Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Alcoholic Moment...

I was a bit reluctant to blog tonight due to my "not so inspirational mood"; then I thought that maybe one or more of my readers may know EXACTLY how I am feeling at this moment and just knowing they are not alone may help them out. So... I decided to suck it up and blog! That's why I do this anyway right? To help others know what to do or how to feel or what to say in certain situations because that is what a motivational/inspirational person does, so here I am.

Trying to make a long story short, (by the way I stink at that)... I am a Daddy's girl, always have been. Tonight however, I had an epiphany; and the meaning of being a Daddy's girl changed what defines this phrase for me now. (sigh.... this is a hard one to put out there.) At 7:00 my cell phone rang and it was my Dad, usually he calls me much later so I quickly answered thinking something must be wrong. You see... my step-mom has been battling lung cancer for the past two years and it has been quite the roller coaster, as most cancers are. Treatment, check-up, improvement, treatment, sickness, checkup- no improvement, experimental drugs dose 1, no improvement, dose 2, improvement, dose 3, checkup, nothing more that they can do.  And that is why he was calling tonight. Her checkup after dose 3 of an experimental drug was yesterday and the outcome was not a good one, "Game Over." The battle is now merely a waiting game, and my Dad called me to talk. I listened and did my best to cheer him up... not an easy task when he has been drinking, and he had been.

We talked for a while; great conversation... (stage 2) by the way, that "stage" reference will make sense by the end of this post. We hung up, then he called me back a little while later to talk some more. (stage 3) The conversation took a nose dive at some point leaving me no choice but to say how I felt and the kindly dismissing the conversation by saying I had to go. (before stage 4) He was complaining about not seeing his grand kids... how he wishes I lived closer. I proceeded to encourage (once again) the use of his computer, facebook, Skype, all of this great stuff that could help him stay connected from afar and he bah-humbugged my request; he is a bit old fashioned. (He still uses an analog cell phone that is 12 years old if that paints a picture for you) I gave him a heart-felt lecture about being stubborn,  about how complaining is not productive, how if you have a problem you solve it with a logical solution, and how embracing change in technology did not mean you had to forfeit nostalgic things such as a phone call or a printed picture. I have been listening to my dad complain of these things for years yet he refuses to solve the problem, in fact he resists the solution completely. He does not even know how to send or check email. (nothing more frustrating). The conversation ended when I told him how sad I was that he had not come to visit me at ALL in 12 years...(yes it went there) and how I was tired of the excuses of why he couldn't. He has been to Massachusetts at least 6 times to see his sisters and family in that time frame but a trip to Florida to see his daughter and grand-kids? Nope, I got excuses of why he could't instead, and tonight he began to give me more of the same. I was truly hoping by sharing my sadness and "lay-them-on-the-table" feelings that he may respond differently.

I love my Dad... and I hate that he is having to go through this. I wish I could be closer to him in order to help; but I can't. The best I can do is to answer his phone calls and do what I can from afar. My Dad is an alcoholic; was recovered for 8 years but started drinking again when Nancy was diagnosed with cancer... the very same path he took after being sober for 7 years before my sister Teresa died, it's how he "copes". If I may be selfish for a moment however, the drinking makes it harder for me.

As I end this post tonight, my heart is heavy. I want to hug my Dad... tell him I am here for him, but distance prevents that from happening. I cannot fathom what this cancer journey has put him through, how scared he must be, and how lonely he will feel when she is gone. I feel guilty for the way the conversation ended, but by now I am used to the "stages" and he will probably not remember half of it tomorrow. One day I hope that I can say that I am having normal, healthy conversations with my dad again... sober... thing is, he is not too talkative without a few beers. Below is an excerpt from my book Wishing you all a great night/day. Off to sleep for me, happy thoughts... happy thoughts.

Excerpt from " I Need the Happy Ending" by Shelley Giard ©2011

"My dad is a WONDERFUL man, a talented carpenter, a brilliant guitar player & singer, the apple of my eye... and an alcoholic. As I have gotten older, I starve for his approval, his attention, his love and caring, but getting it is not an easy task. Much of this need for approval stems from when I became a mother at 18 at which time he told me I would never fulfill my dreams... needless to say I made him eat those words and it was because of his words that I tried so hard. He has four stages of "drunkenness" stage 1: Happy-go-lucky, 2. The reminiscent one who is SO proud of you and your accomplishments, 3.Woe is me 4. Bitterness sets in and all your shortcomings must be discussed. 

Many girls wish for their Dad's to be a part of their lives, many girls have Dad's as part of their lives, some girls have lost their Dad's, and then... there is me. My Dad is alive, he is part of my life... he calls me all of the time; when he is drinking and needs someone to talk to. When he was sober, I rarely heard from him. When he is in "stage 2" of drunkenness he embellishes me and tells me how wonderful I turned out, he brags on my amazing ability to write... how inspirational I am and how proud he is of me and all my accomplishments; for once I wish he would say the same things sober... that moment would be part of my "happy ending."

 My Dad back in the day

Dad today

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Best Way to Grow is Slow and Steady....

Have you ever seen a house being built ? It's an amazing process... the mere thought that goes into the plans, the design, the flow and the efficiency is so cool. My dad is a builder, a very good one might I add... so I have seen my share of homes being built in my lifetime and even wore a hard hat and banged a few nails (and fingers) as a little girl growing up. My dad takes pride in his workmanship, he thinks of every element, because when built with good materials, amazing craftsmanship and thought in planning it all out... he knows that it will still look as beautiful 50 years from now;  he is a custom builder who loves his work and it shows. And his hobby is building furniture.. that's a blog all of it's own.

Now... take a look at your typical neighborhood house these days... you know the neighborhoods where a house goes from foundation to turn key in 2 months? Do you think that house is built well? What do you think that house will look like in 50 years? (I am scared to even think of that).  These builders are all about profit... they are all about the "right now" because we live in a "right now" society. The average American wants immediate satisfaction.. they want it now. They don't want to wait 45 minutes for a well cooked meal, they would rather have a mediocre meal that they can scarf down in 20 minutes or less because time is of the essence. People want to get rich now... they may be jobless but they are buying lottery tickets hoping to win that power ball so all their worries can be over right now. We have television on demand... we can fast forward through commercials, pull up a movie anytime on Apple TV or Netflix; we can buy body parts, take diet pills, get fat sucking injections and lap bands to give us RIGHT now results. Call me a bit old fashioned (I know I am) but I still appreciate good craftsmanship, pride in one's work, a good thought out plan, a good commercial, healthy weight loss, and the hard earned dollar. I have never bought a lottery ticket, but I patiently waited in line for a water at the gas station today while three people in front of me were doing just that; it must be a big win night. There are so many things that I find to be lost in many peoples minds these days because of the "I want it now" syndrome. I could go on and on here but you get my point.

