About betsyw7

Writing, writing, edit, edit, writing.

My Coaching Business

As a kid I struggled in school. I couldn’t learn the way my classmates did.

I loved to read, but I didn’t read very fast. I was very anxious. I felt left behind and was always trying to figure out how to catch up and fit in.

One of my teachers called me lazy when she displayed my math homework to the whole class on the overhead projector. It was a blank page except for the eraser and faded pencil marks. (Which she didn’t notice.) What she didn’t know was, as soon as I found out everyone else would see my work, I erased everything. I was afraid I’d done all of it wrong. So, I was trying to save face.

So, the outcome of that effort was a blow to my self-esteem and feeling mortified. And a general distrust of my teachers. 

I learned to memorize everything in my books to pass my classes and I graduated high school with a high B average. 

Would my life have changed had the school system and doctors knew about ADHD back then? I don’t know. I didn’t have a name for my struggles other than the family curse! Seems like a funny and wrong way to look at it now. 

But when I did get a name, ADHD, I was 48 years old. I mention this in my first blog. The diagnosis floored me!

Today I have a great therapist who is an ADHD expert. While searching to find out what was wrong with me, I found out what was right. 

I still have had the same struggles as others managing their ADHD. At the same time, all of us are unique and experience ADHD in different ways. 

As an ADHD Life coach, I want to provide support, understanding, and compassion for my clients. 

You can read my blogs or send me an email (on the contact page) if you want to talk or get to know more about my journey. I’d love to hear from you.

Go to http://www.betsywalterscoachinginc.com for more information about ADHD and my life coaching services.

Happy New Year! (Finally)

By the time December 31st rolls around each year, I’m usually ready for a new year.

And, 2019 felt especially tiring at the end. For me personally and as a global citizen. Global warming, tweeted bully messaging, mass shootings, and all the shocking violent beliefs and actions happening. We all experienced this through 2019 as Americans, as a people.

I nearly lost Hope. But I didn’t.

I think the people of this planet are at a fork in the road. That means that there can be an alternative to the path we’ve been on. That path that could culminate in a global extinction event, the rise of hate groups such as Neo Nazis, and we could even loose our precious foundational democracy.

Or.

A fork means a decision needs to be made or to happen.

We still have time to decide our collective future.

One of the most hopeful events rising out of all of this is the empowerment and motivation of the current generation of teenagers. They are protesting gun violence, Hate crimes, and global warming. They care. They don’t want to tolerate HATE. They want to change their world. They want to have a world to live in, a future.

They remind me that I used to care strongly, I worked toward social causes and change, I used to raise money and awareness about illnesses such as MS, canvas neighborhoods with petitions, and I was lucky enough to join hands, on 10th Avenue in NYC, with thousands of other inspired people, to sing, and hope that, “We are the World”. Back in the 80s, I thought the world would change.

It would make me feel better if I could know that my young-person efforts, which continued through my middle age at a slower rate, actually contributed if not to a greater change, then to a pulse of positive energy in the world.

We, I, have a long way to go, but going is the only way to get there.

There are the young people trying to change the pattern of the future. And, I join them in heart and soul and action.

Hope will let you fly, even if you don’t have wings.

The 5 types of mentors you need in your life — ideas.ted.com

Quote

Here’s how to assemble your personal dream team, with tips from business expert Anthony Tjan. Everyone can use a mentor. Scratch that — as it turns out, we could all use five mentors. “The best mentors can help us define and express our inner calling,” says Anthony Tjan, CEO of Boston venture capital firm Cue…

via The 5 types of mentors you need in your life — ideas.ted.com

Returned not Found

Where have I been??

Not here writing Betsy’s Blog that is for sure.

So, I’m breaking my silence finally after 2 years! It’s 2013. How’d that happen?

Ok so what have I been doing, you might ask, in the last 2 years? Or maybe you don’t care. That’s fine, too.

But just encase you are a bit interested…the biggest thing I am proud of is the fact that I participated in and completed a whole novel last November during National Novel Writing Month. Wrote just over 50K words.

I didn’t think I could do it and probably never would have attempted it but for my friend Von who just days before November 2012 told me she’d entered. Whatever Von does, I want to do? Maybe…but I hadn’t written much of anything up until then beyond extremely long emails full of fancy.

