Evolution: Heiddi 2.0

Evolution?

I should say so. After a year-long hiatus preceded by a two year hiatus, you figure why do I keep doing this to myself? Haven’t I figured out what I’ve wanted to do yet?

Frankly, no. Here I am a college graduate and bilingual licensed mental health counselor working with low-income families in New York City. As of 2011, when I received my licensure, I also accomplished my goals. Which is an amazing feeling and a proud moment for me.

Turning Point

But, with all my accomplishments and achieved goals as of 2011, comes what next? For the past few years, I’ve been trying to find out. I’ve reduced a lot of my extra-curricular activities such as playing guitar at my local church (12 years), paid blogging (6 years) and writing in general (too many years to count).

Self-Evaluation

I’ve been spending more time in self-evaluation mode while also prepping for the arrival of my second son, Benjamin who arrived on June 21, 2014. Yes, Andy’s a big brother now and I’m still the single mom of now two amazing boys. I’m a very happy mom.

While being a proud mom is great, I still have goals simmering within me waiting to be unleashed in the world. I’ve found that I need to set new goals and discover new passions.

IMG-20120607-00467

What I hope to share on this website is positivity and wellness – whether I’m writing about mental health or the simple things that bring me joy. I’d like to keep writing and sharing these with you.

The Heiddi 2.0 Evolution is here – will you join me?

Parenting: Credit Where Credit is Due

Parenting is a very tough job. Parenting while in a relationship and feeling alone as a parent is even tougher. Everyone knows that, right? Nope. There are people out there who have no idea what it is like. There are some men out there who don’t acknowledge everything a mother does for her child. One man who used to be that way is Austin Blood.

In his post about the chaos of fatherhood, Austin had the courage to admit that he used to be one of those men (like my son’s father) who left parenting to the mom (more like ran away screaming) and continued on his merry way. Austin scored bigger points with me by acknowledging how amazing his ex-wife was (and is) as a mother. His words had a profound affect on me as I read his post during my lunch yesterday.

As I sit here writing while kiddo sleeps, my eyes tearing, I feel Austin’s appreciation. For roughly 10 years, I felt alone as a parent – running around doing everything to make sure kiddo had everything he needed. Sure, kiddo’s father pitched in sometimes, but I held the reins (had to or things wouldn’t get done). After 10 years of feeling like a single mom, I made myself one by breaking up with kiddo’s father.

For the last 3 years, kiddo’s father has been like Austin – having to figure things out on his own without “the blissful days of yore” of having me around to do everything. When he’s on kiddo time, my ex has to figure out pick-ups (we’re affected by the school bus strike here), meals, homework…EVERYTHING. And after 3 years, kiddo’s father isn’t willing to say how amazing I am as a mother to his son. I hear it from my family, friends and co-workers. But, not from kiddo’s father. In fact, I had to tell him a few weeks ago (via text because sometimes we just don’t talk ) that he should be thankful for the mother kiddo has because I’m a damned good mom! But, Austin said it for him.

Thank you Austin, for being man enough, adult enough to give us moms the thanks we deserve. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Happy 10th in Heaven Mami

If you’ve visited me within the last two weeks (thanks btw), you’ve probably seen that I’ve fallen off the writing bandwagon. I’ve not been so busy that I couldn’t write. I’ve chosen not to.

Mami in her heyday.

See this picture – she’s the reason why I’ve been offline. It’s been ten years since I’ve not hugged her or heard her voice. Some days the memories are so clear that it’s like she’s sitting next to me. And other days – it’s so hard to remember how she did the things she did.

I look at my son and see how much he’s grown. It is in looking at him that I’m reminded of the passage of ten years. He was just a year and a half when she died. And she loved him SO much! I just wanted to share that Mami was the strongest woman I’ve ever met and there will NEVER be another mom like her. My mom, my role model, my pain in the ass. I love you Mami. Until we meet again.

Frances Reyes (1942 – 2002)

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9/11 – Reflections

It’s once again Tuesday, September 11. 11 years have gone by and I STILL have a clear picture of what happened that day.

A few weeks ago, I spent part of a Sunday afternoon with my pal Danielle and her beautiful family. They were coming in from Connecticut into the city and wanted me to join them. One of our stops was the 9/11 Memorial.

Ever since it opened, I had not thought about going there. In fact, I wondered if it would become yet another tourist trap like all of the other places in NYC. And so, I avoided it. I didn’t need to see it (so I thought) because I was here that day. I walked home on 9/11. I thought my mother died on 9/11. And I wept on 9/11 when I finally arrived home that night and watched video of that horrible day.

Yet, when my pal invited me, I went. Having support really does make a difference.  Here I am reflecting. Danielle (Elwood) took this picture of me looking out over the pool. It was so quiet and peaceful. As if nothing had truly happened.

