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Monday, November 27, 2017

You Don't Have To Stand Alone





Think it can't happen to you? Think again. Proof is in the American pudding that women (and men) over fifty, after divorce or widowhood end up standing alone, in droves, in the struggle of their lives, especially in this current administration. Recently, I read an article Unemployed, 55 and Faking Normal. I was shocked! Even I identified with much of its content at some point in time during my ten years divorced over forty, sometimes employed, sometimes not, sometimes contracted to write, sometimes not, sometimes well, sometimes ill, sometimes able, sometimes not.  It's way too easy to do… to become homeless and alone!

Well, I guess I should define "homeless" first. 
  • If it's not your own... you're posting up in someone's bedroom in their house and their scowling at your situation... you're homeless.
  • If you're on the streets, nowhere to lay your head but the park bench... you're homeless.
  • If you are penniless and shelter bound... you are homeless.
  • If you have lost your home and are temporary parked on someone's sofa... you're homeless.
  • If you are still employed, but come "home" from work to the sofa in the corner of the living room of someone else's home because you're temporarily displaced... you're as good as homeless.
I've learned that there is an art to struggling after a life of stability. There's an art to keeping your head above water when its gray and perhaps unmarketable. There's an art to maintaining your sanity when your future looks like it could very well be roof-less. There's a method to the madness of being over fifty, under divorce, widowed, with insufficient income.

I saw another heart-wrenching article called The Graying Of America's Homeless and immediately thought, but that doesn't have to be! Who am I to judge, but it looked to me like they'd given up and resigned to homelessness. Struggle or not, at least in the struggle there's still a roof over your head, so don't resign! I couldn't understand a seventy-year-old woman on the streets after being evicted five years earlier. What I could understand was the threat of being evicted and having your faith in tact, and prayers in order, with my belief in tow that I would have a place to stay, and I did. So, the only thing I could offer is real-life advice on how to save yourself from becoming homeless. The potential is real.

In Single For The First Time, page 137, I wrote:


"A mature, newly divorced woman has her best days ahead of her, but she much know it, and breathe life into this fact. Statistically, an older dependent woman will live out her days on the meager side of life after a divorce, or the death of her husband. However, it is most unfortunate when that forty, fifty, even sixty-year old, unemployed, friendless, newly single woman believes that she must be lumped into these stats, feeling she's got nothing much to live for. That kind of woman could buy into this lie, and unwittingly walk herself into a dejected place that blinds her to her favorable future."

Will Power - You had it when you were younger. Where did it go? Go back and get it! The struggle will kill you without will power.

Your Words - When you've got nothing else, you've got your words. Honest to God, if you say,
"I don't know what I'm gonna do,"
"I don't want to bother my kids," or
"I guess I'll just…" one more time!
Listen, put away the notion that words don't matter. I PROMISE YOU… YOUR WORDS MATTER. They matter so much that when you speak them, things around you change. Things around you come in alignment with what you say, see (internally) and believe. You can literally speak and believe yourself into a better situation!

Respect The Struggle - It is important to stay present; accept where you are, but see yourself where you want to be. Some people fall into fantasy and only see themselves living so far beyond where they are, that they lose focus on the work needed to literally get them in a more progressive place. Then others only see where they are. The struggle is not forever, it is only for now. You have the power to speed up, or slow down your change. Keep at it. It's coming.

Money Is Everywhere Get yours! Your grey top may scare away some would-be employers, but keep looking. Pride will cause permanent poverty, so find a job or solve a problem (start a business), quickly! You can get hired somewhere if you have the right countenance.  OR, you can do your thing right from home. The day we live in makes it très easy! Go to YouTube, for starters, and look up info on streams of income to earned right from home, or with your hands! Or, if someone wants to pay you to clean their 10, 000 sf area, do it! Walk dogs, sew, cook, crochet, knit, bake, babysit, become a Nanny. Go to work somewhere until you can do better. Being homeless is unnecessary when you're still able bodied. 

