Monthly Archives: December 2010

My Stories

Happy New Year!!

I feel so lucky. Honestly! What a year 2010 has been. I’d venture to say it was the best on record for me personally, but the most thrilling thing for me is knowing that the best is yet to come.

I feel like I’ve waited my whole life for this feeling of optimism and excitement. It’s odd because I always KNEW that my day would come and that my life would equal my vision for it. Even still
it’s overwhelming to a degree to begin to see, and have the presence of mind to watch that vision and those dreams unfold. I feel truly fortunate, every day, even the rough ones.

Happy New Year!

As I write this, I bask in the heat of the winter California sunshine, burning the back of my neck just a little. The air is a little salty and the Chardonnay is crisp and delicious! I stop, look up, see the Monterey bay clearly at the end of the street and breathe in. I can’t possibly think of a better way to end an epic year and a great week. I’m sitting at one of my favorite all time little cafe in Pacific Grove, a place I came regularly in my early 20’s when I lived here with my grandmother. On Sundays mornings I would come here and slowly work through my coffee and oatmeal while I buried my head in a book. I called these mornings my “date with myself”. I’m enjoying one now working on my book.

Though I didn’t have my babies for the Holidays this year, I do have a wonderful warm and loving extended family that made the first solo Holiday a beautiful bright experience. And topping it off spending the week with my 88 year-old Noni in one of the most beautiful places I know, seriously what could be better I ask you!?
2010 was the first year on record for me that I EVER achieved a single New Year’s Resolution! I know this is a shameful fact, but in the 20 years I have faithfully been recording my goals and dreams, 2010 was the first time I checked off ALL but ONE! And even that one (“Run a Marathon”) was close, considering I trained with the Marathon team for 6 months, and believe me it will get checked off in 2011!!

The amazing thing about accomplishing goals is that it empowers you to make NEW goals and achieve them! So I’m sitting here day-dreaming. Setting the bar high for myself.
Dreaming big.
What do I want to do?

Where do I want to go?

How successful do I want to be?

What will the year bring for the kids and me?

So many exciting thoughts….. The best part is I know 2011 will bring even better things, as I continue the transition from surviving to thriving. My goal is to find small ways to help others inspire others; bring joy in some small way. I will pass it on.


Here’s to 2011…

….May it be the best year on record for each of you, the first of many, many such years. May we NEVER forget to count our every blessing, and have the presence of mind to enjoy each and every moment.

Divorce Parenting

Subsidize This!

Sometimes I think I might crack under the pressure.

I don’t mean to complain here and I know there are so many women in shoes similar to mine or worse situations, but I don’t know any personally so all I can do is relate it to what I used to know. The pressure of being a single parent from a financial standpoint is almost unbearable. We live in a society that practically sets its citizens up for failure regardless of how many bread-winners you have, but when that number is just one, it’s truly impossible.

Think about it. There are many other countries that successfully support their citizens. That subsidize health-care, education, child-care, and other basic human necessities and those cultures run smoothly and happily and those things are valued. Family is valued. Education is valued. Health is valued.

But in the U.S. I am penalized to the tune of $19,000 (down from $26,000) per-year (that’s out of take home pay) for being a mother. Its like, (for those of you without children), if you were offered a job and upon acceptance of the position your employer informed you that because you were so lucky to be employed, they were going to deduct 50% of your take home pay as a thank you for your employment. Sound crazy? Well believe me, living in a country where I as a single income earner get absolutely no break in child-care costs, but pay the same as if I lived in a double income household, that sounds just as ludicrous to me!

It’s more than depressing, it’s crippling. In our society, the only relief is when your child is 5 and they start kindergarten. Then you pray like hell you get a full-day school so that you will only have to pay for after school care.

Now to be honest I feel the judgment form all the families I know and love who luckily are not in my shoes and who can’t imagine “paying someone to raise your children” and when I had a husband and someone to help put food on the table I made every sacrifice so that I too could stay home and be with my children, but now what are my options? I mean seriously? My daycare bill would be the same weather I worked at McDonald’s or was a software VP.

It’s hard to fathom why our politicians have never taken up this issue and why our society in general does not protest this point louder. I cannot be the only parent feeling this pain!

By the time my 3 kids are all in at least kindergarten I will of spent a total of $132,000 on daycare for all three of them over their lives, and that is just so I could walk out the door in the morning and try to earn enough to get them a roof over their head. And believe me that is all it does! It won’t stop at kindergarten either, I will still be paying roughly $8,900 per-year in after school care, but at least thank god in 2 years the bill will be half….if I can last that long.


Written by: Sarah Centrella

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