Category Archives: 365DaysofJoy

365 Days of Joy

I had never imagined that I would still be here sharing the simple moments in my life that I celebrate #365DaysofJoy.  I am truly humbled by all of you, who listen, read and share my story. This journey has led me to be inspired by wonderful new friends, amazing opportunities and most importantly a new found “hope” my children will grow up and share my enthusiasm and passion for life. The greater good has always been for all children to have empathy and gratitude for not just themselves but for those they meet throughout their lives.

This weekend I re-marry the love of my life, again. Thirteen years ago when we first married, I didn’t know what it meant to be married. I was not prepared or ready to make the commitment it takes to have a life long partner. I was selfish, immature and insecure. We were clearly uneducated on what the covenant of marriage meant. I share with you today, “I’m ready” and I know my future husband is. We have both done our homework, finding our self worth and that’s allowed us to make the commitment to being one love. I honor us and our vulnerability to trust one another, the patience needed, the work required, the ability to forgive and have empathy and compassion for our differences. That’s what will sustain our marriage as we face the future ahead.

On July 1, 2001. My wedding day…It was a “fairy tail”. The big white dress, the tiara, the ring, the parties…I guess you could say I ended up suffocating myself in tule while drooling over cake tastings. This was suppose to be, the beginning of the future of all the things I had imagined would validate “me” in life. What I didn’t realize is that no amount of stuff or anyone person could validate me, only I could do that for myself. We came home from our honeymoon, expecting our first child. We moved into the new house we had to buy to raise our children…We got so caught up in making believe that when reality set in, we couldn’t afford the life that brought us nothing more then “fleeting happiness” nor were we equip to handle the underlying problems that had gotten us there to begin with.

In December 2011, we got a divorce. My ex and future husband likes to say, we made the most expensive mistake in our life. I say that’s true, but had it not been for that mistake and the pain it caused; We may not have been here today.

On, September 13th 2014, I look forward to the future with a new found hope and gratitude for the love of my life as husband and wife, sharing #365DaysofJoy till death do us part.  Amen 2 That!

Simply Not A Simple Minded Mom

When my own children entered middle school I started to feel lost. My role had always been, “full time mom”. I had been this super involved mom, a constant presence in their daily lives an admitted “career volunteer”. In elementary school parents are welcomed to be present as much or as little as they choose and I chose to be present a lot. I was good at it and it was rewarding knowing that not just my kids, but all the kids enjoyed and wanted me around. As my children have gotten older, entering their pre-teen years I am no longer needed in the same capacity as I was in prior years. I also felt as a mom, this sense of allowing them that independence to grow up and make mistakes finding their own paths, that don’t require my constant physical presence in their daily life.

My journey to finding social media success sharing 365 days of joy starts with them. I had to find a way as a mother to stay connected to my children, because even though I trust my parenting thus far I believe that while and as long as my children live under my roof, its my responsibility to know what they are doing and who they are socially sharing with.  I felt compelled to protect them and that required joining them.

I started with the most popular platform, Instagram…girls and a boys in the pre-teen ages. I just started sharing simple happy messages of joy everyday, using a daily hashtag that I would create to catch their attention and would include them without totally embarrassing them. MondayFunday, TerrificTuesday, WackyWednesday, ThorwbackThursday aka TBT, FunFriday, SuperSaturday and SundaySelfie all became part of a daily routine. The joy of it, I didn’t just lift my children’s spirt but those of their friends and in turn my own, as I started watching them curiously follow and often share or comment on what I was posting. Today and to my great surprise “I” Rachel Salvo aka “ctgirlonthego” am followed by so many who’s lives I have touched over this past year just being a simple mom who not so simple-mindedly had found a way to stay connected to my family and feel valued doing it.

The strategy to educate myself on how to even use social media required hard work and I have to give credit to Twitter for this one. I was able to communicate with professionals in the field of social media that without a doubt are beyond brilliant.

I made a list on the topic based on a trusted source and someone I had followed for years years via NBC  “The Today Show”, Mario Armstrong.  As I continued to share my joyful and sometimes witty self with my daily tweets, I came across a women whom I have grown to respect and admire, Marsha Collier. I share her book “Social Media Commerce for Dummies”, it’s an easy affordable fact finding book that gave me the basics to get started. I got involved in “daily chats” that have been without a doubt an essential tool to finding success in human connection. I credit someone I can now call a friend, Brian Franzo he is one of the hardest working social media strategist I have ever met @iSocialFanz. I am grateful for all these people who actually cared enough to share with me.