Prayer - Worry will disjoint you. Choose prayer and meditation instead. Not complaining, just prayer. Not blaming, prayer. It's true that you don't have to worry about anything at all, but in every single issue in your life, if you put your tears and anguish with prayer, and show thankfulness, make your requests known in prayer to God. Yes, I said God, not G-d. He is Life. He and we are actually ONE. So don't frustrate yourself by thinking that He's out there somewhere in the unreachable yonder. Quiet yourself and LISTEN within! He is as close to you as your very breath!


Nhat Crawford, author, suffered displacement after illness and grey divorce for many years before things finally turned around, so she knows first-hand the woes of standing alone. Her book, Single For The First Time is a go-to for those threatened with the plight of grey divorce, poverty, and displacement.

Contact information:
nhatcrawford@gmail.com
Atlanta, Georgia





Friday, May 20, 2016

Single For The First Time : Gremlins In My Belly!

Single For The First Time : Gremlins In My Belly!: The Long Grey Divorce Walk There is always room for help to those in the throes of Grey Divorce  where shock abounds. As you're slo...

Gremlins In My Belly!

 
The Long Grey Divorce Walk

There is always room for help to those in the throes of Grey Divorce where shock abounds. As you're slogging about, numbed by the disruption of a life that was supposed to be forever… until 'death do us part'… it looks grim. Twenty, thirty years of marriage investment, even longer for some, gone in the firey puff of one decision. And, you weren't prepared.

They say that a person's placement in life is their own doing; that they put themselves right in the midst of the divorce… the breakup… or any other malformed occurrence in one's life. If life is a struggle, it's their own fault. If life is glorious, that's their own doing, too - they say. For a long while, I disagreed with this. It made no sense to me. I figured this conclusion came from mere over-zealous self-help stuff. I was stuck on blaming my outward forces; my introspection was limited.
"Nope. Sorry! Tell that to someone who doesn't know better," I argued.
"I was thrown into divorce. I didn't ask for it," I sadly sang.
"I'm displaced because of him," I had cried.
"I'm poor because of him!" I shouted.
"My life's calling has been disrupted because he threw me away to struggle on my own,"I cried some more.
"I didn't do this to myself, he did!" I complained.
"I'm without a home because of him," I thought.
"I live at rock bottom all because of his decision. He put me here!"

Those were the cries of the frightened lost soul I'd become and I've heard other grey divorcees chant the same. As for me, I actually believed those accusations and spewed them for a long time. Those thoughts encircled my mind and nearly smothered me to death. Whatever I could no longer do was because he'd taken away my cushion, my provision, my stability and devastated my children in the interim. I was convinced!

That was my mantra. Period. Then one day I woke up.

Wow! How mentally ill I'd become because my attention had turned towards me, my and mine. I'd been thrusted into a maze and didn't know which direction to try first to escape. But, while standing there, confused, sulking, I was forced inward and found my own faulty gremlins rejoicing inside my belly because they'd won! After further self-observation it occurred to me that they couldn't claim total victory because I was, after all, still standing.

When any of us find ourselves at an impasse, the very first thing we MUST do, is find how we contributed. 

It's an imperative that we cannot circumvent. If we do, we are subject to die like a dog for no good reason in the midst of an already gross disruption in life. It's likely that we will not have to search that deep or wide to find ourselves at the core of the problem!

Your spouse can be 80% at fault, but it's probably your 20% that tipped it over.

No fair? It doesn't really matter, unfortunately. In the struggle against death (which is what divorce mimics), fairness flies away as present reality demands all of our attention. In this case, kill pride, face yourself, bow down and heal slowly and thoroughly. If you don't, your unhealed thought life, or decision making, will impede your progress. Up ahead there lies the new person you'll become, so be deliberate.
~~~
What you do today…
How you handle the real truth about your fault in your marital demise…
The words that leave your mouth… 
These fill your new world, affects your future, and how well it goes for you. Who you will become rides on these!  
~~~
Grey Divorce can feel like the end of the world, but it isn't. It's just the end of the world YOU had grown accustomed to. I tell you, once I was out here - in Single Land - I found it to be massive, cold and nearly impossible to navigate through. Too many women lose their way there and are never found whole again. Their view becomes misted with fear and all else that is wrong with this new world. The easiest thing for a grey divorcee to do, after being tossed out on her bum, is to spin out of control, dizzy, because she doesn't know what's right anymore.

