Running on Empty-By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kiernan

By Danee Kiernan      

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing with Style. #37 

I had just finished co hosting a show on Motherhood Talk Radio with Sandra Beck, my partner in crime and co-author of Bouncing with Style, when I passed by the mirror and saw my reflection. 

It was late in the afternoon, I was low energy, low makeup and pretty lame looking in my sweatpants and baby food stained t-shirt.  I had been feeling down and was becoming really consistent and harsh in my negative self talk……  I could tell I was slipping.

 And what made it worse was I felt like a total fake talking about bouncing back with style……When I was obviously in dire need of bouncing assistance myself.

I muddled my way through the rest of the afternoon and evening with my high energy brood that includes a barking dog, barking husband,  seven at home kids and a recruiting business……Life just doesn’t really stop around here….And it really doesn’t stop when I am falling down….It just gets worse.

My kids can sense when I’m wearing down…They get more energized and demanding…..My husband gets short tempered…..The dog even slips….He steals food off the kitchen table, chases the cat mercilessly and trips me every time I turn around…..

My face, my voice, my words become strained and they all signal trouble….

Do you know what I mean?

Later that evening, after everyone was in bed for the night, I sat in the dark on the couch.  I wanted quiet.  I needed total darkness, ear splitting silence and some feeling of peace.  I needed to hear myself think. 

Once it was quiet, I began to remember my coping strategies…..My steps to bouncing.

I know that for myself, first I make it through the crisis, event or exhaustion and then need some time to be alone.  Being alone helps me to focus and refocus. 

Reviewing the current state of things helps me to pinpoint where things are out of control and why I am feeling overwhelmed.

Thinking about what I’m feeling and letting these emotions come to the surface helps me as well.  I don’t solve, analyze or judge my feelings (whose got the energy?).  I just feel them.

After these few self nurturing steps, I started to feel better. 

I’m not saying that I hopped off of the couch and danced a jig, I simply sat……But I could feel the quiet calm begin to seep into my soul.  I could feel some of the day’s stress ease a bit and I could also feel some of my inner strength making a comeback.

I went to bed that night reminding myself that we are all a work in process.   We are not perfect people who can constantly live up to expectations.  We are human.  We are people with real life challenges and roadblocks.  We are people with relentless responsibilities.  People with feelings. People with limited ability to keep going nonstop. We are people who stumble and fall.

Be kind to yourself.  Take the time you need to refocus and renew.  Be your own best friend.

Remember always that you are the driver on this road trip of life……Enjoy the journey.

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 11 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

No Regrets -By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kiernan

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing with Style #36

I remember when my Mom was in hospice, in the last few weeks of her life, a hospice volunteer spent the afternoon with her talking. They talked about life…About my Mom’s life…..They talked about what was done, and what was going to be left undone. 

My Mom really enjoyed that afternoon with the volunteer.  For hours they talked.  Mom shared memories of her childhood.  She had loving parents & eight siblings. Mom was the mother of three and grandmother of 15.  She was, at different times of her life, a single woman, a party girl, a single mother, a married woman, a divorced woman and a career woman….She was also a working mother well before “working mother” became a buzz term….

Mom always wanted to travel and so she did…..She traveled theUSand then outside the country. She had the opportunity to visitEngland,Italy,IrelandandGuatemala.  Mom followed her passions, volunteered to help others and was a good friend.  Mom read voraciously.  She had a boyfriend (“her fella”) while in her 70’s and up until she got cancer, worked two jobs and volunteered at a local hospital.  I listened as my Mom shared her memories with me.  It was clear….She had no regrets….She felt at peace.

I could tell Mom was proud of her life and how she had lived it. 

I am proud too.

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 11 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

This Is Your Life – By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kiernan

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing with Style #35

I have always been a bit of a doer.

This is neither a good nor a bad thing, it just is.

I like to keep busy….I always have a lot going on. 

I prefer craziness. A fast pace.  Ups and downs.

Challenges.

I like projects to complete, goals to achieve and skills to master…..It’s my comfort zone.

I can’t shake the voice that echoes in my heart….Time is limited…We only get one life….One life to make a difference…One life to do the things we want to do….

Why wait????

My list is has always been and still is ongoing…..

Go back to school…Write a book…Raise children…..Refurbish an older house….Travel the world…Plant an amazing garden….Bike ride across the country….etc etc

Ultimately, when I leave this world I want to do it exhausted and fulfilled…..With no regrets. 

I have had my share of doubts, fear, pain, exhaustion, happiness and fulfillment.

Life is a gift.  And it’s all mine.  It’s all yours too……

Embrace yourself and your life. Make it what you need and all that you want it to be. 

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 11 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

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

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Danee Kiernan

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing with Style #34

A friend shared this with me……It spoke to me.

Tonight, I rock a baby who is not mine.

I snuggle her close and look into her eyes. I kiss her forehead and rub her back just as if she were mine. I cuddle her tightly and I tuck her in as if she were mine.

But she’s not.

When people learn that we are fostering in the midst of our 2 parent, 11 kids, 1 dog, 2 cat chaos, they shake their heads and softly say.  “Don’t you already have your hands full?”

