Seven Habits for a More Productive Commute

How many of us commute to work and don’t use that time productively?  It is so easy to begin the day by complaining about the weather, the traffic, the line at the coffee shop, or countless other trivial distractions.

It’s time to change!  To begin to train your mind to start the day off strong, be mindful when that negative thought creeps in when you realize way too many people missed the lesson on how to merge in traffic, use a signal, or that the left lane is for the speedier drivers…no need to honk every time someone upsets you on the road!  When you begin to have those thoughts tell yourself “nope, not today” and refocus on a positive thought.

There are more productive ways to spend your time on that commute which will benefit you and those around you.

I challenge you to try at least one of these for a week and see how your day improves!

positiveSeven Habits for a More Productive Commute

What are you listening to?: Is it adding anything beneficial to your life?  Gossip radio?  What type of music?  Be mindful of what you put on—in what way is it helping you be a better person?  Try motivational speeches, sermons, TED Talks, educational podcasts, or music that is going to place you in the right mindset for the day.

Conversations with God: On my way to work is when I have some of the best conversations with God.  If I need to vent, ask for advice, pray, or just say thank you I use this time to do that.  Give it a try!  I was struggling with a choice I made that was not popular among others, so I asked God to take it and show me if I needed to approach the situation a different way—he was loud and clear that the choice I made was the right one.  It’s amazing when God speaks to you!

Think up blog topics: For us bloggers there are times when we go through a bit of bloggers block…this time spent in our car driving while our mind wanders is a great way to think up possible topic ideas to write about.  I came up with this topic while on my drive to work.

Pray: On your way to work pray for God to use you that day.  Pray for your family, friends, co-workers, students, patients…

Eat a healthy snack: Pack some grapes, carrots, celery, almonds, or healthy snack of your choice to munch on while driving…an easy way to start making sure you are eating right!

Think of something kind to do for someone that day:  Do you know who has a birthday coming up?  Who might need some encouragement?  Everyone can use kindness, so take that commuting time to think of someone and what is something special you can do for that person.  Maybe it’s sending them a card, bringing them in a plant to work to say welcome to the company, paying for the person behind you at coffee shop, or just simply think of a compliment you can give someone that day!

Affirmations:  What do you tell yourself before you even arrive to work?  It can have a huge impact on your day?  Are you already complaining that today is Monday and thinking about that annoying co-worker?  Stop that immediately and change what you say to yourself!  Try saying to yourself that you are excited for this Monday, excited for what the day will bring!  Never say negative things about yourself!  Tell yourself, “I am talented”, “I am creative”, “I am successful”, “I am positive”…

Share in a comment:  Like I mentioned above, I challenge you to try at least one of these for a week while on your commute to work.  I guarantee that you will notice a difference.  What one will you try?  What other habits are we able to do while on our commute to work? 


Post inspired by The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Honk

Trusting HIS Timing

My vision for this post was to announce that my divorce is final, but unfortunately that is not the case.  I was sent a letter from Edward Gangarosa who is assigned by the court to review the documents before being sent on to the judge.  He wrote in the letter that I needed to file two more papers and then resubmit them.  That sounds easy—although I was annoyed I figured it doesn’t take that much time and went to pick them up to file them.

When I picked them up there was a blank form, paper-clipped to the form I already completed.  I was confused and asked the employees in the Supreme Court office if they knew what he meant by doing this (as this is not mentioned in this letter), and they were also confused.  I decided to call Gangarosa for clarification to avoid any additional hold up.  Well he said I needed to redo the form because the one I submitted was an old form that has been revised—ok, so why didn’t he say anything months ago?  This paper has been completed since September and he is just now requiring this?  He also seemed incredibly bothered that I am not seeking maintenance in the divorce.  I told him that I’m sure he is used to women wanting every last dime from their ex, but I have everything already—everything I’ve worked for and care about.  I’m no ordinary woman!  I have zero desire for my ex’s retirement and want to just move on with my life.  I was crying out of frustration and told him that I will resubmit this form (which also requires me to send it to the prison to be signed by my ex and notarized), but after this if he continues to pull this I will be writing a formal complaint.  I really don’t like to pull that card, but I have had enough!

