Monthly Archives: November 2011

Love Hurts-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan      Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #19

I’m in the shower and I can feel the water streaming over my head and soon, the tears are running down my cheeks as well.  I cover my face with my hands.  I start sobbing and I can’t stop.  This happens often and without warning. I’m sad and so tired.

It was a summer day last year when my Mom and I sat side by side in a small doctor’s office.  Mom had been experiencing some pain in her chest while sleeping and her doctor ran some tests and asked that she come in for the results.  It took all of 20 seconds to hear the news.  My Mom had lung cancer…..A large inoperable tumor in her lung. 

The young, healthy, intelligent doctor spoke softly.  He said he was sorry and asked if we had any questions (was he serious?????).  Then he gave us the name of a local oncologist. 

The next six months are a blur of daily chemo & radiation treatments, needles, side effects,  medicines, blood counts, wheelchairs, hair loss, weight loss, tears, sleepless nights, exhausting days, receptionists, radiologists, nurses, surgeons, volunteers, home health nurses, hospice and hundreds of other cancer patients who were on the same journey. 

Initially, Mom was completely in shock.  She no longer even remotely resembled our rock and matriarch.  In a split second she evolved into a lost, scared woman facing her own mortality.  Mom was in denial and angry and pretty sure that this was all a mistake.  At first, she spent much of her time trying to figure out how the cancer got into her body.  She would explain to me and others (sometimes multiple times a day) that the cancer probably started because of some new carpeting installed in her apartment or from the dampness on the walls after she showered or because of a piece of asbestos that she had wrapped around her father’s muffler once when she was 14. 

Our entire family was in shock too.  My brother and I talked daily about Mom and what was ahead.  We arranged our schedules around Mom’s needs.  Like it so often can and does…..Life changed drastically in an instant.  I was angry…..And sad….And frustrated too….But mostly, I was scared. 

As I sobbed in the shower, I told my Mom how much I missed her and how much I loved her. 

I let my tears flow.  I sobbed deep sobs.  I let myself feel the pain and sadness through my soul.  I assured myself that I should feel sad.  I lost my Mom.  I miss my Mom.  It’s OK to cry.  It’s mandatory to cry. I have to cry to get through this.  My feelings need to be heard.  They have a voice and something to say.  I owe it to my Mom, my family and to myself to listen.

I turned off the water and thought about how crazy life is. Disgustingly crazy.  It’s crazy that time marches on… even when we just can’t….It’s crazy that death is inevitable, and yet we all struggle with the finality of it……And  it’s crazy that in the end, we all have to say goodbye.

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

You can be Happy Again By Sandra Beck of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch

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Sandra Beck co-author Bouncing with Style

Sandra Beck co-author Bouncing with Style

By Sandra Beck, Bouncing with Style

Four years ago if you had said to me that I would be happy and joyful and silly and carefree I would have taken you to have your head examined.  I was struggling every day to make ends meet, to be a single mom to an infant and toddler.  My mother was dying from cancer and I was going through foreclosure.  Yes, the stuff dreams are made of.

I want to a few therapists. Some were good. Some not so much. I talked to friends and got great advice and listened to some really stupid stuff.  I was like a pinball running into bumpers, getting slammed across the room and rolling around sometimes aimless racked with fear.  Not a good look.

Then one therapist said the problem you are having right now is that you don’t believe in the possibility that things will get better.  I looked at her.  She was right.  She told me to fake it until I make it and I rolled my eyes.  So I tried it.  Every day for thirty days I read these index cards in which I wrote out in marker about the wonderful things in my life.  How I am grateful for my health. I am grateful I can earn a living.  I am grateful for my kids.  I am grateful for the doctors and nurses working hard to extend my mom’s life.

The situation didn’t changed, but the way I thought about it did. Instead of feeling fear, gloom, doom and sadness, I felt stronger, more hopeful and began to believe in the possibility that things would get better.  Changing my thinking didn’t change the outcome. I still lost my house. I still lost my mom.  But I didn’t suffer as much along the way as I began to manage my mind.  Best part of it, it’s free.  No drugs. No appointments.  Just 30 days, a few index cards and a pen.

Internet Brand Strategist Sandra Beck, owner of Motherhood Incorporated is also the host of Motherhood Talk Radio and Military Mom Talk Radio powered by Toginet Communications.  A powerful advocate for mothers’ right to choose what is best for their family and using technology to make those choices possible, Sandra Beck paves the way for women today to determine the course of their own lives and live their best possible life.  Sandra Beck makes her home inActon,California. She is the single mother of two young boys, Max and Zachary Levin and she is the author of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Working from Home and Blogphoria – How to Reach Millions without Spending a Dime.

