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It’s coming together…

After seven years of pursuing my five year plan, Charleston has finally become home. No more snow, no more scraping windows. While it may be a bit cool during the Charleston winter mornings, it pales in comparison to the frigid temperatures of New England. That being said, I had a wonderful opportunity to begin a new career here as well, transitioning from one admission counselor role into another. While it has been a challenge to start over, to find my new place within my new role, the adventure has been worth it.

Most recently, being that I work in higher education, I have had a unique opportunity to return to school to pursue some goals. Based on where I am at academically and personally, it appears I have an additional three years before I can move on to the next chapter. I will be 50 then, have paid off a few bills, and move on to a remote yet fantastic career. I cannot disclose too much just yet, but I do know that it is within my sights to make this happen.

I talked to my daughter in law this evening, sharing with her my goals and plans. We broke down the various steps to move forward. We discussed the pros and cons of waiting out my path to complete the degrees vs jumping into something new now, foregoing the degrees, and thus not having the kind of credentials I want in my next chapter.

What is nice, however, is seeing that this goal is attainable. I can push through what I need to now in order to attain the success I want in my future. It is coming together. I can see it. It is viable. It is close!

It’s about me….

It’s funny isn’t it, how we wait for years for something to come together and then, the stars line up and throw it right into the sweet spot of our glove. For years, I anxiously awaited an opportunity to move south, to find a career down south, and to live a life including but somehow free of my children. About four months ago, I made the move south, giving up a job I loved and starting something new. Ironically, I find myself happy that I made the move but desperately missing my kids and their drama, and working in a career that I love but am ready to begin breaking away from. It’s a compromise of some kind, I suppose, getting what I want and then seeing that it is glorious but not exactly what I had expected.

What I have found is that the move, beautiful…Charleston, SC a city of history, culture, tradition, art, creativity, and absolute beauty of both older and more contemporary styles. It is the kind of environment that speaks to every creative bone in my body, that awakened something deep inside me and speaking to and awakening that voice inside, and yet, because I must work, must honor my career and commitment, the voice is not being fed and the creativity feels stifled.

So here is what I have decided, I am working on a new writing project and have two angles I truly wish to explore. The first is how I became someone brave enough to walk away from everything and everyone I know to pursue my own life. and then, to pursue my love of writing, travel, and photography starting with an online course program and new website which I will be creating and feeding soon. I look forward to seeing that woman come alive on a page…to see the story be released..to honor the women of strength who supported me and the woman of strength I have become. How did I get here, who built that foundation, and how did I know the foundation was enough to support me. They were amazing those women, and thank goodness my life was blessed enough to include and learn from them.

And the travel pieces? Well…I always wanted a life that would include travel. I spent years moving around the country with my husband and children, and still wished for opportunities to travel and see the world. At the time, while I was waiting for an opportunity to travel, I was traveling all along. I was looking for opportunities to experience life, to see new places, to visit new locations. I was living it all along. And now it is time for me to embrace those moments, to turn those pictorial memories into reality and share those experiences and moments. Long term goal? To write, travel, and photograph full time – we all have that dream don’t we? For me, I’m done waiting and my husband is onboard.

And that is the update, my latest journal entry and sharing of who I am and where I am at.

I’ve been called out!

During a visit the other day with my therapist…yes, I said it out loud… she challenged me to stop hiding behind corners and excuses and to put myself and my writing out there. While the blog counts, she still feels that getting out of my comfort zone is something I need to begin doing more often. That’s considered “growth” from what I have always understood.

That being said, I’m doing a few new things…they are small, but, they are new-ish for me. First, I have stopped eating processed food, leaning more toward veggies and meats. The goal is to completely avoid foods that do nothing for me. Second, I have joined a gym and plan to spend at least 3-4 afternoons a week doing some form of exercise. I’ve spent the last few years making excuses as to why I don’t have time…and now I do. Excuse is no more. Fish or cut bait! Finally, since I will be going to the gym with my niece…also a writer and photographer…we are going to embark on some kind of blog journey. The goal is to partner with my niece who believes that super auntie can do it all, and create a new space where she and I share a voice, perspective, photos, and writing. We can do this, I believe, and my niece is totally onboard.

So there it is…growth!

A challenge to myself!

I’m feeling lately like I have more going on than I do, maybe due to the personal and internal struggle involved in it all. In talking with a friend, I was forced to face once again how little emphasis I put on myself and what I want…how everything I do has a major focus on others in my life…how I don’t deal with my own immediate issues but help others stay on top of their own. In my life, I want certain things and a certain lifestyle. I find myself frustrated and disappointed in who I am, what I should be doing, and why it is I put off the things I love most in life – writing and photography.