I’ve spoke to several people already who have shared similar stories and I will not allow him to abuse his position and prevent me from obtaining this divorce.  I was also informed that I should write a letter to the attorney general, which I am considering.  There is even a complaint online about him that is similar to my experience.

I wouldn’t mind if this was one time, but every time I submit the paperwork he writes me a letter of corrections that need to be made and when everything is fixed he finds something else.  He has even stated that I did not include documents that were clearly there.  Not to mention he is a lawyer, but has many grammatical and spelling errors in his letters.



The paperwork is sitting here on my table ready to be sent to the prison…God willing this will be the last paper I’m asked to re-submit.

I have been living my life mindful not to be negative and part of me struggles to understand why God is prolonging this—I do know I am where He wants me, and He is working things out even if I can’t see it.




Endless Possibilities…

Photo: Tinker Nature Park, Henrietta NY

I’m at a point in my life where I realize possibilities are endless, but not quite sure which direction is for me.  I just fantasize for now.  I’m ready for something exciting, something new, a challenge that will push me to grow in ways I’ve never imagined.

I love teaching in the school I’m in, but need something more…I don’t feel as if I’m making enough of an impact.  Tomorrow starts a new semester and I have some ideas up my sleeve that I’m excited to try.  I’m looking to take my career to the next level, but haven’t found a position that is right for me yet.  I feel something great coming soon though.

Do I make a drastic change and move…as in out of state, or even out of the country?  I’m currently researching options, but until my divorce is final I’m stuck–I loathe feeling stuck…feeling as if someone else has control over my choices–especially such a sick, sick, evil, being!  Ok, I don’t want this to become a negative post—it will be honest though and lately I’ve been struggling with staying positive–in part because of the divorce hold up.

Do I make a drastic change and leave education all together?  No!  I love interacting with students too much for that!  Maybe step up my photography skills and open a studio?  I don’t know…for now I will continue to learn new techniques, practice, play, and have fun until I decide what comes next.

Do I want to marry again?  Have more children?  Mine are 19, 14, and 12…life has changed as they are older and independent…I have more freedom…they don’t need me as much.  It is sort of depressing at times to think about.  My babies are no longer babies.  Why does God put so much on one person’s shoulders?  I guess I shouldn’t complain because my children are healthy–some people are dealing with much more than I am.



Now that my children are a bit older I have plenty of time to work out at the gym.  I’ve been consistent in going and have a routine, but I do need to push myself more there too.  I work out in my comfort zone, using the machines I know, but I need to venture out in that area where the weights are.  I’m a confident woman, but for some reason I’m scared to step out of my bubble and into the weight area of the gym.  What if I don’t know how to use a machine?  I’m not a fan of asking for help…especially from men!  What if I ask for help, but nobody can hear me (darn earbuds)? What if I look like a rookie?  Wait…I am a rookie!  Everyone is looking at me!  No…nobody is looking at you!  These pants are a bit tight and my butt is toning up…maybe they are looking!  Stop Crystal..They are watching the TV shows up above! Uggg…maybe tomorrow I will dip my toes into the weight area…or maybe I’ll jump in canon ball style like this guy did!



Comment:  Do you work out at the gym?  Have you had these thoughts?  Any advice for me to overcome my fear?



A Sombre Week…Still I Shine!

We had a cold, lightless, fog filled weekend where I ventured out, alone, to capture its beauty in hopes of stimulating some positivity to come my way, but a somberness  sauntered throughout the week.  Lately, it seems as if trials continue to be tossed my way, and nothing is quite going the way I plan…maybe that is my problem…I need to let go and allow God to handle it.


Divorce:  I’ve been attempting to obtain a non-contested divorce from one of the most evil men I have ever met.  I submitted all of the paperwork to the court in November and was told I needed to make several corrections which I did and resubmitted them again in hopes that I can soon wake from this nightmare.  The paperwork was rejected again requesting additional corrections.  Frustrating on many levels, but I continue to do what is asked.  At every point I question if God is here.  Is he seeing this?  Does he care?  Why am I put through all of the pain while he has any control?  At one point in the process he sent his mother the divorce paperwork and she felt compelled to write her initials at the bottom of each page along with the page number.  Well, I needed to make a correction on one of the pages and now am required to have her same initial on the bottom of the corrected page in order to move forward—or I need to start the process all over again.  She claims to be a Godly woman, but has done nothing except to cause additional pain.  I sent her the original paper to sign and return and a month later have not received it back.  Why on earth is a man who committed such a heinous crime allowed to have any control or say?  I continue to be hopeful, try to understand the lesson God is wanting me to gain from all of this, and know that there is a reason—one I may never know or understand, but He has a plan.