Sandra Beck has authored a Life Coaching Lesson Series titled  Starting Over but Not From Scratch and author of Bouncing with Style. based on her experience as a stay at home mother, full time working mother, part time working mother and self employed mother working from home.  It is her hope that these articles help women create their own life with respect to their needs of themselves and their family.  These articles are offered for informational purposes only and are not intended to take the place of a licensed professional.

Reflections-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan      Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #18

Not so good choices I made during my times of pain and sadness…..

 

  • Overindulged-Take your pick…..Food, drink, shopping etc…
  • Deprived myself of sleep, exercise, nutrition etc
  • Thought that everyone else wanted to hear about what I was going through…Ugh.
  • Ignored the feelings that scared me or were too painful to accept
  • Acted like I was OK- But didn’t fool anybody
  • Convinced myself I didn’t care
  • Wallowed in self pity and self defeat
  • Perfected negative self talk at times
  • Blamed myself for too long
  • Blamed everyone else for too long
  • Pushed myself to recover when I hadn’t gone through the steps I needed to
  • Said crazy things out loud…(Instead of just thinking them in my head)
  • Shared too much of my pain with my kids even though I tried not to
  • Had unrealistic expectations
  • Focused on negatives instead of positives
  • Lost control of the control freak…Yikes…..
  • Thought others would/could save me

 

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

 

Yeah Right, Be Still By Sandra Beck of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch

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Sandra Beck co-author Bouncing with Style

Sandra Beck co-author Bouncing with Style

By Sandra Beck, Bouncing with Style

 

Yeah Right.  Be Still.

 

When my friend told me this, I was like Man you are off your rocker…you want me a single mother of two boys, mid custody battle, staving off foreclosure and gaining weight to be still.

 

Yep, he said.  Be Still.

 

So I sat down on the floor like a yogi. More to demonstrate my annoyance with the process than really seeking inner peace.  No what I demanded of my friend.  He said, “Be quite and offer all your worries up to your higher power and finish with what you are thankful for.”

 

I snorted.  I closed my eyes and complained to my God.  I started with “Great job on the ex-husband, God. That was a real winner…”  It went downhill from there until I had pretty much enumerated all that was on my mind from state tax hikes to split ends. I took a deep breath wanting to kick my friend for looking so serene and decided I would think about what I was grateful for.

 

It was weird but when I did I felt myself starting to relax I felt good.  It felt good.  To unload everything in my mind to my higher power and really think about what I was grateful for.  It worked. I did feel better.  I still wanted to kick my serene friend but that was just because he was so smug.

 

Next time you have too much to carry, sit and be still. Offload and think about what you are grateful for.  Mock me all you want, but it works.

 

Internet Brand Strategist Sandra Beck, owner of Motherhood Incorporated is also the host of Motherhood Talk Radio and Military Mom Talk Radio powered by Toginet Communications.  A powerful advocate for mothers’ right to choose what is best for their family and using technology to make those choices possible, Sandra Beck paves the way for women today to determine the course of their own lives and live their best possible life.  Sandra Beck makes her home inActon,California. She is the single mother of two young boys, Max and Zachary Levin and she is the author of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Working from Home and Blogphoria – How to Reach Millions without Spending a Dime.

 

Sandra Beck has authored a Life Coaching Lesson Series titled  Starting Over but Not From Scratch and author of Bouncing with Style. based on her experience as a stay at home mother, full time working mother, part time working mother and self employed mother working from home.  It is her hope that these articles help women create their own life with respect to their needs of themselves and their family.  These articles are offered for informational purposes only and are not intended to take the place of a licensed professional.

 

Reflections-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan      Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #17

Good choices I made during my times of pain and sadness…..

 

  • Woke up and pulled myself out of bed each day
  • Kept moving
  • Listened to myself….Really listened.
  • Took care of my kids….Learned to take care of myself
  • Learned from the experiences of others as well as my own
  • Went to a therapist
  • Leaned on friends and family for support
  • Did not lean on my children for support
  • Dredged up deep feelings….Made myself feel them
  • Allowed myself time to be angry, to be sad and to mourn
  • Made time for physical activity….Eventually
  • Got rid of negative, emotionally draining people in my life that didn’t make me feel good
  • Gave myself permission to be OK being me
  • Tapped into the creative my creative side
  • Brought back activities/hobbies that I used to do that made me feel good (art, writing, music, gardening etc)
  • Got real about expectations
  • Learned about and practiced positive self talk
  • Assured myself that one day I would feel better
  • Became my best friend

 

 

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.  

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

Interview with Sandra Beck author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but not from Scratch on Divorce

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Sandra Beck co-author Bouncing with Style

Sandra Beck co-author Bouncing with Style

 

 

by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 Recently Sandra Beck was interview for an aritcle about divorce for a piece coming out in a Divorce Magazine. Here is a copy of that interview:

 

 

You went through a very public divorce and chose to talk about it on the radio. Why did you do that?