But, it did. We then went to the gift shop, which also had items of that tragic day.  And that’s when I fell apart. I saw a powder covered fireman’s helmet and burst into tears. I instantly remembered my mom’s powdered sneakers (which were black originally) and thought about that Tuesday, 11 years ago.

I thought that I was okay, but I realized that for me 9/11 will NEVER be okay. It’ll be a part of me always.

9/11 Memorial in NYC

Reflecting over the reflecting pool. (Danielle Elwood)

In loving memory of all those who lost their lives that day, those first responders who’ve lost their lives since then and for the rest of us left behind. “We will never forget” 9/11/01

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Writerly Goals

As the new school year approaches, I find myself considering what my options are for writing. I can say that I’m a good blogger, though I can be better.
Right now, my focus has been settling into the new job and making sure kiddo has a good summer. And both goals have been met. It’s been much easier for me to have goals, both short-term and long-term for my son’s education and my own career. When it comes to writing though, it’s been a challenge.
I’ve set and kept a goal of writing at least once a week on the blog. I’ve even hit a couple of conferences this year (like BlogHer12). But, I wonder what is really going to light a fire under my ass to put myself out there enough that will get me the blogging jobs I want.
So, I’m going to set this goal for myself – that the end of 2012 will find me with a redesigned website to showcase my work. That leaves me four months. Period. Onto the weekend.

This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Read Heiddi’s Full Disclosure here.

Glam Me: Long Island Edition

Mommy’s Links is back with the fourth installment of Glam Me this time in Long Island and the last one of 2012. With a variety of vendors and sponsors,  Mommy’s Links provides YOU with the pampering and fun you deserve.

This time around Mommy’s Links makes it easy and affordable to get your glam on while sticking to your budget. Check out the details below and get your Glam Me ticket today! See you there!

Saturday, September 22, 2012
6pm-10pm

Long Island Children’s Museum
11 Davis Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530

Directions

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My #BlogHer12

This year’s BlogHer was my first ever. I had only been to one smaller blogging conference before, so I was really looking forward to seeing what BlogHer was all about.

It literally blew my mind. I’ve lived in the city that never sleeps my whole life, but the Hilton Hotel was like NYC on New Year’s Day at midnight. Madness surrounded me with attendees, sponsors and helpers all around. It took me awhile to blend in with the crush of people.

But, when I did, I had a blast. I went to breakfast and then a session. The rest of my day (I only went on Saturday) was spent running around the hotel meeting with various sponsors. I also connected with many of my twitter pals in real life and realized why I loved them so much. So, thank you BlogHer for such a great experience. Until next year!
Special shout out to my twitter pals who rocked and made me feel so welcome. You know who you are. 🙂

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Featured on MamaDramaNY

Well, don’t I feel special? I sure do after being featured on MamaDramaNY. Yesterday, MamaDramaNY had ME (can’t believe it – thanks for the honor) as a featured network member. I was so excited when I received  the invitation, so please check me out! 🙂
Thanks MamaDramaNY.

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It’s Official: I’m in the Sandwich Generation

It’s official, I am now part of the sandwich generation. This week, I was bombarded with a sick child and a sick parent.

My father had kidney stones and went in for a procedure today (he’s totally fine). I’m glad his lady companion is so attentive of him. I called Pop before heading out for the day. Though he was a bit down, he perked up when I said I’d call to check on him this afternoon, which I did. I got the report that he was doing well and would be good enough to go back to work next week.

And kiddo, well, he picked up a virus from somewhere. It’s not harmful, but according to his pediatrician, it’s an epidemic among kids. Kiddo had a raging fever Saturday morning that stayed until Sunday morning. The fever medication brought it down so he was fine. But, kiddo woke up Monday morning with small warts on his hands and elbows!  A couple of them popped, gross! Kiddo said that they hurt, but the doc gave me a week’s worth of antibiotics so he’ll be just fine.

And all of this with less than two months on the new job. Fun right? Onto the next sandwich generation adventure!

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New Job: First Month Report

Well, it has been a whole month since I started my new job. I’m a child & family therapist with a small non-profit in my hometown.
It has been quite a learning curve since I was out of the workforce for four months. Yes, only four months. It was the first time since age 19 that I’d not worked at all. I went back to work when kiddo was six weeks old. (Another post on that some other time.)
So after four months of being home, bummed out because I felt so rejected (even spent 2 weeks so depressed my social work bff was so worried about me) and feeling like I wanted to quit the field entirely – a job came my way.
And I’ve been working it.
The hours feel long, but I’m slowly adjusting to it. I’m getting used to having a work routine (though I think it’ll take longer because I’ve not worked this schedule before) and because I’m putting pressure on myself. I know this will get easier with time (have to repeat this to myself everyday; several times a day in fact).
In the meantime, early bedtimes and lots of coffee will keep me going. Lol Wonder what next month will bring?
PS – thanks to all of my pals online and off that supported and carried me through this challenging time. Couldn’t have done it without you! Love you! 🙂