Read more about my divorce Odyssey here: Blood, sweat, and tears… and Rebuild: Divorcing a Pedophile

Love:  I am lucky to have such an amazing boyfriend who encourages me even when I allow the stress to build up and unexpectedly flow his way.  I have been on edge with him this week as we would like to plan for our future together, but must wait until my past is settled.  All in due time…

Family: Many of you know that I reactivated my Facebook account this month, and that ignited some conflict between my dear prodigal daughter and me when she misunderstood a comment I left on a photo she posted.  Our relationship has had ongoing strain, but I finally decided that I will love from afar.  I will no longer be a puppet she pulls out, manipulating, when she needs to be bailed out…literally and figuratively.  I look back to think where I went wrong as a parent…what I could have done better…why is it that my pig-tailed, little girl who once ran to me with open arms, beaming as she clung to my legs thinks it acceptable and appropriate to repeatedly cause such devastation with her words and actions?!?!  Does she even realize she is?  This is not how I envisioned our mother-daughter relationship.  I struggled with this quite a bit this week, but I guess now I know how God must feel with how I’ve been treating Him.

Career: This week marked the end of the semester, post-assessments were given, and the ELA exams were today.  I’m confident my students (some who have failed this exam two or more times prior to me) were well prepared.  All the times I heard, “Ms….you do too much” makes it all worth it!  Now, I sit and wait for the scores to come back.

A highlight of my week was yesterday when I received an email from a former student (pictured below). He wanted to touch base and let me know that he started his first day of college.  I cried as soon as I read it!  I pushed him and pushed him that he needed to continue his education and use his writing talent, and to hear that he was doing that made me incredibly proud .  It was an honor that he thought to email me his first day!


I leave you with a few more photos capturing the somber beauty of the fog.


After typing all of this I wonder if it makes sense, if I was too candid, if I wasn’t candid enough…

The week may have had a somber tone, but my soul still shines…



Post was in-part inspired by The Daily Post one word prompt “devastation”

Purpose: What is your “Why”? Float like a butterfly…

What is my “Why”? If people knew the details of the journey of just how I fought to be here they would be amazed.  Muhammad Ali said, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.”  I have always had a vision for my future and when life knocked me down I refused to lay in that ring until someone picked me up.  I refused to give up, to give in, to allow the trial the keep me from success—I know what my why is in life and that keeps me going.  Enduring through the pain built a stronger me.  Is building a stronger me!

Why am I teaching at the school I do? It’s where I belong!  This school has been a huge part of my healing process and continues to build upon who I am as an individual and as a professional.  Life knocked me down in 2010 when my soon to be ex-husband raped my oldest daughter, I lost my job, almost lost my house and car (almost lost my mind too), was humbled to reach out for assistance, but I fought to stand again.  In the midst of caring for my children and attending courses to further my career I rebuilt my confidence to stand tall again.  Teaching students is rewarding for me on many levels—when I go home I know I am impacting their lives, as they are mine.

Apart from that I have been a student in the district and teachers were always a part of making a positive impact on my life, so paying that forward is rewarding. My father was incarcerated and I didn’t meet him until I was 21 and my mother was young.  I was the first person in my family to graduate high school, so being where I am now is in part of the teachers who believed in me and encouraged me…even as I walked the halls nine months pregnant.

Why am I here you ask? It’s where I belong!

Picture from my classroom the first Friday after I started…a promise to me from God

Purpose: What is your “Why”?

Muhammad Ali Inspirational Video

I woke up this morning and asked God to use me for something positive today.  I’m unsure if it’s this blog post or something more is coming my way, but I hope it brings you inspiration.  If you are reading this and made it this far there is a reason.

Share in a comment:  What is your “Why”?  Have you lost your vision?  If you don’t know what your purpose is then make it your purpose to find out!  Ask God to use you, show you, guide you!  Your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see…




Post Inspired by The Daily Post’s one word prompt “Float”