Something I also appreciate is the fact that success in reaching goals takes time. You may have to fall, get back up and try again many, many times before you reaching your goal. Many people give up... DON'T be that person;  because if you do, it will NEVER happen. Reaching goals is like growing a garden. You must prepare the soil, select and plant the seeds, water them, nurture them, they need fertilizer, sunshine, rain for months and months before you even see a sprout. Then a storm hits and takes out the crops, and they start over and do it again.  Farmer's are some of the most hard working patient people on the planet, but after all that hard work, one day they wake up and have a garden that is flourishing and feeds their family for the rest of the year. Goals are often the same. 

If your crops have been wiped out or if you are in the early stages of growth... be patient, success does not happen overnight. In order to sustain you must grow slow and steady. Take time to plan, and always have more than one plan. Use good materials, take pride in your work and cultivate your seeds. One day your garden will grow in abundance and with the pride you take in building it... it will still be around in fifty years!

Have a great night/day my Kool-Aid Drinkers ;) 

               "Appreciate the journey, it makes for a much better story." ShelleyGiard©2012


Neither one of these could happen overnight! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Not Everyone Deserves the Trophy...

How about a bumper sticker that says THAT!

What happened to the good old days when elementary competition meant some win and others lose... The days when at the end of a season teams had an award ceremony and some kids had to go home without a ribbon or trophy. Or what about on awards day when some kids got honor roll certificates and perfect attendance and other kids got no certificates at all. Are those days seriously gone? Who decided that this form of learning responsibility... trying harder to succeed when you did not quite make the cut, understanding competition and how REAL life works was unhealthy? I would like to sit down and have a chat with them.

I have talked about this before...  building "false esteem" for our future generation who might I add are quickly gaining obnoxious "entitled" attitudes... mix that with a bit of "reality" TV as they call it and you have a spoiled rotten, can't do anything for themselves person that will be taking care of ME one day? Thank God I have 4 children that I am raising the right way. Perhaps I should have one more just so I know I will be in good hands. I am beginning to think that I will write a book about this topic in the future.... hmmm. The fuel that led me to write this tonight was a "certificate" that my 10 year old daughter brought home from the awards ceremony at school a couple of weeks ago and as I was packing  today I came across it again. It started my wheels turning and now you get to hear all about it. Unfortunately I could not go to the ceremony because of work, however my guilt was weakened being that I had not received a note saying that she was getting an award that day anyway.

She came home with award in hand... and says to me, "mom, I got this award today and I have no idea what it's for. I did not make the honor roll, and I missed some days, but I got this.. what is a merit award? I paused before answering because I am concerned about how I say things... words can cut like a knife and the wound lasts forever. I thought for a moment and frankly stated the fact... "Well sweetie, a Merit award is given when you did not earn other awards so that you don't feel left out. You are like your mommy... I did not do that good in school, I made A's in English like you and in art and music, just like you... but math, social studies and science? Yeah... not my thing. But guess what that means? You will grow up to be super creative and that will get you far if you run with it. However if you really want  those other awards, you can always try harder." Honest answer put a smile on her face, self esteem saved but lesson learned, nothing wrong with that.

Perfect attendance is a great habit, but living life and having fun is also a great habit. You are not going to be good at everything but you can be GREAT at one thing. I want my kids to do well... but not so well that they forget to live. I have been a working taxpayer since I was 13 years old... no joke. I have never been without a job (or two or three) since I was 13. (I am dizzy now, so I am glad I am sitting down) And ya know what? It wasn't until the last 3 years that I finally realized that living is also important, ( I am 38, do the math way too long... I missed out on a lot of life) It's healthy and necessary to LIVE. It's okay to fall short sometimes... just know how to get back up, brush off and keep going. I am scared at what the schools and the athletic programs are teaching our kids, so I am taking the wheel in that department when it comes to mine. How about you?

I  am proud to say that I am the ONLY parent I know with a child in college (2nd year) that does not and has never funded her bank account AT ALL! My daughter has flown home 3 times, bought Christmas gifts for the family twice, bought herself a car, lives in an apartment on her own, pays her bills and saves like a banshee. Everything in her apartment is paid for. The only thing I have sent her are little packages on holidays and "just because days" to let her know Mommy loves her. I talked to her tonight and she was telling me that after paying all of her bills this month she still had a nice nest egg in the bank so she treated herself to a day of shopping and still had plenty left over. I guess I did something right. She is living, and I LOVE to hear that!

"Don't be the person that gets rewarded for not using your vacation days... because one day you will wake up and wonder where your "life" went." ShelleyGiard©2012


This sits on a shelf in my Hair & Makeup Studio. It's my daily reminder to 
weave work into my life... not to weave life around my work.
Where there is will, there is a way!

I Am Not Normal....

It's been two days since my last blog post and I must admit, I missed posting as much as you missed reading. I had a few comments come my way about my lack of posting and I must say it is nice to be missed. I love that people read my blog as they sip their morning coffee; that in itself is quite a compliment...and somewhat of a dream fulfilled for me. My goal is to post everyday... and without unusual circumstances that goal will be met. However, this weekend I had to take a break to pack. Getting ready to move into a new house is no easy task with my crazy schedule and packing, although it is a love-hate relationship, is a must. It's not every day that I have a quiet house with no interruption, (that's an understatement for sure) so I had to take full advantage of my down-time. But alas, I am back and ready for a great week, how about you?

Topic for the evening? "I am not normal"... What IS normal anyway? I have felt for years that I was picked from a tree that only blooms every 100 years or so. I live in a different mindset, drink from a different cup and chew gum at a different rhythm than most people... I get that, but does that mean I cannot rub off on a few people along life's broad yet narrow way if I speak up and say what I feel? Sure it doesn't. Just because someone was not born with the thought process of a weirdo like me does not keep them from being transformed a bit if I just share with them how they can think differently too. I believe that and I will never stop trying, because true belief does crazy things to you. I figure the more people I can get to drink the Kool-Aid, the better my surroundings will become. Just like the old adage, "you are what you eat"... you are what you think and share as well. Think negative thoughts? Welcome to misery... think about positive things even when you are drowning in the negative pool? The water becomes shallow and eventually your feet can touch. Simple as that.

Excuses are not productive; so...if you want something GO GET IT! If you want to get rid of something, GET RID OF IT! If you don't like hearing this STOP READING! If you need motivation, KEEP READING. If you know someone who needs a swift kick of reality, SHARE THIS BLOG!

Being busy, it's really hard to find the time to do everything I want to do in a day. I wish that cloning had caught on; not only would I be a bazillionare by now, but my clones and I would be SO productive. I would create a clone for each of my weaknesses so that fear and anxiety would never hold me back. I would also create a clone for each of the things I procrastinate doing such as putting laundry away and mailing things. I know my weaknesses, and I know my fears, I am in touch with them. (and I hate them all!) Most of us know our shortcomings if we are HONEST with ourselves. ( by the way...lying to yourself is the most destructive behavior of all.) What I do is read and learn about how to overcome them... I like to think of myself as a permanent construction project; (kind of like Florida roadways...ahem! oops did I just type that out loud?)
I choose to hang with the people I want to be like... read books that help me turn my weaknesses into strengths... listen to success stories and copy what they do. It won't happen over night... it CAN however happen in a lifetime and THAT is my "not so normal" plan. I hope you join in... although bumpy and scary at times... it's one hell of a ride to miss out on!

