Archive of ‘Sentiments’ category

How to Embrace the “In-Between”

How to embrace the "in-between" times in your life as a mother | The Champagne Supernova

In between.

Haven’t we felt it before? The emotional purgatory of not knowing what we want from our lives?

Adults are not immune.

Career women are not immune.

Mothers and wives are not immune.

These feelings are real, but what do we do about them? Freak out or embrace the emotions? Do something for just ourselves?

This is a guest post from my friend, Molly James, who reached out to me about the topic based on her own personal experience. Yes, yes, yes- I thought- as so many women can relate to these feelings but feel shame and not want to acknowledge them.

Thank you, Molly, for sharing your truth.


    The True North: Be Who You Are

    True North:

    North that is calculated by using an imaginary line through the Earth rather than by using a compass: the direction that leads to the North Pole.

    [Merriam-Webster dictionary]

    The direction from any point along a meridian toward the North Pole. Also called: geographic north.

    [The Free Dictionary by Farlex]

    Non-negotiable, since the compass will show where it is, relative from your current position, and it will never change.

    [Urban Dictionary]

    In his 2007 leadership book with the same name, author Bill George describes the True North as the internal compass that guides a person successfully through life. It represents who you are as a human being at your deepest level. It is your orienting point- your fixed point in a spinning world. It helps you stay on track toward authenticity.

    Nobody seems to know or care which way is north these days.

    The last week in the news has been particularly unsettling and my own True North tells me to avoid the television. In the wake of the white supremacy rally in Virginia that left several dead, watching the news and reading the divisive information feeds on social media is disturbing.

    It might be reality, but it doesn’t feel good to see or hear and I’m sick of the negativity. There are plenty of wonderful things going on in the world to choose to listen to.


      Adventures in Lawyering: Being Right

      Photograph from To Kill a Mockingbird from

      I got sucked into one of my more notable cases shortly after I finished law school and entered the work force.

      It involved feuding next door neighbors and was venued in Miami-Dade county, which meant I had the treat of riding on planes, staying the night in swanky hotels, and eating at fancy restaurants when I had to travel from Tampa for hearings and other case-related events.

      Both of these neighbors were wealthy beyond comprehension and had money to burn on legal fees and costs.

      We will call them Hatfield and McCoy.

      Hatfield grew up poor and made a ton of money in the phosphate industry in the early 1990s. He was dishonest, generally disliked, and was on his fifth marriage by the time I got involved in the case.

      Hatfield accompanied his wife to her deposition (along with their private chauffeur), and introduced her to the group as “Lydia… my Trophy Wife.”

      (Lydia looked like a Playboy Bunny, so I guess she really was his Trophy Wife.)

      Hatfield only stayed at this home in Miami for two months out of the year and lived in California for the remainder. It was my understanding he also owned property in Martha’s Vineyard.


        Adventures in Lawyering Part Deux: Cleanup in the Garden Center

        Funny moments stories about being a lawyer | The Champagne Supernova

        Disclaimer. This story is crude and disgusting. But I just report the facts.

        Where many attorneys feel they are “too good” to work on the less “sexy” cases like slip and fall matters, I have a confession: They are not beneath me and I love them.

        99% of the time, slip and fall cases don’t involve sad things like death or catastrophic injuries. The person falls down, goes boom, gets back up, hires an attorney three days later, and starts treating with a chiropractor for “soft tissue injuries.” However, sometimes they can be more serious, which is why if you have experienced something similar to this, then it might be a good idea to get a lawyer involved (you could always use someone like this slip and fall lawyer Houston).

        Absent complicated health issues or outrageously high medical bills, slip and fall cases usually aren’t stressful and are a nice respite from the fatality, traumatic brain injury cases, or child molestation cases that are also found in my assignment list.

        So I’ll take ’em with a smile.

        Slip and fall plaintiffs are often “career plaintiffs” who make nice little wads of cash making claims in connection with other accidents including fender benders and other premises liability issues.

        Why work when you can get something for free? (I once had a plaintiff tell me it was foolish for him to work when he received disability benefits and could sit on the couch all day. He was young and fully capable of working a desk job but I guess he had a point…)

        Reading through their medical records is equally hilarious.

        I worked at a law firm that represented a large international retail chain. Most of the cases involving this client involved slip and fall events that happened in the stores.


          Loose Lips Sink Ships: You Can’t Tell a Kid Anything

          Kids have the biggest mouths and will say the most inappropriate things at the worst times | The Champagne Supernova

          Teachers always seem to have the best stories.

          Laughing through tears, one of my longtime friends, an elementary school teacher, told me about how one of her students provided her with a detailed play-by-play of their family vacation the Monday after Spring Break.

          Gory details the student’s parents would likely die if they knew she had disclosed.

          About how dad got locked out of the rental house in his “tightey-whitey” underwear when he went outside in the morning to get the newspaper.

          About how the student hated applying sunscreen to her mother’s back because of “all her moles that look like Cocoa-Krispie cereal.”

          And about how mom and dad got into an argument during dinner and mom called him a “stupid ass clown” in front of the student and her siblings.



            How to Talk to God

            MC Hammer A wise philosopher famously sang:

            We got to pray
            Just to make it today
            I said we pray(pray) ah, yeah, pray(pray)
            We got to pray
            Just to make it to pray
            That’s word, we pray.

