Surviving When You Didn’t Listen to Your Intuition

Surviving when you did not listen to your intuition often brings with it some emotional pain, some anger, some feelings of wanting to smack someone and these are all valid feelings.  Once you work through them all the most amazing thing happens – you realize it wasn’t you.  If you think it was, think again.

Many times we are asked to join in, be a member, be a part, of something and we are so excited at the prospect we don’t hear our intuition asking “Are you sure this is the right thing to do?”

We don’t because many times we are excited to have been asked to be a member of the “in crowd”.  We are flattered, we are tickled, we are excited.  Then something changes, and usually it is something small, but big enough to make us think.  Our intuition does kick in at this point because we begin to feel a little uncomfortable about things.  It is like we are sitting on a tack and wiggling back and forth but we cannot put our finger on what’s happening.

When we are totally tapped into our intuition we live a better life.  Our intuition helps us make choices based on what we actually want.  Many times we resist our intuition and we say yes to a date, a job, a friend and it doesn’t work out.  We told our intuition to take a seat in the back and we just plowed into situations without hearing the horn honk.

We have all done it and we eventually come out on the other side and we are still breathing so what do we do about this in the future?

Well the biggest solution I have is to train yourself to listen more.  You already have intuition, learn to use it better.

In my case I walked into a meeting one morning and I knew that I had been talked about.  I felt it.  My intuitive powers kicked in and I could sense that people were different to me.  It was that obvious.  No one was overly excited to see me.  I could feel their attitude had changed.  I sat there with my intuition radar on at top speed and I had to allow it all to play out in slow motion.

It was a bad day all around and ended in a conversation where I heard the words “You really don’t belong in this group.”  That gut-wrenching emotional pain could have been avoided if I had listened to my intuition.  However there was a lesson here.  After the tears, after discussing the situation with a good friend who is a therapist, after discussing it with my best friend, I realized that I did not belong there.  I am different and that’s not a bad thing.  In fact it’s a good thing.  I don’t walk their walk, I fly.  I prefer flying.

I healed quickly because I was able to see that it wasn’t about me not fitting in at all, it was about the fact that I stand out and that made me the topic of discussion and personal non grata.  It’s all good because I got to get re-acquainted with my intuition all over again.

That's me in purple.

That’s me in purple.


Surviving Selecting the Unfriend Option on Facebook

Surviving selecting the unfriend option on Facebook comes with many different emotions.  Many times it is easy to let go, other times it is not.

Easy To Let Go:

  • The Facebook drama queen or king
  • It is all about them boring Facebook shit
  • The political idiot
  • The gamer
  • The pervert on Facebook
  • Those who argue with you and everyone else

You get the picture, and I know there are more.

Harder to Let Go:

  • Family members you will see in person
  • Real friends who have taken a path you don’t take
  • A friend of someone you do care about and unfriending would/could cause an awkwardness
  • People you hold on to because you just are not ready to let go

The last reason in the “harder to let go” section is what I am really writing about this time.

Once upon a time I had a friendship with someone, a deep friendship going back years.  I knew from the beginning she liked bubbly in a bottle a lot.  Then she married someone who liked booze in a bottle a lot too and over the years the bottles in their lives were more important than anything or anyone else in their lives.

Things happened over the years that waved big flags but we lived miles apart.  Stories came out as if they were funny happenings.

  • Dropping a baby down the stairs because of having too much to drink.
  • Sleeping through a crying baby because of being passed out.
  • Driving a teenager to work at McDonald’s while drunk many times.
  • Dropping lit cigarettes on the floor because passing out in front of the TV was what? Normal?

I tried intervening.  Part of the family visited me in another city asking for my help. I had many talks with both of them.  I tried a second intervention.  Nothing worked.