"An excuse is your fear in disguise." ShelleyGiard©2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Loyalty and Honesty Walk Hand In Hand...

Writers block. It's something that I have yet to experience but tonight I am drawing a complete blank. I am ravaged with anxiousness because my fingers want to type but my mind is like "DUH! watch TV, go to bed... give it a rest..." this makes me sad... really sad.  Holy cow!  UGH!

Wait! I know what I can write about! It just hit me. LOYALTY! Wow I love it! I was totally dumbfounded and then BAMMO just like that I quickly browsed my brainwaves thinking of the events of  today and came up with an idea. This is why I still sat down at my keyboard despite the block I was having thinking that if I just started babbling ( I am really good at that) I was bound to come up with something. And Voila! Here we go... Loyalty it is.

Simply put...
Loyalty: The state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations...

I have been a stylist for 21 years (cough)  and my business relies on loyalty, without it I could not survive... I would literally be eating Top Ramen three times a day if my clients were not loyal, not to mention how exhausting it would be trying to constantly find new ones. I am loyal to friends, I am loyal to service people that I trust and appreciate, I am loyal to my partner, my faith, and many many things... however I have learned that loyalty is something that some people just don't understand at all. Now, I am not saying that I have never been disloyal... I have; most everyone has, however as I have gotten older loyalty becomes more and more important to me on both the giving and receiving ends; a close second to honesty. By the time you reach my age, (38) (cough-cough) you should be grown up enough to appreciate the meaning of the two; and I have. Keeping "options open" and not telling the truth are just not acceptable behaviors at this point in my life, at least when it comes to certain things... it is decision making time; period... the end, and loyalty has a lot to do with decision making.

I am thankful for the people I have in my life; the loyalty in my friendships, and other relationships... the family, the love. I am truly blessed. Today I saw a client that I have not seen in about a year. Joyce has been like a part of my family for almost 12 years, a client... a friend. Due to the distance between us now, (about and hour and a half)  and her work schedule, she had to find someone closer to do her hair. I was thinking about her not long ago and out of the blue last week I heard from her... her exact words to me were "me and my hair need you, special occasion coming up this weekend and I just had to call YOU because my hair has not been the same without you." That my friends is loyalty at its best... and yet another reason I love my job. I welcomed her with open arms today, made her feel beautiful and she walked out with a huge smile and a bounce in her step (and her hair). It was awesome for both of us and her last words to me were... "see you next time, no more cheating on you!" Decision made. ;)

Have a great night everyone! (or day if you were already in bed when I wrote this)

"Loyalty and Honesty... be sure to offer both to everyone you care about, they deserve no less" ShelleyGiard© 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Give a Little Bit...Give a Little Bit of Yourself to Me....

Such a good song. I love music of the 70's, everything was about love, peace and giving of yourself. Yes... many people gave of themselves a little TOO freely but hey I am sure they had the best intentions right? Tonight, I  could not think of what to write about because of my tired brain (thanks to two days of mental drain) But since I did not blog last night I felt the need to write about something. (I am hoping this can be inspiring in some way.)  SOOO... here it goes... GIVING that is tonight's topic.

I have a giving heart... always have and I am sure as I get old and senile it will get worse or possibly take a nosedive in the other direction. (hoping I am not one of THOSE) Either way it has been misinterpreted before and I am sure it won't be the last time. I am seriously the type of person that will give you my last morsel of chocolate if I feel you need (or want) it more than me ... (that's a big deal by the way) and that does not mean you have to give me your last morsel when I need (or want) it. I give unconditionally... don't need anything in return, don't have expectations of what you might give back... I just do it because it feels good. This can be hard, but it is really the only way that your gift of giving is sincere.

Giving comes in many packages... you can give gifts, donations, advice, a smile,  a pat on the back, a homemade meal in a time of need, or an ear for someone's need to vent. It does not have to take much time or even a lot of effort... small gestures truly can mean the world. I know because I have given and have received small gestures that meant a lot, and it's cool in both regards!

In a "struggling economy" people tend to stop giving feeling that 1.) there are people out there to use the economy as an excuse to use people... and 2.) Everyone is trying to hang onto their own for the fear of losing what they have. (both valid points) We have all seen the many many people standing on the side of the road (usually at intersections of the malls) begging for work, food, money to feed their family or pay their rent; I must say it's hard to not turn your head and pretend you don't see them. (we have all done it) but what I have been doing most recently is making eye contact with these people... staring right into their eyes and seeing what that makes them do. You can see "hope" in someone's eyes.. and you can also see shame. Next time you see one of these people and you are feeling guilty for not rolling down your window and tossing them a few bucks just in case their situation is for real... make eye contact, if they look away or seem uncomfortable you know to keep it sealed but if they engage and you see "hope" then maybe you should open that clear barrier and give. Despite their story, if your intentions are good and thoughtful the reward will be yours in the end... ten fold.

xoxo ~Shells~

Monday, February 20, 2012

When Things Don't Go Your Way...

Be grateful. It is one of the hardest yet most sensible things to do when things don't turn out as planned. All my life... (or shall I rephrase and say all my life that I was in charge of making my own decisions) I had many "oops" moments, moments of what the #*&*? and moments of beating myself up wondering where I went wrong. And well, in a way I now realize I actually went right. What I mean by this is that without wrongs, rights would have no meaning. Mistakes shape the world... and everything about it. Mistakes make us think... and the more you make the better you are later on. People like me who learn EVERYTHING the hard way become great problem solvers,  golden negotiators, (certainly someone you would want defending you if you needed to be proven innocent when guilty), well-rounded, understanding, and can find laughter almost every time things don't go as planned... (even when you would rather cry, scream and kick your feet on the floor.. or maybe you should do this first then laugh) my point is you are better off learning the hard way sometimes, so be grateful for the opportunity to learn. And please.... LEARN!

My life certainly did not go as planned... I had "planned" not to have kids until I was in my thirties if at all... (umm yeah, I had four by the time I was 36, first one at age 18) That plan did not only derail... it went flying through the air with wings and a rocket flare on it's buttocks. I had "planned" to go to Europe after I graduated high school in hopes of gaining an apprentice job for someone like Jose Eber and soak up his knowledge like a sponge... (instead I was stuck in South Carolina for 7 more years). There are many more "plans" that were completely shattered by what was really supposed to happen and just these two examples alone gave me 4 children (none of which were planned) that I adore and would not know how to live without , and despite the fact that I have yet to have my "hair tour de France" I managed to still be trained by Europeans because I "problem solved" my way into it.

