education, faith, parenting, sobriety, spirituality, taco tuesday, Tic-Oh Tuesday, Tics, Tourettes, writing

Twitching, Bitching and Ditching

For over a month I’ve been on a long term gig teaching sixth graders English at a low income school not far from me. I’m not gonna lie – I’ve been having a blast doing it. The school has this total 1950’s vibe with the checkered tile linoleum, old school phones, honeycombed bathroom tile and walk-up bungalow classrooms. Each day, while collecting the breakfast carts, I collect some amazing stories.

The kids are old enough to understand some of my life lessons (“you’re not in charge of adults’ emotions – ever – find someone safe to talk to!”) but young enough to be freaked out about the six foot sub in the checkered pants who says she’ll add ten points to every missed assignment so they’d better hop to it and finish their essays. (Um, I don’t have a Masters in teaching. I know how to lesson plan and grade about as efficiently as my spoiled pit bull staying off my bed, but they don’t know that, so shhhh.)

Lest I come off too cavalier, my non-English speaking kids are not as easy to manage. Just last week four kids ran out of my classroom. I only knew it because as I was going over individual student’s essays at my desk, I happened to glance out my window to find mops of black hair bobbing just over the security screens.

I suppose I could have been furious, but I found myself laughing. It’s sort of my new thing these days – to not take things so seriously. My spirituality is less “go to church so you don’t die in the fiery pits of hell” and more “If God resides within all of us, then the divine in me connects with the divine in you, which means… I’m really a part of everyone so who am I to judge?”

This philosophy might sound woo woo, but it helps a lot. I see God very simply now: where there is peace, so is God. (And apparently there’s no peace throwing tantrums over what isn’t. It’s much easier to accept what is and make adjustments.) Ex: When a student who doesn’t speak English is talking back at me, why get annoyed? Aren’t they my mirror? And if so, then how can I not see myself in their eyes? Have I not often found myself talking back at someone in anger?

When one of them grabs extra honey buns at the “share table” and doesn’t say thank you, can I not relate to swiping extra food or attention from a place of greed or fear?

And when someone leaves my class to frolic with a friend in the ivy outside my window, can I not relate to the very need to escape some of the less than exciting circumstances of my life – especially the past two years? (Covid, a kid transitioning/moving out of my house, age related changes, etc.)

I used to feel bad about not getting a real teaching credential – instead remaining for the fifth year in a row bobbing on the water of subbing – but in truth, my days slogging it out for a public school system have been the greatest credential I could ever have graduated with. I have discovered that going wherever that robotic sub system sends me and beaming love at everyone I meet (yup, I beam… it’s another one of my spiritual decisions… plus being so tall, I’m practically a light house anyway… a big boobed ocean building) I am learning more about how to drop my ego and lean into God’s will for me than anything I ever knew possible.

Tonight, over tacos, I was telling Rex and Phia that I ended up getting an extended gig at my current school. It was kind of cool, because at first I was going to miss the extended combat pay by 2 days (that would have sucked.) But then they said maybe they’d keep me through Day 20. And now they want me well into October.

While the extra pay is great, more important in my book is that I absolutely surrendered the outcome. It was going to be what it was going to be. It was going to land where it was going to land. Instead of manipulating the endless possibilities of extra pay vs. not, I stopped playing chess in my mind and instead focused on the duties at hand: how can I be of service every single day? How can I love what is instead of what isn’t? It’s such a simpler, not to mention more fun, way of living. (Plus I heard from a producer about my Christmas movie. It’s been sent to four people – fingers crossed this sucker sells!)

Bottom line: life can be so wonderfully surprising if we let it. In a world where we can’t always predict the future, I offer you the more exciting and fulfilling path: beam love, see yourself in everyone you meet so you can have compassion for them and yourself and always eat tacos. Like tacos, life falls apart sometimes. It can still taste delicious.

And for my Tourettes mamas, remember: If you can’t fix the tics, fix yourselves!

If you’d like to join my private T.S. Support Group, click here

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Choosing Happiness One Taco at a Time

It’s Tic-O Tuesday – week 2 of Stinkette not in my home. Week 2 of less tics and less sounds of her laughter streaming from her bedroom as she chats with her girlfriend over Discord.

