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Sunday, February 20, 2011


Seven Universal Pearls of Wisdom” To Help You Thrive In Crisis

Now that I have entered my fourth decade of life, I feel I’ve finally “arrived.” I know that at times, I am a hypocrite and half of what I say is comprised of the same mantras I’ve repeated to myself for decades. However, these very “clich├ęs” are of the stuff that keeps me believing, striving, hoping and happy. It keeps me fighting for survival, regardless of my life circumstances.

Five years ago, my life began to unfold like a soap opera. I did not sign up for this and realized immediately that I had two choices: adapt and plow through, or shrivel up and perish. I chose the former. I had three tiny children at the time, and was pregnant with my fourth. They needed me to be strong. My husband needed me to hold it together. So I considered myself a soldier training for battle. And I pressed on through years of darkness. And I still am.

In a nutshell, here is what I’ve learned:

1. Exodus, or Leave your DISCOMFORT zone: If it makes you feel bad, elicits negative thoughts and behavior, eliminate it. Now. Take whatever action necessary to take this thing, activity, person, social group, job, or place out of your life’s equation. No excuses, no justifications. Preserving your sanity is the priority.

2. Build a support group: Going through rough times? A divorce? Financial devastation? Re-connect with old friends and family. They deserve a chance to offer a hand, or a shoulder to cry on. Now is not the time to be proud. Life is a cycle; sometimes we’re up and other times, we’re down. Avoid retreating into your cave, only to emerge once again, “on top of your game.” You don’t know when that day will come. Life is unpredictable. Allow people to join you on your personal journey, albeit through the “shadows of uncertainty.”

3. Let go, but don’t settle: House burn down in a fire? Flood? Victims of theft? If you lost it and cannot get it back, forget it. Detach and move on. Focus on the down-to-the-bone priorities and appreciate them. Regroup. Don’t get stuck in a moment lamenting and obsessing over what is now ancient history. Know that you will get it all back and more, someday, through daily visualization and hard work. Trust in the natural ebb and flow of life’s cycles.

4. Healthy body, healthy mind: Okay, you feel like crap and want to hide from the world living off cigarettes, coffee and chocolate bars. You are not in the right state of mind to train for the Ironman, but a modicum amount of exercise coupled with relatively healthy eating will keep your senses sharp enough to react in these desperate times. You’re going to have to make tough decisions, so better be clear-headed. You are in battle and need to take care of yourself if you’re going to come out of this OK.

5. Reinvent your trade, yourself, innovate: Lost your job and slim chance you’ll find another in your field? Have childhood passions you’d secretly love to re-discover? Take advantage of your predicament to learn something new. Online resources make it so easy, affordable and you don’t even need to leave the house. Change that negative chip in your head telling you “it’s too late” and “you’re too old.” Like the butterfly, you are in a state of metamorphosis. Be more tolerant of risk; you’ve got nothing to lose.Work hard, stay focused and go for it. No time you say? Toughen up. Throw back some caffeinated drinks, stay up late, and take charge of your future.

6. Stay open and on “stand-by”: Recognize the hidden opportunities disguised as “problems” that interrupt your life. Don’t be threatened by change. Even if it appears as negative at first, upon further unraveling and taking everything to its natural conclusion, something exceeding your expectations will eventually emerge. Invite this exciting element of surprise into your life. Be proactive and seek it out. Embrace spontaneity.

7. Give back: Sounds trite, I know, but this is huge. The gratitude-giving-back cycle keeps everything flowing smoothly. And you don’t have to wait until you’ve “hit it big” to begin. Start now. Remember how much it helped when someone extended a hand to you? Remember how painful it was to put ego aside, and ask for help? Do the same for another. Be preemptive. Commit to making it your responsibility. Most importantly, listen to your heart and instincts and allow them to drive your actions towards others —not “fear” masked as “logic.”
Posted by Darah Zeledon aka The Warrior Mom at 8:44 AM


Welcome Fellow Warrior Friends! Thank you for stopping by. Please stay a while to read and share your own experiences with others in the comment section. We can all learn from one another.

Some of the reads you'll find here are about the funny stuff of life; others are philosophical and reflective . Either way, I strive to connect to my readers emotionally through my real world struggles, adventures and joys with one devoted husband and five dynamic children. I hope you find the stories witty, informative, thought-provoking, and most of all, inspirational.

I want to encourage YOU, my cherished reader,to embrace life with the passion of a WARRIOR.

Thursday, December 9, 2010Ten Signs That I Am In The Throes Of An (Early?) Mid-Life Crisis

I considered lying about my age, but I had a change of heart. You’ll figure it out soon enough once you read about my most recent inner conflict. I might as well stop pretending (to myself) that I am still a college student infused with a severe case of wanderlust.

Okay, I still have itchy feet and would love nothing more than to relieve them by walking all over every country on the globe. This time however, not so much as a wild-eyed gypsy-grad-student, but as a Hollywood celebrity. (Breathe, hubby, breathe.)