She likely doesn't know that the first thing she must do is protect herself and keep the rest of her life from being ill-judged and toppled over.

How in the world does a new "grey head" do that? Here's how: Read, pray and listen… A LOT (for starters!). Counseling, too? Of course! 

On this journey from marriage and co-dependency, to first-time singleness, I've done just that. After a few years living divorced, I even wrote a book [that I hadn't seen in bookstores; one that would serve as a handbook of sort to get other over-forty first-time divorcees through the maze], entitled: Single For The First Time. I'm happy to report that the book has become an invaluable key to enlighten women spiritually, emotionally - for starters - after the death of their long-term marriages.

~~
Nhat Crawford

nhatsbooks.com
Here's a quote from one of Wallace D. Wattles' books that blew me away, then brought me back!:
 "You have nothing to keep right but yourself; if you keep yourself right, nothing can possibly go wrong with you and you have nothing to fear. No business or other disaster can come upon you if your personal attitude is right, for you are a part of that which is increasing and advancing and you must increase and advance with it…. If you see the world as a lost and ruined thing you will see yourself as a part of it, and as partaking of its sins and weaknesses. If your outlook for the world as a whole is hopeless, your outlook for yourself cannot be hopeful."

This quote was a game changer for me. As grey divorcees, we are way too old, too seasoned to stagnate ourselves in victimization. Look inside, find it, learn what this world has for you as an individual, then live!

   Next, I read: 
"If you see the world as declining toward it's end, you cannot see yourself as advancing. Unless you think well of all the works of God you cannot really think well of yourself, and unless you think well of yourself you can never become great."

The point is, women who have been discarded, or have felt as if they have been, must think well of themselves regardless, all the while remaining humble, in order to reach the greatness that is still theirs. Realizing her errors is a victory, not an encumbrance to offend her, or weigh her down. Humility, not anger, will open up this new world to share its wonders and welcome her aboard.

Yes, people are talking and bringing up your past - your calamity. But, hey, deal with it. They've seen you fall so what else do you expect them to do? They will talk! Perhaps, they've seen you living poorly in your time of transition. Your mistakes and patting to find your way in the dark was done before their eyes and became gossip material for them. Now, make it a point to live well, too, right before their eyes. And, if at all possible, don't stay down too long after you've searched yourself and found hidden peccadillo gremlins within! That was all in the past. You made wrong decisions and it costed you. Own them, first. Discard them next. Be better and move on. If the past wasn't meant to be gotten over, the world would hang motionless in the universe. But, instead, it is an ever revolving mass of life and reproduction. So must you be, too. Just keep walking with your sights toward the light up ahead!


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Selah




There's no feeling like getting an email, Facebook inbox message, or phone call from a woman whose seen or heard of my book, Single For The First Time, asking how they can get a copy because their husband of thirty years wants a separation, or divorce. It's heartbreaking. Where is this epidemic spawning from? Is it from deep within the wife? Has she become slack in her femininity, or something? Perhaps her eyes have become dim and she no longer sees her husband's needs, or his wandering eye. Maybe the light's gone from his eyes, and he wants to be alone. Bored maybe? What if he's just tired and wants a change of scenery. Who the heck knows?

But, there is a harsh reality that I do know: Women over forty, married and content had better learn that, no matter how lovely, nothing lasts forever. Have your personal ducks in a row so that life won't wipe you out should you have to go it alone. Period.

'Oh, Lord! Nhat, how dare you say such a thing! And you call yourself a God fearing woman?!' 

Yes, ma'am and sir, I sure am a God loving, trusting, and fearing woman who lives in a fallen world surrounded by arms of flesh that fail every day. When my arms of flesh walked out the door my ducks were not in a row. Heck, I didn't even have any ducks, so I thought.