I can’t say I’m thrilled about her absence. It’s not like she left because she got a scholarship to Harvard for computer design. The fantasy of who I thought she would be (a “HE” – let’s start with that small fact) is not what I expected. But at the same time, God didn’t ask me to take over for Him. Last I checked I’m not a mind reader, a fortune teller. And, um, it’s not like I’m exactly a New York Times best selling author (yet). I don’t get to decide what is best for my kid – I can barely decide what’s best for me!

So with my head fully extracted from my butt, let me also add that while I do miss my sweet child, I’m also incredibly grateful for the silence. Two years of wading through this particular phase of Stink’s development has been tiring. It’s lovely – we’re talking paradise – to have some peace and calm in the home.

If You Love Them Let Them Go

I realized over a year ago that if someone doesn’t want to be overly involved in your life, or if their attitude doesn’t jive with yours, the most loving thing you can do is to set them free. Why should I be the one that she has a reason to complain about? How about I just let her do what she wants and be here with open arms when she’s ready to move back? (Or, if that idea is a bit of a stretch, how about I at least fry up enough shells that should she want to have dinner with us we’re ready to go?)

The bottom line (achieved from over 7 years of diligently practicing a spiritual program): No one, not even my own child, will keep me from experience the joy that is mine for the making. Being sad when things don’t turn out as I expected is normal, but not being able to sleep out of worry, thinking I’m single handedly responsible for her happiness/self-esteem or being devastated over every single non-returned email or phone call is not motherly love. It’s co-dependency, and I’m not playing that game anymore. I suck at athletics – and this particular back and forth sport has proven to make me a loser again and again. (I’ve always been picked last at gym, so why I think running to the front of the “I can make everything better” line is going to end well for me I don’t know.)

Loving my child so much it hurts is part of being a mother. But letting a child keep me from experiencing all the juice life has to squeeze because they are willfully choosing a different path is enmeshment. And who says, by the way, her path is wrong? I had to experience a lot of dead ends before I was willing to stop being a victim and take the reins of my own life.

Today, despite the heat (oh my God it was so HOT) and despite a long day of work with my non-English speakers who, for the record, I still Me Gusta Sus Caras, I made time for my animated movie. (Act 1 done, Act 2 well on its way. Yes, same camel script. The musical was complete, and a lovely mentor writer loved it, but the whole outline had to change, hence the do-over. You might say I needed to make it a better 3-hump-structure!)

I took a phone call from a producer for my Hallmark script (fingers crossed it sells!)

I indulged in some lovely boba therapy with Evie and laughed with Rex as he stirred the taco meat and I played Christmas music because, well, 110 degree weather feels a bit less exhausting when “Let It Snow” is booming through Alexa.

And while I will always miss my little Stink at the table, I hold out hope that she’ll be back one day to eat with us. (She’s only right across the street – sheesh!) But at the same time, I have absolutely surrendered whatever the outcome of that hope is. Stinkette gets to choose what she does with her time with zero manipulation or begging from me.

And I get to choose mine. Do I cry sometimes? Of course! But then, with those tears gone, I welcome the new experiences. I choose love and laughter and tacos with rubber mariachi ducks. I choose ridiculous pit bulls and obnoxious middle schoolers and videos of camels. I choose holiday music in September and Shabbats on Friday and church on Sunday. I choose sobriety over mind-altering substances and absolute refusal to look at life through a negative lense. I’m putting on my heart glasses, as my friend Laurie likes to say, and choosing to look through life through the lense of love.

And today, friends, you can choose it also. May you make the decision to enjoy your life. Don’t let heat, cranky kids, stalled careers or less than ideal mate’s (or no mate) keep you from rightfully experiencing the magic that is part of your every day life. Someone out there is praying for the stuff you’re so busy complaining about and being miserable over. Pass the tacos and pass the joy – life is so short. Ole!

And for my Tourettes mamas, remember: If you can’t fix the tics, fix yourselves!