 

Beck:  Every divorce is public. Whatever your sphere of influence whether it’s family, friends and your local community or thousands of people listening to you each week, it’s still public. It’s embarrassing, humiliating at times and though personally I am usually a very private person I found it fun and entertaining to talk about it on the radio. I’m known for saying things that most people would think but not voice. It’s not always right but at least you know where I stand and what I am thinking.

 

Did you have any negative responses?

 

Beck: It probably gave my attorney a heart attack on a weekly basis and some people called me bitter and foolish. The fan mail and support far outweighed the negatives even after the first week.  My ex and his affair partner were apoplectic and that was part of the fun. It was also a tool to correct bad behavior. When the affair partner refused to let me see my toddler three minutes prior to my scheduled pickup time and stood there at the baseball park holding him screaming for his mom as she looked at her watch until exactly noon I talked about that on the radio. Funny, it never happened again.

 

What did that teach you and what can it teach your followers?

 

Beck: I learned that it was important for people to stand up to bullying and manipulation because there is a lot of that which goes on during the divorce process. In the five years it took me to achieve a final divorce decree I was threatened by both my ex and his affair partner, I was gossiped about by the neighborhood and my professional peers and my children were withheld from me on two holidays to “teach me a lesson.”

 

Did you talk about that on the air?

 

Beck: No I handled that through my attorney the first time. The second time day I went to the movies and kept my cell phone handy. I cried the whole time, but I did not let my ex or his affair partner see me sweat and once they realized they couldn’t get a rise out of me they gave up that tactic.  You see people are hurting during a divorce for all sorts of reason besides a broken heart. There is disillusionment going on, grief over the ending of a marriage and all sorts of other things.  Usually, all those negative feelings are targeted at the ex-wife or ex-husband. And, in the throes of a divorce your ex can and will say anything to anyone about you as long as they relieve their own personal pain, aggression and frustration.

 

What were some of the things that were said about you?

 

Beck: At the time, hearing these things was very painful. But now looking back I see that they were attempts to manipulate and control me as well as to discredit me to make their bad behavior acceptable. And also I was a punching bag for his and her frustration at the situation. My ex and his affair partner talked to my neighbors, the parents of my kid’s friends, and pretty much anyone who would listen.  I had a birthday party for my older son and no one from my street came except for one woman who said they were all mad at me.  Turns out my ex’s affair partner told them awful things so I called each neighbor and explained that they heard gossip about me and to please come to my son’s party and judge me on my own merit not what you heard from my ex and his affair partner.  A few did, most didn’t.

 

What was said about you?

 

Beck: I guess I didn’t do a good job dodging that answer. Let’s see: a lesbian, a whore, a drug addict, an alcoholic, a cougar, a terrible mother, a work-a-holic, a liar, a cheater.  Pretty much anything you can think of. I think the best one was that I had invited my ex’s affair partner to have a threesome and he decided he liked her better.  That was a silly one. I heard that one at soccer.

 

How did you handle that?

 

Beck: Inside I was mortified. I was like is that what people are thinking? But then I realized I can’t control what people think. I can’t control what my ex and his affair partner are saying or doing. I can’t warn everyone about them and no one would believe me anyway.  So I said, “Hey, that’s a good one. What else have you heard?”  I find it really entertaining all the gossip about me.”   I got an earful as everyone started loosening up and laughing about it.  Though it hurt my feelings a lot to be the butt of this awful gossip, standing up to it and not being afraid of it and letting people see that I know and don’t care was a huge step in reclaiming myself during the divorce process.

 

What do you mean reclaiming yourself?

 

Beck: Divorce can make you nuts.  I’m typically a pretty quiet introverted person unless I am functioning professionally. Getting a divorce is like walking through fire with the wind blowing – you don’t know when or where the next flame is going to burn you. The divorce process turned me into a person I didn’t like being.  It was so stressful.  At times it felt so out of control and it was. Once you get the process done you can return to yourself.  At least that was the way it was for me.

 

What was the hardest part of the divorce?

 

Beck: For me I could tolerate the financial loss, the emotional loss, the loss of stability, the loss of a future together and the loss of my children full time. The hardest part was knowing that I had a very powerful adversary.  That was scary. Divorce is a naturally adversarial process. I am used to that in business, but in this case your adversary knows your weakest points.  They know you better than anyone after a long term marriage and that gives them a huge advantage.

 

So what do you do?