Look, I know that women these days are a lot more savvy; they're career focused (after their family, I hope), co-partners in business with their spouse; even the stay-at-home moms are taking on virtual jobs, and the like, to earn a little something between chores and the responsibilities of marriage. The truth is, it is smart to put some focus on self-care and self-love. That includes income… savings… investments… something!

 One day you just might have to carry yourself. You may even have to carry your husband. Stuff happens! Roles switch!
 (Sometimes, right before walking out the door)

This is not a day and time for wives to trade duties for financial stability. I'm not always sure if women who get such horrible news are working women, or at least a contributor of more than food, sex and cleaning, but I do know that a man wants to be able to differentiate his wife from his kids. They all have their breaking point. We all do.

Would I say to the nearing fifty marrieds, 'Don't get too comfortable'? Uh, yes. I'd be bold enough to say that. 

The only comfort you should relish in is making sure you're working as hard and as smart as he is. God forbid, he isn't! Stay practiced. I don't care if you're the good Christian, the devoted Buddist, the unsure Agnostic, or the apathetic Atheist. The matter here is being a woman whose life could change by the whim of your man's emotions that you will not be able to figure out on your own. Fortify YOURSELF, first. If being first is good enough for a plane ride-- you know, when the flight attendant tells you to put the oxygen mask on YOURSELF FIRST, then your child, or neighbor-- then this principle will work well for you in life. Besides, helping you, helps you to help him. Selah.


Copies available - Nhatsbooks.com
Nhatcrawford@gmail.com

                                           
























Monday, December 14, 2015

Self-love Never Hurt A Greyhead, Yet


DISCIPLINE and SELF-LOVE = STRENGTH and POWER

Too many times women, even men, of Grey Divorce (who I often call Greyheads) suffer needlessly in the areas of esteem, and various self-disciplines. Their strength wanes until they are not much good for themselves, let alone another. However, I've learned that SELF IS FIRST, not a new 'other' or the one who left you behind!

Let's face it, divorce over forty, fifty, and beyond, is a grungy place to end up. It's like living under an eternally starless night. What a weakening place to be!  
But, THERE'S ALWAYS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL 
(but you gotta keep walking)

THERE IS FRESH AIR IN THE MIDST OF SMOTHERING GRIEF, TOO.
(but you gotta dig for it)

  THERE ARE STREAMS IN THE DESSERT
(but you must trust and believe it)

And, THERE IS STRENGTH and POWER IN LOVING YOURSELF
(but you must [we must] never give up)

These possibilities all point back to you and me, however. There is no proverbial six-pack, or real one, without discipline, which is nothing more than self-love. This is a lesson I'm learning with you!

When I ran across this article How to Grow Self-Discipline, by Robin Sharma, I had to share it with you. Take the meat and leave any bones, of course, but check it out nonetheless. Don't just be inspired there in your seat, either. Get up and do this in the name of self-love. That ballerina above didn't get that way by giving up, lacking discipline, or not loving herself, that's for sure. Let's do this together!






Nhatsbooks.com















 

Friday, December 11, 2015

She, The Tree



Women have long since the beginning of time endured and overcome. Some have endured and succumbed. The changes that life bring can be a joy and a culprit; excitement and heartbreak, or these changes can serve as education and preparation!

The Majestic Oak, Majestic Oaks Housing Development

When a woman is as snug as a bug in a rug, the stable warmth that surrounds her cannot be compared to anything else. I'm telling you there is nothing better; nothing like it, and once it is disturbed; rattled, or destroyed, a piece of that woman is, too. Her spirit is often crushed, compromised. Her soul wanders, changes, and sends out feelers often to wolves in sheep's clothing, and she has no idea. Of course the evil unseen plot is to finish the woman off as her grief aids this process along. Nothing bleeds like a broken heart, and, oh, how the wolves pick up the scent immediately!

How can a woman protect herself while weakened by grief?
How can she protect herself when she's never really had to before?

Now that she's been spotlighted and all enemies see her...
Now that she's been spotlighted and all her friends have run away... What is her next step?

