Tech Trouble – Advice Please?

Hi Everyone!  My iPhone 6 has been acting up lately.  Overheating, dropping calls, not receiving voicemails, blanking the screen to make a call so that I have to resort to asking Siri to call someone, etc.  I took it to the store in hopes of getting a solution, only to hear that I’ve almost reached memory capacity and because it’s more than 2 years old, it’s time for an upgrade.  So I’m having to look for a new phone which I find harder than buying a new car.  And that’s saying a lot!!

I’m thinking an iPhone XS is the solution, but before I take the plunge, I wanted to ask if anyone had one and if you like it.  While I’ve researched the new X series of phones, much of what is written is too advanced for my tech knowledge.  And frankly, the thought of having to upgrade and get used to a new phone with all the new technology feels daunting today.

If you have a moment and feel like it, I’d appreciate any help!  Thanks.


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Stop Being Strong

You have a choice to stop being strong when it’s not helping you.  I watched my kid be strong through the divorce and turn off his feelings.  He bottled up all the emotion, the pain, the disappointment and armored himself to keep going.  And he did keep going until now.

When I ask him how he feels he tells me, “I don’t know.”  That used to drive me crazy until I realized that what he’s doing, what I’ve done in the past and what you may have done in order to get through hard times…dump the pain in a box, shut the lid and hope it never opens up.  And I don’t want my kid living in the nothing box.

Because that’s not healing.

However, who wants to revisit painful experiences again???  I don’t think anyone says, “Yay let’s go back to those sad times willingly.”

But we have to because otherwise the pain festers under the surface and comes out in different ways that aren’t healthy.  We can turn to something that numbs us or we can disconnect to our feelings so that we don’t really know how we feel because we fear that it’s too painful to feel.  And that’s no good either.  We don’t need more pet rocks in this world that don’t feel anything.  And yet, to be so sensitive that we feel each and every emotion with a pinprick of numbing pain isn’t healthy either.

We need balance.

We need to find a safe space in which to explore our feelings whether it’s by writing, by talking with trusted family/friends or by seeing a professional therapist who can hear what we’re saying/not saying and help us to clean out the wounds which permeate our daily thoughts.  That’s what I told my kid last night.  I explained that he doesn’t have to be strong anymore.  That the disconnect from his feelings can be remedied.  That we’ve all lived through times when we just soldiered on because we felt we had to do that.  But that’s a belief that isn’t true.  We need to process our grief and our feelings in order to clean out the wound and heal it.

You don’t have to be strong all the time.

There’s no need to build a wall around your feelings because that only emits a disconnection.  And we need more connections in this world.  More hand-holding.  More kindness and compassion.  When we open up to being supported and being supportive of others, peace and healing come.

I hope this helps you.  It’s what helped me.  And I’m hoping it helps my kid.

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When You Let Out That Kernel Of Truth – Kids And Divorce

My homesick college kid woke me this morning just before 6am.  The phone rang and all I heard was crying on the other end with the words, “Mom, it’s me.”  I sat up in bed, not fully awake, but aware that it was my homesick kid calling way too early in the morning.  Immediately my spidey senses were on alert because we hadn’t talked yesterday.

“Honey, what’s going on?  Are you ok?”

Through the sobs he told me that he hadn’t slept all night.  He’s got anxiety and waited until just before 6am to call me because he didn’t want to wake me in the middle of the night.  He was sitting outside of his dorm in the dark because he didn’t want to wake his roommate.

What unfolded over the next 1.5 hours, painfully slowly with much fishing from me and with breaks because many times he couldn’t stop crying, was that he hadn’t slept because he has what he calls anxiety.  Or what the therapist at university called anxiety.  Which I had a tough time accepting for a kid who hadn’t had anxiety before going to college, but I’m just a mom and not a professional.

Piece by piece with patience and his willingness to finally express what he meant by anxiety, (because he’s maybe hit rock bottom) I think we finally found the kernel of truth and maybe the source.  I’ll admit it was a slow process and I kept praying that I was asking him the right questions and not putting words in his mouth that he’d just parrot back to me in order to be done with my questioning.

