’t want to be “the bad guy” by failing.
Ryan’s troubles had taken on mythic proportions; he wasn’t just carrying the weight of his own world, his word choices showed that he was taking on epic roles — we’re talking the stuff of legends
Anneke was a lovely Dutch woman who came to me one day for an angel card reading and energy healing. She was in Chicago as an art teacher, and in addition to teaching at the college level, she had just had a show for her own art installation. She arrived a little late and out of breath for our appointment because she had ridden her bike.
I asked her what her goal was and where she would like to see improvement. She said she wanted to find balance.
“There are days when I don’t make time for my art. I don’t go to the gym because I have papers to grade. I don’t travel…” And the list went on.
If you’re like me, you probably spent some time this month laid up in the house with the flu. But I wonder if you, like me, struggle with those housebound days becoming an open house for every fear and doubt you’ve ever had.
Rear Knocked at the door
Illness seems to hit me hardest in my emotional body. As I lay on the couch with my household falling down around me (my children eating popcorn for lunch and polishing off chewable vitamin C tablets like they were candy, the dog peeing on the floor) I don’t have the strength to keep my thoughts positive.
My poor old dog is in organ failure. How will I know when it’s her time to go? I hate that she’s dying. What if I’m dying? We’re all dying. Life is so sad. My children are growing up so fast. They hardly need me anymore. There’s nothing but barren branches out my window.
If I were to walk through your home, what story would I create about you based on your things?
I worked with a woman whose home was filled with thrift store “steals.” Everything was cheap and used. Not surprisingly, she was struggling with low self-esteem. She described herself as feeling “second-best” and didn’t understand why men used her, then “threw her away.”
This woman happened to have the lovely and enviable trait of seeing the good in all people and things. She brought a joyful, childlike wonder to her relationships and belongings. But she wasn’t acknowledging this unique quality in herself.
After learning of my husband’s multiple affairs and years of deceit, I chose to transform my pain by surrendering to it and living in “real time.” I was a spiritual seeker and life-long storyteller, but could I rise above my own story of betrayal to gratefully embrace the present moment?