It was my attempt to restart my writing engines. And, it felt really good to meet the word goal by the deadline.

Needless to say NNWM does not require one to polish a novel in 30 days – only finish a very very rough first draft of at LEAST 50K words.

Truthfully, I didn’t think I had it in me to do. And, once again I was wrong.

Now, what I need for continuing work on this novel is something like, National Novel Revisions Month!

Walking with Obie

I have a friend who always has said, “I didn’t know the difference between a disaster and a blessing.”

For the first 40 years of my life, I felt that EVERYTHING was a disaster. My life, my job, my decisions, my marriage, my current situation, my past. Everything seemed to prove to me that I was a train wreck and nothing good would ever come of it – or, rather, me.

It’s really hard to have any self-esteem with that view of the world.

In my recovery, I learned that this was my “bondage of self.” And, boy, did I want freedom from that world view, self-perception, and self-fulfilling prophecy. Today, I can say I am free from my bondage of self, unless I choose to go back to my self-crafted prison. Which I work very hard daily not to do.

So, as I wrote in January, my sister’s death was sudden, shocking, and life-changing. I’m still thinking about what she’d like to do together, that I need to call her, that she couldn’t possible be gone from my continuing life. How can I turn 50 this month when she will not be here to celebrate with me, considering she is one of the people who kept me going as a child?

As result of her death, I was given the opportunity to spend time with my sister’s son, Obie (a nickname she and I gave him early on). I picked him up after school and took him to my home to stay until his father could pick him up after work. Obie’s routine didn’t change here at my house. He ate a snack watching the cartoon channel and then went to my kitchen table to do homework. Sometimes he displayed some aggression toward me, sometimes we played around and laughed, once we went to my computer and made a goofy short film in which we just said anything and acted like monkeys. And, my favorite time with him, was when he finished his homework and we went for a walk together.

Walking is one of my favorite things to do anyway, and having someone with me is often delightful. The chance to talk with this almost-13-year-old nephew was a gift from a Higher Purpose. I lost my sister but for a while I gained my nephew.

When Obie was born – it was the same day that Hurricane Bonnie was hitting our coast. Bonnie was the size of Texas. Not that I actually know what the size of Texas is, but that’s what the weather guys were saying. I didn’t know Obi was in the world until after his birth – meaning, I wasn’t at the hospital awaiting his birth, because his parents didn’t let anyone know that was where they were. A few months later and for his first couple of years, I was happy to babysit him and spend time with him. When he was about 5, my father died and my relationship with all of my siblings drastically changed. Not for the better.

So, after that, occasionally Obie, my sister, and I would go to a movie or I’d come over and visit with them after he was home from school. He came by on Halloween once and I tried to get a card to him for every holiday event. With most of my nephews and nieces, I had the opportunity be a part of their lives from birth, babysitting, going to dance performances or ball games, at family gatherings, or attending their graduation. Not so with Obie, so far.

The point being that Obie and I don’t know each other very well. Getting this new window of opportunity was awkward for both of us. He was, understandably, anxious when he was with me after his mother’s death, he had heard a lot of negative talk about my family and he often repeated it judgmentally to me. But, we also got to go for walks together away from his house or mine. I took those opportunities to tell him how much I loved him and his mother, how much I missed her and probably always would.

I have written before that I can’t fathom what it is like to lose your mother at 12. My own mother died when I was 44 and that was heart-breaking for me.

I got to see how special Obie is – his faith, his intelligence, and, surprisingly, his compassion – he once said, “Well, I don’t have any brothers and sisters, so I guess I don’t know (how they feel about losing their sister).”  This is a capacity for compassion that I rarely see in people who claim to be adults. (And, there are times when I must include myself in that observation.)

As far as disasters versus blessings – this was one disaster that also brought me some blessings. And, that’s as much as I’ll give it. I still have moments of disbelief and frustration, when I say to God, “No, no,” or “I want her back.” In my heart, I will always long for lost moments, for the loss of sharing a phone call with her, of talking about the past, present, and future with her.

My sister will always be with me. If only in my thoughts, prayers, and hopes. I will have to learn to accept that as enough. For now.

A million hugs…

My last post was entitled “Shining lights” and I realized later that I meant to call it “A million hugs.” The title yesterday was supposed to describe how I have seen my 12-year-old nephew over the last week. Every step of the way, he has tried to be comforted by his positive take on life. Thankfully, he does allow the people around him to comfort him as well.