I am grateful, I truly am... trials and tribulations I can't say enough lead to wealth and happiness... I am not talking about monetary wealth either; I am talking about wealth that no money can buy, the kind of wealth from within that you know will always be there. No bank can repossess, foreclose or kick you out of loving yourself with all your dents, cracks and rough edges.

Be grateful and be awesome!

And to finish this off... another excerpt from my upcoming book.

Taken from Chapter 16... ©2012shelleygiard "I need the Happy Ending"

"I have learned that people who say that their life had no real struggle are either lying, or simply unfortunate. My life has been full of mistakes and poor judgment calls. There are things I am not proud of, and things that although had purpose in my life I wish had never happened. However, all of these things wrapped up in a big box tell my story which I AM proud of.  Kind of like an old piece of furniture, I have been banged up, my paint has chipped, my legs have been unstable at times and I am not perfect in the eyes of everyone, but all of those things have built character and one day someone will look at me and say WOW now that is a rare piece! I look forward to that day… because I know it will come, and I have learned that I should wait for it. Hasty decisions may have been stepping stones for me in the past, some proved good some not so much… however­ I am ready to see where decisions with lots of care and planning may lead me. I feel as though my journey is just beginning, the tales that I have now will not compare to the ones to come. I am being reborn, completely full of life and feel free for the first time in many years. I wake up smiling and go to bed content; it’s just a good feeling. Miraculous things are stirring and I feel it in every bone of my body." ©2011shelleygiard "I Need the Happy Ending"

"We find beauty in all things that are tattered and worn; every dent, scratch and chip create character; a person should be no different" ShelleyGiard ©2011

The beauty of this picture would be lost with veneers, botox and a good shave...

 I took a picture of these two doors while I was in New Orleans this past Christmas. Although tattered weathered and worn... there is beauty and most definitely character.

Found this picture and just LOVED it...

Moral of this story?
Learn to find the beauty in everyone and everything... your life will be better and so will theirs.


Friday, February 17, 2012


The climb.... it's what makes the difference. If you could get to the top of that mountain without it; would it be so spectacular and special? NO! I know all about "the climb". My hands are scarred, my nails were torn and my muscles have been weakened, but my determination is stronger and that is what matters most. As I lay a wonderful weekend to rest and approach another Monday, I look forward to the week ahead. I don't mind being redundant when I say things such as this; Looking forward to tomorrow is the best thing you can do because once today is over it should be chalked up for what it was... good or bad... it is what it is.
You can reflect and learn or mope and dwell, but you cannot change it so waste no time on mulling over what "could have been"... just get up tomorrow and try again. Mindset... Mindset... Mindset.
The End

To finish this post, I will give you another teaser... an excerpt from my book which will be out later this year. "like" me on Facebook here...

Here is an excerpt taken from Chapter 12 ...Enjoy!

"I made it through high school in one piece physically although I must say emotionally I was struggling with a damaged self-esteem. It was the drive and determination to prove everyone wrong that ultimately changed that. I was voted by my twelfth grade English teacher as “Most likely to do Barbara Bush’s hair”, he believed in me and told me this after my presentation in his classroom when the classmates doubted me. There are so many others like me out there; people who had to put up with similar things as I had in school. I knew a few, and at times I wonder how they turned out. I have never understood the satisfaction people get out of being hurtful and making fun of another person for no apparent reason. You just never know the circumstances of their life, what may have caused what you are observing or what makes a person the way they are. To this day, I still don’t know the true reason why people did what they did to me; people I know now say jealousy, I say that’s crazy! Regardless, I survived it by turning it all into an energy that kept me going. It is the same energy that drives me to go to work every day to make people feel good when they look in the mirror, to boost their self esteem and make them believe in themselves a little more than they did before they came in.  It drives a passion which I know one day will lead me all the way to my dreams.  I think about the ones who simply cannot move past the experiences and the emotions that come with it all. It is those people who I truly have empathy for. These are the people that I want to read this book with hopes that it helps them realize that you can overcome anything if you just put your mind to it. Adversity is a good thing; it is the very thing that forms the strength and courage we need to push forward.
Life does not always happen the way that you plan it; things happen to make you stumble, alter your direction, and sometimes even stop you dead in your tracks. What you do when this happens is profound, and the mindset you hold is crucial to the outcome. It is sad to say that for most, moments like these squash their will to survive. "

Thursday, February 16, 2012

When I Grow Up and Retire.....

I am a busy girl... that is no secret to anyone who knows me and for those of you who don't, or are just getting to know me through these blog posts, trust me on this one; at times I think I am an addict of some sort (a good kind of course). Single mom of 4, ages 2,3,10 & 19, owner/operator of a small private hair and makeup studio, CEO of SG Freelance, (hair makeup and wardrobe styling services) District Manager with Arbonne International.. and oh yeah, writer.) I do sleep, in the nooks and crannies and somehow manage to be happy during all of this (despite the occasional meltdown, typically due to lack of rest.) I worry myself and wonder what in the WORLD I am going to do when (and if) I ever retire; i say if because I always said iI would work till I die because I love what I do, and I am so afraid of being bored. I am a bit of an "over-achiever" as it is called, although I do not think you can ever achieve too much. I want to do it all; use every God-given talent, do everything I love to do, if for no other reason than to not waste a thing. I actually get anxiety at the thought of retirement... (good thing I have many more years to go or else I may need medication to sedate me long enough to relax.) In  the same breath I look forward to reaping the rewards of many years of hard work and picture myself relaxing without a care in the world, traveling, doing crazy adventurous stuff that I must mark off my "gallon drum list" (the bucket was already overflowing) and my hopes are that I actually do just that. 

For the past 5 years I have lived in an area 45 minutes north of Tampa where there are a lot of retiree's; many of them from New York, New Jersey, and New England. (my how I feel right at home, and the pizza up here is awesome!) They are people who worked hard, saved money for retirement and are enjoying life with every breath they take. These are not retiree's who are scrounging to make ends meet... they made good choices, drive nice cars and are reaping the rewards of being old and is exactly how I hope to be. It's is sort of inspiring to see these women and men enjoying life as they should... they paid their dues and now walk around with happy faces. They laugh, ride motorcycles, are free and even though they can be frustrating to drive behind... they make me smile, and I want to be just like them one day. 

As I walk around (and drive) taking pictures of things that I may use for a blog post, I kind of feel like a nosy weirdo paparazzi wanna-be with a camera phone... but this week I managed to get these two shots of the way retirement looks in my town. I will soon be moving but am glad that I can still see these people when I visit my mom and service my clients up here, because I think seeing the zest they have for life makes my life better by giving me something to reach for as I grow old. (not to say in any way shape or form that I am even close to being old!)

Moral of this story?
Work hard, and have fun but save enough to live when it will count the most.