Despite my failed attempts to let go of my glory days, I honestly still feel 21 at heart. The problem is that with almost 11 years of marriage (to the same Costa Rican with nice calves,) five relentlessly inquisitive kids, and a great many experiences under my belt, it’s becoming less and less convincing. I mean, who has done that much by age 21?

Any shrink would surely define this dilemma as an (early?) mid-life crisis.

Here are ten reasons why I know I’m in denial’s tenacious grip:

1. Despite all the recent falls, injuries and minor concussion I endured months ago, I continue to ride my bike like a reckless teenage-gangster as often as I possibly can.

2. I see all the college students on break for the holidays working out at the gym, and because I am sporting a baseball cap as well, I think I look just like them.

3. Although I consider myself a professional person and (relatively) responsible mother, I enjoy parading around in street clothes that resemble the punk-hip outfit I just bought my nine year-old. (The only difference is that hers flaunts an image of Selena Gomez.)

4. Prior to picking up my kids from school, I shift "mental gears" and pull on a pair of cargo pants, fasten a few carabiners to my belt loops, wrap a fanny-pack around my waist, and prepare for combat.

5. I make my children watch Grease and West Side Story countless times and insist they are the "coolest" movies every made.

6. When we go out to the movies, I ask for the student rate while confidently flashing my student ID card that expired 13 years ago. When the cashier isn’t convinced it’s really me, I start to cry.

7. I watch my children’s television programs to study new dance moves since mine haven’t changed since the mid-80s.

8. I refer to anyone under 35 as a "kid."

9. I cannot bring myself to throw out my ragged twenty year-old Florida Gator t-shirt. And, I still wear it proudly out of the house---to my husband's dismay and entire family's embarrassment.

10. I spend each day fantasizing about the great sex I’m going to have with my husband that night, yet once I finally make it to the finish line, (my bed) the protagonists of my fantasies are none other than my mattress and pillow.
Posted by Darah Zeledon aka The Warrior Mom at 6:35 PM Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Google Buzz
labels darah zeledon, denial, mid-life crisis, parenting, sex, young-at-heart
bethany said...
LOL, great list! I can identify heavily with most of it ... especially the choice of clothing, wanderlust, recklessness, and thinking anyone under 35 is a kid ... they are so young ;).

December 9, 2010 9:17 PM
Susan Wingate said...
Very fun. Yep, getting older is like watching chocolate melt. It still tastes good but it looks all mushy and soft. Funny post. Thanks!

December 9, 2010 10:35 PM
Ross Brown said...
It's only been 13 years since your student ID expired?? You are still young. Mine expired more than 20 years ago!

December 10, 2010 3:19 AM
Jean Kelchner said...
Good for you! You're remarkable and you must not let go of those reins. I have been exploring and writing about women for over 20 years, women becoming what they can be. Now I am working on The Late-Bloomer Chronicle, women who are on the road to becoming what they can be. Check out my Blog at and see if you have a story to tell. Have you always been the way you are, or did you have to start, a happening? There is also a great discussion going on with me at AAUW. Good luck, if we don't connect.

December 10, 2010 5:19 PM
nan47 said...
if you think it's bad now -- just wait until you wake up one morning and realize that you couldn't possibly be 35 since your youngest just turned 36!

December 10, 2010 6:03 PM
Family Mat-ters said...
1,2, 5 & 8 - Great post. Thanks for the laughs (Jen)

December 10, 2010 6:18 PM
GutsyWriter said...
So you're a Gutsy Woman. I love Gutsy people as you might notice from my name. Wow, 5 kids! Congratulations.

December 10, 2010 10:05 PM
My Mama Mojo said...
You are my idol! You are so young at heart -and that is really the secret of eternal youth. And P.S. I've seen pictures of you and yes-you do look just like them and I would have given you the student rate for sure!!!

December 12, 2010 5:36 AM
Darryl said...
thanks for making me reminisce and cry and laugh...I am an emotional basketcase! lol

December 12, 2010 8:51 PM
suzanne said...
You must have a healthy dose of Sag in your chart! Forever young? Peter Pan? More power to you!

December 20, 2010 7:07 PM

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Interview on Dresser After Dark, Feb 15, 2011
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February 20, 2011 --
A GOOD STORY IS A GOOD STORY is changing it’s time – The first and third Monday night of every month. Please join Marsha Cook and Denise Spooner starting February 21, at 8PM CST, 9PM EST, and 6PM PST.

Michigan Avenue Media, as always, creates the buzz. Books and Screenplays are discussed because great books make great movies. During the show discussions are open and informative and always give the listener something very important to learn about the craft of writing. Marsha Cook is a both a novelist and screenwriter and always has the writer in her mind during every discussion.

Joining them the first week will be Fran Lewis, a terrific book reviewer, who will review Darah Zeledon ‘s upcoming book LUCKY GIRL. Darah celebrates life after a life – threatening illness and shows the world how to keep going and smile after tragedy strikes. Darah is truly inspirational and this is a show you certainly won’t want to miss. Denise Spooner will be in the chat room and the phone lines will also be open to take your calls. Please call - (646) 595-4478 or feel free to call and just listen in.


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