what motivates me to write

My best friend and I were walking in the woods near her cottage, talking as we do about all nature of things, laughing and crying intermittently without shame as you can best do with your closest friend. I had left my marriage just recently and she would only five months later lose her mom to cancer, a fact neither of us would have ever imagined that snowy last day of December 2006. She was telling me about her eldest daughter’s friend who was taking sharp left turns from good sense, as teenagers seem to do without warning. My friend wanted to point to something and she came up with “she is from a broken family”. This excuse protected her because she and her husband are happy and together. The word ‘broken’ grabbed my stomach and gave it a twist. I turned to her and said ‘that is the last time you will use that term.’

I could never settle for fine or flat; my children were dancing with grief and sadness but I feared having them fall down and not be able to get back up. I kept reminding myself and in time them, that our family was not broken but fixed.

I am the girl who married the boy she loved, had two beautiful babies with him and some very good memories.
I am the girl who could no longer sit with what she knew, what she felt, what she could no longer pretend.
I am the girl who had to say it is over.
When it is over, there is a blank slate. Dreams are empty, bed is empty, hopes are empty, heart is empty.
Or it is full. Full of possibility, full of empowerment,full of hope, full steam ahead.
It is a choice. Or maybe it is a natural inclination. Some are better at fighting back when life kicks the shit out of you. I fought back and life rewarded me. Every positive step brought a positive consequence putting bounce into the next positive step.

This is my blog on miracles in difficult times; doing the impossible when it has to be done. Come to it. I know you will inspire me far more than I will inspire you.

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57 thoughts on “what motivates me to write

  1. Hi Nancy,

    Love the post, love the fact that you are trying to provide a platform for others to share what they are going through, have gone through – to provide a platform of support, encouragement, & even woes. A platform for others to learn & lean on.

    I have come out the other side of divorce with my head held high – with grace & dignity and feel all the stronger a person for going through what I have.

    Life is short, life is grand, life is so full….Life is beautiful.

    Congrats on the blog, good luck with your posts!


  2. Nance

    I have had the chance to go through the entire blog, word by word. It is magnificent. I have been laughing, crying and all emotions in between. You have captured all that is beautiful and full of hope for anyone going through any challenging time. Isn’t that all of us at some point in our lives?

    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to travelling along this journey/roller coaster with you. Success is not measured by the challenges in life but in how you deal with them.

  3. Hello Nancy, I’m very happy for you getting this blog up and running i know all the hard work you have put in this thing so with that said happy birthday and all the best.

  4. happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…happy birthday dear courageous, creative, eloquent, humourous, feminine , free spirited and playful goddess of the universe…

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!

    loving your expressions of tenderness, hope and healing.


    • not sure how to respond except when can I get this printed on a billboard, cindi ?
      to be seen how we want to be seen by a person who we see this way is magnificent

  5. I know what a beautiful person you have always been but now I know just how amazing you really are. I only wish I knew all these thoughts back when it was happening as I feel I never provided you with the support you really needed – you seemed so strong and together (not that you are not, you most certainly are!). But, I just thought you didn’t need us. Sorry I wasn’t there. Thanks for sharing such important thoughts.

    • you gave me what I needed- room and your friendship- I was getting everything I needed and treating me like I was together was good. You have always been fun and friendly and a great neighbour and a huge supporter of my business and that has meant a great deal. Thank you for your lovely words, Marianne.

  6. congrats my lovely daughter. You have thought, worked and planned for this for a long time and it is a beauty. love always, mom

  7. Nancy, this is so beautiful! I have laughed and cried at each of your stories. I respect your honestly and gift for sharing. Thank you! xo Paddy

  8. Happy Birthday my friend and what a treat for all of us. We are so proud of you and all that you have accomplished. The writing, the emotions, the spirit all make it a pleasure to read and a pleasure to share.

    • shouldn’t you be in class? I know how much your parents pay for your education, emmie.
      I am so glad you liked it. Sorry about the profanities. xoxoxo love you huge, beauty

  9. Nancy you are truly so talented and your writing is so heart provoking and inspiring. I am so proud that you have accomplished this incredible task of writing down and sharing your feelings. I know this is difficult for you as it is for many and you have done a top notch job.You are always sucesful in everything you put your heart into. A big huge hug from a buddy who will always be there just like a sister!! Your writing will continue to inspire help and touch the hearts of many
    Xoxo ce

  10. Nancy, I love your prose. You are a talented, serious writer. It is exhilarating to watch you blossom and come into your own rightful place in the world. And the blog? What else should I expect from the woman who gave me a copy of Sheila Rae, The Brave when my daughter was born. Amazing and thank you. Love, Ginny

  11. Nancy, wow!
    I know the energy and spirit that you’ve poured into this and it is all amazing. You have things to say that people want to hear. You have a way of expressing that is full of possibility. How fantastic! Your friend, Luciana

    • petra- thank you for taking the time in your busy life to read my words. Please subscribe or pass it on so I can visit you in your inbox. I am wishing you good luck with your exam- I believe it is March1st-you are strong and good -xn

  12. Nancy
    Wow – your “what motivates me to write” spells out exactly how I feel. Exactly!

    Thank you so much – I am so glad I found your blog.