XOXO ~Shells~

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Small Hurdles, Large Leaps... Inspiration Comes in All Sorts of Packages

I am a mother of four, all of them unique, all of them special. Abrielle, better known as "Brie" is my baby girl 2 and a half; the littlest sister of three amazingly protective siblings ages 19, 10 and 3... Abrielle has Down syndrome. Last year, my oldest daughter and I created a youtube page "myamazingbrie"  in the month of October for Down syndrome Awareness month and posted her first public video called "Determination". Within an hour the post had over 200 views with the power of social media and amazing friends helping us spread the word. Over the course of the month we shared several other videos and got a great response, people telling us how beautiful she was, how we shared facts they never knew... and how inspiring she was to watch. I knew that a mission was being accomplished slowly but surely one click at a time.

Tonight, after not having updated her channel since November, I went online to post a bulletin that we would be uploading new videos for her 14 subscribers real soon. I was going to wait until she had accomplished new BIG goals like talking or running, however lately some of her small hurdles are bringing joy to my days and reminded me that small hurdles lead to large leaps. So I thought "hey... it's time for a new video or two".

As Americans... and even in some foreign countries, we are poisoned with the "I want it now" syndrome...the mentality that you don't have to wait... so much so that we lose the ability to experience of the fight and forget that small victories can truly lead to big rewards as long as we hold out long enough. I am so grateful that Abrielle reminds me of this with all her little hurdles; it keeps me in check and also keeps me a bit old fashioned in the fact that I can appreciate "growing a garden" , nothing worth anything happens overnight. She has taught me to never take ANYTHING for granted, to celebrate the small victories as much as the big ones and well... because of that my life is better and it spills onto every person who knows her, including her siblings and hopefully everyone who watches her videos.

 Abrielle has Down syndrome. To some people hearing this "term" creates a feeling of discomfort, but to those of us who live this "term" everyday, it is an inspirational blessing to our life, or at least it is with someone like me. I hope to enlighten and educate others as to why they should not be uncomfortable because I am her mother and that is my job. I owe it to "Brie" and all others like her who are faced with the same or similar challenges she has now and will have in years to come to do everything I can to change people perception of what special needs kids are like. I was blessed with her for many reasons and this is another purpose for me now.

Since the first of this year... Abrielle has started to put things in her mouth, ya know, foreign objects that she shouldn't, which is something that mothers (including myself with my other kids) get annoyed with and say NO NO!  Abreille is 2, and this JUST started happening. Although I was "proud" that my baby girl did not put random things in her mouth... (that was the optimist in me) I knew deep down it was because she had not "figured that out" yet. Needless to say I am not only clapping when she puts foreign objects in her mouth now, I am taking videos and pictures to celebrate her "figuring this out". Don't take ANYTHING for granted and no matter how small the hurdle, reward yourself for jumping it... because it is one more large leap towards the finish line.

xoxo ~Shells~

"Eating this wrapper means soon I will be eating the candy that used to be in it!"
Abrielle aka "Brie" 2-15-12

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Grief is Such a Weird Emotion....

I picked an odd topic for the evening of Valentine's...(or rather the odd topic picked me) but before you close this window... this is not a depressing post; or at least I hope it's not... I want it to be more of a warm fuzzy one that will help almost anyone who has lost someone dear to them smile.

Have you ever scrolled through your phone to delete old phone numbers or cleaned up your Facebok friends but could not bring yourself to delete the people you have in your phone list or friends list that have died and wonder why you just can't do it? Yeah... me too. Bottom line... grief is a weird emotion. It is one of the only emotions that no matter how many years pass it just never seems to go away. It's like our minds don't want us to forget, so it continuously creates "stickpins" that prick us and make us remember the ones we have lost. I still have several friends who have passed saved into my phone... and on my Facebook page; some like my friend Omar have been gone for years but I just can't hit delete... no matter how silly it seems at times.

I am a Christian; a faithful person who is not over the top, yet very comfortable saying what I believe no matter the company I am around. I have always liked to think that the people who have passed on can still "feel" us some how... and once in a while I get the feeling that the people who I have lost give me a little nudge to let me know they are still "here".  I know that in reality this is not possible... or is it? Such a loaded question...  and I often wonder if this is a feeling created by our own mind  to comfort our grieving thoughts so we can be at peace. Is it a peculiar coincidence that we fabricate all together? or is it real... 

Either way, I know they must miss us as much as we miss them.

My intention was to blog about something TOTALLY different tonight and then something happened. I was typing an email on my phone and as I proceeded to put in the recipients name, the name of someone who just recently died came up. I actually blogged about her the day I found out she passed; it was my classmate from high school Shirley Hill. Now I have never called Shirley or sent her an email and the person who I was sending the email to did not have "s" as the first letter in their name... but her name popped up for a split second and went away. What did I do with that? Well... I smiled and had a "moment" thinking that it was an odd but comforting second of my life that made me think that someone that reads my blog may need to hear this tonight. SO... here I am to share a very heart warming inspirational, personal story in hopes that if someone reading this needed to hear it then this odd moment wasn't a coincidence at all. Here is my story...

My Mémère (French-Canadian grandmother) developed Alzheimer's and we lost her to this horrible monster of a disease several years ago. Before she had to be put into a nursing facility, she was staying with my Auntie Gisele at her home just outside of Boston. My Mémère loved lady bugs... and oddly enough the window to the room she was staying in while with my Auntie was swarmed with ladybugs while she stayed there but disappeared when she had to be put into a care facility. (might I add that it was NOT ladybug season when this happened) When my Mémère passed away, my Auntie Gisele got a ladybug pin for the three siblings to wear the day of her service. My dad, Auntie Gisele and Auntie Michèle all wore their pins into the beautiful grand catholic church the day of her funeral. They were all sitting together and just before my Auntie Gisele got up to give the eulogy a ladybug landed on my father's sleeve and just sat there for a moment before flying away... When my Auntie "G" got up to give the eulogy she told the story of the ladybug that had just landed on my Dad's arm during the service. I wish I had been there... but the story is just as special regardless of my absence.  

It was a comforting feeling in a tender moment of grief, to let them know she was okay. How did this little ladybug get into this huge church and find my dad's arm? Well... our family likes to think 
it was more than just coincidence...  

We all miss our loved ones, we feel left behind and robbed of time with them. I lost my sister when I was seven and grieved for years without even knowing that's what was happening... and now 31 years later she is still in my mind almost on a daily basis, and frankly I hope she always is. I like to think that she will see me sign my first book; after all...she was who inspired me to write it. 

If you have lost someone recently or even years ago and are still grieving the loss... it's normal. Allow yourself the time and don't put a time limit on the process because in some ways, it never ends it just has stages. It's a personal thing to be dealt with in your own way, in time. 
Don't forget to celebrate who they were, for they would not want you sad... 
they simply want you to always remember. 


Ladybugs mean a lot to me now... and this one looked like it had a tear rolling off of it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Hearts and Chocolate...BLEGH!

