Be happy. I am finding that it’s unfortunately one of the hardest things adults say that they can find. Happiness. This is possibly the hardest sentence I have yet to type. The sadness of age. Feeling trapped by life. We have all been there. Trapped by a job we hate. Trapped in a marriage that we tolerate (don’t worry honey, 1st one). Trapped in an area where we live by finances, family, and/or fear. If I could have one wish in life, it would be that my children would never have to experience these feelings. However, as a realist and a coach I know that this is life. The only way out is to make the choices to make changes.

If we taught our children more about living as an adult and preparing for adulthood, we may enlighten their paths. Luckily, we are not trees. If you do not like where you are, you can change. Move. Be more mobile. Our job market demands flexibility. It is tough to let your babies fly from the nest. But if you have prepared them well, they will fly, high.

And when you are choosing a mate, be prepared for change. Word of warning… Lust is different than love. We grow everyday in everyway. The person that you are hot after today, may not be the person that you want to spend a month with when you are recovering from rotator cuff surgery and there are 3 kids at home. Look beyond the surface. Find someone you have common interests, find funny, and have that spark. You are less likely to feel trapped when you are hanging with your “friend” instead of “that woman/man” that gets on your very last nerve…

If your job is sending you over the edge, to the point of stroking out (and you know who I mean)! Change it! I know jobs are scarce, and the money may not initially meet what you are making but it beats insurance money that the family will blow through. Plus, you won’t have to deal with those #&@^ anymore. There are companies that will appreciate quality people!

And lastly, for retirees. Be happy!!! Live for what makes you happy. For the last 60ish years of your life you have lived for someone else… You have worked and worked hard for your significant other, your kids (now grown), job, house payments, utilities, bills, bills, and more bills. Life is not fair. If you read my blogs, that is my Rule #1. You may live another 30 years or another 30 minutes. You make your choices. You have finished your job, raised your kids, and paid your bills. NOW IT IS YOUR TURN! One would hope that our children would want us to be the happiest that we want to be… If not, they should have been raised better.

Change is difficult. At any age. However, normally gratifying. Don’t be the person who is born, works, buys stuff, dies, then they sell your shit. Make happy memories. Enjoy life. It’s yours, why not?


Funny. The world used to be funnier. Not so many stressed out, unemployed, under utilized, financially fearing, politically uneasy people. Whether you agree with today’s comedians or not, you should watch. Give them a try. We need to laugh!

I like to laugh. Loud, bounteous, cackling, hoary, stomach wrenching, tear jerking, and the ultimate sometimes hard not to pee a little on yourself laughing.

I have personally found it liberating. In my younger years I had a “bad temper”. At the time I thought it was healthier to “let it out” than “bottle up” your feelings. Obviously, neither are great solutions.

Then one day during therapy we were laughing about something and it dawned on me! My stress level was lower… When I laughed, I had to let go of whatever I was currently obsessing over and let it go or find humor in it. What a wonderful realization for me!

Not saying that you can go around laughing at everyone and everything. Aloud. But what you can do is try to see the situation in a different light. Step out of the “picture” as much as you can for a few minutes and look to see what’s going on. I bet that there is something absurdly ridiculous that will make you laugh. Something and/or (and I hate to say it “someone”) you can make light of in order to bring you out of that difficult situation.

Examples starting lightly and moving on… I recently found out that not everyone appreciates and/or laughs at a good fart. Some veer from using the word. We make fun of basically everything at our house. Coping skills. You may even cringe when I type the word fart. However, Benjamin Franklin wrote a book “Fart Proudly” (also called “A Letter To A Royal Academy”, and “To the Royal Academy of Farting”) is the popular name of a “notorious essay” about flatulence written by Benjamin Franklin circa 1781 while he was living abroad as United States Ambassador to France. Also, an autobiography by Joseph Pujol was known as Le Petomane. He introduced petomanie which drew audiences in their thousands to the Moulin Rouge, the premier variety theatre in Paris. He was famous for his remarkable control of the abdominal muscles, which enabled him to seemingly fart at will. His stage name combines the French verb péter, “to fart” with the -mane, “-maniac” suffix, which translates to “fartomaniac”. The profession is also referred to as “flatulist”, “farteur”, or “fartiste”.

