How to Make a Valid Decision and Follow Through

Many are faced with decisions to make every day, whether it be what to purchase for groceries, what items your children need or much bigger decisions such as divorce, we all have decisions to make on a daily basis. I decided that I would make an easy to follow list of how you can make a valid decision and follow through.

Because you know, I am like so good at that myself. {if you are sensing sarcasm, you are correct}

While I may not be great at following my own advice, and really, who is? I am very great at lending advice that if followed through with makes perfect sense and actually works out as a benefit to your life as you know it! Come along with me, amuse me if you will.

Read on …

How to Make Valid Decisions and Follow Through

Yes. No Maybe. We live in a world full of non-committal responses and actions. We fear to say YES and NO more and tend to lean closer to MAYBE. This is not okay. Maybe doesn’t get you anywhere. Except, well, honestly I firmly believe maybe will get you nowhere fast.

Okay, are you ready for my advice to start? I hope so. I really do. I need to feel as if I am helping someone because Spring is here and it’s time to turn over a new leaf!

  • Acknowledge that there is a Decision to be Made – Come face to face in the mirror with your own self and make a firm realization that things just have to change. A decision has to be formed, sooner rather than later.
  • Understand What Decision has to be Made – Take the scenario that you are faced with, a piece of paper, a pen and write down a pros and cons list of this decision you are faced with. Do not do this during times of high emotion or hormone fluctuations.
  • Share Pros and Cons with a Close Friend – Take your list of pros and cons with the decision written above it and ask a close friend if they feel your pros and cons list are truly valid enough to argue a point to make the decision you must make. Logic, emotions and a third unbiased person’s opinion matter in the decision making process.
  • Set a Date – Make yourself commit to a date that you have to address this decision by and do not back peddle. Stick with this decision, even if it’s the hardest decision you have ever made in your life. Setting a date allows you to take time to continue to think it out, rationalize with yourself and hold yourself accountable to take action.
  • Speak Truth and With a Matter of Fact Tone – This is a great tip for those deciding to divorce or end a friendship, we can notice if a person is using a confident “they have made their final decision tone” or not. Do not allow the other person to feel as if there is hope, room for them to change your mind or anything like that. Keep a matter of fact, this is how it is type of tone when speaking.
  • Be Sure to Address Valid Reasons for Decision – When making the decision be sure that you are dealing with it in regards to logistical reasons and emotions. Sometimes, depending upon the decision to be made you may have to weigh heavier on the emotional side than logistical side, but I am sure you can determine which type of decision this falls under.
  • Breath and Follow Through to the End- This is the last step, be sure to breath and move forward from here. Do not fear how the other person affected by your decision is going to respond because in all reality you are the one person who matters most and that goes to saying without being selfish. You are not selfish for putting your own needs/sanity/emotions/well being ahead of anyone else. Do not stop to look back, we only move forward in life!

These tips are pretty much great for any scenario but with some situations it may require a long process to completely finish and follow through with. The whole point to this post really is to …

Allow yourself to be important. Your needs and emotions are valid. Life is about living it to the fullest in your  happiest of ways, do not allow anyone else to make you question your own well being. It isn’t fun to hurt others, but sometimes in life we have to in order to find our true self and love our true self.

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

One Year Ago Today….

One year ago today I met the love of my life. I met with Lee for coffee and we never spent another day apart since then, well maybe one day due to our children’s schedules but the point being is that we met off of Match.com and were such a perfect match that we never looked back.

In all honesty if I were to set a bullet point list of qualities that were important to me in a relationship as well as a life partner, Lee would fit every single one of them. We have an amazing capability to communicate, to show love to each other through all stresses and at the end of the night he never falls asleep without his arm on me.

Brandy Ellen Gets Engaged

Each day we wake up happy to be near each other, we don’t like being apart but we are not so out of our minds being apart that we can’t handle it. This week is living proof that we are two people, when put home together for a 12 day stretch, still don’t falter. No matter what you throw at us, we start swinging and always make it out on top. There are so many stresses going on in our world but that hasn’t kept our love from growing stronger each day.

When Lee comes up behind me to give me a quick hug or a quick kiss on the back of my neck while I am cooking our family dinner, I still get shivers. Goosebumps are a common occurrence when you put me with Lee, just the mere sight of him makes me so heart fluttering happy. Today, is one year and I am still just as smitten with him and him with me as our first day we met for coffee.

