by Leisa Quagliata | May 24, 2019 | blog
“The wound is the place where the light enters you” – Rumi
No truer have these words been than this week. Ever had one of those days/weeks/months or
even year where you’ve felt like throwing it all in?
Well that was me earlier last week. Monday morning, I woke to find myself feeling angry and despondent, ready to give up on all that I’d worked so tirelessly to achieve these past couple of years. By lunchtime Monday, I’d fallen in a complete heap. Mentally, emotionally and physically I was burnt out, done and dusted (and it’s only May!!). One might think this strange, but in amongst all my anger, bitterness and sadness, I was actually excited.
I was excited because I had seen this pattern before and knew that on the other side of completely falling apart, I would level up and achieve even more than I had thus far.
But I found myself asking “where did this anger, rage and sudden desire to throw in the towel come from?” I’d had an amazing weekend with my family and friends at the local races. I’d met some lovely new people, the kids were behaving better than ever, business was going well and I was excited for the new programs we are about to launch. So why was I feeling this way?
Thankfully I have an amazing coach myself, and after an hour of crying and counselling , I was slowly returning to my old self. You see I’ve learned in the past that the only way past an emotion is through it.
In days gone by, I would have hidden my feelings from the
world, had a silent cry in the bottom of my shower and that would have been the
end of it. I would have put on a mask to
show the outside world and just soldiered on.
But these days, I’ve learned to recognise that if I am feeling
this way, then there are probably a dozen others feeling the same way, each and
every day. These same people likely look
at people like me, who to the outside world seem to have their sh*t together and
think that my life is perfect. Because in
today’s modern society, with digital photos, filters and editing tools, we tend
to only show the outside world what we want them to see.
No one sees the broken tears at 9 o’clock at night after a
hard day at the office or a challenging day with the kids. No one sees the stress we feel each and every
time a bill comes in that we are struggling to pay. No one sees the struggle we experience some
days, just putting one foot in front of the other.
But why is this? Why do
we hide our true feelings when all we really want is connection? Do we fear we will be judged by society if we
don’t have our sh*t together all the time?
I used to put so much pressure on myself to be the best
version I could be. A few years back, I
was nearly hospitalised for exhaustion whilst doing University. I had put so much pressure on myself to achieve. I was so burnt out I was drinking Red Bull
just to stay awake long enough to study for my exams. Looking back, I know it was me, and only me
putting that pressure on myself.
These days what I’ve come to recognise is that no one can function
at their best each and every day. No one
can be superwoman (or man), each and every day.
No one, no matter who they are, how rich or poor, successful or
unsuccessful, can function at great heights each and every day.
So next time you find yourself heading towards a downward spiral, take time to acknowledge it, look for the lesson within, allow the emotion to flow through you, but most of all, take time to rest, recuperate and heal.
Love and Gratitude
by Leisa Quagliata | Dec 31, 2018 | blog, General
Recently it dawned on me that when it comes to my business and taking risks, I’ve been somewhat fearless (okay, pretty damn fearless). Looking back over the past few years I started my business at a time when the Finance industry was taking a beating, which seemed to have culminated in 2018 with the Royal Commissions into Banking, Finance and Insurance.
Anyone who has seen or followed any of my stuff over the past few years would also know it was at a time when financially I was clawing my way back from Divorce Destruction.
I’ve lost count the number of cliffs I feel like I’ve had to jump off in order to get my business up and running and then to a point where I could actually pay the bills. Let’s face it, the statistics on small businesses succeeding weren’t really in my favour.
But with a lot of determination and blind faith that the Universe will always provide me with what I need, I jumped off those cliffs and have soared to achieve things I never thought possible.
The rewards have been great, I have total freedom and flexibility around my kids, around the content I produce and how fast or slow I choose to build my business.
That, my friends, is how I see risk and reward when it comes to business.
Now, on the other hand when it comes to my personal life and in particular finding new love, I couldn’t be more opposite.
In the beginning, I told myself it was because:
• I didn’t want to bring anyone into the Sh*t that was my life and yeah, that was true, my Divorce was pretty messed up (not to mention lengthy)
• Then I told myself it was because I had the kids fulltime, again, true, but my Mum only lives 100km away.
• Then I told myself I had to heal and work on myself, again, true, but that was 3 years ago.
• Then I told myself I had to focus on building the business, again, true, but this year the business achieved self-sufficiency.
So, given that I’ve run out of excuses, I started to wonder, “Why was I so fearless in business, but not when it comes to love?”
Over the years I’ve dabbled a little here and there when it came to dating (one week stints, four times a year to be exact), but few people have managed to sweep me off my feet and each time, they were just not ready to settle down. Looking back, I now see it was me, not them who was not ready.
