Vows to Myself

Once my ex-husband, Grayheart, decided he was “miserable” with me and left our home after 13 years of being together, I decided I needed to make serious change to my whole self. 

As I reflect back on things I could have done better, I often think about how I let myself go after I had kids. I’ve never been a vain person. I never really cared about being the prettiest or skinniest or most fashionable. I was always the goofy, fun, funny gal. 

But when you are a twenty something year old, it works for you. You don’t have to try to be pretty; you have youth and vigor going for you. When you’re an overweight, graying, cranky, thirty something year old mama… you better think again!

No longer are you considered fresh faced if you go sans make up. Nope. Now you look tired. 

You’re no longer a carefree, rebellious, Sporty Spice type if you wear tanks, cargo shorts and sneakers… Nope again. People then think you are a sloppy, part time trucker and not the sophisticated woman that should be next to your professional man’s side. 

And oohwee! Do not let that white hair show! It was whimsical when I had premature silver strands at the bubbly age of 21. Not even slightly cute when my washed-out-resting-bitch face accompanied roots that made me look like I was part skunk. 

Frankly, I hate the whole dog and pony show because I am very low maintenance. But I’m not a girl that’s naturally pretty without putting effort. So I had to make some changes. Why? Because I needed to look in the mirror and smile back at a person that appeared to care about themself. (I was so disgusted with myself I used to avoid looking in mirrors.) And, let’s be real, who the hell wants to date anyone that looks like someone’s leftovers?!  

So I made myself some vows January 1, 2015:

  • I will not leave the house without earrings, perfume, mascara and lip gloss.
  • I will make better attempts at doing my hair. I shoot for blow drying it weekly. (Which leads me to always having my hair down rather than in a ponytail for Captain.)
  • I will NEVER wear huge Tshirts to bed for my partner. 
  • I will wear either a sexy nightie or nothing to bed with my partner.
  • I will always make an effort to look pretty for my partner. 
  • I will not wear saggy butt jeans. (My sister hated those Old Navy jeans that stretched and sagged after half a day’s wear, lol!)
  • I will exercise at least 4 times a week and keep my weight to something I’m confident and comfortable with.
  • I will always greet my partner with excitement and love when I see  or talk to him on the phone. A smile is the best thing to wear, right?
  • I will keep my nails manicured and feminine.
  • I will always be nicely groomed. I did laser hair removal so gone is the lack of shaving legs or bikini area or underarms! (Whew! What a relief that was! As a Cubana, it was a full time job grooming! Lol!)
  • I will maintain good posture.
  • Finally, I will (try to) sleep more. 

Nothing too crazy here, right?

I am my worst critic. Like, baaaad. I’m not saying this has solved any of my deeper issues but it has helped. Part of feeling good is looking the part. And it has forced me to give myself attention rather than always focusing on everyone else. 

Since I’ve been doing this list, I see the difference in how I carry myself. I am happier and more confident. I’m still a work in progress but now I don’t cringe when I see my reflection. 

Thank you for the awakening, Grayheart. This became my re-birth.


Smart Women Finish Rich

I always knew I wanted to be financially independent and successful. But I just now decided I want to be actively engaged in the process. (Grayheart previously managed our finances.)

A friend just gave me the book “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach. I’ve heard positive things about him and Ric Edelman Financial. I’m going to read it and see if the information proves to be useful and easy to understand. (Frankly, I’ve always had little interest in stocks and found financial investment talk to be overwhelming.) I’ll write a post with my thoughts after I’m done reading it.

Since my separation, I’ve been very worried about money. I fret over the immediate future as well as long term planning. I’m a stay-at-home mom that has now been substitute teaching. (Not exactly a baller these days.) Grayheart is paying the bills but we are paycheck to paycheck. I am not used to this feeling. It’s been challenging trying to balance the desire to be an active parent with the need for financial stability. But I think proper guidance on how to manage what I currently have might get me in the right direction. And the battle might not need to be “motherhood” vs. “financial autonomy.”

My fear of long term financial security comes from ignorance in this field. (Fear. Seems to be an emotion I’m getting well acquainted with these days.) I’d like to think fear and insecurity are normal. It’s when it starts dictating your actions… that’s when it’s dangerous. I’m a terrible procrastinator and am constantly fighting that beast.

Self esteem and confidence seem to be enhanced with financial independence. I feel like I need this trait to be comfortable, proud and a good role model for my family. (Just one more piece of me I’m trying to improve upon to come back bigger and better than before!)

Do you have any favorite wealth management books or gurus you recommend? Please share!

Today’s Mantra: Push past fears. Don’t let fears dictate actions.