If you’d like to join my private T.S. Support Group, click here

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Coaching and Wellness, faith, God, humor, spirituality, taco tuesday, teenagers, Tic-O Tuesday, Tic-Oh Tuesday, Tics, Tourettes, transgender, Uncategorized, writing

Me Gusta Su Cara

After bailing out of getting a Masters in Teaching to spin in the ever constant of vortex of writing after school while subbing full time and coaching high school seniors on their college essays, it is with true irony that I found myself absolutely loving my current long term gig: teaching sixth grade English.

I am at a school quite dilapidated on the outside, but overflowing with trees stem to stern on the inside. Every morning, lap top in hand, I find myself strolling through what can only be described as a teacher’s treehouse: oak trees, birch trees and pine trees, all intermingled in green leafy goodness.

The scene is the perfect metaphor for most people I know: old and a bit dodgy on the exterior, but take a few moments and the interior will blow you away with a garden of stories and overflowing life.

One of my favorite classes is the non-speaking English class. It would be easy to be intimidated by the lack of speaking skills, but humans are humans. 90% of them speak Spanish, and they laugh as I attempt to articulate my great appreciation for their willingness to let me practice my Espanol. “Tengo muchas palabras en mi cabeza!” I will progclaim which, translated loosely means, “I have many words in my head.”

At six feet tall, I’m a good six inches over most of them, and between the hoodies and the masks, it’s hard to tell if their huge brown eyes are squinted in laughter or disdain, but, honestly, I don’t care. I made a decision a long time ago that absolutely everyone I meet wants to be my friend – that the divine in me will connect with the divine in them. I often share these spiritual truths with them in my broken Spanglish. It might be a lot for 9am, but worse case, there’s Fruit Loops.

Side note: Originally I bought the Family Size Pack (see above) for Stinkette’s new place. She’s doing the whole pad up Halloween style, so what could be more perfect for my spooky-loving, queer half-adult than Halloween Rainbow Pride O’s, but she turned me down via text. “I can’t eat it. Gelatin,” she reminded me. (I don’t know if I trust her logic. This kid would rather spend $1300/month in a rented room across the street than live with her mother, but I digress.) My point: I brought them to school and they were a HUGE hit with my English learning kids.

“I want more!” Carlos politely informed me. I smiled back. “Excellent words, but say ‘I would like more please!'” which, of course, he did and was rewarded with a handful of marsh mellow ghosts and bats – gelatin and all!

Seeing these kids every day remind me of how it used to be with my own kids: repeating the dates, repeating the words, not sure if they are understanding my phrases but knowing from their body language and laughter that they understand my heart.

“Me gusta su cara” I always tell them each day. “I love your face.”

If you think about it, isn’t that what we all want to hear? That our faces – all individual – were created by something bigger than us and worthy of love? That nothing we do can separate us from that divine love?

As I watched Evie tonight after tacos doing her college work, I whispered to her, “Me gusta su cara.”

I looked at the greedy pitbull under the table, hungry for my ridiculous tacos, “Me gusta su cara.”

I looked in the mirror and reminded myself, “Andrea, me gusta so cara.”

And when I looked at my Stink’s empty room, I reminded myself that she might not look like the old Stink I once knew – now with her long curls and slowly transforming feminine body, but I smiled at the image of who she is now. “Me gusta su cara.” I love her face.

And I always will.

And for my Tourettes mamas, remember: If you can’t fix the tics, fix yourselves!

If you’d like to join my private T.S. Support Group, click here

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Tic-o Tuesday – Progress Not Perfection

Hooray for Simple Family Dinners (And Fiesta Ware. It even makes MY cooking look good.)

Summer is almost over.

I signed up for a Masters in Education – for the 3rd time.

I backed out – for the 3rd time.

I broke my toe.

I got a hemmoroid.

I dealt with some skin cancer.

Stinkette – my sweet Stinkette – is moving out of the house.

My youngest – Evie – she’s starting college and work at a preschool. (WHAT? Impossible!)