What was the block that prevented me from moving forward. Why do I guard my heart so closely, fearful that it will get crushed again? A normal response for the first few years post-divorce, but seriously, we’ve clocked up nearly a decade and so I’ve decided this sh*t’s gotta end.
That is why I’ve set myself a new challenge to take the lessons learned from all those positive affirmations, self-help books, meditations, energy healings and anything else I’ve learned the past few years and apply them to a new kind of fearlessness.
2019 will be the year of pushing through all those fear barriers and opening up my heart again. I figure what’s the worst that can happen, I get rejected by a guy who probably wasn’t the right fit anyway?
I remember watching an awesome Mat Boggs video on YouTube about dating and rejection that has stuck with me over the years. He said “If I told you that the 17th next person you date will be the one, you’d be out there trying to get rejected by 16 guys so quick it’d make your head spin”.
So that’s going to be me in 2019. Shedding that last bit of armour that has kept me safe over the years but somehow turned into a prison, keeping me from sharing all the love and joy I know I have inside of me to give.
As I come to the end of my declaration of new fearlessness, my question to you is, what are you going to do to become more fearless in 2019? What cliffs are you going to jump off and what heights do you wish to soar to?
What’s going to be your risk and reward?
I’d love to hear from you so please comment below.
To read more of my blogs, head over to my General Blog or my Personal Blog, Sh*t They Don’t Tell You When You Get Divorced.
Love and gratitude
by Leisa Quagliata | Aug 3, 2018 | blog, Family Finance, General, Single Mums
I was talking with my youngest child today who has his 10th birthday coming up next month and of course we got on the subject of birthday parties. Internally I was already groaning because I just knew what was about to come next.
Recently he went to a Ninja Warrior Birthday party and of course this is now what he has been begging me to have for his party. But at a cost of over $300 I was thinking “Hell No”, you’re turning 10 not 21.
But this got me thinking, when did it become the norm for parents to go all out and spend upwards of $300, $500 and sometimes nearly $1,000 on a kid’s birthday party? Will a two year old really remember when they are an adult that you threw them an expensive party complete with Jumping Castle? And what if you have more than one child? Let’s say on average you spend $350 per party for three children every year, that’s nearly $1,000 per year. This is, of course, excluding the super expensive birthday present you got them.
Can the average family really afford nearly $1,000 per year on birthday parties?
What’s worse is that if parents can’t afford it, modern day habits (and guilt) find them putting it on the credit card and worrying about it later. If you’re like one of the 16 million credit card holders in Australia with an average outstanding balance of $3,181*, then have you considered the compounding impact of putting another $1,000 onto that debt? Especially if you’re like many households who do not pay out their credit card in full each month.
So, if you’re like me and want to find a better way to reduce the Birthday Party spend, here are my top tips:
1. Chat to the kids about having 1 or 2 friends over and taking them to the movies, bowling etc. instead of a party.
2. Have a BYOD party for Xbox/PS3/Nintendo. These days most kids have some kind of electronic device. We recently had a party where everyone BYO’d their device and battled each other right there in the living room.
3. If you have a pool or a friend with a pool, have a pool party and buy some cheap water pistols, noodles etc. from K-Mart
4. Head down to the local park or water park (if you’re lucky like Townsville) and have a BBQ utilising the free council BBQ’s.
5. Utilise vouchers sent home from school for the local bowling alley, movies, etc.
6. Purchase an Entertainment Book for your local area and utilise vouchers for activities, food and drink.
7. Utilise vouchers for Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut etc.
8. Stock up on Home Brand chips and lollies. Once they are out of the packet the kids won’t know the difference.
With the savings I make each year, I put towards our annual holiday fund. This way my kids still get to celebrate their birthday with friends and we as a family get to make even more memories on a family holiday.
If you plan on taking a leaf out of my book and putting your savings toward a family holiday, make sure to read my other blog “Holidays don’t need to leave you in debt”.
Until next time,
Love and Gratitude,
Freedom & Financial Life-Stylist
To read more blogs please CLICK HERE
*statistic taken from finder.com.au 2018 Credit Card report
by Leisa Quagliata | Dec 18, 2017 | blog
Over the past 7 years I have tried and failed miserably at trying to meet another long-term partner. Lately though, I noticed I’m not alone in my pursuit of another long-term loving relationship with not so long-term results.
You see, I’m part of a single mums and dads Facebook group and there seems to be a common thread amongst us ‘Divorcees’, in particular those who are raising their children on their own fulltime. It is not uncommon, in particular to see the women beating themselves up about not meeting someone for years. Often these comments are followed by “I’m scared of messing up another relationship” closely followed by “I just can’t find anyone decent”. Believe me, I can completely relate to these sentiments. After Divorce railroaded my life for nearly 5 years, I’m certainly in no hurry to repeat that exercise again.