He’s been telling me he’s having a hard time adjusting to college because even though he wants to trust people, he feels like it’s hard to make friends.  So we worked with that for a bit until finally, four years after his father left, the kid sobbingly said the words:

“I hate Dad.  I hate what he did and I don’t think I can ever forgive him.”

What he’s referring to is that when he was 14 years old, his dad (my former husband) told the kids that he wanted a divorce and was moving out in a few weeks.  While he said that he loved them, they never heard it because all they heard was divorce.  I clearly remember both kids being shocked and sad, but this one sobbed uncontrollably for the longest time because he was younger and hadn’t been aware (or didn’t want to see the changes).  Oh hell, who am I kidding?  My kids and I cried.  We were all shocked that he was leaving (I knew a month beforehand).  It was the sudden end to our family life.  It was unthinkable.  It was the rug being pulled out from under you – where everything you thought you knew for certain is now not and maybe it’s even been a lie.  It’s the broken trust and it sent us all, in varying degrees, into a tailspin of emotion.

It was the first time he had said those words out-loud and as much as it grieved me to hear how he felt, I understood.  And as quietly as I could, I cried along with him.  Because that’s never what I wanted for my kids and their dad.  But, it is also, completely understandable how he feels about his absent dad.

And it is most likely, the key to his anxiety at school, his lack of making friends, his not eating, his interminable playing of video games.  All ways in which he avoids those feelings, and therefore the festering continues.

“I don’t want to hate him Mom, but I can’t forgive him.”

I wanted to climb through the phone and just hold him in my lap as if he were a little child again.  Because I know how that feels myself as the former wife and I can only imagine how it feels as the son.  Because here’s the blessing…

I know in his heart, he still loves his Dad, but he’s incredibly hurt.  He’s having trust issues and anxiety because he’s never allowed himself to verbalize how he feels.  Deep down my kids are sensitive like me (their dad was that way long ago too).  They love with their whole hearts and when their hearts break to the core, they don’t want to hate.  They want to love.  They want to forgive, but they can’t figure out a way to accept what happened with the divorce and all the disconnected behavior from their dad because they’re hurt beyond words.  They’ve been suffering for so long and it’s manifested into this anxiety, homesickness and depression.

He’s gone back to sleep for now which is good.  He’s not suicidal for which I’m grateful.  When he wakes up in a bit, he’s off to the health center to meet with his counselor and to be excused from classes today.

We’ve agreed that we are in this together to heal him.  I’m saddened by his reveal and I know how hard it was for him to say it.  But I’m really proud of him.  I wish I had the relationship with his dad where I could ask him to relate more with his sons, but I do not.  So we will heal together.  One step at a time.


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I Blame The Hallmark Channel For My Latest Experience

After my dressing up in leather leggings, I stayed home on Saturday relaxing on the couch watching the Hallmark Channel.  I leisurely caught up on the doldrums of adulting.  You know what I mean?  Laundry and bill paying!  Not the most fun way to spend a Saturday, but very necessary!  We had a rainy day here anyway so I wasn’t going out.

Cozy on the couch I watched a few Hallmark movies.  Because I hadn’t DVR’d anything, I had to sit through the commercials which is how I got my latest experience.

Hallmark Channel is famous for sappy romantic movies whose mostly female viewing audience are of (ahem) my age group.  So when various commercials for online dating sites came on, over and over, I started thinking…and googling for one that fit me.

I tried a site for dating over 50 and I even made a profile.  But after scrolling through the obscene amount of men who all had initial photos that were obviously backdated decades or had no photo whatsoever, I had serious second thoughts about online dating.  I was turned off.  I admit I wavered between horror and giggling at the absurdity of what some of them were saying in their profiles too.  I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to offend anyone, but seriously?  Am I asking for too much?  Wouldn’t you try to put your best foot forward?  It’s even an online pay dating site so I thought there would be people out there who were really looking for a relationship.  What’s this world coming to?  I refused to pay to see the flirts and messages that pinged in over the course of the afternoon and evening.  It just wasn’t worth it to me.

While that didn’t work for me and I deleted my profile, I’m impressed with the fact that I entered the online dating pool even if only for a night.  And I have Hallmark to thank for that!