As of late life has felt like one giant taco bar of add-ons I would prefer to return. How did the years go by so quickly? Was a I good enough mom? Are my babies going to be okay? Am I nuts to head back to the sub pool for the fifth year because maybe, just maybe, this year my animated movie will sell and I don’t want to be tied down with papers and politics?

People, I don’t know the answers to what will be. But I do know what I don’t want. I don’t want a job that sounds good on paper but will make me miserable. I don’t want to spend any more time regretting some things I can’ change. I want to look at what IS working (a Hallmark script on spec that some producers think they can sell! Hooray!) My health. A solid marriage. A ridiculous dog that acts like George Clooney arrived at the door every time I come home.

I can spend my days in worry, but that’s not unlike a rocking chair – going back and forth but going nowhere.

Instead, I will be happy for the little things. Soft taco shells frying in the pan. Costco dishware that makes my simple abundance look inviting and fresh. My family at my table (minus Stinkette who just got promoted at Starbucks! She’s doing so much better!)

When we can’t change the tics and the things around us we can always change ourselves. And for me, it’s one giant YES to life on life’s terms. Everything’s Unfolding Perfectly.

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Congratulations Parents, 2022!!!!

A High School Classroom I subbed for yesterday. All seniors ditched. More time to write!

Tonight both my sister’s and my last baby graduates high school. Since both graduations fall on the same day, we will not be there to cheer each others’ kids down the field.

Instead, we’ll have a small gathering on Friday night where we’ll bring our almost two decades of parenting/exhausted bodies and raise a toast to our young adults. “Congrats, kids! You somehow nabbed a diploma in spite of weekly covid tests, quarantining, canceled musical performances, school shootings, the threat of war and rising above more than a few Tik Tok challenges. Such challenges include, but are not limited to: knocking one’s mom over the head with a clutch purse while driving, vandalizing public school bathrooms and slapping one’s teacher on the ass.”

(As an educator myself, I somehow dodged that last bullet. Then again, I’m six feet tall and carry a shark backpack larger than a Petco fish tank. If someone slaps me on the ass they’re getting walloped by a patent leather mammal and getting sat on by 180 pounds of mid-menopausal DFWM: “Don’t Fuck With Me.”)

I was put in charge of the cake and the appetizers. What better than a Costco sheet cake the size of Texas to announce in primary blue and green, “Congratulations Graduates 2022!” I had half a mind to tell the baker to change the wording to, “Congratulations Parents 2022!!!” because the past few years have been about as serene as vacationing in boot camp.

There have been so many changes, so many transitions. People have moved, lost jobs, switched careers, switched spouses.

In my case, transition came in the form of my son (Stink) becoming my daughter (Stinkette). None of these things are good or bad. Like change, they just are.

I put the shrimp in the cart and took note of the odd pair they made – kinda like the past two years: sweet and rich, fishy and stinky, side by side.

I decided then and there to celebrate my own graduation from living in the fantasy of what I thought I wanted, to the embracing the reality of what actually IS. Change happens, but we can choose one constant to center us through it all: Love.

Congratulations Parents, 2022!

Everything’s Unfolding Perfectly

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Coaching and Camels and Writing – Oh My!

It’s true

This time last year I thought I was going to be a book coach. I wrote a tiny calling card book, “WRITE LIKE A MOTHER.” The vision? People would devour it and in a fit of unbridled inspiration and hire me to help them craft their business or non-fiction book.

It’s a great business plan except for one problem –: I’m not a coach – I’m a writer. And finally, I know it.

Not sure why it took me 52 years to get this – to stop hiding behind distraction that masquerades as authenticity, but late is great. I picture God laughing at me, clucking at my tantrumming fear and ego and… when I ultimately surrender… breathing a sigh of relief. God: “Ah, sweet defeat and demoralization. Now we can begin.”

In my animated movie script, my lead, Rose, is a vapid camel who wants to shirk her true gifts and cower behind her vapid belief structure of instant gratification and humor. But for this camel to truly be free, she has to do the one thing she is afraid to do: She must embark on a grueling quest to find an oasis in the desert with water that satisfies not just herself but her entire community.

She must stop blaming and shaming others.