Thus, to investigate the inane things of life can cause much laughter when least unexpected.

Say your issue is much more severe. How can you laugh at issues that cause you pain and suffering? What is your choice? Do you want to live with that weight on your back forever? Or do you want to move on? Humor is one of the easiest ways to give you baby steps to a place that is out, moving away, removing yourself, getting the $hit out of Dodge way of releasing some of that stress and pain.

Oldie but goodie… Turn that frown upside down. Turn your Negative Nelly/Ned into a Happy Hannah/Harry. A dear, dear friend of mine used to go out to lunch and look for funny things to happen. They just did, whenever we were together!

Give laughter a try. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Die laughing… lol

Imperfect People

First thing. Thanks for all of the readers of Growing Up! I loved writing it, because I lived it 🙂

Today I found this picture from the Hunger Games (which I loved BTW) and it just speaks volumes!

Isn’t it true that some of the nicest people that you will ever meet are the most broken people that you know. Not broken in a bad way, but life has just given them an unfair deal. Crappy childhoods, abusive relationships, alcohol/drug problems, divorce, cheating spouses, early death of love ones, illness, mental health issues, crap is there anyone that doesn’t have something that brings imperfection into their life? It’s not if it’s there… It’s just in what category you might fall, or a family member. Nonetheless, the effects are like the ripples in a pond. Have you ever wondered why these trials have been bestowed upon you and yours? Don’t feel alone. That may be only 2nd to “which came 1st, the chicken or the egg?”

I follow the school of thought that you can never truly appreciate what you have if you “have not”. You will have a clearer perception of a situation in the aftermath. And everything happens for a reason, it will come clear at a later time. Not wishing anyone to go through hell, that is the place for as the picture shows “the wisest”. Let those who have “been there, done that” help guide you. Listen through their mistakes. There will always be those who HAVE to learn by experience, thus the new generation of “the wise”…

The lonely do tend to be the kindest. They seek friendship. Who chooses to be lonely. If you are a loner, you most likely are not lonely. You are satisfied with your situation. However, if you are lonely you are craving human attention and not getting it thus you want other people to like you. Being kind hearted, helpful, and nice is a way in your mind to reach into people hearts and make them like you. And sometimes you are right. However, beware sometimes people will take advantage of your good hearted nature and leave you lonely again.

The saddest people disturb me the most. I have such a dear friend that this reminds me of. If you read this, I love you and things will be better some day! There are those who are like M&M’s. Hard shell and soft in the center. Their insides are melting in pain, however when they are out and about with work or in social situations you would never know that anything is wrong. They keep a strong smile for everyone else. They are the rock of their family. They are the bread winner. They don’t think they can afford to break… In realization, once the hard shell starts to crack there is no stopping!

Then comes the wise one. Ahh, I know the wise one. Broken at every turn. Damaged. Skeletons. But what is amazing about the wise one is that he/she keeps getting back up! He/she is to stubborn and/or crazy to give up. No matter what disaster might fall, they keep getting back up, brushing off their ass, redirecting themselves, gluing themselves back together and saying FU, let’s do this again! What did I learn from this? What can I take with me? What do I not do again? And live to tell others the story…

Many other categories for another day… But please know that no one is perfect. Don’t expect it out of someone else. And especially don’t expect it out of yourself!

Growing Up

The first 20 years of your life you desperately want to pass quickly so that you can “grow up”! An when you do… You spend the rest wanting to be able to be a child again. Carefree, no responsibilities, a roof over your head, food in the house, and basically no worries. Not to be overlooked the “Golden Years”. Wonder where that came from? Over the past years, older age has become anything except golden. The economy has put many elderly in a difficult financial situation. Declining health + financial woes does not = golden years.