But this got me thinking, how can you make sure you get it right second time around. After all, the statistics for failed marriages is actually higher than first marriages. WTF? You’d think people would learn from their mistakes the first time but apparently not.
So here is what I think you should be on the look out for when you think you’ve met that special someone again:
- When out on a date, watch how they treat the waitstaff and others around you. Wanting to impress you, they will surely treat you right, but their default personality will show in how they treat others. As you get more comfortable in a relationship, they will most likely default to treating you how they usually treat others. Things to watch for: Are they polite to the waitstaff? Do they use their name, say please and thank you? Do they offer you to order first?
- Ladies, if a man asks you out and makes no attempt to offer to pay, DO NOT, I repeat do not go on a second date. I know there’s a few women out there who will disagree with me here, but when a man asks you out and offers to pay, what he is paying for is the privilege of your time. If he is too stingy to pay on a first date, then chances are he’s going to be stingy your entire relationship. There will be plenty of time for you to go Dutch when you’re actually in a relationship.
- Pay close attention to how they talk about their Ex and how much they talk about their Ex. If conversation is dominated by talk of the Ex or talk derogatively about their Ex, be wary, clearly they’ve not unpacked baggage from their past relationship. This also goes for yourself, if you find you’re bringing up your Ex all the time, then maybe you’re the one who’s not ready.
- Are their words congruent with their actions? Do they act with Integrity or do they say one thing and do another?
- When you get to the stage of introducing them to your kids, watch how they interact with your kids or other people’s children. Do they make the effort to do stuff with your kids? Are they polite, considerate, understanding and patient with them? Or do they always want to do stuff without the kids or get upset because the kids are around? Remember if you’re a single parent, you’re a package deal.
- Take note of how they make you feel and follow your intuition. If they are ticking all the right boxes but your gut is telling you something isn’t quite right, follow that gut feeling. Intuition is your internal guidance system trying to warn you when something is not quite right so listen to it.
Lastly, I’d like to wish you all the best in future endeavours to find love and remember, different people bring out the best (and sometimes worst) in others so don’t judge a person based on their past. Like the Share market, past performance is no indication of future performance.
by Leisa Quagliata | Nov 1, 2017 | blog
When my marriage fell apart, after the initial shock, my first thoughts were “I get a second chance to be happy” and “Crap, I better go back and get that degree I quit if I’m to raise my kids for the next 15 years”.
At the time, my boys were 19 months and 3 years old and I was in a well paid part-time temp job in Brisbane. But as my ex had just announced he was relocating to Perth and we had no family in Brisbane, I had no choice but to move back in with Mum and Dad, who were located in North Queensland. I was fortunate enough to be offered a fulltime job in the Townsville branch of the company I had been working part-time for in Brisbane. However, as I was already bored in that job, the thought of doing it full time and having to put the kids into fulltime daycare did not excite me, so I decided to go back to University to finish that degree I had started 20 years previously. Leading me to my next challenge, how does one subsist on government benefits alone while trying to raise two kids, re-educate myself, pay for lawyers and have a life. I learned very quickly it all came down to asking the right person the right questions.
This is what I learned:
Studying with kids as a single parent is hard. Even harder if you have them fulltime like I did. You need to treat your studies like a full time job. If you’re trying to juggle kids, working and study, it’s likely that one of them is going to drop at some stage.
If you have to work due to financial pressures, look into all avenues for financial assistance or re-work your budget. I found menu-planning and most recently online grocery shopping can save you hundreds of dollars each year by helping you stick to your budget.
Financial assistance is available for single parents to re-educate themselves in the form of Centrelink Pensioner Education Supplements and subsidised childcare through the Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee assistance (JET) program.
Universities have various Grants to assist in paying for books, living expenses and tuition. Check their websites for more details. You can also defer your tuition fees through HECS-HELP or VET FEE-HELP. See StudyAssist.gov.au for more information.
Smith Family/ANZ Saver Plus Program – this is a 10 month financial education and matched savings program that assists families to gain financial skills, establish a savings goal and develop long term saving habits. The matched funding can be used for educational costs such as computers and tablets, text books and uniforms. I funded my 2nd year books through this program.
When it comes to property settlement matters with the ex – try to negotiate more support whilst you are studying to allow you to do it fulltime. Lawyers get you caught up on percentages and eagerly tell mothers (in particular) they are entitled to a higher percentage if not working. But instead of percentages of the property pool, think strategically like exchanging 5% of the property pool if the ex will pay 75% of school fees, books, uniforms and sports while you are at university and the first year you are back at work instead of 50/50.
Re-educating yourself post separation can make the world of difference to your self-esteem and career prospects.
So what are you waiting for? Check out your options today!