She must stop waiting for some other day to find serenity. Some Day is not a day of the week.

The real takeaway: She must stop talking about it – she must take the steps and DO it. My mentorship at Story Summit is teaching me the same skills: less talking, more action. I’m so grateful to Tab Murphy (writer Hunchback of Notre Dame, Gorillas in the Midst, Tarzan, Atlantis, Batman Animated….) and my sweet, triple humped Rose. Both are my daily reminder that when you become who you are truly meant to be, not who you think you are supposed to be, your brave act of transformation radiates to everyone around you – encouraging them to be their most authentic selves, too.

(You might have to spit and swan dive into some muddy watering holes along the way, but ultimately, it will all work out.)

Everything’s Unfolding Perfectly.

education, faith, God, humor, parenting, taco tuesday, Tic-O Tuesday, Tics, Tourettes, Tourettes, Uncategorized

Tico-Tuesday: Everything’s Unfolding Perfectly

The other day I decided it was a great idea to move Grandma Stella’s China cabinet.

By myself.

As if in slow motion, the shelf which housed some of my favorite momentos – from her 1940’s egg dish to my own mom’s English tea cups that sat in her dining room bay window – went crashing to the ground.

Glass mixed with china mixed with porcelain jumped out to me as the perfect physical manifestation of the past two years: family members passing on or getting sick… my children’s transitions from my story for their lives to their very own story (how dare they be their own people!) … my childhood home being sold. All of these items I naively thought would never change, but thanks to Covid and circumstances/choices completely out of my control, I found my once long held ideals shattered in million tiny chards on my freshly washed checkerboard tiles.

Similar to my Evangelical days, I’d love to put a big shiny bow on this story with a happy ending ala, “Golly Gee, God inspired me to turn those messed up pieces into a shiny Mosaic table over Memorial Weekend, the kids helped out, my husband brought me a latte since God works everything together for good.” But that’s not what happened.

Instead, I took a broom, swept it all into a dusty pile and chucked of it into the trash can. Clank! Then I went on with my day. (Someone had to buy the toilet paper, and it wasn’t my teenagers who no, are still not driving. Nope, no shame here. I totally don’t compare myself to other people whose kids have been driving since they day they turned 16 because that wouldn’t be very spiritual, would it?)

To be clear about my quick clean up, it’s not that I don’t care about the treasures pictured above. And it’s not that I don’t wish some things were different with my personal life and my career. But I learned the past few years that wishing things were different than they actually are is about as insane as thinking that a bit of crazy glue will somehow make Grandma Stella’s Easter dish look like the same as the day she bought it at Montgomery Wards, 1957, to match her Crazy Daisy China pattern .

No. The longer I try to hold on to what was, the less space there is for new memories and beautiful momentos to fill the shelves of my china cabinet as well as my own memory bank. Either everything is happening in God’s timing or it isn’t. The first thought brings me peace. The second is pure regret. And with the world as it is, I try really hard to not Choose Door #2 anymore.

On this most holy day of the week – Tico Tuesday/Hump Day Eve –  I invite you to let go of anything you’re holding onto that is no longer serves your current reality. What if your kid’s diagnosis is not the issue, but it’s your thoughts about the diagnosis that are holding you back from creating new experiences in your life? What if your strained relationship or unsure job path is not the big, hairy, scary challenge but rather your thoughts about them (grounded in coulda shoulda woulda) that are causing your heart palipitations?

Whatever items are taking up space in your head, I invite you to let your thoughts about it crash to the ground.

Sweep it up.

Put it in the trash with other crazy thinking, such as “I’m going to be a size zero by Wednesday” or “Sam Heughan secretly reads this blog and wants to take me on the back of his bike to an Outlander screening party” and let it go.

Make space for the new.

Everything is unfolding perfectly.

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Tic-O-Tuesday, 2022

Taken New Years Day! Maddie (Stink) is 18, Pip is 17. WHAT???