So as a life coach, what can I say that will ease the sting of this situation? Let’s start with the same thing that I raised my children with from the time they were born. Life is not fair. Expect that from Day 1. Plan ahead. Life is what you will make of it. No more no less.

Someone I love dearly recently summed up life like this; you are born, you work, you buy shit, you die, they sell your shit. What she forgot was somewhere between the being born and dying there were a ton of memories, laughs, tears, hard work and love.

The “shit” that happens between being a kid and the “Golden Years” is what YOU make of it… That’s when perception, positivity, happiness, and the willingness to try to be better is worth it. Why drag through another day when you can CHOOSE to dance down the aisle at Kroger?

Going to work each day is no one’s idea of a picnic, however again the attitude that you have with yourself and others while you are there will make a huge difference at the end of the day! A smile, a friendly greeting and/or as management donuts occasionally keeps an office happy, happy, happy.

As a young adult you take on new responsibilities. Scary, exciting, adventurous, relationships, college, jobs, apartments, roommates, and the big one = bills! These are all learning experiences. Not all good, not all bad. Just all there. Remember no one is perfect. Remember the good ones. Learn from the bad ones.

Mid-life. One word. Crazy! Work, kids, kids activities, committees, over commitment, lack of time management, buying houses, cars, selling houses, divorces, remarriage, step families, and possibly the word that brings fear to the hearts to all parents… teenagers! Yes my friends, this too will pass. Patience. Ladies, please remember that those hormones that are racing through you have timed themselves so that they can clash just at the same time that the hormones go racing through your loving teens like a huge thunderstorm… The storm will pass. Someone once told me that teenagers were natures way of preparing us of being able to release from the nest 🙂 And this is the part of life that goes back to Rule 1. Life is not fair. Expect that from Day 1. Plan ahead. Life is what you will make of it. No more no less. Remember this is when you have to take the time to make the memories! Time passes too quickly, and if you don’t then you just have stuff, you die, and then they sell it.

Our “Golden Years”. Certainly not gold. More like the silver that gleams in our hair. Now we all know “old people”. There are several types. The grouchy old ones who grumble and never have a nice thing to say about anything or anyone. The grandma/grandpa type that everyone loves and wants to be around. The polite loner who may be a widow/widower who is nice but hardly seen. Then there is the eclectic socializer who still wants to stay young. I suppose each has their place (except for the grump). And again, me being me I think that perception of who you are and what you have has a huge bearing on your attitude on the “Golden Years”. However, if finances are truly an issue I would hope that your family would step up to help especially if you were a helper to them. To families of “Golden Years”, we are a vital resource of information. A treasure trove of memories. A link to your past, good or bad. We are not something that you can sit aside and dust once every couple of weeks. We are not an annoyance or a timer ticking for an inheritance. We may surprise you with our wit, grace and love.

This is not the shit that we expected. But this is the shit that we got. Now we have to deal with it the best and most productive way that we can. Good luck!

Blind Mind

I have been called many things in my day. Liberal being possibly one of the nicer ones… But deep inside I really feel that there is a special place in people that innately good and kind. A place that does not want war, and pain, and hunger, and suffering, etc. And yes, I may be naïve, and the world is changing but most are glad to wake up in the morning. Period. Even if it is a struggle, it is still better than the alternative at this time.

And when you see (on TV or the moves, or God forbid in real life) an abused or hungry child or animal, your heart still goes out to them… An entire nation was glued to the television as Moore, OK was devastated and we were torn between terror for them and relief that it was not us. And we (most of us) have the capability of turning that TV off and going on blindly with our lives.