    • Cate- thank you- I am so glad you found it too. Please feel free to subscribe as I post new material two to three times per week. And check out my other blog on urbanmoms.ca called flying solo. Thanks for your interest-n

  13. Nancy,
    A friend of yours passed on this blog to me a couple of months ago as I am in the throws of a separation. I am so thankful she did as I have subscribed and passed this on to many good friends who are all reading and loving it! I am constantly brought to tears, both happy and sad, as I relate to your stories in a way I never imagined. Your writing is exceptional and I am so happy not to feel so alone in my emotions as I work though this stage in my life.
    Thank you so much for sharing,

  14. Hi, I am delighted to find your blog. I am a separated parent, separated since 1975. I find many friends, colleagues and clients who say “My family isn’t broken, just rearranged.” I now think of our whole rearranged family – kids, stepkids, grandkids and stepgrandkids as well as ALL the people who love them – as kin. Judy (stepfamilyboston.com)

    • Judy- thank you for joining me. I am going to look at your sight- I am sure you have much insight to share. Again thanks for tuning in Judy-Nancy

  15. Dear Nancy,
    I started, first of all, reading about your motivation to write and have been enjoying bits and pieces since then. Your words show strength, compassion, loyalty, humour and most of all, how to live! Keep writing—is there a book somewhere out there?
    Love, Marg.

    • Marg! It is so wonderful for you to take a look at my blog (sorry about the ‘f’ word today-I may have to personally apologize to all my mom’s friends). I am ready to meet a willing publisher if you can connect me!-xoxoxo n

  16. You were right!! I am the very same girl as you…I know exactly where you are coming from. Over the years I have not often found women who are divorced who think the same as me…most of the time I hear ” I will never find a man” “I will be single forever” “I am sooo lonely”

    I was a single mom in self discovery for 2 and a half years and it was awesome!! Yes it was hard, yes it was lonely sometimes…but it was also necessary!

  17. Hi, another divorce survivor here. I divorced in 2005 and remarried in 2007. The hard part now is that I know what can happen. I was married 17 years and now in a new and much better relationship but every day I worry that it could all go. My husband feels the same way. We are afraid to even fight because we don’t want to start a slippery slope. The shrapnel from divorce spreads far and wide. BUT I moved on and I am in love again and that is what I hold on to. Oh, and my children are thriving by the way!

    • Wonderful to hear from you Jennifer- this is great stuff you have written and I would love to interview you- Would you be up for that? So thrilled to hear you have found love again. I hope you subscribe so I can visit you in your inbox 2x per week. Also check out my other site on Urbanmoms as I post there 2x per week as well http://www.Urbanmoms.ca/flying_solo/. I think you will like it

  18. Hi Nancy,
    I Love the comment your father made to you “you will love living with her’. I have only found one man that I loved living with, and it was not my ex-husband, but someone I met a few years after my divorce. I had thought after my divorce, I would never be able to trust myself to love again. I had also thought I had learnt my lesson after my divorce, that life not working out the way I had been taught it should, was not my ‘fault’. I however repeated the pattern with my job a few years later. A company that was rotten from the inside out, was not going to survive. I thought, if I just worked a little harder… I could turn it around. It was not until the company failed, my ‘new love’ left me, and my father become ill, all within a few months of each other. It was then, that I finally crashed myself. On my way to recovery, with the help of a year of counseling I accepted with a healed heart, that life doesn’t turn out the way you want, even if you “stick with it’. So many of us are taught to not give up, and in doing so, we nearly kill ourselves trying to ‘fix’ life to be a certain way. It’s been 5 years since my divorce. I have not found a love again, and am at the point (age) that I may likely not be able to have the family I had dreamed of (we did not have kids). Instead, I have had the chance to experience many things my friends with a husband and kids have not. I started my own business, learnt to snowboard and sail, and moved to the most beautiful city in the world. Life is not what I dreamed it to be when I was a young girl, and I had to morn for that girl. I am now a new women, full of new purpose, and have found a different life. In it, I have found.. I really like living with me.