Hello lovelies –

Long time no chat. So much has happened over the course of 2020/2021 I don’t even know where to begin, so I just will:

  • My childhood home of 45 years was sold and my mom moved to an apartment. There’s a lot of memories in a 3000 square foot house to throw out/accommodate, but we did.
  • Sweet Grandma Stella died. What a bummer. No more visits to her retirement home to sing “Fly me to the Moon.” No one to tell me my ass looks too big or that I “Can’t clean worth shit.” No more jokes about men thirty years younger than her, pointed bras, pumpkin thongs or gin martinis to start a car. But she’ll forever be in my heart, “tidying” my kitchen and telling me to keep “my mouth shut and my legs crossed.”
A few years ago at her retirement home. At 97 she’d complain about all the “old farts” who “hang around this place” and wished people would just call her “Bubbles” like in high school
  • My sweet Stink became Stinkette. While I’m so happy that she has found her true self, it took some time to adjust. I wish I were a faster student, but I’m here now and so grateful for the new beginnings for her, for us – for everyone in the family.
  • I went from subbing part time to full time, thanks to the dire need for teachers with Covid. No one was more shocked than I was to find I liked it and am seriously considering getting a credential to keep a classroom full time. (I have learned when it gets noisy to silently dance with an invisible man. My kids know. “Quiet! She’s dancing with Sam!”) Have you seen Sam Heughan? I love you all, but if you steal my invisible boyfriend I will block you.
My students know I love Rex, but if Sam comes knocking Rex has to go.
  • I started working with some producers on writing a Hallmark movie. (Will it sell? Who knows. I just put one foot in front of the other. Or, shall I say, one “hoof” in front of the other which leads me to…)….
  • …I finished my camel musical! It needs to be rewritten, but so it shall.
Grateful for a few writing classes and a mentor, also, to kick this camel loving mama into action
  • Pip became a senior in high school and, over Covid, I learned just how much I needed to change in my parenting style. It wasn’t easy, but the growth we have experienced has been well worth the experience to shift.

I tell you all this, Mamas, because I learned all the ways to pivot and change thanks to a little something we all call “Tourette Syndrome.” Lots of things over the past year aren’t what I expected (nor – if I’m being honest – are what I’d choose) but in accepting them as they are, I made room for magic. I made room for more writing, more dreaming, more consistent income.

You, too, Mamas, can DECIDE that despite T.S. you can have an amazing 2022. I will aim to write here a bit more often and cheer you on along the way.

Thanks to all who have bought my books or just followed me here all these years. It’s a pleasure to get to know you and I wish you the most wonderful New Year!

PS: It’s Tic-0 Tuesday today, which means I’ll be cooking up some simple tacos and cheese/guac just for Pip, Rex and I. Maddie (formerly Stink) is at Starbucks and apparently I’m not the sun which she orbits any longer. THAT was way more heartbreaking than even the tics. People, life shifts in an instant. Don’t miss it.

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What Have I Done For Me Lately?

Happy Tic-O Tuesday, people!

I am writing to you on the eve of the best day of the week, Hump Day, to ask you a very simple question: Are you taking care of yourself?

I ask because I continue to hear from loads of mamas, either from my writing or T.S. circle, that are drowning under the weight of all their worry and responsibility.

I get it – because that was me for a very long time! But despite a pretty crazy year this year, I have to admit that these days I’m doing pretty well. There’s a bunch of reasons for that:

  • I’m 51 now. I just care a hell of a lot less about what anyone, other than my own soul, thinks
  • Everyone is healthy, despite a scary Covid season
  • I continue to remain employed (despite wearing some outfits that look like Good Will had a buy one/get one free sale)
  • My book writing/coaching business is picking up traction
  • One of my kids went back to school (thank GOD)
  • My other is almost graduated (thank GOD)

But the biggest reason I find joy is because I take care of me. I no longer wait for approval from people, places or things. If my kids or Rex are unhappy with me, for example, that is never fun, but I have made a commitment to be less enmeshed. Last I checked they had their own God, and it wasn’t me. The time I spend seeking approval from others, or trying to manage other people, is better spent doing what my higher power wired me to do. And, shockingly, it turns out those are the things I love most!