I’m not insinuating that we should run out and take on the world… But during the Newtown shootings, the Boston bombing, and the Moore tornados I heard the same phrase time and time again. “Look for the helpers, they will always be the ones who are helping…” Are you a helper? Or are you one that sees something going on and crosses the street or looks the other way?

And I’m not talking about major tragedies… What about children in your neighborhood that are hungry or bruised or strangely afraid of “Mommy/Daddy”? Do you passively sit by and watch your child or his/her friends “made fun” bully another child for looks/quirks/differences? Do you see stray animals shivering cold and hungry and kick them away? Will you defend someone being called names because they are a little different than you are (skin color, gender difference, illness, mental capacity)?

We are what was the future… We are teaching the future of how to behave to our children and in turn they will instill their values to theirs.

It is often said that we judge by first impression… However, our eyes that make that impression are useless when the mind is blind… And when the mind is blind, the heart will eventually turn cold.

Perception. Positivity. Opening your heart. Opening your mind. Becoming a better person for you and yours! It is the right thing to do.

Happy Father's Day

Sometimes a life coach needs coaching. With Father’s Day coming this Sunday, may I wish all you father’s out there Happy, Happy Day!

As we all know Kid’s Day is everyday. Mother’s and Wife’s get Mother’s Day, Anniversary, flowers on occasion (girls you know it’s true, I do) and wish to be celebrated for the amazing women that they are. We are a different species…

Whereas men, most could care less about the celebration. Peace and quite. Love from family. Lack of fuss and fighting on their day would pacify the average man.

Truth. Women bitch about men. Men bitch about women. If you live under the same roof with anyone, you are going to find something that annoys you about them. Don’t care who they are! Husbands/wife, children, parents, friends, room mates, partners, and the list goes on.

So for this day (Father’s Day) remember all the things Dad did right this year. Remembering no one is perfect. We do the best we can do one day at a time with no parenting manual that came with either parenting or marriage. Mostly, dad goes to work so that he can put a roof over your head, food in your belly, lights in the house (TV & video games), and pays the cell phone bills. They do not magically appear, someone needs to WORK HARD to make that happen. Usually that is Dad & Mom. When dad gets home, he is exhausted and if you are very lucky he will taxi you to wherever you need to go if mom is unavailable. Or luckier, go watch or coach a sport for you. Then in his SPARE time, mow the yard, fix the leak in the bathroom, wash the car, trim the trees, and help mom in the house.

Now comes the part when I need a little coaching. My pic today is my Dad. Jeff Nichols Jr. February 22, 1927 to February 1, 2012. For the past 55 years I have been a daddy’s girl and will continue to be as long as I live. My husband and I call it living in “Jeff’s world”. It was his way or the highway. Strong, funny, always telling a story, outgoing, opinionated, and smart. Not degree smart. He told the story about living in Mingo County, WV and his mother sending him to the 4th grade 3 years in a row because she would not let him ride the bus to another school. When he reached 7th grade he felt he was to old for the other kids and dropped out. The man was crazy good with math. Quicker in his mind than me with a calculator. Politics, you knew where he stood. But he kept up with all of it and could talk like a Senator. Would have been the best lawyer ever. God how I miss him! It’s been over a year, I am getting ready for a big move and will have to face parting with some things that were his that brings back such great memories (i.e. riding mower). I know it’s time to let go. If you are having issues such as this, please know that you are not alone. We all work through this. Even professionals.

So, here’s to you Daddy and all of the other “Daddy’s” out there:
Happy Father’s Day!