Yes.  My hands are full.  My heart is full.  My life is full.

Somebody somewhere did it for me.

My babies grew in somebody else’s womb.  Somebody else carried my babies and labored to bring them into this world.

My children did not survive on their own.

Even though I am the one so fortunate to parent my children, to love them and teach them about warm beds, filling meals, bear hugs & big kisses, somebody, somewhere did it before me.

Somebody somewhere held. Somebody somewhere fed.  Somebody somewhere cared.

I am so grateful to those who cared for my children and now it is my turn to do the same for another parent who can’t.

Somebody somewhere did it for me and now I can’t imagine my life any other way.

 

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 11 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

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

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Danee Kiernan

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing with Style #33

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.   What’s most important is that you have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” —Steve Jobs

I have come to realize lately, that I have always known what’s in my heart….Every step of my journey, every curvy road, every deep ravine.  I have known what’s important to me.   I have known what I wanted.  I have known what I needed.

Admittedly, on many occasions, I have acted like I didn’t know.

I have asked for advice, when I knew I wouldn’t take it.

I have questioned my intuition and my heart constantly….

I have ignored my inner voice.

But, I have always known.

My greatest joys and experiences resulted from following my heart.  Some of these decisions did not turn out perfectly and because of that I would not change a thing.

Life has been an adventure. A wonderfully, amazing and breathe taking adventure.  It has also at times been a predictable, calm path.

My heart and intuition have never let me down……I need to remember this and embrace myself as the architect more often.  As women when we follow our inner voices we become richer in spirit, more confident in ourselves and stronger in our being.

 We take chances, follow our heart, proceed with conviction and enrich our lives beyond our imagination.  Right or wrong, good or bad, we are who we are. 

A work of art in process…..Our own creation…Our own person with a story…..I want to look back and know that the hand that wrote my story was my own.

 

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 11 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

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

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Danee Kiernan

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing with Style #32

I have always noticed a certain Mom at my kids’ school.  She has bounce in her step and an aura of positivity around her.  She always looks me in the eye and says “Hello”.

After school on Friday, I decided to approach her and share some positive feedback…..

What person does not want to hear something good?  I thought I would tell her that I have always appreciated her friendly smiles and the positive spirit that surrounds her. 

As I approached her in the play yard, I could sense her weakened state.  I hesitated, but then she looked right at me.

It turns out that she had just come from a divorce court proceeding/appointment at which she learned that her (soon to be) ex-husband had actually had multiple affairs (instead of the one that she thought had recently ended her marriage)….One of those affairs had lasted 7 years, and took place during her pregnancy with their child…..… She shared her story in a way that told me she was in shock and still trying to make sense of it. 

Her pain was evident.  She was emotionally devastated and I stood there helpless until I had the sense to reach out and hug her.  

It was just another reminder that most of the time we walk through our day consumed in our own lives and completely oblivious to those around us and what they might be going through. 

I vow to be more open to others and the messages they send to me. 

If we aren’t making a difference in this life, what are we making? 

 

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 11 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words or More- By Danee Kiernan of Bouncing with Style: Starting Over but Not From Scratch

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Danee Kiernan

By Danee Kiernan

Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing with Style. #31

There is a photo that sits on my desk.  It’s a picture four women smiling….Sisters.  These women range in age from 56-72 years old.  They resemble each other and yet are distinctly unique individuals.

I have looked at this photo many times and they have smiled back often, but it wasn’t until recently that I shared more than a passing glance.  Beautiful, strong and confident, these women have been role models in my life.  They were a part of my childhood, growing up years and adulthood.

The four sisters speak volumes with smiling faces that are frozen in time.  

I pause on each face.  I gain strength from this photo.  I feel the sisters with me, pouring their love, encouragement and positive energy into my soul.  I feel a bond with them….A bond of understanding and empathy, of hope, and of love.

The four sisters were raised by alcoholic parents and grew up in poverty.  The four sisters had a father that sexually abused his daughters. The four sisters had a mother who was a victim herself. 

One sister was a victim of rape at 18.  She raised her child as a single mother. 

One sister lost her love in an accident.  In a time before computers and cell phones, she didn’t learn of his death until days later.  The man never knew of his child, and that sister gave birth, said goodbye forever and handed her baby to a couple who had waited for years for a child of their own.

 One sister lost her child in a car accident. 

One sister married but never had any children.  One sister lost her child to suicide. 

One sister lost her grandson in a motorcycle accident. One sister rescued her lost child from addiction.

One sister had a spouse that fought in Viet Nam. One sister rescued her daughter from an abusive spouse.

One sister experienced divorce.  One sister suffered a long, emotionally void marriage.

One photo. Four sisters.  Their dancing eyes, open expressions and beautiful spirits speak their lives of experience…..strength, wisdom, pain, hope, vulnerability, happiness, heartache, survival and love.

A bond of sisterhood posing for a picture, and through my lens, I see the lives of four women smiling back at 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 11 children. 

You can reach Danee Kiernan at daneekiernan@gmail.com