  19. Nance, Lisa G turned me on to your blog and since early this morning, I’ve lapped up every word. It’s brilliant! I am so happy that you have found so many wonderful outlets for your incredible creative talents. You are an inspiration.

    • what a wonderful surprise to hear from you today!!! I remember you working at your drafting table from your sunny nook on Deloraine and thinking ‘I wish I could find something that I could love and be good at like Megan’ It has taken me a while but it I am loving what I do! So you inspired me. check out what we are up to this week on my other blog-http://www.urbanmoms.ca/flying_solo/2010/07/5-things-we-cant-live-without.html. You would love what we are doing. Would love to hear your news-please send it. Thank you so much for tuning in- perhaps you would like to be my 100th subscriber! Then I would need to buy you a drink at minimum! xn

  20. I just filed for divorce today, even though I should have done it 6 years ago. I can only pray my kids will not let anyone treat them the way we have all been treated. The guilt I feel is overwhelming.
    I can only hope that when this is over, I will be happy again. Happy is relative. I would settle for living in peace. Even though I filed, I am terrified of the next few weeks. I wish I had a button to push that would make this be over, and in separate homes tomorrow. My kids do too.

    • I wish you good luck Susan. Stay strong-it sounds like the worst is over. Talk to people you trust and get their help. I want to hear how well you are doing in a few months!

  21. hi there,

    i read your column over at urban moms quite a bit and love your writing. i have a question for you i was wondering if i might ask and, if you’re comfortable answering it, i would appreciate it.

    my daughter came home and told me her best friend’s dad “moved away” and her mom and dad aren’t going to live together anymore. i’m wondering if i should gently approach the mom (i’m not best friends with her, just chats in the playground daily) and let her know that my daughter was asking me about this situation.

    i just want to know if i should let her know i’m aware cuz i’m really not into pretending i don’t know. she was talking about it this morning with another mom we all know…is there any words i should use/avoid?

    i’m just not sure how to handle it….

    thanks so much


    • what is your daughter’s age? I think you could gently tell the mom the story, tell her you are sorry and ask how she would like you to respond to your daughter. It actually sounds like your daughter was not asking but informing you but I think letting her know to be extra compassionate with her friend might be nice at this time. I think just speak to her the way you would like to be spoken to if it was you (I hate pity from people who are not close to me -this is a big one for me) and maybe offer more playdates at yours right now- when the mom comes to pick up offer a cup of tea or glass of wine. All of this stuff I think is good.
      also – not sure but are you split? if you are you could be a source of insight/resource to her.
      Thanks for reading and commenting! best -n

      • awesome, thanks. btw, my daughter is 7 1/2 and i am married and don’t really know anyone who has split which is why i’m really not sure how to approach things. thanks for your comments, it does help. playdates and wine, sounds great and i’m sure open ears, shut mouth would be good as well 🙂

        thank you!

  22. I think I am you Nancy. I am the girl who married the boy she loved… …and now I am the girl who had to say it is over.

    I’m sinking in the quicksand of guilt, my parent’s disappointment, my circle of friends’ shock, my community’s judgement, my children’s confusion, my spouse’s devastation and anger and at the centre of it all, there is me an my truth. My heart spoke and I listened. I co-created this life, was given everything I ever wanted and yet I know its over. I’m grief-stricken and scared, yet relieved and hopeful. I want to do this with grace and compassion. I want to have a loving separation. Please tell me it’s possible…

    • Thank you for finding me, reading me and sharing. I don’t have a loving separation or divorce but I think an amicable one is a possible goal. Work through it and give it time and it may work through to that.
      Grace and compassion are always good. So is a sense of humour and forgiving yourself.
      Hang in there- the early days are very hard and yet they are so infused with magic and love and help from so many places. Take a look at my earliest writing as that stuff may be most universal and helpful to you now.
      Thank you for subscribing. I hope I can entertain you, fill you with hope and remind you of our common thread. best-n

      • i’m pouring over your early posts and so much resonates. what a gift you are! keep writing you are helping many and have found a way to express your creativity and wisdom. And amicable is good, I think that is a more realistic goal. keep writing!

  23. Hi Nancy, I am new to reading your blog (I found it on Urban Mom’s). I have lots of catching up to do but will enjoy it all I am sure. I love your writing style and your wit and will look forward to reading the old and the new.

      • Hi Nancy,
        Similar to you I am in the process of bouncing back from a “failed” marriage. Unfortunately it was my second one. If I had more bling I might start to call myself Elizabeth – ha ha. Just trying to do it with grace and dignity. Good for you that you are dating. It has been two + years for me and I am still afraid to get out there. I am blogging too. It is good therapy.

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