I am not typical... if you read my blog you already know this. I don't know if I am the weird one or if the rest of you are, but I like to think for your sake that it's me. Valentine's Day is no exception to my somewhat odd, non-traditional, peculiar way of thinking. Maybe it's because I am NOT AT ALL cliché, I am more the sentimental type and since Valentines Day has become so cheesy because of all of it's commercialism for profits in other peoples pockets; I do things a bit differently. Yes... I have kids and I still give them a valentine gift of some sort. I mailed my daughter who is in college a "gift box" of goodies and I am baking brownies for the 4th grade classroom because I am the kind of Mom who wants my kids to know that what's important to them is important to me, but I don't make a big deal of it because I don't want them making a big deal of it. After all, the last thing I want for my children is for them to grow up thinking that they are not "special" on February 14th because they don't have a "Valentine" to spend it with. I am sure they will be alone on several. I remember all the years of being single and feeling inadequate when I sat home on Valentine's Day with no "special someone" to share it with... it was depressing. Meanwhile, I had so much love around me (family, friends and my kids) that I did not even notice because I was too busy feeling inadequate and lonely on this silly holiday. It wasn't until I was in my mid-twenties that I stopped and said "WAIT! I AM SPECIAL, EVEN IF HALLMARK SAYS I AM NOT" And guess what? So are YOU!

The day for "love" to show your "love" for the one you "love".  I am sorry, but if getting chocolates, a card that was picked from what was left on the shelves on Valentines Day at Walgreens or even worse, Walmart, and roses that will die in a few days make you feel special; then I am truly happy for you (I just choked on that sentence) Random acts of love, a sweet text or email message, a public display of affection via Facebook for the whole world to see or a gift when I least expect it.... THAT makes me feel special! No Whitman's Sampler, or even Godiva for that matter will ever hold a candle to a sweet sentiment from the heart when there is no obvious "reason". (but if I had to pick Godiva over Whitman's please) 

The only exception to this rule for me was my "first" Valentine's Day with Corey. That is an occasion I rose to last year and it took me 3 and a half hours to make his card.... a lot of thought was put into it and it is something that he will likely keep forever because it made him feel "special", and he is. 

On the eve of this silly little holiday I hope that you recognize ALL of the love around you whether it be from a friend, a family member, your children or even a "special someone" and instead of taking this one day a year to show how much you love them with chocolate, tell them and show them EVERYDAY you have them around because they won't always be around. And to all you single people, send me your address and I will bake you some brownies!! haha!

XOXO To all my "lovers" out there!  I love YOU TOO! 
 See... I did bake brownies for the 4th grade class... ugh I want to EAT THEM!

Friday, February 10, 2012

When It's Enough to make You Cry... LAUGH

This week I suppose I was being tested, or maybe it was just the full moon... or some kind of karma that came back from years ago, (although I thought I had broken even at this point in my life) but either way it was a tough one on the nerves and I am glad it is coming to an end. I rarely wish a week will end simply because I do what I can to appreciate and cherish every day, but when it's one of those weeks that you just want to throw your hands up and cry... it's hard not to wish it away. Today is Friday... it's almost over, so I woke up with a good mindset and found a way to laugh at this weeks series of events.  Sometimes you just have to laugh and say WOW! that was quite a ride. The up-side is that it's just a day, and you will wake up tomorrow to a new one that could be better... and if it's not then there is the next day... and the next.... you get my point. You just have to keep going and know that at some point something will happen to make it all go away and for me, today... that was a funny good morning text message from my significant other and when my son randomly said "hey mom, I love you so much" this morning. These are the moments that I hang on to and know that the good can outweigh the bad if you just allow it to. This week has been a doozie, but you know what? It will be okay! And today has been better already.

I suppose some of you may be wondering what has happened this week and since I am a "put it out there" kind of person, here's the recap of my week in case you are interested.

Monday: My accountant called to let me know that my tax return had been rejected because my ex felt he was entitled to claim the kids (who live with me) on his taxes... hmmm yeah I won't discuss this one any further.

Tuesday: Woke up feeling refreshed "emptied that mental suitcase" so that I could have an awesome day and overall it was pretty good. Then I found out how much I will have to pay to the IRS if this kid claiming issue does not get fixed by my attorney.

Wednesday: Woke up feeling very tired as if I had no sleep, could not get myself motivated for anything and even took a nap. (very unusual) I am assuming stress from Monday and Tuesdays news.

Thursday: Woke up once again with a positive attitude. I had a few errands to run before going to work at my studio and as I was running around I got pulled over by a cop with a chip on his shoulder who proceeded to write me a ticket for going UNDER the speed limit... (guess he was having a bad day too) I then got stuck at the DMV for two hours trying to renew my tag, waiting on a clearance letter to be faxed  to prove I paid a 50cent toll in Orlando two years ago. (it was great people watching though so a very entertaining 2 hours) Finally left the DMV and was on my way to pick up my daughter from school before heading to my studio. I stopped to get a drink at  the gas station because I was thirsty, got back in my car only to discover that my gear shift (I drive a stick-shift because they are fun to drive) was flopping around like a rag doll... not working FABULOUS! I called my Mom... (wonder-mom to the rescue) and called a mechanic to come get the car.

As I sat on the curb drinking my soda and eating my pita chips as I waited for my mom to pick me up, I started laughing... I had already nearly cried and I just had to make something good of it. I thought at any moment a camera man would jump out of the bushes and say "GOTCHA" but that never happened. It was for real.


I am thankful that these kind of weeks have not been a part of my life for quite some time... it used to be my norm and it certainly helps me appreciate the good year I have had. Maybe it was God's way of reminding me that life is better for me now than it once was. And something I always try to keep in mind at times like this is that somewhere someone is going through much worse than just a bad day.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Friday and if you had a bad week 
I hope you can find something to turn it around.
XOXO ~Shells~

I think I may frame this

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Don't Hate Me Because I am Blunt...

~~This blog post was inspired by my own Facebook quote this morning~~ 
"Don't hate me because I am blunt; love me because I am honest" ©SGiard2012

Tonight... I decided to write about being blunt and honest; how the two coincide in my brain and why this is of critical importance in my world. If you have not read last night's blog prior to reading this one you may need to click here  and read it so the beginning of this post will make sense to you.

Last night my blog had a very blunt tone... an honest tone, a passionate tone, all of which are a part of who I am. The majority of my posts have that warm-fuzzy, inspirational feelingS with a dash of humor and a pinch of goofiness... after all that is also who I am. A positive, uplifting, optimistic, silly, goofy person who does everything she can to wake up and make the day awesome despite the falling buildings that often crowd my path to success and the occasional obstacle course that resembles the Amazon Forest. It's life...  it was not promised to ever be easy; and nothing that is worth it is. Is laboring a child easy? (If you say yes, then you are either a man who has no right to an opinion on this topic or a woman who has not experienced the true valor of natural childbirth... I have; trust me, it's no pony ride!) Marriage is not easy, friendships are not easy... making a cake from scratch is not "easy" but the end result of birth, a long lasting marriage, and the yummy goodness of a cake made from scratch are all worth the hassle, pain, and confusion. Life is no different. It's not rainbows and cotton candy and I have never pretended it is.

