Tips from Momo: To All the Single Ladies

posted by Momo Fali on April 21, 2015

It’s not like me to brag (oh, who am I kidding), but over the past eight months I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve learned a lot of things that may benefit you too.

I’m here to share the knowledge I’ve gleaned from this broken life of mine in case you suddenly find yourself in a crumpled heap in the middle of a grocery store aisle. Hypothetically. Don’t ever say I never gave you anything.

1. Get some exercise. One of the first things I did after my husband said he wanted a divorce was register for a half marathon. It gave me a goal and a purpose when everything else was falling apart and it kept me busy and active at times I would’ve otherwise been alone. Plus, my hamstrings are totally happening right now.

2. Surround yourself with the kinds of friends you can call any time and say, “Can I just come over and sit at your kitchen table for awhile?” And, then when you do, they’ll teach your kid how to create massive slingshots out of rubber-bands.


3. Surround yourself with old friends who knew you when your bangs were as big as the 80s. You’ll not only laugh about those times, but you will create new memories easily and comfortably. Anything that makes you feel safe and happy is good right now. Embrace it. Thank you, Facebook for making sure we all don’t lose touch. Now, fix your Newsfeed.

4. Let your kids decorate their rooms in their new space however they want. Though, I did draw the line at a keg. Bonus if the wall of photos includes an image of Justin Timberlake upon which you can gaze while you’re running the sweeper.


5. Buy yourself things that make you smile. No, you don’t have the money right now, but you also don’t have a lot of sanity so it only makes sense. Right? Wait.


6. Do fun things with your kids as often as possible. Because, duh.


Indoor rock climbing. Who needs fingernails, anyway?



This picture sums up so much about our personalities. SO. MUCH.

7. Don’t buy cheap trash bags. Sure you’re trying to save money, but when you end up using two bags because the first one ALWAYS breaks, it doesn’t save you as much as you’d think. Also, let’s look at this picture and see how it relates to #5; beer, watermelon, Ramen noodles, chocolate and Target. Enough said.


8. Park in the carport even if NO ONE ELSE does. When all your neighbors are driving piles of rust, you’ll thank me. Also, you might have to park in the carport because everyone takes your spot in front of your apartment because NO ONE parks in the carport.


9. Get dressed up. Fix your hair. Put on makeup. OR, put on jeans and Converse and throw your hair in a pony tail. Whatever makes YOU feel good. But, get out of your yoga pants unless you’re going to yoga.


10. Read. A lot. Read books, newspapers, magazines, or even old emails from friends. I’ve read books on psychology, law, co-parenting, relationships and a good old-fashioned novel or two. Daily, I read a lot of blog posts and messages from a support group to which I belong full of women in all different stages of this process. Educate yourself. It’s powerful.

11. Don’t name-call. I wish I could say I’ve stuck to this, but I haven’t. There is nothing harder than trying to control your emotions when they are filled with hurt and sometimes anger just flows out. I mean, like a river. Probably the Amazon. Anger is so EASY, but try not to take the easy way out. It just makes everybody feel bad.

12. Hang in there. Life on the other side is different, but you can be happy again. I promise.

13. Try not to smack people who promise you’ll be happy again. They mean well. And, they’re actually right.

Neon Light

posted by Momo Fali on March 31, 2015

For months, in a tiny space where my children didn’t fill my heart, there was aching darkness. Even though it didn’t need much room to exist, the hole felt gaping, like a giant, black pit. You could’ve thrown a Chevy in there and it wouldn’t have touched either side.

Now that pit feels about the size of…well, a pit. Not even a big, lumpy peach pit either, but one of those little ones inside a cherry. And, not only is the pit tiny, I’m taking the cherries and making cherry pie, à la mode.

I never anticipated my life, or the lives of my children, to turn out like this, and that still makes me sad. But, we will be okay. I know that now and I didn’t know that for a long, long time. I’m finding meaning in the pain and that’s healing me. We are finding normal, we are happy, and we are learning and growing in ways we didn’t know possible.