The second intervention attempt was when the friendship truly started to unravel.  I was punished for trying to get them both to stop drinking by being put on a “friendship schedule” of when we could talk and how long we could talk.  Then texts started to go unanswered, emails were unanswered and probably not read, she did not read my blog even though she knew it was important to me.  My wonderful husband, who saw and heard most of their stories, told me I was being emotionally abused.  I see that now.  Why did she punish me?  A therpist friend explained it best.  My BFF couldn’t admit I was right about their drinking problems and that made me the person to be angry at, because it was easier.

One day I blogged about my feelings and in less than an hour she answered me in a reply. She never would have seen that blog on her own.  I knew her daughter had seen it and had told her to read it.  This fall I was finally able to let go of her daughter as a friend on Facebook.  It was way past time.  I had held on because holding on provided a connection – I reached a point where I did not want the connection any longer.

Connections have to go two-ways, whether in the virtual world of Facebook or for real.

Connections are the hardest to let go off when selecting the unfriend option on Facebook, but when the time is right, the decision is peaceful.Breaking the Connection


Pinktober May Be Over but NEVER Let Your Guard Down Be Your Own Breast Friend

Every year a Facebook friend, Patti Hughes re-posts a story I wrote about her dear friend, Patty Avery.  This year was no exception.  Pinktober may be over but never let your guard down – be your own breast friend.

I wrote Patty Avery’s story 4 years ago and it makes me cry every time I read it.  I cry for Patty and her family.  I cry for Patti Hughes who lost her dear friend.  I cry for every woman with breast cancer who was mis-diagnosed as Patty Avery  was , and I cry for everyone who still hears the words “You have breast cancer.”

Best Friends

Patti Hughes holding her daughter with Patty Avery

Patti is on the left with her daughter and Patty Avery of course is on the right.

On Tuesday, October 21, I opened my Facebook account and saw I had a message from Patti (with an “i”).  My heart sank into my gut as I read the message.

“I’m only sharing with a few right now but 2 weeks ago I had a mammo last week I had a diagnostic mammo and sonogram and today I had a needle biopsy and waiting for those results.”

I couldn’t even think for a long time.  I have known Patti for years.  Yet we have never met.  She has been so instrumental in raising awareness.  She has walked the 3-Day so many times and not only here in our great Tampa Bay area but in San Diego where the walk is hilly and beautiful.

She has crewed the walk too

I couldn’t find the right words.  You don’t flipping say “I am sorry” – I can tell you those are not the right words to say, even thought I was.  I turned to my husband and I cried.  I was pissed, totally pissed.  I cursed.  I wanted to punch something.

Finally this is what I wrote back:

“well (taking big deep breath and trying to wrap my head around this) what did they see? Microcalcifications? When did they say results would be in?”   I went “clinical” being my background of Oncological Nursing.

Then we had this exchange:

  • I should know by tomorrow. They were concerned because it wasn’t smooth it was spiky (root like) . No worries I can handle anything. I’m more concerned about what’s next, I’m a terrible planner. I just wanted you to know and hold on if this cancer I’m taking you for a ride on my journey. Xoxoxoxoxo

  • Carole Sanek
    Carole Sanek

    Honey I will be there with you every step of the way you know that.

  • Patti Hughes
    Patti Hughes

    then everything will be ok <3 promise I’m ok no matter what the results. Early detection right?

    I knew immediately I was going to write Patti’s journey because like me, Patti is a messenger.

    This is her story – her words about what she went through and I am thrilled to say she does not have breast cancer.

    So now for the rest of the story (thank you Paul Harvey) in Patti’s words:

    • 10/6/14 morning consult for breast reduction and afternoon mammogram
    • 10/7 call from doc at 9:00 am that needed sonogram and diagnostic mammogram
    • My heart dropped when I heard my doctor say this is Dr Peter Bridges.
    • 10/14 sono and mammo 10/15 meeting with breast doctor.
    She told me that something was there on the right side close to my armpit about 1 cm.  I had ringing in my ears and a headache for the entire day.
    On 10/20 I was scheduled for a stereotactic breast biopsy . I went into a surgery center .
    I walked into what looked like a very clean doctors office with a huge white machine in it. The table was pleather and cushioned with a big hole where my head should go. The hole was larger than a basketball. That’s where my breast went. An under-the-table mammogram machine took a hold of my breast as the nurse guided it in so the could see the 1 centimeter culprit . I felt a slight sting and then a little ache. My doc said the ache wasn’t ok and numbed it more. Then all was good. It took maybe 5-10 minutes and the nurse was easing my breast out of the machine and I was sitting getting a elastic type tube put on me. Then I waited.
    post biopsy
    I have a great support system , I’m lucky but the last 4 days of waiting sucked. Then today oct 24th I get a call “it’s benign” I repeated it back to her benign? As my voice cracked. She said yes have a fantastic weekend I called my husband Tim and I started to cry. So now I have a appointment with a Reiki Master. Super excited to live my life cancer free.
    I asked Patti to tell me just how many times she has put herself out there for women and me over the years because she is a dedicated breast cancer fundraising volunteer and this is what she told me:

    3 day walked 09,10,11 in Tampa , motorcycle route safety 2012 bicycle route safety 2013. Walked the 3 Day San Diego 2013. Cheered DC 2013. Sgk 5k every year either volunteered or participated and I won’t stop.

    I decorated my golf cart for the Christmas parade in Sun City Center.  All I want for Christmas is a cure!

    Patti that’s all that we want too.  Color me a lovely shade of rosy pink that you got great news!

    Every year I know Patti will re-post my blog and every year I will cry – I wish I had known Patty Avery.

    Patty Avery (L) and Patti Hughes (R)

Pink is NOT my Color

Pink is not my color.  I remember the first pink ribbon pin I was given from a friend when I was diagnosed.  I put it in my jewelry box and left it there because I don’t wear pink.  Now I treasure that pin.

Several years ago when I was asked to participate in a discussion with women who have metastatic Stage 4 breast cancer I was momentarily frozen and couldn’t find words to explain the fear that struck in my heart.  I was certain I would not know what to say or add to the discussion.  I just sat and listened to them.

These are the women I am writing about today.  Many of them do not think pink.  Awareness is something they know 24/7/365 and most of them are in treatment every day.

I have over 20 friends who have lived for years now with the discovery of amazing chemotherapies.  I have a dear friend in California who is treatment and disease free for the first time in 7 years.  I have a friend in Kansas City who goes for IV infusions every month and is 14 years past her metastatic disease diagnosis.  Both of these women are NED – no evidence of disease in their bodies, and treatments keep them that way for now.  I have lost 5 friends.

This year I want to salute these women, the ones who shout the loudest that they are aware, and we all need a cure.  These are my heroines in the pink life.  They are mothers, wives, grandmothers, sisters and friends.

I will leave you with this thought.  Mammograms save lives and the timing of a getting a mammogram saved my life.  Get yours annually and regularly.  If you have a feeling that something is not quite right – get it checked.  You know your own body, listen to it.

There is an organization that has put the medical research world on notice – January 1, 2020 – that is the deadline for a cure. They did the research on what it would take, how long it should take, using the amount of brilliant minds in the world.  The clock is ticking.

The world has been put on notice 1/1/2020 - a cure.

The world has been put on notice 1/1/2020 – a cure.

Surviving the Narcissist

Surviving the Narcissist is front and center in my mind these days because I am approaching my one year anniversary of being blind-sided.  Now I have my life back.  While emotional blood was drawn, it was just my turn and that’s all okay.   It happened to others before me, they have told me their stories.  Unfortunately it will continue, but it is not my place to save people, they have to go through it and come out on the other side as I did and be in a much better place.



LOE3 (Photo credit: Wiki

I am fantastic.  As a matter of fact if I were to come face to face with this person today I would gush about how grateful I am that it all happened – I have changed a lot.  A year ago I would have kicked their ass into a different county.


I have done a lot of research since first blood because normally my Narcissist warning system runs at full alert and this is one time it failed me for 3 years.  Yes, I admit it, I missed ALL the signs for over 3 years.


