Disagreeing with Kristof

The New York Times published a column recently by Nicholas Kristof, whom I admire and respect, called “Modern Family Matters.”

He talks about the breakdown of the family and the rise in single-parent households. He also offers some potential solutions to this situation.

However, nowhere in the column does he discuss the impact of domestic violence on families, and how many of us are forced into single parenthood — and often poverty — as a result.

As I write about in my book, the effects of this violent marriage were long-lasting and devastating, to me and to my daughter. Not only that, the long-term effects of trauma are significant and definitely reduced my lifetime earning potential.

What do you think? How might we, as a society, address domestic violence so that it will stop being so pervasive?


Motivation, and then some

open fieldI am in a new phase of my life where my motivation level is so high, it’s impossible to even measure.

I’m getting closer to my goal of working for myself: making progress, even if it’s slow. I’ve managed to make a little money on my own, and I’m learning how to package my skills in a way that can reap major financial rewards.

More importantly, I’m letting go of all the old beliefs about myself that have held me back. I’m not done yet — these beliefs are pesky — but I’m making progress on that front, too. Beliefs about money, about my worth, about my ability to contribute and help people … they’re all shifting dramatically.

Is life perfect? No. But it’s definitely better. And I’m the one who is making it better.

That feels great, even on days when things don’t quite align. I’m in control of my destiny, my life, my days, my time, my thoughts, my feelings. I now understand where I’ve been and where I am now.

I’m motivated to keep going on this path, and I’m never looking back.

Taking the leap

The Big LeapI’m reading a really good book right now, called The Big Leap.

As I was coming home from work on the subway, I read a section about how we have limiting beliefs about all sorts of things: beliefs that hold us back from our true potential, that keep us from taking The Big Leap into our “zone of genius,” which is where we’re meant to live.

One of the beliefs the author mentions has to do with not allowing one’s light to shine too brightly. This is a message I received constantly from my parents.

For example, when I was in high school, my English teacher encouraged me to enter a poem in a regional poetry contest. It was sort of a big deal, so I thought, Why not?

When the awards were going to be announced, the poetry judges called me and said that I had placed in the contest, and I needed to be there to accept an award. They didn’t tell me what I’d earned, but they said it was important that I be there.

Well, I had a part-time job, and no one would trade shifts with me. So the judges asked if my parents could come to the ceremony in my place.

So I went to work, trying not to be upset that I couldn’t be there to accept whatever award they were going to give me.

When I got home, my parents were there, and they told me what happened. They said, “The judges kept announcing honorable mentions, and then third place, and your name hadn’t been called. We thought they had made a mistake. Surely Lucy couldn’t have placed higher than third, right? This was a BIG contest.

“And then they called second place, and still, your name hadn’t been called.

“Finally, they announced the first place winner, and it was you! We couldn’t believe it! Look at this huge trophy, with your name on it!”

Hmmm ….

See what I mean? My parents didn’t believe that I was capable of writing a poem that could win a big regional prize. They made it seem like some sort of miracle, and that it really was a shock that my light could shine so brightly: brighter than anyone else’s that day.

I am changing that belief. Dumping it. For good. Right now.

How about you?