That growth is a beautiful thing. I am enjoying new things and appreciating new experiences and I’m no longer judged for it. I might find that I suddenly want to decorate my house with neon lights, and I CAN.

neon lightphoto credit: 171 via photopin (license)

I’ve had four friends in the last 24 hours tell me they were suicidal while going through divorce and I could understand that pain. It’s the absolute worst thing I’ve ever dealt with in my life and it hurts like nothing I’ve ever known. I remember people telling me it gets better and I wanted to scream at them and say, “Shut up! You DON’T KNOW! I’m DYING INSIDE!” Now I get it. It does get better. I can honestly say that I’m happy. I feel a little guilty saying it, but it’s true.

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – you can say to someone going through this to make them think you understand or that they are going to be okay. Nothing. Hold them, hug them, sit with them, love them, but don’t tell them it will get better. They have to trudge through the darkness until they see the light for themselves.

They may not think they’ll ever see it, but I am proof it is there.

Seize the Radish

posted by Momo Fali on March 18, 2015

When I was young my mom used to tell me to taste every kind of food I was offered; if I didn’t like it I would never have to eat it again. It turned out that that only thing I didn’t like were radishes. For nearly four decades I ate everything but radishes, because radishes tasted like dirt.

Until a few days ago.

Last week I ate a delicious radish. I had a radish awakening, if you will. And, if you won’t, please pass the radish over here.


© Alexey Lisovoy | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I’m actually not speaking metaphorically – or maybe I am – it doesn’t matter. What I’m saying is that you should never stop trying new things. Ever. Even if the new things are old things. You might suddenly find that they are the perfect blend of spicy goodness.

Never shut down possibilities, because sometimes there is just enough evolution within you, or a radish, to change your perception. Unless we’re talking about liking the current country music landscape, because there aren’t enough days left on earth to make me evolve that much.

But, what if there are other things I’ve put off that I might enjoy? Maybe I’ll wear bright colors instead of black, sit at the bars in restaurants and drink a different kind of beer every time I do, learn to play guitar, sing out loud even though I can’t carry a tune, and stop being afraid.

Maybe I’ll eat more radishes.

My Tribe

posted by Momo Fali on March 9, 2015

I was going to sit down and write thank-you notes this weekend to the hundreds (really, that sounds crazy, but it’s truly hundreds) of people who have reached out to me in the last couple of months; cards, emails, gifts, texts, wine, food…so much food…phone calls, visits from old friends and time spent with family. I have a LOT of people to thank. It’s a little overwhelming. Also, my pants are tight.


Instead I drank wine with my sisters, reconnected with an old friend from high school, played games at an arcade, enjoyed a full day of sunshine and laughter with some of my best friends, went to church, took a gaggle of teenage girls to the mall, went for a run, and ate tater tots.

I did manage to buy my neighbor some flowers, but that was only because I really needed to return the mountain of containers in which she presented me with dish after dish of Egyptian cuisine. If you are what you eat, I AM FLAN.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about the people who have been closely surrounding me lately and I’ve come to the realization that most of my best friends – the people who are always there for me, surround me with love and laughter, hold my hand when I cry, listen to me, advise me, and cheer me on – are some of the most screwed up people I’ve ever known.

I take that back, they are not screwed up, their lives have been. They have personally dealt with abandonment, drug abuse, alcoholism, mental illness, physical illness, death, disability, infidelity, and more. Over the last few days, looking around at some of them, I have marveled at their strength and resilience.

I have come to see that these people, who can go through hell and come out the other side still laughing and enjoying what life has to offer? Well, these are my people. They are my tribe and there is a great force that has brought us together. And, despite what we’ve been through, we’re awfully lucky.

I am a firm believer that anything worthwhile is only worthwhile if you have to fight for it. I don’t think anything comes easy and if it did, how could you truly savor the results? It’s like having a helicopter drop you off on the top of a mountain instead of climbing up the side. You know the view would be much sweeter if you got there yourself.

And, that’s what my friends have done. They’ve fought and clawed through life to find there is still a sweet view; that we can high-five each other for making it to the top without dying, then head back to base camp and grab a beer.

Yep, these are my people. I’m so fortunate to have them climbing through life with me.