Let’s define this:


Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

THE NARCISSIST – This person is an elitist and exists to be adored and admired.

• A pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.

• Think Wall Street (Gordon Gecko) or American Gigolo (Richard Gere)




A Narcissist has absolutely no remorse and no conscience. They view others as nothing more than objects
to be used as a means to an end.




A Narcissist demands their sense of self be propped-up by others on a continual basis. This is because they are disconnected from themselves and have no sense of self. Without validation and recognition from the outside world, a Narcissist feels dead inside.




A Narcissist has a very fragile ego and is extremely insecure. They need others to reflect their image back to them in order to feel alive. A
Narcissist is addicted to the spotlight and craves attention and adoration like a drug. They have an insatiable need to be recognized for their achievements, no matter how small or insignificant. They are grandiose and view themselves as much more accomplished than they really are…basically, they are delusional and not in touch with reality. They believe other people worship them.




A Narcissist has a sense of entitlement that is unsurpassed. They demand to be idealized by others. If you do not revere them, they will lash out at you. If you do not agree with them, they will retaliate against you. They have no moral code and no conscience. They simply cannot help themselves. If you do not admire, adore and revere them, they willdevalue and discard you with no remorse.




A Narcissist only surrounds themselves with people who agree with everything they say and worship the ground they walk on.




They feel nothing but contempt and jealousy towards others, especially those who may pose a
threat to them. Anyone they perceive as a threat will be swiftly removed from their court. They view others as objects in their quest for




A Narcissist invests all of their energy into ensuring others validate their fragile ego. They live in a frantic state of paranoia that they will
be exposed at any minute. Consumed with avoiding this inevitable
disaster, they have little energy to be genuinely interested in others.


Amazing stuff huh?


In closing I would just like to say Bon Voyage to this person and I do raise a glass to them now and then for these reasons:


  • My business is thriving since my wound healed and I am about to open a second business
  • My relationship with my husband is remarkably improved and thriving
  • My relationship with God is truer and deeper than ever
  • My Narcissist alarm is working really well and won’t fail me again
  • My friends that I surround myself with are real and I let go of those who feed this Narcissist
  • My level of happiness is 99.5%
  • My life is wonderful and I am in control of it


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Surviving takes strength.  No matter what you are surviving and learning to live with or without, it take so much strength.  I look back on the many blog posts I have written over the years and I see where my flaws are as well as seeing where my strengths lie.  I have written in anger, I have written in humor.  I have written, published and gone back and trashed posts too.  I just did that this morning.

I thought a lot about this today and I came to the realization that in order to break the cycle of writing and living in anger means taking the first step.  That step is letting go of the crumbs that remain that trigger our feelings.  Several years back I wrote a blog post in disappointment and pain about a friendship that was heading downhill fast.  Unfortunately I had allowed myself to be talked into trying one more time to try to do an intervention over a serious drinking problem.  You know how it is when you confront someone with the truth, but they cannot accept it, even if they know it’s the truth?  Things change.  Our friendship disintegrated rapidly after that and sadly not in an honest way.  We should have been honest with each other about why it was ending.

There is another thing that we cling to in life that we need to let go of, and that is the belief we hold on to that people should act the way we would act.  The simple truth is, they won’t, they don’t, they can’t.  They own the way they do things just like we own the way we do things.  Yet we all get our feelings hurt because we hold on to that “I would have or I would never have” done/said/not said that.

The road to recovery takes time – the crumbs need to be swept out of sight.  It’s time to let go and that means doing what we need to do to remove the trigger points.  This morning I began by hiding people on my Facebook so their posts don’t serve as reminders.  It takes strength but it is the first step in moving on from feeling bad to feeling better.  Detach – I highly recommend it.Detachment is Freedom

Surviving Letting Go

Surviving letting go brings so many different emotions to the surface of our hearts, guts and brains.  There are all kinds of reasons all of us have let go.  We let go of so many things.   The wrong person, best friendships that dissolve, the bad habit, the people we love who cross over, pets, our favorite sweater, jobs, and a lot more.