            Yet so many people don’t want anything to do with prayers. They think they are foreign and reserved for religious fanatics.

            I can see where it’s hard asking for help in the midst of our shame and guilt.

            I’ll go first.

            I’m not perfect. Sometimes (lots of times) I cuss. I have regrets from the past and sometimes wonder if I’m fulfilling my life’s purpose. I might beat myself up over a flabby stomach or eating too much junk food. Or maybe I get snippy with a co-worker who didn’t deserve it. Perhaps I took a bad day at the office out on my husband when I got home. Or I feel like I’m screwing up my kids when I’m not in the mood to read them a book before bedtime. It may be that I lazily slipped Cool Ranch Doritos in their lunchbox instead of an organic, gluten-free granola bar.

            Don’t we all have our days where we are feeling “less-than”?


              Life and Focusing on What Matters: The Give a Damn List

              Create a Give a Damn List to help you balance the things and people that really matter | The Champagne Supernova

              We have a limited number of damns in our lives.

              Yet, we somehow end up giving them away on the dumbest, most insignificant things.


              I can be a compulsive damn giver-outer.

              Doling out the damns like Oprah gives away cars.

              You get a damn!

              That other person gets a damn!

              Everyone’s getting a damn!

              People who don’t really matter.

              Things that are stupid.

              Stuff that happened in the past that I can’t control.

              I’ve had it.


                Life: The Playing Field is Not Equal

                Life is not always fair and we are not always on equal playing fields | The Champagne Supernova

                We are not all on equal playing fields.

                Life isn’t always fair and, for some, it will never be fair.

                I observed this pretty early.

                The summer between 7th and 8th grade, my parents moved me and my younger sister from private to public school in my hometown of DeLand, Florida.

                Speaking from experience, the middle school years can be especially tough for adolescent girls. Probably tougher than high school. Already trying to figure out who I was and navigate my way through the world, I was now faced with starting from scratch at a new school where I didn’t know a soul.

                I was terrified and didn’t want to be “The New Girl.”

                The week before school started, I had my parents take me to the local mall so I could find a trendy Yaga t-shirt (which was actually too big) and Vans shoes (that looked ridiculous on my skinny legs) so I had something to wear on the first day that screamed, “I’M COOL. BE MY FRIEND.”

                The first day of eighth grade was a success, mainly because I met a girl named Michelle in homeroom.

                Introduced herself, acquainted me to other classmates, and made me feel at home. By lunchtime, we were already exchanging notes in class (we had three together!) and talking about which boys we thought were cute and how we hope we didn’t have to “dress out” in P.E. since it was just the first day.

                Michelle and I instantly became best friends. We would even sign our notes “BFFLAENMW” which is middle school shorthand for “Best Friends For Life and Eternity No Matter What.”

                It was the beginning of a serious friendship.


                  Crying Uncle: Showing Up and Asking for Help

                  How to Have the Courage to Ask for Help and Seek Therapy | The Champagne Supernova

                  Have you ever had a secret you were ashamed of and didn’t want anyone to ever know?

                  I have.

                  But I don’t care about the secret anymore. It needs to be out in the open. I want it to be okay and for others to do the same thing I did and feel good about it.

                  No more shame.

                  As background, I went through a rough bout with the baby blues following the birth of my oldest daughter in 2012.

                  Crying all the time. Hot flashes. Feeling lonely. Wondering if I was crazy. Becoming a person I didn’t recognize.

                  I called my baby blues The Gremlins and wrote about them here.

                  Once they became a distant memory, I never wanted to see The Gremlins again. Not ever.

                  My second pregnancy started out rough. While I didn’t have the morning sickness that I experienced with my first daughter, I became an insomniac as soon as I  discovered a positive pregnancy test.

                  I never had trouble sleeping before, but I saw a pink “plus” sign and suddenly had to learn to survive on 4-5 hours of sleep.

                  This was on top of caring for a toddler, managing a household, and having a stressful career as an attorney.


                    The Last Bad Act: Choosing to Remember Love in a Time of Loss

                    Mario Simoes: Choosing to Remember Love in a Time of Loss | The Champagne Supernova

                    This picture of Mario Simoes personifies his spirit. Antisana, Ecuador, February 20, 2016.

                    How often have we judged someone by the last bad act they committed?

                    Remembered their life ending in an act of rage?

                    Rolled our eyes as we read newspaper articles or watched TV shows about someone who “snapped” and dismissed them as being crazy?

                    Labeled that person for the one last despicable thing they did in their otherwise extremely rich life?

                    My law school classmate and friend, Mario Simoes, recently died following a shootout with police.

                    These events happened in my hometown of DeLand, Florida.

                    According to news reports, Mario drove to his wife’s law firm in his Mercedes-Benz and, intoxicated, began shooting at the building. When police arrived in response to a 911 call, Mario embarked on a high-speed chase with the police on DeLand’s back roads, reaching speeds of 100 m.p.h. His vehicle became disabled after he struck a couple who was leaving a Lowe’s home improvement store (luckily, neither of these individuals were injured).

                    Police purportedly advised Mario to “drop the gun, drop the gun, drop the gun” for two minutes until they opened fire, as they believed he was reloading his gun in the vehicle. He was killed.


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