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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ostrich No More

I am uplifted and renewed this week. After a week of stress and insomnia, I am finally back on a semi-regular sleep schedule and thanks to the kindness of my mom, I finally spent some time worrying more about being happy than about making money (Mostest, mom!). Before my mom waved her magic mommy wand and sprinkled love and generosity into my life, I had spent a lot of time over the last few weeks wallowing in my own issues. Her love and pep talks taught me that I need to step outside of myself. Sure, there is a lot going on in my life BUT there is a lot going on in everyone’s life. I can’t let my worries become so big that they take me away from the things that really matter. I have been neglecting the people that matter to me the most. Because of that I forgot my best friend’s birthday and my Dad and his wife’s anniversary. I had been feeling pretty guilty but I realized that the guilt just plays into my issue. By wallowing in my guilt, I am still only spending time paying attention to my own feelings. I am making a resolution to be better about stepping outside of my own sadness. I decided that my time is better spent focusing on the happy things in my life: friendship, family, faith. There are so many people who have been praying for me and trying to lift me up during this time. I am on a journey to try to find my new path in life but it doesn’t mean that I have to leave those from my former life behind until I have something positive to report. They can hear the bad just like they can hear the good…and alternatively, I should be available to hear the bad and good in their lives. They will support me no matter what and I know how lucky I am to have people like that in my life. They (unlike me) haven’t turned into themselves despite the hardships they are all suffering. I should be just as good a friend/daughter/sister to them. So today, I declare myself ostrich no more. I am pulling my head out of the sand and though my eyes burn a little, I can see things for what they really are. I need to shape up.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Insomnia

I am laying here with my little family. Storm (my cat) is laying on my belly and periodically trying to push my blackberry out of my hand. My husband is snoring softly beside me. I am awake after 3:00 in the morning for the 4th night in a row. For some reason, I am suffering from insomnia yet again. In the past, my sleep schedule has reversed (I'd sleep all day and be up all night) but this time, I don't seem to be able to sleep for more than 3 or 4 hours in a given 24 hour period. I have been using my time to be productive with respect to my book. I got comments back (thanks MP) and have had to do some heavy editing. Fresh eyes provide great perspective. The rest of my life has fallen to the wayside. I haven't cooked since sometime last week. I need to go grocery shopping and the house is a mess. I have spent time with friends (catching up and celebrating birthdays) but I seem to be off center. Its like I am moving in slow motion yet the days are passing so quickly. I have a goal but I don't know what my next step will be. I don't know how I'll make money while I'm shopping my book. Heck, I don't know how to shop my book. Should I be going back to school instead? Should I find some continuing legal education classes and try to convince people that I'm more than a bankruptcy lawyer? Should I represent people in personal bankruptcies? So many questions and today I feel like I don't have the energy to create the answers or give myself a pep talk. I am still learning to accept that I can't control everything and that the answers aren't always there. All I can do is keep working on making a career out of my passion and hope for peace in the process...and sleep. I am working towards a solid 8 hours of sleep.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Drafts and Doubt

Last week, I finished the first draft of a book that's been almost three years in the making. I also finished one that I started at the beginning of this year. The proofreading process has started and while I am happy I finished the first drafts, I am being plagued by doubt. She's knocking and ready to move all of her baggage into my de-cluttered world. Finding a way to publish a book in a down economy might be a bigger challenge than finding a job. I'm nervous because I don't know what is waiting around the corner. I have been nervous since I wrote the last chapter of one of the books last week. I even started back applying for legal jobs with more fervor.

Then, after a morning filled with cover letters and resumes, I started going through my books and making edits. The television was on in the background and I was only half listening when I heard someone say "Your purporse in life is to let your hardships be your passion. Use your voice to tell your story." It was reassuring to me because in trying to write my first non-fiction book, more often than not, I have asked "Who cares?" Hearing that quote reassured me about what made me write the book in the first place. Someone shares my story and reading my story may help them or help them better relate to a loved one. Later, at the end of the same newscast, there was a story about an increase in book sales. Of course, it was more about fiction and how people need an escape, but it made me smile towards heaven anyway. It was the pat on the back I needed. The mantra has to be one step at a time and my first step is to get through the proofing process.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Year In The Life

One of my favorite musicals of all time is Rent (the stage version). As cheesy as it is, I often think of the song "Seasons of Love" when celebrating anniversaries and birthdays. I know it sounds cheesy but its important to take time to think about how we measure each passing year. My husband and I just celebrated our first year anniversary and a lot has happened within that time. We have lived through each of our vows. Better, worse, sickness, health, richer, poorer...check, check, check, check, check and check. For sure there are more debilitating diseases than lupus and worse things than losing a job. That said, for us, it has been a roller coaster of a year (mostly on my end). Since my last post, I have been to the doctor and I am no longer in remission. I still don't have a job. I am still writing and still focusing on positive thoughts but if I had to look at this year on paper and it was about someone other than me, I might view it as pretty tragic. Since it is me, however, I can step back and take stock of what has happened. I am not in remission but I found a great doctor and a really good medication that I am hoping will work just as well the second time around. I don't have a job but I am not stuck working for people I don't like in a job that I am not passionate about. I have a partner that supports me when I break down and makes every effort to pull me close when I try to push him away. So like the song says: "How do you measure a year in the life? How about love?" Our first year of marriage had ups and downs but we still love each other and personally, I love myself a little bit more. I am finding my passion rather than slaving for a paycheck and even though income would be nice, I think my story will be better for all of this. So, even though I'm feeling a little down, I choose not to measure the previous 525,600 minutes by tallying how many minutes/days I felt like crap or in how many tears I cried. Instead, I am keeping count of how many times I laughed so hard that it hurt and how many times I felt loved and appreciated. I measure the huge opportunity I have been given in being forced to start over and find my passion at 30 when I have worked long enough and hard enough to know what I don't want to do but I'm still young enough to not be terrified at spending my retirement money (though living on my savings still makes me pretty uneasy). All in all, it has been a year full of great moments and lots of love. If I focus on that, the other things fall away. Who needs to measure setbacks anyway? It's no way to live. So, measure in love (even if you hate the song)! And if you love the song (or on the very off chance that you have never heard it): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcSDli-Byn8