Most of us can’t begin to even keep track of all the things we have let go of, except for the letting go that hurts our hearts and turns our guts inside out, even though our brains know it is the right thing to do.  I am writing about letting go of your child as they move on in life, often thousands of miles away, to become what we always wanted them to be-superstars.

We carry our babies under our hearts for 9 months and then we carry them through life.  We know that as they grow we have to give them more freedom, we have to wave goodbye to them as they get in the car for the first time.  We hug them as we take them to college and they scold us for having tears in our eyes.  We are thrilled for them as they begin their adult lives.  We let go more when they fall in love and we remember how we felt when we were their age.

I am not sure we ever really consider that they may move on and out and head thousands of miles away though.  If someone brings it up we push that thought into the recesses of our minds until one day we hear them say “We have big exciting news to share and we want you to be happy for us.”  At that moment our hearts skip a beat, our guts start to grab at us, while our brains tell us to relax and try to look normal.

We say all the right things (that’s our brains kicking in again) but our insides hurt, and we are happy for them yet sad for us.


moving van

I watched that moving van pull out of my yard a long time ago and I thought my insides would just shut down.  It’s hard.  It’s really hard.  I remember running down the road to catch a last glimpse of that moving van.  Yes, letting go hurts.

However, we do begin to know and understand that change happens, growth happens, and we know our children grow up.  We also know  amazing opportunities do not happen to everyone.  We were blessed, so blessed to have so much time together.  We know we can board airplanes.  We know our children do come home for the holidays, and other family events.  We have smart phones, we know we can text, email, Instagram, and more.

Our brains are rational about letting go, our hearts and guts are not.

I wrote this for someone I have known for a long time – I have always been “ahead” of you with experiences in life, and yes, I know, as you always pointed out, that I will always be older than you.  That always made me smile.  I smile for you today, and yes I have tears too.





Surviving the Urge to Kick Someone’s Ass

Surviving the urge to kick someone’s ass is not the title I wanted for this article.  I actually wanted to use “Surviving the Urge to Kill Someone”, then I realized that might a little too over-the-top as a title.  I started over.  I used “Surviving the Urge to Beat the Shit Out of Someone” and even though I really wanted to use it, I thought about it and came up with “Surviving the Urge to Kick Someone’s Ass”.  It’s a little kinder and gentler I suppose.

After all I do have an image to uphold and the urge to kill or beat someone is probable not the image I want people to have of me when this article gets indexed by Google.

Let’s get real though, we have all been angry enough to think those words at some time in our lives.  We may have even said them out loud.  Thankfully though most of us are reasonable people who don’t act on our thoughts and we rationally understand that thinking or even saying things like that are an outward or inward explosion of feelings that make us feel better after we say or think them.

Having the urge to kick someone’s ass is different.  I don’t actually want to walk up to them and kick them into the next county for example.  I just want to do something that makes them say “Crap I did not see that one coming!”  I want to catch them off guard, by surprise and yes blindside them with an action/idea/happening that kicks them square in the ass.  Some might see this as a friendly competition when they think this, but I am here to clearly say for me this is NOT a friendly competition.  This is not just about kicking someone’s ass for me, it is about kicking it hard enough to make it difficult for them to get back up completely.  It is about me winning and doing the dance in the end zone of life.  I promise no one will actually be physically hurt .  I am past that feeling (she says with a wink).  No really I am.  I even re-worded a certain board in my Pinterest account because I no longer want to bitch slap this person (she says with another wink).


Me You

So today, as I was in the shower, my plan came together.  Showers are more than cleansing the body, showers can cleanse the mind too.  I believe that this all worked out for me because timing is everything and I seriously believe there are no accidents.

I recently attended a big social media event that was running over with the biggest thought leaders in social media.  I absorbed so much but put a lot of it on the back burner to simmer.  This morning the pot boiled over and the answer to a question that had been bugging me for 9 months was born.  I finally know how to get past the urge to kick someone’s ass and actually do it.