Meet Winston Sovine. Our 2 1/2 year old Yorkshire Terrier. My husband absolutely hates this picture, but for the sake of my blog I’m using it anyway…

I was having a little fun dressing him up for Halloween in a football uniform and he obviously didn’t like it. But he was oh so cute! My husband absolutely hates this picture, but for the sake of my blog I’m using it anyway…
I was having a little fun dressing him up for Halloween in a football uniform and he obviously didn’t like it. But he was oh so cute!
Here’s the analogy that I’m trying to make. Some people put on a façade to hide their true feelings. Others use that façade to try and please others around them. Others are forced (work/home/social) to act one way, while feeling another. And when I say forced, I mean feel out of control of the situation. An extreme example would be a person who feels that they are unable to express their true sexuality for fear of retribution. But there is an entire sphere of feelings that a person can fear and/or feel discomfort when opening themselves up to others. Criticism, disapproval, being made fun of, losing your job, your children, respect…

Another group are those who wear the cloak because they may not know what is behind it yet. Fear of the unknown. It takes thought and effort to look in the mirror and come to terms with who is looking back at you. Much less like who you are. But fear not, some will immediately be in love! And others may have a little work to do, but it will be well worth the efforts.

We all at times wear many hats. Multitasking as employees/employers, parents, students and even kids we are busy and have to be and do many things. I said, do many things. You don’t have to be each and everything that you do. You are you going to work. You are you as a mother/father. Etc…

I was the worst when I was young. My dad had a bad heart and my mom (from the time I was 10 or 11) told me that if I did anything wrong and upset him, it would cause him to have a heart attack and die. So, I put on the cloak of good daughter. You cannot live your life like that! 1. You are not happy. 2. You are not honest. 3. You train yourself to be a pleaser. 4. Someday you will snap.

Lesson from Winston. When the “façade” came off, he was just “Winston” again. Happy to chase the ball, eat, sleep, and poop. However, you will probably do more 🙂


I have been accused of being quite a “character”. Why? For good or bad, I’m not shy, don’t mind to stand out in a crowd or give my opinion. And I laugh, a lot!

I have always heard that what doesn’t kill you makes your stronger… Gives you character. Crap, no wonder I have character! I am certainly not dead, and have been broken more times than I can count. If you are a fighter (parent, athlete, anyone who wants more) you know that you always get back up. You don’t always want to! It hurts, sometimes it’s slow, most of the time it’s emotional. But it’s just something that you do.

You can be a willow tree and bend, twist with the wind, be blown to the ground numerous times before you break. You are strong and flexible and these are wonderful qualities! However, even willows can be broken. Twisters, hurricanes, divorces, death, sickness are the unexpectedness of life. Just when you think you have everything under control, the rug is pulled right out from under you… How do you react? Does your life stop? Or do you pick up the pieces? We do it at different speeds. But it is a necessity that we get on with life. Please do not misunderstand me. Grief is certainly a process in this, but not a lifelong process.

We have but one lifetime. And we have those around us that care. Look to us. For strength, direction, care, concern and love. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes it takes a while to get a semblance of right. But you get out of it what you put in… No one can “fix” you until you are ready to be healed. Willows who break sometimes can have a more difficult time recovering from a break then others. They don’t expect what’s coming.

Or you can be an intricate piece of glass. Many sides and facets to you. Interesting and beautiful, but easily breakable. Those people are more knowledgeable about breakage, but when broken it is into millions of pieces. The process of healing can be different. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The receptiveness of breaking is damage itself. The rebuilding process for the glass people is more like precast concrete (precast concrete: a type of concrete that is pre-manufactured off-site and then transported and installed on-site at a later date, the concrete is less susceptible to storm damage than the traditional wood planks used in the past and is built to withstand the high velocity winds of hurricanes that commonly occur on east coast beaches). Building themselves stronger and stronger each time they break!

Point being, no one is perfect! We all have issues. Sorrows. Divorce, death, sickness, dysfunctional families, money problems, need I go on? It is how we handle our issues when they arise. Don’t be ashamed! Tomorrow will come whether you want it to or not. Pull on your big girl panties (big boy boxers) and do the best you can one baby step at a time. If you need professional help, get it! It’s 2013, for God’s sake! There is nothing to be ashamed about. What is to be ashamed about is, not doing anything about your issues and letting them overtake your life, your family and your livelihood without asking for help.