I am blunt... to a fault maybe; some can handle it, some cannot, and I am okay with that. Before you assume anything, I did not get hate mail or negative comments to give me the feeling I needed to explain myself. I just wanted to write about honesty and how being blunt is often the same thing in a less tailored suit and why I find it effective when trying to prove a point that I am passionate about. Have you ever been to see a motivational speaker? They don't candy coat anything, it's why I LOVE going to see them. They are true, honest, no holding back kind of people and that is what puts me in forward motion. (and also why I think I would make a good one) They put things out there, in your face to help you realize the point of their speech, what you are doing wrong or what you could do better to change your situation. It is a psychological way to get into people's heads what they need to hear in order to MAKE that change. My blog last night was fueled by my own experience however, I was trying to enlighten my readers (just in case they did not know) that divorce CAN be a negative turned positive, and how being stupid and seeking revenge or being spiteful prolongs the agony for everyone involved ESPECIALLY children. My mission is to help people find the tap when the glass is half empty in hopes of helping them live happier lives. I don't think this is a bad thing and if you do, I suppose you are reading the wrong blog. 

What kind of friend would you want with you at a rib eating contest? The kind of friend who would let you walk around with barbecue pork stuck between your teeth, or the person who would say "hey you need a toothpick, you have pork between your teeth." (I have no idea where that analogy came from by the way... that was totally weird) Anyway, my point is that I am the friend that would give you a toothpick; find you a toothpick or say open up and pick it out with my finger. It may be embarrassing for a minute or two but it would be mortifying to know you spoke to fifteen people (and that cute guy or girl) with pork in your teeth right? Okay... time to move on, I hope you get my point, and just for the record I have never been to nor cared to go to a rib eating contest. (creative writing at it's best) HAHA! 

I hope that you think about this a little, think of how you are... do you candy coat things giving the people around you false hope? Are you the kind that teaches your kids that everyone wins? If so, I suggest you stop and think about that rib eating contest and be the person that YOU would want to be with. Don't encourage when you should discourage.  I will give you an example of this to end my post, and I am off to bed for the night. 

I talk about self esteem and false esteem a lot... false esteem is built by candy coating. My daughter Baleigh loves to sing, she is a bit tone deaf without music playing, and although most songs sound off key, I encourage her to have fun singing but let her know that certain songs are not for her. The other day she came into the kitchen LOUDLY singing Adele, I had to ask her to stop and said "I love that song, but it's really a tough one to sing why don't you sing another one instead" See? I did not have to send her away in tears... and make her feel like a failure by telling her she sounded bad... I was blunt and honest, and it worked. By being honest I encouraged her to sing a better song choice and my ears thanked me.

Moral to this story?
BE HONEST ~ BE BLUNT, It's a better way to be!
 I took this picture in Las Vegas last year... 
it may be a bit inappropriate but part of me felt he would be a good friend to have.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hey Control Freak... I Pronounce you OUT OF BUSINESS!

"Hey control freak... aka puppeteer, happy killing, dream squashing, mud throwing, bitter, miserable good for nothing energy zapper! I have no room for you in my life, you controlled me long enough which is precisely why I rid myself of you in the first place. I have tried to kill you with kindness hoping you would snap out of your bitter state of mind, because we have common denominators that need us to be civilized but I have decided that's not working to make you a better person and never will. Enjoy your puppet party alone, you are out of business as far as I am concerned."

Sound familiar at all? It is the common cry between the typical ex husband and ex wife with kids.... sad but true. I wrote this about my own situation in my journal (which is where I dump this kind of junk out of my head so I don't go ape on someone) and I am sharing it to prove a point. Divorce can be ugly... but it does not have to be. When you have children, it should NOT be and I am telling you from experience kids are affected negatively by divorce when the parents act stupid... THE END. Good grief, people! PLEASE think about your kids! Do you want them growing up afraid to get married? Expecting their relationships to NOT work? Do you want them to stay in unhappy, unhealthy relationships because they saw what divorce can do and how it affected them? I can happily say that my parents did NOT act stupid, in fact we can comfortably and happily have dinner; my mom, dad and their new spouses... we can laugh, tell stories and even hug. (pictures to prove that below) 

My Mom (right) and Step-mom (left) back in 2008 at a family Christmas party
 My Mom (left) Dad (pickle in the middle) and Step-Mom (left)
 Yes... they hug too!

THAT is what it should be when you have kids, but the least you could do is suck it up and be civilized long enough so your kids are none the wiser, so they can have you both at the dance recitals, school plays and at some point their weddings. They hear what you say and do and form opinions based on that. Do not be the person who stoops low... not worth it, SET THE STANDARDS HIGH and then they will expect the best isn't that our job as a parent? (my parents did this and now that my situation is not perfect, I am disappointed but still hope that one day it can be nice and easy, isn't that better than expecting the worst?)

Kids act as they see. If an older sibling jumps off a roof, the younger one follows. If you act disrespectful toward your ex with your kids watching...ahem? Guess what? This becomes their norm.  Please set the example and move on... it's why you are divorcing or divorced anyway right? Prolonging the drama by being irrational and stupid helps nobody and creates an uncomfortable situation for your kids. Quit being selfish and self centered it's not about you at this point, it's about them and how easy you can make it for them. Get with the program. And yes... I realize I am sounding like a control freak myself  right now, but this is my blog and I can say what I want right? I am passionate on this topic and it shows that's all. Love me for it or hate me, either way I still get to say what I think.

I was so lucky to have parents that did not express bitterness even when it did exist a little in the beginning,  (Thanks Mom & Dad you ROCK!) and I realize that now as I am going through a "situation" just how amazing they were through it all. I am frustrated no doubt that someone has nothing better to do than to try and make things difficult for me... but I have to swallow, take a deep breath and say "OUT OF BUSINESS" to the negative manipulation behind it all. I cannot let it ruin my day or they win. I cannot let it affect how happy I finally am, or it will. A TRUE case of mind over matter and I WILL come out on top.

The greatest feeling is this... greed, manipulation, bitterness and control are all behaviors the big man upstairs can and will punish, and I have found HIS revenge is WAY better than any wrath I can cast upon anyone. So hey big man up there... I surrender this one to YOU! 

 So yes... I am human and I have bad days! THIS is why I woke up and wished all my face-book buddies a great Tuesday! It helps! 


Monday, February 6, 2012

Change... Embrace It!