  • Writing my musical (it’s 50% done! Wait til you see my camels dance and rap!)
  • Creating content for my writing and T.S. support groups (info to come with a new website!)
  • Watching Bridgerton (don’t judge)
  • Taking online writing classes from Story Summit

I am saying all this, people, because T.S. taught me so much. It reminded me that often my fears about how my child would fare were unfounded. That I often made it so much worse by sticking my nose into stuff that I didn’t need to. What my kid needed most was for me to be a calm and rational mom. I can’t say that was always the case. But late is great!

These days, I am making up for lost time – not just to my kids but to everyone I come in contact with. That doesn’t look overly fancy on the outside. I’m still the same six foot, red headed, cat eye wearing Taco Tuesday loving lady I’ve always been. But my inside? It’s wild with joy. Because my peace does not come from what I thought it would come from – a cure for T.S.. The cure was in me all along. The cure was to focus on my own gifts and talents so I could better support my kids with theirs.

I hope this week finds you doing some things that you love just for you. I’d love to connect with you either in one of my support groups (coming soon) or on Facebook!

Or email me. I don’t bite.

INTERESTED IN TAKING A JOURNALING CLASS WITH ME?

I’m going to be leading two workshops this Spring:

  1. For mamas of Tourette Syndrome kids who want to heal through journaling and connecting with other moms in the same boat.
  2. For mamas who want become more authentically themselves through journaling, laughter and joy.

Both will be 4 weeks. I’ll share more as it gets closer. Sign up for my newsletter below or leave a comment! I’d love to have you!

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Are You Raising Your Kids Through Your Fears?

I love this book!

I thought having a kid diagnosed with something I couldn’t control was super scary, but it turns out that life itself terrified me.

From the time I was a little kid, I remember thinking everyone else had the answers and I didn’t know anything. It was like this giant train wreck of loneliness ran through my soul. Other kids seemed to effortlessly kick shiny balls around the field or get up in front of large groups of people and sing, talk or crack jokes. Me? I was the tall kid in the back trying super hard to get an A on the test and want everyone to give me validation for it (at the same time horrified if someone looked my way.)

These feelings eased as I got older – or so I thought – but having children of my own had a way of putting miracle growth on my character defects. These tiny little beings were the love of my life – and while I raised them with a ton of love and magic – fear was always at the bottom of it. “Was I doing it right? Was I managing the diagnosis okay? Were they happy?”

They’re almost full grown now, and I know more than ever now that in the end what they needed, and still need – more than ever – is a mom who is happy with herself. They don’t need one more vacation. One more trip to Disneyland. A full ride scholarship to college. All of that would be nice – don’t get me wrong – but these kids are looking to me still for guidance. And I’m so excited to say that I’m happier now with myself than I ever have been. I haven’t arrived, but I am not that sad, scared person who needs validation from other people. I’m right in the middle where the magic lives.

So much of my personal success I owe to my spiritual walk. To journaling. To showing up at 4 twelve step meetings a week and doing the work. To making a conscious decision to not drink, not blame others, not blame and shame others and, when I feel the old CADS creep up on me (Compare and Despair Syndrome) I talk to someone.

This book, Return to Love, has made such an impact on my life. It reminds me that when I’m in fear, that’s not the real me raising my kids. Only love is real. When I can let go of the outcome and just love my kids unconditionally – which starts with loving ME because God love me me first, things go so much smoother. (It’s more on the spiritual side vs. religious, and that works perfectly for this hippy.)

Life is difficult, but it’s also such a trippy and beautiful ride. I’m so happy to be on it with you all. And mamas, if you’re new to the T.S. world, know that you are not alone. While it can be scary, I promise that if you keep an open mind and learn to love yourself in the process, you will be okay. You really will.

INTERESTED IN TAKING A JOURNALING CLASS WITH ME?

I’m going to be leading two workshops this summer:

  1. For mamas of Tourette Syndrome kids who want to heal through journaling and connecting with other moms in the same boat.
  2. For mamas who want become more authentically themselves through journaling, laughter and joy.

Both will be 4 weeks. I’ll share more as it gets closer. Sign up for my newsletter below or leave a comment! I’d love to have you!

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