Engagement Ring

Never in a million years could I have thought I would have met someone who was indeed who his profile said he was, his appearance was what his profile picture showed him to be. Everything has been our most wonderful time of our lives and as we celebrate our one year anniversary today, we look down upon my left ring finger at the commitment Lee made to me and I made to him late Christmas night.

On Christmas night we went out to dinner, then walked around looking at the Christmas tree lights at the town common and then returned home to read this couples book. While reading this couples book we found that a lot of the tips and quotes that were inside of the book were ways we already think daily about each other, ways we already show each other our love and have for the past year. I don’t foresee that changing, why? Because if I only shared with you the extent of the challenges we have faced in the past year. It’s a long story, honestly, we may just write a book about it all someday. For now, they are our own family secrets so-to-speak that don’t need to be broadcasted, but let me just say this; Lee and I have experienced a level of stress that I personally have never, ever had to experience in such a mind boggling, jaw dropping way before. We never let these stresses affect our love, we cannot change outsider influences, we cannot change other people and we are determined to remember our love for each other at the end of every night – no matter what!

Engaged at 32

About 11pm on Christmas night, Lee got down on one knee and asked if I would do him the “monumental honor of becoming his wife”, there were tears, giggles because we both were so nervous and happiness. With a ring that is so pretty yet so simple. We now have committed to marrying each other in the future. We do not have a date set yet, we have the commitment and the intent to wed down, but now it’s all about planning what kind of wedding event we wish to have and then pick a date.

Right now, in all honesty, I am just enjoying the complete happiness that comes with being engaged and so is he. We are so blessed, both us as adults and our children, to have been able to experience the joining of two families with two adults who are completely, utterly in love with each other. Prior to our engagement, I had asked my daughter {because my son’s at ages 5 & 7 really have no real concept of “marriage”} what she thought about us getting hitched. Lee also asked his children what they thought about the idea of us getting married. With great happiness, all three of our older children were happy about the idea of us getting married. That was all we needed to know in order to move forward, while our children do not tell us what relationship we shall have or not, it is important that they play a key role in building our family, together, forever and always. The children are a huge part of our combined love together and we want them to know that we both love them all very, very much!

How Long Before You Should Marry, or Know you Should Marry?

Most of my life I was set on the two year mark being that when you can decide if you really, truly should marry someone. Based on all of my readings on relationships and various documentaries, it clearly states that you have the first year to get to know each other and the next year to see if the two “real” versions of yourself work together. So one day, having found out that my best friend was engaged on her one year anniversary, I asked her “how long should someone wait before they get married?”, her reply resonated with me and made perfect sense. That got me thinking and so that is where this post came from inside of my writers brain.

love

For starters, you cannot place a time frame on true love. Next, we are no longer teenagers, love is real to us, unless we are super messed up emotionally and looking for the wrong type of love or love in the wrong ways. Reference my post from yesterday, looking for love through physical contact is not going to allow you to find ever lasting love. Not one bit.

As my best friend stated, but not in these exact words, there comes a time in your life where you have already been through so much. We both already have children, we both have struggled to be a single mom {her longer than I} and we have challenges with our children that keep us from really being able to find that perfect-for-us match. I agree with Dwan, that once you reach the age her and I are at that you just know. It’s this feeling, not through the ways of lust, that makes your brain and heart collide and realize THIS PERSON IS THE ONE.

One year ago on December 28th, I met a man for coffee. Seeing his profile on Match.com and having only paid for a month of membership, I knew that I wasn’t going to settle and waste the money spent for that membership but I also wasn’t going to rush into searching and searching for someone. This man’s profile kept coming up as a recommendation or what not. I ignored it, after all he lived in Claremont and one of my rules through out my whole life is that I will not date someone from Claremont, amongst a couple other NH towns too. I just couldn’t get over that image of him holding a guitar and smiling. It stuck with me and finally something gave in, I had to message him.

We met on December 28th for a cup of coffee, he likes it black by the way and I love it with Hazelnut Creamer and a couple sugars. From that day forward we didn’t spend one day apart unless we had to due to our children. On New Years Eve of last year, we had our children meet for the first time. It was a united family from that day on.  The kids meeting is what solidified mine and Lee’s love for each other. We knew from that first cup of coffee that we never wanted to part ways again. We knew from the day our children met and having them hit it off great, that we would never want to be apart again.