I can say today, that I am one step closer to finding a sustainable future for myself sharing 365 days of joy. I am passionate about inspiring people to succeed and it makes me feel good that I add value to someones life. Social media has enabled me to lend my face, my voice and my story with so many amazing people and for that I am grateful. My character is simply created to share joy and for today this has lead me to my own personal brand ctgirlonthego sharing #365daysofjoy all year long.

Embrace the Character

I will admit I am rather torn writing this because I alone am not the solution. We tend to highlight what it is we are doing rather then who the person is that is doing it.  I would like to shine the light on all those people that are out there and aren’t being heard who do make a difference and are valued. I am also going to express gratitude for all the people who do recognize the bigger issues and work everyday to “shine the light” on what we can do better.

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If you looked at my report cards after kindergarten you would see a mediocre or below average student who never worked hard enough to meet her full potential never really applying herself. From school to school I would go as we moved quit often and that’s what the emphasis always was, Rachel isn’t applying herself. I was defined by my education and the grades I was achieving. I will say today that I was preconditioned to fail. In defense of the educators at the time we didn’t have the knowledge we do today about learning disabilities, or the empathy for those who suffer from them. I do think we need to re-define what makes a person valuable and be very cautious not to focus too much on what they do rather who they are their Character what makes them happy.

I will say that I am far from mediocre and far from perfect always a work in progress. I started paying it forward for my own kids by getting back to basics only a couple years ago. I hashtag #365daysofjoy because I am grateful I am here and have the courage to reach out be vulnerable to share what I know about being happy and what I have learned to sustain myself. I embrace the tenacity of my own Character to share with you here today.

My hope is that we can redefine what it means to be a success and focus on the Character. What inspires those who don’t know how to achieve it. Embrace the individuals sharing joy in their ability to make you smile or laugh. The American dream should be happiness and I think that we need to get “back to basics”. We can’t change the past but we can certainly learn from it.

We need more leaders who stop enabling failure by turning a blind eye and look Humanity in the face. Paying it forward by empowering others to do whatever it is that they are passionate about and it will continue to sustain itself.

I am happy that I have this amazing Character that is ambitious enough to hope I can make a difference with even one smile each day, sharing #365DaysofJoy

 

The Ultimate Throwback

When I started my journey to finding my passion,  I was inspired not just by the words and works of other writers, but more importantly the photos that I associated with them. It soon became a quest to seek #365DaysofJoy all year long as I was looking threw hundreds of memories that I truly found Joy, in the simple moments that brought me happiness.

The act of looking at the simple moments that brought me true happiness. 

My ex-husband and I had been living together for two years with our two young children since our divorce back in 2010. I started writing to keep me busy and diminish the anxiety that was starting to build over the holiday season, as I was anxiously awaiting a proposal from him to get re-married again.

We had been married for ten years so I had hundreds of photos of our life together, the life we shared with our two young children. Whether it was a silly face, a new toy, a trip to the zoo, jumping on the trampoline or just camping in the back yard. The photos sparked joy and yes even sadness. Not the sadness of losing all the material stuff that we thought we needed or can no longer afford to buy but sadness that we lost site of the joyful memories we shared just being together that were evident in those photos.

Today I share this with you, in the hope that if you have lost site of what really matters in your life take a look back at your old photos. Look at the expressions on the faces and the feelings that you associated with those moments. Spread them on the walls of your home and use them as daily reminders of what’s really important in your life.

Just maybe you will be inspired to put the past behind you and shine a light on the joy you have today remembering those good feelings. The Joy that I know has lead me to a moment of happiness in sharing my story, with you.

Vulnerable to Share

“Perhaps its the simplest and most popular truths that are also the deepest after all.” Quote-Thomas Merton

Today I am not afraid to share even my most humiliating moments because I genuinely love the women I was born to be and even though I am ashamed of some of the choices I have made; I have either forgiven or taken accountability for them.

In my conversation with people I am open to share not just my success but my failures. Why? People are more at ease to share an honest connection if they don’t feel intimidated by the person they are meeting.

I haven’t met many people who don’t have some form of regret in their life. Of course this leads us back to knowing people or your “target audience”, what can you share that will add value to someone else to make them feel better about themselves?