And, though not a million, I would guess that over 100 people showed up to comfort him. Teachers, administrators, and support staff from both his elementary and current middle school came to the visitation Tuesday night to see and comfort him. His Boy Scout leader and some of his troupe members were there. Many, many neighborhood members came. Not to mention the congregation from his church. I felt deep gratitude. After meeting the Pastor of their church at the hospital and seeing how much of a support group my nephew has, I wrote the following email to her and the congregation:

“When I lost my sister this past weekend, I was given the gift of being comforted by the knowledge and realization that her family have had your love, support, and compassion for a very long time. I know that they will be held up by the congregation of their Church and their Pastor. I couldn’t pick a better Pastor to guide us all through my sister’s funeral and burial. I couldn’t ask for a better and more supportive family for them as they grieve. And, I thank all of you more than I will ever be able to express with words.  I am eternally grateful that my sister is with (her) God. I am eternally grateful that my brother-in-law and nephew will continue to be with all of you.”

I have realized and come to believe that I experience a Source I choose to call God in my times of meditation, and also very strongly through my interactions with people. For a long time, I cut this channel of strength off because I was hurt or disappointed; felt neglected and unloved. In my effort to protect myself, I also cut off the people who showed up to love, accept, and comfort me. Under my imaginary and righteous shield, I became judgmental, withdrawn, lonely, and miserable.

Through healing and listening to the wisdom of my loving friends, I have become stronger and more confident in the love I receive from them and am, myself, more able to give love. And, I accept that I am not that good at it yet, that I have a long way to go.

I felt a quiet core-strength last Saturday when I walked into the hospital knowing that my sister’s condition was critical. I noticed this strength, knew where it originated from, and, though not surprised by it, was astonished and grateful that it belonged to me. Not by any work or gift of my own.

My nephew is an amazing, spiritual channel and he is only 12-years-old. I am so glad he can receive a million hugs from the people around him now. I understand what he means by this, and how he feels.

I am held by a million hugs today. I can hope. I can grieve. I can try to help and love someone else. In my sorrow, I can heal.

Father’s Day

Had he lived longer, my Dad would have been 85 years old tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Dad.

He died in 2004.

Before 2004, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to lose my parents. By December 14, 2005, I’d lost both my Mother and my Father.

Obviously, we all lose our parents, hopefully before they lose their children.

My Dad was very charming; he love to golf with his fellow Government employee retirees – men he had work with for over 35 years. He loved “Jeopardy.” He liked baseball. (My Mom loved baseball.) He liked it when I’d come over on his birthday and carve their pumpkin’s face for Halloween. He like babies, he did not like teenagers. He liked the movies of his generation and he like PBS – Mysteries, “A Fine Romance,” etc. Unfathomably, he liked to watch reruns of the Lawerence Welk show. He had the same job for almost his entire adult life until he retired, a bit early, because President Reagan made it hard for him and his fellows to save the environment. After he retired, he sent money to every environmental group in this country.

I only found that out when he offered me one of 20 calendars he got annually.

He liked to listen to Frank Sinatra sing. He got me interested recordings of old mystery radio shows, he bought me a subscription to Ellery Queen magazine, and he gave me books to read like Woody Allen’s “Without Feathers.”

He called me when there was something on television he thought I’d be interested in. One night he called about 9:45pm to say there was a show about the comedy team of Elaine May and Mike Nichols on PBS. I got to watch the last 15 minutes. He knewed I’d be interested because I had worked for Elaine May when I lived in New York City in 1985.  But, I don’t know why he waited until the show was almost over to call me. He was kind of like that.

There’s another side to him to, but I will limit anything I write about him today to the things that make me missed him everyday since he died. I spent the next year almost calling him on the phone when there was something he’d like on television or just to talk about stuff. When I got laid off from my job last January 2009, I wanted to tell him even though I knew his first response would have been “what did you do?” and his second response would be to ask me if I needed any money.

He didn’t believe in God – he took my Mom to church every Sunday, but when I asked him, he said he didn’t believe.

My Mom, my sister, my niece, and I were by his hospital bed as he passed away from us. I said, “Thank you. We’ll be ok. I love you.”

Wish I could talk to him.

Happy Birthday tomorrow, Dad…you are still loved and thought of often.