Kristy Campbell is a creative communications specialist, writer, and single mom of 5. She writes about transformation, divorce, and family issues and also contributes to ModernMom.com and The Huffington Post. She has created a Facebook community called Divorcehood for divorced and single parents. Join her there to be part of the conversation. You can find her work at www.kristycampbellcreative.com.
May 3, 2013
After successful careers as a top Hollywood makeup artist, a co-creator and designer of a popular cosmetics line, and a home designer featured in Architectural Digest, most people would be content to retire to a tropical island.
Not Sheryl Lowe. Her entrepreneurial spirit and creative drive has led her to another successful venture: Sheryl Lowe Designs.
Sheryl Lowe Designs is a jewelry collection inspired by travel and friendship. A portion of all proceeds goes to various women and children’s charities.
Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Gwen Stefani, Cameron Diaz, and Ellen DeGeneres are fans and the bracelets were recently featured in O Magazine.
April 23, 2013
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After two years and what feels like hundreds of baby steps, I am walking into a new life.
When my life first blew up due to the financial deceit in my marriage, I wasn’t prepared for the new life thrust upon me.
I felt as though I had been shoved on a new path overnight with no real choice about whether I wanted to be there or not. Instead, I was faced with only two options…start walking or give up.
It was clear to me that with the new “sole breadwinner” title now sitting squarely on my plate, giving up wouldn’t do much for my kids, so I laced up my shoes.
February 14, 2013
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This is the first Valentine’s Day I've been excited about for a long time, which is a little of odd since I’m divorced, single, not dating, and don’t even have the prospect of a date.
With all of the television commercials and reminders of how Cupid’s arrows are about to be launched, you’d think I'd feel sad or lonely or remiss about not having a partner.
But I don’t. This year is different for me. For the first time, I have learned to value the love that is in my life rather than to focus on the love I don’t have or the love I’ve lost.
This has been a lesson that has taken me some time to learn.
February 4, 2013
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New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. - Lao Tzu
My divorce uprooted my life in a way I could never have imagined.
After living for 20 years in a community, I had to leave my home, my friends, my pediatrician, my church, my kids’ schools, my favorite running trail -- my entire life -- and move away with my children to live with my parents.
I was left without financial resources, but luckily I could fall into the financial safety net of my parents.
While the temporary safety net gave me stability, I could begin to face the unbelievable challenge of completely starting over and rebuilding my life from scratch.
January 17, 2013
What happens when you take a sister’s creative idea for a hair salon and pair it with a bald brother’s financial backing?
You get a $20 million business called Drybar.
In three short years, Drybar has revolutionized the world of hair salons. By taking the “wash and blow dry” service offered at salons and building a stand-alone business based on this service, Alli Webb has created a market niche for herself.
In her 26 salons in six states, Drybar is blowing out the hair of over 50,000 women a month. Not bad for a girl who started her business driving around from client to client in her 2001 Nissan Xterra.
How did you begin your business? What was your inspiration?
January 3, 2013
Ever wonder what is it like to work for your mom? Or to share business strategies with your daughter?
This mother-daughter team has found great success with their partnership.
June Jacobs products are sold in over 35 countries (and growing) and are featured in many 5-star luxury resorts throughout the world.
In this wide-ranging interview, June and Rochelle discuss what drives them to succeed, how they stay motivated, the entrepreneurial lessons they've learned, and the mother/daughter dynamics they've experienced in the workplace.
December 13, 2012
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By 8:46am yesterday, I knew it. And for once, I decided to surrender.
I felt tired, overwhelmed, and I didn’t have the energy to fight it anymore. So, I gave in and decided to go ahead and have my bad day.
I’m typically a “visualize your way to a better day” person. If I wake up late, spill coffee down the front of me while driving, or hit every stoplight on the way to the appointment for which I’m already late, I have a “don’t give in” mantra I repeat to myself.
I’ve spent a lot of my life fighting the urge to be pulled into a negative space since I find the negative energy usually compounds itself.
I used to worry that one bad day would lead to two or three bad days, which would lead to a week of bad days that would, in turn, lead to depression. And so I've always fought the initial bad day.
October 12, 2012
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I finally framed the Christmas photo of my five children and me and placed it front and center on my desk.
This may not seem like a major accomplishment but, for me, it marks the beginning of my new life.
The time has finally come for me to embrace the fact that I am the head of my household and to accept that I…on my own…am enough.
Getting a divorce was not the plan I had for my family. I had already been through a prior divorce, and I was committed to my second marriage regardless of what came my way.
What I didn’t foresee was the financial deceit, the undiagnosed issues, the physical abuse of my son, or the refusal to seek help.
While getting a divorce wasn’t part of my plan, having a social worker from CPS sitting on my couch telling me I had better protect my children wasn’t a part of any of the possible storylines I had envisioned for myself either.
And so, with that one visit, I was quickly launched into a life on my own -- a life where the truth gave way to the lies, and I was left without a home, with little financial means, and with five children counting on me.
August 24, 2012
Image credit: Persistent Green
I had coffee recently with a friend who I hadn’t seen in awhile. After hearing the details of my divorce story, she said, “It must be so hard to completely start over.”
I just smiled and nodded. I get that comment quite often since no one is really sure what to say to me, and I haven’t yet perfected a witty response.
For me, “starting over” feels like the game card in Candyland where you are instructed to go back to the very beginning of the game and lose all the progress you have made toward Gum Drop Mountain.