I like my simple rule upon first meeting someone; what is appropriate enough for my children to hear about me is probably safe to share. There is an appropriate time and place in any level of conncection to disclose the things we survived in our lives, always better to be safe then sorry you scared someone away.

Being cautious is smart and educating yourself on who your audience is by getting to really know people is always something I do myself.  Learn what makes a person happy, who they associate with, what their hobbies are…Find ways to relate with another person simply listening to what makes someone else happy can create a certain happiness or connection in its own right.

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Sharing your story

Yes everyone does have a story and I am humbled to be able to share mine with you, thanks to social media.

I am genuinely transparent exactly what you see and read everyday. I am a human being who is imperfect has compassion and empathy for other human beings and simply seeks a simple moment each day, I celebrate my life.  I am giving back whatever I can and listening to those who need to be heard.  I am just a simple mom that wasn’t so simple-minded and started spreading #365daysofjoy in a hashtag.

I am passionate about being inspired by others and empowered to help others to find their voice in this often changing and very loud world of social media. I wanted to do something for those that aren’t as comfortable to share, or simply just haven’t been given the proper tools to find the right outlets or direction. What was my way of,  “thinking outside the box”, making time for myself as a mom, connecting with my kids online and seeking a sustainable lifestyle…Is now becoming the makings of a successful future educating not just myself but now others on how they can sustain happiness within their own life’s joy and passions.

I use my enthusiasm and positive energy to make a difference.  If we share what we are passionate about with the right people we will most certainly inspire success. There are no excuses or reasons to take the easy road or justify failure, we can all be successful and have dreams that are absolutely sustainable. I do believe “not naive” requirements are hard work, dedication, consistency and a desire to make a better life for your future.

Social media successful story telling is not easy. It’s simply a reflection of how we choose to live our life and the message we send to others that inspires them to want to share. It may be one follower, one like, one tweet but most importantly its one day at a time. I am always gratuitous to those that listen, care and share. We are all able and accountable to at the least try…

This is a healing process for me writing to you being relatable and showing a side of humanity that many people don’t often get to see or lack the courage to share. I hope you do find inspiration and courage, to believe that your story will inspire someone. I know mine has and I hope you take the time to value yours, because I value all that share with me.

I just love you because….

My Christmas miracle, my ex-husband who I have loved for the past 14 years asked me to be his wife again and I said yes. We married again this past September surrounded by joy and love and leading up to that day I found the following advise worth sharing…

We live in a world where we are pre-judged for our past. I often find we are so afraid to be hurt we aren’t vulnerable to trust in love for fear of the pain it will cause, or the shame we will feel if we fail. No one wants to be judged by others especially if they don’t succeed so they never take that chance.  In this life we need to be accountable to ourselves. Love ourselves so we can give true love to others. It’s really that simple…If you trust and love yourself you are capable of being truly loved by someone else.

Leading by example and listening to our hearts, surrounding ourselves with others who help us discover what makes us worth it. Pay your love forward to the children, they need unconditional love always and that’s the greater good. Have empathy for those who are not able to see or change out of fear, have compassion for them.

Sometimes there doesn’t need to be a reason as much as we want an answer the only answer can be, I just love you because…so stop looking so hard for an explanation and just receive the gift of love and leave it at that.

Letting go…

A moment that brings me joy while I am in such sadness saying goodbye to my home. It is never easy when you lose your home. I am not talking about the home I grew up in as a child, rather the home I grew up to become the women I am today. The home I had to let go of because I had to save what is truly important and that is my family.

Two years ago after I got divorced, I moved out of our family home with my two young children leaving my ex-husband to keep the house. My hope was that he would see holding onto something that we couldn’t sustain wasn’t going to bring back that love we had lost in searching for answers that only we could only find within ourselves.

We have found our way back to one another letting the house go to foreclosure and got re-married this past year. We currently live in a rental that is temporarily keeping a roof over our heads while we float in a sea of bureaucracy that has us fishing for happiness in the simple moments that bring us #365daysofjoy and I am grateful for this.

Today one step forward to putting closure on the past, in being accountable to value what’s truly important in life. Letting go of the home where I grew up to stand up for myself and to teach my children the value of what love really is. I have my family which is what matters most and leaving that house to be only a shadow of the many memories we will make going forward. Goodbye to what I thought I had to have before I grew into the women, wife and mother I am today.