Now, here we are in a home we purchased this year. Dealing with a lot of drama from people who wish ill upon our happiness, you know those kind of people who are not happy with their own inner self so feel no one else can be happy?! And yet, we don’t falter. Our love is stronger than ever and each day it only grows stronger, I’ve never felt a love like this, neither has he. It’s so complete and so fulfilling. Our love is based on something real, within us, that we cannot seem to control. A real relationship, finally, we both deserve it so much. I have always been a train wreck when it comes to choosing my partner, while I can say my ex husband and I didn’t work out, I still love my ex husband as a co-parent and friend. Lee knows this and it honestly amazes him how well my ex husband and I get along, it doesn’t bother him one bit.

While I cannot tell you personally how long to wait for marriage, I can tell you this; knowing if you are ready has nothing to do with anyone else around you, if you have children sure they play a role in it because you don’t want to disrupt their lives too early with a new step parent, but at the same time; children do not control the outcome of their parent’s love for another human being. When choosing a date or time to marry that love of your life, just don’t rush, if you two feel that love 100% completely then it can wait if external situations call for it, but don’t wait just because so-and -o doesn’t want you happy. Those who don’t want you happy are broken within themselves and that’s nothing you can control.

Love with all of your mind, heart and soul. If you feel complete with another, latch on and never look back. Marriage? Well that depends on one thing; You and your Partner, only you two know when is right.

 

{Personal Story of the Past} I was That Little Girl #divorce #parents #abuse

Divorce or separation hits everyone differently. This goes with death and birth. Each human being, whether grown adult or child, responds to life’s challenges quite differently. Being unique is what sets us apart from each other, yet also makes us work together very well. The story I wish to share today is from my memory banks of many moons ago.

A young girl, around age 12, was found with two parents being divorced. While this young girl could totally see that her parents were better off apart due to a multitude of reasons, she still missed her Dad terribly. This little girl was used to having her Dad be the “fun parent” and here she was with her Mother who wasn’t known as the fun parent. You see, when you are 12, the fun parent is the one who gets all the credit and love, it’s just how life for a child usually goes.

But back to my story…

The young girl felt something missing, this split family life wasn’t appealing to her but the idea of her parents being together again wasn’t any better sounding. Every other weekend with Dad and the remainder of the time was spent with her Mom or other adult family members along with her younger sister. As time went on this young girl was also made to have her younger sister go to sleep overs with her and always be by her side, essentially this young girl had to grow up faster than she could ever be ready for at age 12.

Beautiful Sunset Picture

The sadness, the frustration, the hiding in a book so that she didn’t have to face reality started to happen. Eventually this young girl started wearing provocative clothing and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Sure, the young girl got yelled at, spanked, grounded, etc but she would just run away. No one could stop her, at least that was her mindset. Except that one time when her Grandmother showed up on her boyfriends doorstep, she was about the age of 14 maybe 15 and she had run away to “live with her boyfriend”. This young girls’ grandmother was not having that and came to rescue this child from her boyfriends parent’s home.  Eventually the girl and her mother were forced to speak to each other and the Grandmother tried to get the young girl to fully see her actions as being disrespectful and not okay at her age. Sadly, this young girl didn’t really see the meaning being all of it, she, after all, knew it all. As most children think they do.

This young girl spent most of her young teenage years drinking alcohol, eventually smoking cigarettes and getting into groups of the wrong crowd. This young girl didn’t feel love for herself and she needed to feel love. The clothing she wore and the attention she sought were that of a negative nature, many men {far older than her} did take advantage of her and this led down a bad path. Saying no didn’t matter, because she wanted to feel that love. The wrong love, that us as adults knows is wrong, but children think is true love. In reality it was sexual abuse, grown men taking advantage of a broken young girl who was around age 13 – 14 at this point in time. Reaching out to men for physical loving was what brought her down a path that taught her to manipulate, use men and get what you need from them. There was a detachment within this young girl so deep that no one would be able to get through to her for many years.

Sadly, this young girl learned that love is what other people give you; be it sex, money, food, a place to live, whatever, this young girl learned that she could only feel love if she had something she wanted or needed. This young girl was damaged and hurting inside deeper than anyone realized. This young girl, aside from being emotionally damaged, did great in school. Getting honor roll and/or high honors was the norm for this girl, even during her all night out binge drinking nights, she would still get up, go to school and get good grades.