The loss of Candyland progression is upsetting and often leaves my 4-year-old in tears. I can relate on a personal level, as every time I hear the “starting over” phrase, I want to cry.
Starting feels like there is a set course with a definite end, and "starting over" feels like you could be subjected to the same path with the same game cards while fate continues to send you back to the same starting point…and this cycle could repeat itself forever.
July 30, 2012
I have been struggling with the concept of forgiveness this past year. It’s as if the universe knows this and has decided to present me with numerous scenarios in order for me to work it out.
From a failed marriage to betrayal by friends, I continue to be presented with the same question: Can I forgive? My answer isn’t as simple as you’d think.
Forgiveness has been a basic tenant of my life since I can remember. It comes from my religious upbringing where I was taught that it is my duty and responsibility to offer forgiveness...always. ‘To err is human, to forgive is divine’ was a household principle.
As a little girl, someone stole the watch I had received as a birthday present and when caught, she mumbled her apology in the principal’s office. I said, ‘It’s ok, I forgive you’.
June 4, 2012
I had a moment this week where I questioned everything. My path seemed unusually difficult, the road ahead was unclear, and my transformation seemed stalled. I wondered for a second if I should just turn back.
When I was married and in the throws of family life, my chaotic days of taking care of 5 children felt manageable because I was certain of my path and where I was headed.
My goal was to raise my children in a loving, supportive home while giving them the tools they needed to become independent-thinking, productive, kind-hearted adults.
I knew the road would be long, but I was able to manage the day-to-day activity because of the clarity of my path.
May 1, 2012
I have a group of divorced friends, and we get together twice a month. I’m trying to think of a clever name for our group since “Divorced Moms Club” sounds like...well…a bunch of divorced moms.
Beyond SAHM or WAHM, I’m drawn to DAAM (Divorced And A Mom). It reflects my mood since being part of this club was not part of my master plan.
I look forward to the time I share with these women. It’s one of the only places I feel like someone else truly understands what I’m going through. We talk about the reality of being on our own, the struggles of dealing with angry ex-spouses, the friends who don’t really get it, and even the nitty gritty details of what went on in our homes behind closed doors.
February 17, 2012
Theo Fleury’s story came to my attention while doing research for an article. I almost passed over it because I didn’t think a National Hockey League legend would have anything in common with women facing adversity. His message, however, was too intriguing to pass by:
“Don’t Quit Before the Miracle is a message everyone needs to hear at some point in their life. It’s about hope, about moving forward, about never giving up, even when the obstacles you face appear overwhelming and unbeatable.”
Theo is a champion. He won an Olympic gold medal as part of the 2002 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team, a Stanley Cup while playing for the Calgary Flames, and he was selected to the NHL All-Star hockey team seven times throughout his career. And he accomplished all of this while standing 5’6” and being one of the shortest players to ever skate in the NHL.
January 25, 2012
I recently did an internet search for “Getting Unstuck” to see what would come up in the search. I had been feeling like I was racing around in circles without much forward motion, and I knew I needed to find a new roadmap as I was getting depressed with the same scenery.
Granted, I am a full-time single mom to 5 children and the pace of each day seems to keep me busy from 6am-11pm without much time for reflection, but I knew the circular path needed to change.
It was interesting to discover that there are a multitude of books, quotes, and inspirational messages all designed to motivate one into action. Messages of “Let Go” or “Make a To-Do List” abound; however, nothing really clicked for me. I was looking for something concrete…something like “Drive 1.5 miles and turn right at the stop sign. Your new path will be on the left.”
November 7, 2011
I pushed away all of my friends this past summer. It wasn’t intentional; it just happened.
My upheaval, like so many other women’s, seemed to happen overnight. I went to bed one night thinking my life was one thing only to wake up and discover it was nothing of what I thought. Quick transitions are sometime the most difficult because it feels like you are running out of a burning building grabbing only the most important parts of your life: kids, wallet, keys, and every framed photo you can carry.
October 12, 2011
There is an epidemic of change occurring in the world today. From economic markets to political regimes to the fabric of our families, change is everywhere.
And as change brings stress and stress brings heightened levels of anxiety and worry, I understand why it feels like everything is tentative and upside down in our world. While I am concerned about the larger-scale effects of transition upon our global communities, I find myself mostly concerned about the every-day effects of transition upon my children and me. We have sailed into uncharted territories with huge upheavals in our life, and I am finally looking outward for help in navigating these waters.
September 14, 2011
I recently attended a Family Day at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco with my 7 and 3-year old sons. I was prepared for the “My legs are broken and I can’t walk anymore” or the “This is soooo boring” comments, but I was determined to go even if we stayed for only 15 minutes.
August 15, 2011
Ever since I was a young girl, I've loved reading quotes. I remember one Christmas when I was in junior high school, my father gave me the Bartlett’s Book of Quotations. The book seemingly weighed 20 pounds and had over 25,000 quotes from 2,500 sources, and I spent the day curled up with it. I still have the book and occasionally find myself flipping through the pages looking for inspiration. Somehow glimpsing into the mind of others has always been a comfort to me. I figure if Gandhi had something to say about reaching my full potential or Martin Luther King had an insight into overcoming adversity, there is the reality that my concern is not only a shared issue but also something that can collectively be solved.
At the moment, I’m facing a set of challenges which have culminated in my needing to move back home with my parents while finding a new path for myself and my five children. My current path is not easy, and I often find myself wondering if I am strong enough to make it work, but then, as I’ve always done, I find words that give me the inspiration to keep moving through my challenges.
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