Sunday, December 30, 2012

You are out there

I didn't think anyone was reading my blog so I stopped writing. It appears that there are more than a thousand of you who have read my words. If I had known I would have had a constant stream of wisdom coming at you. I lost my job of 18 and a half years recently. 'terminated without cause' they call it. That's a fancy way of saying that 'we have no real reason to fire you so take this package and please go quietly'. I'm writing this not to harp on a done deal but to share what goes on inside when this happens to you. I suspect that today there are many of you going through job loss and some may be going through a separation at the same time. I can't imagine what you're going through if you're being hit with this double whammy. I can tell you though that just one of these is right up there on the list of huge life stressors. Symptoms ranging from anger to sadness to loss of concentration and yes, even self blame are a part of your daily routine. It's okay to reflect back, but I beg of you, don't add more to your system right now by blaming yourself. Even if there are things that you could or should have done differently, that's over with. Use the reflection to move forward or if you really feel that you've done something wrong, apologize and then move on. The rest of the grieving process is real stuff and should not be diminished. Today you're happy and sure that life sent you on the best possible path for you. The next day, you're sad and wondering where you fit in now. People might try to guide you in the right direction; according to their head space...saying things like,'You should find something to do that's productive', 'You want to be ready for the day that you won't be able to sit at home any longer', 'Why don't you take a course or something'. You don't need to do anything if you don't feel like doing anything. The only thing I think might help is to seek some guidance if you find that you're really struggling. You might still have access to an Employee Assistance Program. Or you could try a local resource centre for counselling. Find out for yourself what the grieving process is like; you don't have to take it from me. Get some material from them or out of the library on job loss or separation. That way if you are acting or thinking funny, you'll know that you're perfectly normal. And also, that way if you are taking longer than you'd like to pick up the pieces and move on, you'll have the help to get started. It is a new chapter in your life. They say that you are exactly where you're supposed to be. 'Bull', you might think. 'How on earth can this be exactly where I'm supposed to be'. But why don't we exercise a bit a patience; okay a lot of patience and see. Give it some time; this too shall pass (It is said, an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away." How much it expresses. How chastening in the hour of pride. How consoling in the depths of affliction). You're not alone out there. Thanks for reading

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I've been away for a long least as far as blogging goes. It's not easy to sell books; so, sometimes we throw out the baby with the bath water. But I'm back. My toons are being featured in Divorce Magazine on line, and I hope that people begin talking about Flying Solo again. I'm wondering if people want to use this forum as a way to chat about what's happening to them in their lives. Are you going through a separation, a divorce, have you lost a loved one. The other day a friend of mine told me on the phone that she is going through a separation. She told me in such a non chalant way that I figured she was fine about it. When we saw each other in person, it was a whole different story. I've been divorced now for many years and I had quite a different kind of situation than most; having lived with my ex for 7 years. So, I forgot, or rather didn't really know what a real live divorce felt like. The look in my friend's eyes and the tears filling up in them, I suddenly felt a punch in my stomach. I knew what she must be going through. The loss, the loneliness, the fear. I told her, 'You know, there is life after divorce'. So, I tell you all that too. Write to me with your comments and questions. I have a lot of supporters who can lend their expertise.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I think I’m driving my kids crazy

How old do your kids have to be for you to stop worrying about them? 20.. 30?
I’m pretty sure I am driving them crazy always being so concerned about them. Is there a support group out there for parents who just can’t let go? Aren’t we supposed to let them fall on their own asses? That’s how they learn.
I don’t want them learning life lessons the hard way! I wanna cushion their falls, lessen their blows. I can’t remember; did our parents do that for us?? I think I found myself on my ass a few times throughout the years.
Today, I resolve to let go of my grown children. It doesn’t mean I can’t throw a few dollars their way…or provide a bit of advice when asked. But I think I’ve reached their maximum threshold for advice and opinions. I may have spoken one or two times too many about excess weight, about health and nutrition. And I know I gave them enough advice about money and saving it. They’ve been far too patient with me. Perhaps I should now return the favour by letting them make these decisions on their own. In fact, how would I like it if someone started giving me unsolicited advice; they might say I walk my dog too much, they might tell me I’m overly concerned with nutrition….well, actually no one can be overly concerned with nutrition; but that’s a different subject for a different day. They might even try to tell me not to worry so much about my children!!! I sure wouldn’t want that. So, why would my kids like it. Yes, today I resolve to mind my own business. Whatever will I think about all day long?

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Fear prevents us from doing lots of good stuff. It's been a long time since I posted anything on my blog. The longer I go without writing, the more I 'fear' writing; 'how can I write anything after so long? won't people think I'm wierd?' do I have to stay on topic?. Who's even reading this blog? Who cares how long its been as long as you have something interesting to say. I find many people in this same situation. The girl laid off from work who can't seem to make herself go to an employment agency, the older man who's wife left him years ago, but won't accept a friend's offer to set him up.'s the culprit.
Perhaps we find the motivation when we're good and ready? Today I finally printed off two letters I had written back in April; one to Rosie O'Donnell and one to... wait for it....Howard Stern! Going with my gut on this one, I'm asking for their honest opinions...well, and then their help. I have quite the portfolio of famous cartoonists and authors to date, who have written to express their appreciation of Flying Solo. Heck, if I don't get published, at least I'll be able to say I gave it a good shot, and the cartoons were good enough to get all that attention. I wish I could brag here about who has written to me. I really do, but to respect their privacy, I will resist the urge.
Oprah hasn't called me yet...but then I've only blogged about her, and I mentioned waiting for her call in a newspaper interview. I have yet to send her a book. Harpo Studios said they don't take unsolicited material anymore. But heck, there's that fear again. What's the worst thing that could happen?!
It's a very quick time here on this least in the form in which we live at this moment. I used to think that there was no point to anything because time didn't seem to exist. But if let's say there was nothing before this and nothing after this (at least in the existing form) then all you have is Now. Why waste it?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Fonz!