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A Touch Of Leather

So Friday night I went out to dinner with a long lost cousin of mine.  We reconnected recently which has been nice.  She’s a few years younger than I am, married with kids, but we share a bonding belief in family.  She understands the angst I have with my brother as she has a similar issue with her sister.

But I got to go out to dinner which was so exciting for me since I don’t go out much these days.  Most of my friends are married and who wants a third wheel?  So I got dressed up – out of my comfort zone!  I bought black faux leather leggings last week at Loft and decided to wear them.  I must admit I thought I looked cute.  Classy with a white blouse and camel long sweater as the salesgirl recommended.  It’s not something I would have styled while I was married, but I pulled it off and loved the feeling of dressing how I feel these days…a little edgy with a little inner sparkle knowing that this is not my usual preppy look.  And you know what?  I liked it!

While at the restaurant, one that as a family back when I was married we frequented, I saw some old friends which was fun.  Who knows if they noticed my ‘new look’ but I felt confident which is all that matters!

I am not holding back anymore.  I feel a little like a rebellious teenager with the leggings on!  And I know it’s not such a big deal to wear them as they are fashionable now.  I may have to get another pair…because shhhh….Janie’s got a huge smile on her face!  LOL

Hope you had a great weekend!  More to come as I let that inner sparkly girl out to play!  Thanks for joining in the fun with me and letting me share!

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I Have A New Trainer!

I have a new trainer at the gym and she’s amazing!  She counts the reps.  She focuses on my posture.  She talks with me.  She is encouraging and she pushes me to my limits.  We laugh and joke!  What a huge difference from my prior trainer who you helped me to see wasn’t a good fit for me!

Having completed yet another training session with her yesterday, I’m sitting here on the couch with my still a little wobbly legs typing to you with a smile on my face.  The power of blogging comes to mind as so many of you helped me with your gym experience and gave me the courage to change trainers!  YAY!  Thank you!

I had another session earlier this week.  It took me two days to walk properly after that one, but it was with glee because I wasn’t too sore, but sore enough if that makes sense.  And I couldn’t wait to go back to my trainer!  My body feels like it’s had an adrenaline shot!  Nerves are firing away and I feel alive!  But I also feel the need for a NAP afterwards!  And I sleep like a log!  Is that normal?

I have a smile on my face!  Thanks for the support everyone!  I just love you all!

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I Love Dogs

There’s something about dogs…I love all animals, but dogs are special.  I wish I could have a big dog, but that’s not possible at this time in my life.  I just became an empty nester and I’m getting used to being alone.  It’s the first time in my life that until the kids come home from university, I have nobody to take care of but me for awhile.  And honestly, I don’t want to be tied down more than I already am.  I mean, I love my kids, but a dog?  I can’t go anywhere if I have a dog.  But in the back of my head, I think that maybe someday, I’d like to live on a farm.  It sounds fun…well, until you have to clean up the manure.  Then I think, nah, I’ll pass on that part.  LOL

But I was looking through the posts about dogs.  I’m not really a fan of little dogs.  While I think those little Yorkies are cute and I’m more of a girly girl myself, I like big dogs!  A German Shepherd, Labrador/Golden Retriever, Australian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, Siberian Husky – you get the picture, right?  If not, look below!

Lucky for me, there are a ton of dog owners in my neighborhood and they are always walking their dogs.  So when I get the urge, I just go outside.  There are a few of the neighborhood dogs that know me and they’ll strain on their leashes when they see me so I can pet them.  And I’m in heaven!

I get my puppy/dog fix, chat with the neighbor for five minutes and go back in the house.  It’s the perfect set up for me – no picking up poop, no vet bills and no responsibility.  Just the five minute snuggle fest.

Now if I could find a nice single man with a dog….that would be perfect!

P.S.  Excuse the crazy photos…I couldn’t get them to line up!  But you’re smart, you can figure out that the ones I didn’t label were the Yorkie and German Shepherd! LOL



Golden Retriever in three-quarter view.

Golden Retriever


Australian Shepherd

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Black Labrador Retriever


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Great Pyrenees pup

Gray and white-coated Siberian Husky standing in snow

Siberian Husky




German Shepherd Dog lying in three-quarter view with front paws crossed
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