Bring on the Blush

I found a lot of wisdom in a conversation with a #weight loss expert recently. She said that the main reason women in particular unconsciously layer on fat is to cover up their #disappointments in life. I thought this was such a sad yet profound statement. On the weight gain front, I’m still fitting into most of my clothes so I’m a lucky.

Here’s some of my recent disappointments, but I focus on extracting positive vibes from them.

On occasion, I still yell at the #kids like a banshee when they say one thing and do another and my patience thins down to a microscopic layer. My daughter promises “No Mom I won’t waste the full water bottle, it’s gonna be a dog toy.” Five seconds later, the dog’s yelping and my kind, loving daughter is splashing our wretched Biscuit and making him run off with his tail tucked deep into his buttocks. I take a deep breath and avoid doing something violent to my keyboard as I’m typing. Sigh.  

My kids will always drive me nuts. At my deathbed my daughter will hold my hand and say “Mom, I forgot to tell you that…” and I’ll hopefully die before I hear the end of the confession. I can only hope for mercy at the end of life.

My writing group says my characters shouldn’t sigh – it’s too obvious a device to use. I guess I show disappointments too readily instead of making them subtler. If I’m self-indulgent I allow bitterness to suffocate my heart.

I can’t tolerate this feeling any longer.

Universe grant me more patience and openness.

I’ve been avoiding annoying experiences in general. For example I’ve put off calling our Health insurance company for over a month. They aren’t paying us properly for my physiotherapy sessions. I summoned up the courage to sort out the claim and a kind person helped me.

Rolling one

To unlock my stiffened joints, I’ve discovered #foamrolling with a hard, unbending cylinder, it hurts in my face-screws-up-dramatically kinda way, but I can do a few more downward facing dogs (that’s a yoga move Dad) than I could a month ago.

I’m even trying a plank challenge of sorts, (well I’ve done it twice.) Holding myself up on my elbows against all odds for a minute and I promise you the last fifteen seconds are meaningful. My famous purple veins pulsate as I try to avoid collapsing.

My once very painful jaw doesn’t shoot pain up my face when I move it anymore and it isn’t locked. So what if it clicks loudly sometimes and is a tad weak, I can eat a banana comfortably. The physiotherapist who works on my jaw is so cute I crave the headaches he gives me, and my bruised cheek fascia. Anytime David, and thanks you’re awesome!


My sister sent me a note saying we are never rejected from things in life, we are only redirected to better things. Word choice is everything here. I feel like every day a task I avoid distracts me or a meal I need to cook takes me away from finishing a chapter edit. So I wonder if that comment helps. But some of my redirections are fabulous.

I’m not writing as much as I would like, but I’m writing something. That something fills me with smiles and makes me feel worthwhile. It also allows me to connect with my readers and that is an amazing privilege.

I’ve started singing in a chorus despite not being able to sight-read. I often guess the rhythm of the notes when they get tied together and run uphill. Fortunately, I haven’t been asked to leave yet. When the conductor asks the altos to sing their part by themselves, I feel my cheeks flare-up. That doesn’t happen enough in life. I need to feel that fear, focus for two hours and breathe deeply during rehearsals. My brain gets a rest from all the other nonsense. I hear myself getting better and we sound like #angels sometimes which I know is a massive stretch. I can’t wait for the concert – we’re wearing black and pearls. Now we’re talking sexy!

My son is sweet to me, he compliments me: he says he respects what I do for our family. A friend says she really appreciates me and tells me I’m a person of excellence, which I scoff at inside and wish it were true. Another friend shows me love with a hug or a focused ear, it happens a lot yet I feel a little awkward about compliments. I normally tease my hubby or close friends to show affection.

Yet genuine sweetness and thoughtfulness is a #blessing.

I’m up for embracing all forms of sweet. A friend said, “Well get used to it.” So I will stop sabotaging warm moments with self-deprecation and let love soothe my mind and heart.

I’m giving up disappointment, am feelin’ the joy!   


Frustrations can go jump in the nearest germ infested hot tub with old tires lining the bottom to trap them in the murky depths.

A fabulous yoga teacher at New York Sports Club always says Be the positive example you want to see in the world. Shine your light.

I’m going to get #disciplined about disappointment. I won’t avoid it at all costs. I’m gonna use discontentment as a motivational catalyst to help me see what I don’t like in a situation and use it to promote change to improve my life.

Wow- now we’re transforming disappointments into a seriously helpful tool!

There’s no magic cure to life. We need to continue the hard work of being life-long learners.

A goofy video of an energy therapist offered an exercise to improve my happiness factor from a 5 to a 7 with 10 being max. (Yes I still choose some out-there distractions.) She suggested we increase our joy by breathing in and out while focusing on feeling happier. As I washed the dishes I half-heartedly followed along. It actually worked, bless her hippy voice and swirls of beads that dangled from her neck.

Focus on the positive and it shall appear! 

Be the alpha in your life!

Value what we want, these are our desires and we’ll start creating lasting change for our betterment.

Explore that class you’ve been thinking about. Take that dance lesson, read that philosophy book. Bake that meringue. Speak Spanish. Sing. Smile!

#Effort achieves #growth.

We’re not frightened of getting our hands and faces mucky.

Get out there and knock those disappointments out of your line-of-sight and bring on the #Bohemian Rhapsody!

Thank you for reading. I really hope it makes you smile.



About Jackie Cartwright

Jackie Cartwright spent her childhood in Northern Ireland, during the Troubles, in a farming town called Limavady, where “Northern Branches” takes place. She is a former English and Theatre Studies high-school teacher, who attended Leeds and Oxford University. She taught in London for five years, finishing as a Department Head. She has worked as an Assistant Director for successful British TV dramas such as “Daylight Robbery”, and dabbled as a radio presenter for an English hospital radio. This novelist ‘wanna be’ lives in New York with her husband, a hungry Guinea Pig, five goldfish and two small kids. She fell in love with the U.S.A while working at a Summer Camp in Maine and during a semester at Ripon College Wisconsin as part of her B.A. She is active in several local not-for-profit organizations, acting as a mentor at Women Care and as the leader of the Westchester Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network for four years. She adores volunteering for WNYC New York Public Radio and is an active PTA member. Jackie partners with the Sound Shore Writers Group in Rye, and has attended several writing courses at Sarah Lawrence and Gotham Writers Workshop. She teachers writing when she finds the time. On her Tumblr blog,, Jackie shares her Irish wit, a passion for writing, and holistic parenting. “Northern Branches” is her debut novel.
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