 

Beck: It took me a while to do this and to get good at it. I am good at it now. You walk away. You don’t react.  You hang up the phone. You don’t let them drive your behaviors.  It takes two to fight and most of the time your ex wants a reaction. Who knows why? Once you stop reacting to what they are saying and what they are doing, they don’t get anything from it and they stop. I remember my ex saying he was going to call my friends and tell them I had an “emotional affair” and that’s why he had his “physical affairs.”  It was a total lie, and I was nervous because my ex would do just that. So I said okay.  He did call some of my friends who hung up on him, told him off and laughed at him. I learned that when you have a hysterical, angry and manipulative ex you can’t stop them so you just learn to stand tall and watch. Most of the time they end up looking stupid.

 

What about the kids? What do you do when your ex bad mouths you to your kids?

 

Beck: My ex has told my sons all sorts of things. That backfires eventually because the kids see that what he says doesn’t match up with what they experience with me. Now unfortunately they don’t believe what he says.  That was my ex’s choice and his decision to create that in his relationship with his sons. My dad says you give people enough rope and the eventually hang themselves.  Bad behavior backfires  and the truth always comes out.

 

His affair partner told my sons that I care more about my work and my career than them and that she never worked and never went to college because all she ever wanted to be was a mom.  Because I have an open and honest relationship with my sons they came to me to ask if that was true. I helped them see that it was the actions that count and not the words that were said. I told them I work to pay our bills but I am there at practice, at school events, helping with homework, making dinner. That’s how they know I prioritize them over work. I didn’t get involved in discrediting her or my ex. I simply taught my kids to see and hear, not just listen. It was a good learning lesson for them, both times. I was so angry at both my ex and his affair partner, but if you can turn the negatives into learning lessons about the way people behave you give your kids tools they can learn now instead of the hard way later.

 

Any last advice for our readers?

 

Beck: Yes, getting through divorce is only the first part of the process when you have kids. That is what makes it possible for you to move forward and start building your new life and your new normal. The next step once you are divorced is to think about what you want in your life with respect to your family and obligations. You have this amazing “do over” and we very rarely get that in life. Taking the time to set up boundaries with yourself and your ex takes time but is well worth it.

 

Following up on that, can you clarify what it means boundaries for yourself and your ex?

 

Beck: After a long term marriage or relationship, things are often taken for granted and given without awareness.  I had to set firm boundaries with my ex in that he gets to know nothing about my personal life, my finances except what is court ordered, my friendships, my work or my health. I learned this one day when he was walking through my house and my housekeeper asked him to leave when he came upon her folding laundry in my bedroom.  He said he was looking for one of my son’s items.  I was so angry, but my son had let him in.

 

I had to explain to the kids that their dad can only come in mom’s house if mom is right there. It’s sad that relationships come to this, but without strong boundaries for your new personal life your ex can cause all sorts of harm to your relationships intentionally or otherwise. Its best just to shut the door on the past- treat your ex like a delivery person delivering your kids and move on with your life. Firm, fair and polite, but at least in my experience I divorced this person for a reason, so why would I let them have the same rights and privileges as my friends who love and care for me?  People who do mean and spiteful things have no place in my life.   In most divorces, your ex is a total jerk and unless you are a glutton for pain and punishment its best to let that ship sail. Moving on means closing those doors that give you the peace, the freedom and the space to love again.

Choices-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

Danee Kienan co-author Bouncing with Style

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #16

I was at a funeral of a 15 year old who was killed in a car accident.  The boy was a close friend of my son.  The pain and sadness of his parents, family and friends was deafening.  It was a very profound experience for me.  I imagined myself in his mother’s shoes.  How does this woman feel?  How does she get out of bed in the morning?  How does she sleep at night?  I imagined losing my child. How would I feel?  Would I ever survive?   A few years later I had the devastating experience of losing a child.  Although circumstances were very different, my pain was just as real.

At the cemetery, hundreds of people stood in silence as this child’s casket was lowered into the ground.  His mother and father stood side by side with their surviving children and wept.  It was softly at first but then their mournful voices began to echo from the depths of their soul.  It was the saddest sound I have ever heard in my life.  Broken parents saying goodbye to their beloved son, holding each other, shaking and sobbing deeply.  I will never forget the moment as long as I live.

During the service, the pastor had told the story of a mother who had lost her child.  The woman was inconsolable.  God asked the woman what she would have chosen for herself if given the choice-

If she knew up front that she would have the gift of this beautiful child in her life.  If she knew up front how the love she would have for this child would be like no other.  If she knew up front that she could have this child but only for a certain amount of time. If she knew up front that when this child left this world, it would be the deepest and most painful experience of her life. 

God asked her, if given the choice, what she would have chosen….. 

Would she still choose to have this child, love this child and share her life with this child even if she knew it would be for a short time?  Would she still choose to parent this child knowing that the pain of separation, when the time came, would be excruciating? 

I often wonder if we had the chance to decide up front to live our lives…..Even if we knew what was in store for us, the happiness and the pain, would we still choose to live it?

 

Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch.  She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner.  She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce.  Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.

Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams.   She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com