I haven’t written in a while. It sure is hard to stay ‘up’ all the time, isn’t it? The days fly by as you drag yourself in to work every day, and the evenings…well, between walking the dog and cooking everything from scratch, who feels like doing anything other than reclining in front of the t.v. for an hour….before bed.
It isn’t because I haven’t had anything to say. In fact, it is quite the opposite. There’s always something to share. For example, the other day, I was standing in my reception area at work, when my cell phone rang. Luckily it was in my pocket…I hate having to make a run for it. I answered it with a bit more of a question in my voice than the usual…’helloo?’. “Is this Rebecca?” the man on the other end asked. “Yes”. “It’s Henry Winkler here”. “Is it true?” I asked, with a bit more of a question in my voice than usual. “Yes, it is true”, he responded. Anyone who has read about me knows that with every one of these types of calls (yes, there have been some), I remain as calm as can be as I am waiting for the ultimate call…from Oprah and Gayle about my cartoons for the divorced and widowed and of course, Gayle should appreciate, for the lone parent!
Going back to ‘The Fonz’....we had a lovely chat. I have to say that he is quite a gentleman. He’s just put out his 17th book for children about a little boy named Hank Zipzer , who has dyslexia. He’s very proud of his books; you can tell. Henry Winkler has no time in his life for Flying Solo; at least not now, but it sure was nice to hear from him in person.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lonely but healthy

The house is empty and quiet... and messy, but that's besides the point. Music, that's what's missing. I need some exercise. I'll dance around the house while I tidy up. Do you have any idea how important it is to keep active? And I don't mean walking around a shopping mall! I mean regular brisk walking or a half hour of shaking your booty in the house, or even in public if that's your desire. Whatever your pleasure, remember to get daily exercise. You must stay in shape.

I have recently faced a medical scare and I realize that whatever happens to us, we will fight it a lot better if our bodies are fit and strong. And a fit and strong body usually means a fit and strong mind.

I've been a bit of a health nut for the last 25 years. I never reached the extreme, but I tried to limit my meat consumption, I eat tofu and fish once a week, never touch white flour or white sugar, and I force myself to eat veggies. Eating veggies isn't as hard as you think. We've lost perspective on serving sizes. For example, a huge steak that should feed four is gobbled down in one sitting by a single person. A 'serving' of vegetables is a handful of lettuce or ready made coleslaw, a bit of red peppers, brocolli shaved into the bowl, snow peas, oil, honey, garlic, and a few walnuts or pecans. And voila, a healthy and delicious salad.

Concentrating on my health and what I put into my body helps me stay busy and feel less lonely. I just conjured up what I hope will be a yummy treat in just a few minutes. The music was playing, my booty was still shaking and I began to get creative. I cut up a pear and some apple into a baking dish, added frozen blackberries and raspberries (basically whatever fruit I had on hand). I broke up a natures valley granola bar as finely as I could, added some raw oatmeal and a bit of maple syrup. It's baking in the toaster oven as we speak. Who has time to be lonely when you're conjuring? Your mind is focused on doing the healthiest things for your body. And it doesn't have to stop at a fruit cobler. Make a few items for the week. Research healthy foods, like quinoe! It's fabulously healthy and delicious. It takes 15 minutes to cook. Shave some brocolli into it and have it with your favourite main dish. You can even add a few raisons. Look it up, it's full of protein.

You don't have to choose lonely, you can choose healthy instead. Believe me, it works!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saving as a single parent

How easy is it to save money as a single parent? It's almost impossible, but, in my opinion, you should do everything you can to save.

So, how do you tuck away money when you're a single guy who has to take a woman out now and then? By the time you're finished paying child support and picking up your half of soccer, and any other activity your child's involved in, your rent is due. And then, well, there isn't even enough to take yourself out for a bite. The problem is, though, without a little bit of savings, sudden emergencies can leave you in a panic. Your car breaks down or your prescription changes on your glasses. Or, if you're an older parent, your child comes to you and wants help paying for a wedding.

Let me tell you my story. I lost everything in the divorce... just like many single parents. Well, I shouldn't say everything. I have a few nice pieces of jewelry. Having those few nice things helped me not crave anything material. I didn't need to get a new pair of pants every few months, or new shoes, or a coat. I shopped at thrift stores. And yes, you can find some incredible things there! Half the woman in my offices look like a million bucks dressed in thrift store finds! If I wanted to take my children on an outing, it would be somewhere free.

The point is, don't think for a second that those lattes and biscottis every afternoon aren't adding up. Do the math. Keep a bag in your car and get a receipt for every item you buy. Add up those receipts at the end of the month, and see how much it comes out to. Cut back on spending those dollars, and voila, you can pay for an oil change, a brake job, and, if you keep at it, even your daughter's wedding. It's a matter of discipline and sacrifice. Forgo the frivolous for the valuable. That's my two cents.

I understand how tough things can be, believe me. And I know how important it is to treat yourself. It's just that it is the greatest feeling not stressing when that big ticket item comes knocking at your door.

If you have any questions, I'd be delighted to elaborate or help.