  • She must heal her own wounds lest the wolves of life lick them dry for her... Then she's indebted to them. 
  • She must dry her weeping eyes lest they blind her to the harsh wall before her... A collision that could take her out for good. 
  • She must welcome strength to her legs to walk the path before her... She must walk and not die on the path.
  • She must live by what she knows to be true, not by what she feels and by what looks impossible today.
No matter what, the woman is spirit and it's in the spirit where she must dwell. Her empty purse is not the problem. Her bleeding heart isn't either. Not even her lonely nights, or the empty plate on the other side of the dinner table, is worthy much of complaining. Her spirit is her restart place; it must be re-built... re-loved... and yes, recruited by the love master that has been there all the time. She must not resist but move in trust and obedience. What has she got to lose? If she doesn't have that answer, she must at least know what she has to gain!

There has never been a majestic tree anywhere that didn't first grow for years beneath the ground, in moist darkness, as its roots spread sometimes for miles through crowds of other roots in the dirt, before it began its ascension to break through the earth as a sapling. Then within months, a few short years, it grew to be an unstoppable tree unlike any before it. The roots of a tree determines its stance, strength, and longevity. Think about that when it comes to you!


That's likened the woman in recovery. Preparation is often:

Dark (no outside interruptions there)

Dank (there's actually living waters nearby)

Dirty (no construction site is clean) and

Crowded (with many questions and temptations until you decide to quiet yourself and focus on the journey) but your outcome is majestic.


Only God can grow a tree they say. Let the One who made you, re-do and re-grow you. How?
Note the tree...

And, I suggest that you:
*Note Ruth...
*Note Leah...
*Note David...
*Note Daniel...
*Note Joseph...
*Note Proverbs...
*Note Sarah...
*Note Hagar...
*I don't know a better note than Jesus who never said a mumbling word...  He just knew.

Nhat Crawford, author













Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dating Widows




After becoming single for the first time in my life, I concluded that a Widow's position was no different than mine had become.
In fact women who'd become single after the age of forty or fifty were actually Widows, too, who'd lost their husband by door or by death. He either walked out the door, or passed away. 
No doubt by age forty a woman has lived a lot, cried a lot, seen at least some of the world and knows what she wants, and what she doesn't. Her value system is solid. So, here she is now single. Perhaps she'd been married like I was... ALL of her adult life with NO CLUE about dating or getting to know someone before taking him on domestically. At nineteen, I was a "good church girl" who'd heard about marriage being the only way for long-term relationships.

The twenty-first century Gray Divorcee, or widowed woman, isn't always doing things yesterday-style. Dating is one of them.  
Remarrying is another. Today some door widows would rather not give it a go at all. Below is a list of things and manners to be considered when dating a Gray Divorcee, or Widow:

1. She may not want to date at all: Hey, we like each other enough. We fit. Let's just get married. I'm used to being settled and stable.

2. Don't hover over her. She's free for the first time [in a long time] and it tastes pretty good. Look, you might have needs, but I'm looking at mine right now. I'll get to yours in a minute. I'm still prioritizing.

3. Many times she will appear to be confused. She doesn't know what she wants anymore. No man wants that. She loves the new view from the Single perspective, but needs the security he can offer. I like him. I want to be with him but I prefer my cake and his frosting. How about a compromise? Can't we share the cake? I'll take two thirds...

4. She will NOT tolerate disrespect. She's still reeling from being ousted from a marriage she thought would never end. You can say Boo! to her and she will take your head off! Be careful guys!


5. Her esteem has been so damaged, SHE WILL tolerate disrespect. Be careful ladies because it's only a desperate woman who tolerates abuse of any kind. Disrespect is abusive. Go get healed first and leave dating alone! You're not ready!

6. She may have an overwhelming urge to be satisfied with her own independence instead. It's hard to date and get to know a forty-something year old who's acting like someone fresh out of college. She's on a mission to find who she lost in her marriage, or something! Walk away from her and save yourself some frustration!

7. Believe it or not, there are some Widows today that only want to date and have fun as long as they can! Immature? Hmm...