Finally this young girl became a Mom. Looking into the eyes of this sweet baby girl, made this Mom realize just who she needed to be and wanted to be for the chubby little baby she held in her arms. From that day forward this, no longer little girl, grew up. There were some bumps, it took some therapy and putting herself around positive, loving people. It took time for this Mom to forgive the mistakes others had made, to accept that other people cannot be changed unless they want to change themselves. It took a lot of writing and a lot of prayer, but this young girl grew up to be a positive influence on her children and never looked back again.

While this is a happy ending to what could have ended in teen pregnancy or far worse, STD’s, drug abuse, and more; this young girl was a fighter from day one, it just took becoming a mother as an adult to get her to realize just how much potential she had within her own self. This young girl handled the divorce of her parents differently than others may have, but in all honesty, there is a lot of young girls out there who start down this path and it doesn’t end as happily. The best thing any divorced parents can do is to be involved, to step up to parent harder, monitor your children, keep their safety and best interests at heart. Times during separation and divorce make children more vulnerable to bad people, girls do not have to walk down this path of confusion, just be there for them. Hug them. Love them. Build up their self confidence. And don’t look back…

“This Love is Forever” a Book for Children of Divorce Giveaway and Review

Content Disclosure

A mother and daughter teamed up to write a positive book about divorce, it’s difficult for children of all ages to experience divorce. I, myself, was a product of divorce having gone through that with my parents around age 12. I recall being okay with my parents being apart because I knew for many reasons they could no longer be married, the signs of their love falling apart were very evident to my sister and I, but it was still difficult to swallow not having my father around every day as he was the previous years of my life. I went from seeing my Dad every day to seeing him every other weekend as most children do. Then there are children like mine who have two parents who work around schedules to help keep a connection and visitation going through out the weeks, it’s difficult to know what type of schedule will ultimately be the best for the children but with my sons being so young and before with my daughter being a baby when the split happened, it made sense to try to keep the kids seeing their Dads as often as they see Mom. Less transition works for some but not for all.

This Love is ForeverRegardless of how the visits are split up, divorce is difficult. Divorce is not only hard on parents involved but on the children. A lot of times children question if it is their fault, younger children wonder if their parents will fall out of love with them and the list goes on of symptoms and emotions that children can show related from a divorce situation. This Love is Forever brings on a cute story, written by a mother in response to her daughter’s question “Why are we divorced”. I can commend this mother for writing such a story as I, myself, have been working on books with my own daughter as a way to share our bond as mother and daughter.

This Love is Forever reads in a rhyming fashion which is always an attention grabber for my younger two boys. Since my two boys had to deal with their Dad and me divorcing at an age where they had been more “aware” that Mom and Dad split, this book was a perfect addition to our bookshelf. The boys do occasionally have questions, they still have difficulty understanding that, while we do similar family traditions that we have done with Daddy in the past, we are now a divided family and Daddy does things with them apart from Mommy and vice versa but we both love them dearly. My boys are lucky in that their Dad and I are great friends, this is a great book that really helps share thoughts I have had and wanted to say but was not sure how to formulate those thoughts into the appropriate words at my sons age levels.

I commend Mavis Prall Cohen for her ability to write such a beautiful story in such a simple way that shares a big message….. “This Love is Forever … a book for children of divorce and their parents”. If you are at a loss of words on how to explain Love is Forever, even after divorce to your children, I do believe you should give this book a shot. I personally love reading it as a bedtime book since I read to each of my kids before bed every night.

I invite you to take a peek at this book, you may purchase This Love is Forever on Amazon.com. If you have questions for the author feel free to comment below and my contact will work to get answers for you. I am proud to be a part of promoting this book and hope that you will take a moment to share this with your friends too!

Enter to win an Autographed copy of This Love is Forever …..

Giveaway Starts today and ends 12am EST on July 26, 2013. Open to USA only. Winner will be announced live on site and emailed directly. Winner shall have 48 hours from announcement post and email to claim prize otherwise another random winner shall be chosen using the random generator through Rafflecopter.

Using the Rafflecopter form below is easy; use name/email to log in or Facebook for login. Rafflecopter will not use your email or access for anything other than giving me a way to contact you should you be the randomly chosen winner! Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize or another person will be randomly selected.

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