(an excerpt from my new book "Pivotal Moments... Peaceful Minds" ©2012 Shelley Giard)

"Years ago I was one of "those people" and today I still am; it is what has allowed me to experience a lot for someone my age and the very thing that will ensure I continue to check things off my bucket list. I am a person who embraces change; if nothing else it's simply for the sake of never being bored. Change is not comfortable, it's not warm and fuzzy or predictable... in fact, it's almost always scary and uncertain and fills you with anxiety; but so does climbing a mountain or jumping from a plane, and I can say that out of all the people I know who have done those things.... nobody regrets the experience, the rush, the euphoria it brings. They would do it again and again just for that "feeling".

Without change, it is impossible to know what"could be", we only know what "is"... and that will never lead you to your fullest potential. We are all given gifts, we were created with hopes that we would do something with them, that is our duty as a human being. If we don't, then shame on us for wasting what we were given, as many would love to have the talents that you possess.

When I was 20, I made the decision to change my career path. I was unhappy working for someone else, it was safe and predictable but I knew that I would never reach my goals working for someone else. With less than $2,000 to my name, a mortgage to pay, a daughter to support, and knowing my marriage was ending, I signed a lease to open my first salon. I had never owned a business, but I knew what I wanted and I did it. Five years later, I was still open... I never got a loan, I never obtained a partner, (although my mother was my partner of sorts; watching Cierra for me while I worked around the clock) and I worked a second job for most of those first five years making sure I could keep it all together. You do what you have to do to make it work if you want it bad enough, and I did.

In 1999 I moved to Florida for change... I was not happy where I was and I needed to grow, so I packed up my house and my business, knowing only one person in Tampa and moved my daughter and I to a new state for a new start. Nearly twelve years later, I am still here... I have owned three salons since my move, I have moved several times and finally settled about five years ago in Spring Hill for very specific reasons and it was a good move.

New opportunities have approached me in the past couple of years and once again I am happy, excited, and nervous with butterflies as I once again embrace change. This one is probably the biggest change of my life so far, it's a leap of faith, a true choice for the right reasons. For the first time in my life, I am truly in love. I am old enough to know what it really is and have experienced what it is not. After having only two long-term relationships in my life, both the result of circumstance; the circumstance being pregnancy, I don't regret trying to make it work, but can honestly say that I was never truly in love... I now know the difference, and it's a sweet surprise.

Fear will prevent change, but fear will also keep you from experiencing amazing things. As I move forward into this next chapter of my life with someone I love and beautiful children that each hold a part of me, I am humbled. I have struggled, I have cried, I have gotten back up and started over, I have laughed, I have screamed, but I have never given up, sustained when I wanted to quit, and have always relied on myself to do what I had to do to get where I wanted to be. It's happening... it's scary... it's surreal... it's amazing, but most of all I feel like it's the beginning to my Happy Ending...."
©2012 Shelley Giard Pivotal Moments... Peaceful Mind

" Pivotal moments are momentous; of extreme importance, vital for success and a result of embracing change. Pivotal moments must be remembered and reflected upon 
for they will be the most important ones in your life." 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Even When you Don't Have a Cheerleader...

Have you ever felt that things are surrounding you; giving you that feeling of being suffocated and think that if you would just give in, the fight would end and you could have peace? If you are breathing as you read this then I think you would have to answer yes. This happens in sports, friendships, jobs, school and marriages. When things get hard... when they make you uncomfortable the first thought is quit... bail to avoid the emotions... the drama. Not reacting this way can be a blessing and a curse... I know because I am one of those who keeps trying even when everyone and everything around me says to bail, when everyone doubts it... I keep going. The blessing is that you live a much more interesting life, you can say "been there done that got back up and dusted off"... the curse is that at times you are so stuck on wanting to prove you won't fail, that you stay in something longer than you should, or end up repeating situations as you have in the past. Learning how to keep going takes time, and can easily become a passion at some point; but learning why you should keep going is priceless. Learning that lesson is worth every disappointment, hurt feeling, sad moment and any grief that was caused. I have begun to learn this lesson for the first time... I have always had my heart set on never giving up but until now I had not truly experienced why it mattered.

Great people do extraordinary things in the most questionable times, so I encourage you to be the one who is being questioned... be the one who continues playing even when you don't have a cheerleader. One day you will smile and know that the reward was greater than being defeated.
"Never be the one to say what if" SGiard2009

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Excerpt from 'I Need the Happy Ending" by Shelley Giard

Since my brain is a bit fried and tired and delirious tonight I decided to cheat and post an excerpt from my upcoming book. It's not peek your eyes over the person in front of you kind of cheating... and not cliff notes or plagiarism because I did actually write what I am posting, just not today. I hope you enjoy it!
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From Chapter 1:

I used to wonder why there were people who gain everything so easily while others consistently fail, time and time again. Why some turn everything into success; while others spend their entire lives struggling. It is one of those things that can keep you lying awake at night; it is a thought that has kept me restless many nights over the past several years of my own life. I have witnessed some of the most sincere, hardest working people take hits that were almost unbearable. I have heard people cry out, why me? What is it that I did to deserve this?  I have been that person many times, and am actually feeling a bit of that right now … at this very moment. It is what made me sit down after all of these years and put my life onto paper. (Well technically, a computer screen). My theory is this… you can’t be great without first failing, and you may very well fail numerous times before you learn enough from your mistakes to be led in the direction you are meant to travel. You cannot truly be fulfilled unless you have been where you have to be in order to appreciate the better side of things. For those who seem to dodge the bullet and are drowning in money from all of their success? Well, I have met many financially rich people who are lonely, bored and extremely unfulfilled. When the journey is tough, tears at your heart and dances on your soul, only then can you revel in the good that happens with perseverance. Without a fight, many events would never mean a thing.

Fairy Tales and Forests... That's How I Roll

I never stop... I was SO close to shutting this addictive contraption down after uploading behind the scenes photos from today's shoot with Kelby Training to all of those addictive social media sites I belong to and said to myself... blog tomorrow Shelley, it's pushing midnight and you REALLY need sleep. Then the devilish nut-bag on the other shoulder said no... you must blog, today was awesome and you must tell... you must "crack on". So... here I am literally falling asleep as I type hoping that I don't sound like a blubbering idiot.

Today was a great day at "work". A Forest, a Frog, Prince Charming, Princess in a corset , Big bad Wolf, and Red Riding Hood and her prince, just a typical day at work ;) What? Well, what does your day usually consist of? HAHA! Life is good when you love what you do... no doubt, I may be a tired girl as the sheep stand with their arms crossed saying, "seriously?" Yes, I suppose I am really rubbing in how much I love what I do... but it's truly not to brag (okay maybe a little) but it is also to INSPIRE you to find your passion, I will keep saying it over and over until you go out and do it! BE ALL YOU CAN BE! Ya know? It's priceless! And you know what is really cool? When you find a passion, you will become good at it and the money although sometimes delayed will come and then you will wish you had done it YEARS ago... but the greatest thing is? It's NEVER too late! SO DO IT! Love you all now this chic must go to bed before I am a danger to society when driving to "work" again tomorrow. 

XOXO ~Shells~