I seriously promise this will all be done fairly and no blood will be shed (she says with a wink).  No really I promise.

Have to run now and start working on this project – it’s so exciting!




Surviving The New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight

Yes you heard it here first I will be ready for surviving the new year’s resolution to lose weight.  Damn those resolutions, full speed ahead.  Why the new yrsheck do we make them?  Do we make them to break them?  I don’t think so but why don’t we just do what we need to do when the spirit moves us rather than wait for the new year?

I need to lose weight.  I absolutely need to lose weight.  I have known that for quite a while.  Menopause wasn’t kind to me, throw in T-2 diabetes, and some bad decisions and I have officially achieved chubby cheeks and they are not on my face.

I resolved to lose weight.

OK so January 1 came (and went) and we boarded a jet plane for Las Vegas.  Now you tell me if you would start counting what ever needs to be counted on a trip to Las Vegas?  I think not.

First stop after checking in to the hotel, B&B Ristorante in the Venetian.  Look out everyone here comes my review of this delicious meal.  It was over-the-t0p delicious.  We were offered a chickpea bruschetta from the chef which went well with my glass of Prosecco.  We ordered a soft mozzarella cheese appetizer also served on bread, and we both had pasta dishes, wine, and Tiramisu.

We walked back to our hotel.  Does that count?  It was 2.4 miles.

We were bad the entire trip.  We ate so much wonderful food, and we drank wine with meals and other wonderful drinks.

The restaurants in Las Vegas are amazing.  It’s a foodie paradise.

At D.Vino in the Monte Carlo I had the best Linguine with White Clam Sauce I ever tasted.

The dinner we had at Red Square in Mandalay Bay before seeing Michael Jackson One  was fabulous.  Beef Stroganoff served over Wild Mushroom Pasta.  Yikes.  OK there was homemade ice cream too.

We walked to the Mandalay Bay – another 2.5 miles, does that count?

We also had wonderful appetizers like Hot Rocks (filet you sear on the 800 degree rock), Kobe Beef Flatbreads, Roast Beef Sliders, and then on our very last day there we walked to The Wynn – and we ate at their newer American tapas restaurant Le Cave.  I started with Ceviche’, Larry ordered Mushroom Grits – oh no!!!!  Those damn grits were so good.  I had Artichoke flatbread – I can still smell it.  No dessert and we did walk round trip 6 miles, does that count?

There were more wonderful food experiences but I find as I write this blog post I am getting hungry so I need to post this and trick my stomach into believing I am not because I want to be able to write a post in 6 months about my success in surviving the new years resolution to lose weight.


Surviving Being the Convenient Friend Until

Surviving being the convenient friend until a better offer comes along was something that happened to me as a teenager.  Marsha, my “best friend” would make plans with me to go out to our local dance club, to the movies, to dinner, whatever, and if a better offer came a long (a date) I got the phone call that cancelled our plans and was left holding the bag marked “loser”.  It hurt.

Cover of "Loser"

Cover of Loser

I know now that Marsha was not a friend, not a true friend.  Real true friends don’t do this to their friends.  It is a terrible thing to do to anyone because it goes right to the heart of one’s self-esteem.  It is 100% lousy, it is 100% mean, it is 100% crappy, it’s 100% thoughtless.

Many years have passed and wham bam it has happened again.  I opened my heart in friendship to someone I really like a lot and the first time it happened, I actually “called” her on it, and she apologized.  I really appreciated the apology, it meant the world to me.  Life went on and then several times this year we had plans but a better offer came along and I guess I was just supposed to be ok with it.  I wasn’t.  It hurt.  It really hurt.

What’s a more mature woman supposed to do when this happens (again)?   Marsha taught me a huge lesson.  Have more than one friend – simple answer.  I do, and I have a wonderful husband too who encourages me to have girl dates.  I just will pick a different girl from now on it’s all fine because in reality we know who the loser really is, don’t we?

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