I was asked, if knowing this, I had an explanation. The practical side of me says, I don’t NEED the new camera and computer to create more blog posts. I don’t NEED the fancy technology to do what I love. There are more pressing items that need repair or purchase ahead of my camera and computer. BUT – that money is not money going into my own household or life, so what makes it more important? I’ve spent countless hours lamenting the absence of writing and photography in my current life, pondering how my love of these two fields has been so quickly and easily pushed aside to cover the needs of others. Why is the absence of my passion okay?

Today I made the decision that I’m going to begin taking small steps to recover writing and photography in my life. I can use small bursts of time to get out there and take a picture or write a small piece. I can recapture a part of my soul that has been missing. I can rediscover a journey I stopped walking along to suit the needs of others in my life. And I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but right now…I need to get back to me and in doing so, stop focusing so much on everyone else.

That was my plan this summer…to buy the camera and to buy the computer I want. I don’t need to focus on photo editing but rather, getting back to having that camera with me at all times to capture a moment or image. It literally takes a few seconds to pull over on my drive home and capture that image…or, if a thought comes to me, to verbally capture it recorded on my phone so that I can get home and transpose the recording into writing. And in knowing that, it seems a little more realistic already to imagine integrating both writing and photography back into my life.

In accepting the challenge to write and photograph again, I’m going to need to commit time I tend to spend elsewhere, namely in front of my television. Being on the computer all day definitely crushes my will to get back online once I get home. Maybe, however, this will lift my spirit back to where it likes to be, instill the creativity to tear through me like it did a few years ago, give back the voice that I so willingly handed over, and provide an outlet and opportunity to grow my professional writing.

A morning minute…

After dropping my son off at work, I found myself wanting to be close to the water. He works in Wells but the sensation came on in Kittery. Being in Kittery provides plenty of opportunity for being near water.  I didnt want to pay to park or have to drive too far so I went to a new found favorite spot. (See picture)

With my McDonalds breakfast sandwich in hand, I rolled down the windows and took in nature. While the birds landing on the car mirror were a little close for my comfort, I couldnt help but enjoy the beauty before me. 

The calm water and bright green foliage brought comfort, taking me back to early mornings at the lake with my grandparents. I miss them, remember them, and know they would love this spot. The blue sky, so clear and clean, is like a fresh breath each time I see it. I feel energy and joy fill my soul near the water, feel refreshed and calmed. 

It was just a few morning minutes to carry me through the hours of today. It truly is the brief moments that speak to us, or at least to me. Sitting there I felt so at peace, and so ready for my day!

Try again!

After committing to the lunchtime diaries I missed day two! Life threw me a curve, on an errand! I have thirty minutes every day to break, eat, rest, write, read…whatever I choose. However we can now have 45 minute lunches by giving up a break…and that is exactly what I did. Running five miles into Portsmouth by car sounds small unless it is summer during lunchtime with the tourists! What should have taken ten minutes took close to thirty and I needed every second of it! After reaching the bank, cashing then depositing my check, and running for the car I had fifteen minutes left to grab lunch, put gas in the car, and write…well, I did make it back from lunch on time but did not get to write.

 Here I am today however, having started my day off at 5AM. My son made it to work, I got my meds from Walmart, I applied for my car loan, scrubbed my sister’s kitchen with help from Jada, steam mopped the kitchen, have my second load of laundry washing, and it is only just after 1PM! And to keep the momentum, I even found time to write a little bit! Who would’ve thunk it! God bless days off!!

I did want to share my epiphany! Yesterday after running around like a crazy person, I mentioned my writing goal to my friend. Her response was “oh that’s good!” I followed with how happy I feel taking time to write, making time for me. I then asked why, since I/we coach people all day every day to follow their passion and dreams, do I constantly put my own dreams and passion aside? OH BOY…EPIPHANY MOMENT! If I   encourage fulfilling goals, dreams, pursuing passion then what am I doing not pursuing my own? If I want to write I need to write, a schedule allowing myself that freedom dont I? Im not saying quit my job but maybe build in me time…commit to myself and my goals the same way I exprct my students too.

Thats what my lunchtime diaries are about, making time for me and my writing. So two out of three days, not so bad…

Cheers!

10 minutes left

  1. Being that I rarely have time to post these days, i have challenged myself to take charge of my lunch breaks and do a little writing. I aspire to be a writer or so i continue to tell myself and anyone else who might listen or have faith in me. I scramble for ideas and words, finding they often come to me as I drive and am unable to write them down. And then when i get home, the sound of the words just isnt the same as in the car. Its as if the ideas have lost fluidity and the details have lost description. Its as if the words that find a place from the drivers seat get just as lost in the daily chaos as I sometimes do. But i need an outlet for my thoughts, a place to get it down and reflect upon what is happening, to give me perspective somehow or to just give it all a voice. Im not really sure which of those it is or, if it is all or none. I dont get along well with absolutes so i have to believe “some” may be correct.
  2. Life has felt chaotic and hurried lately. Free time that i took for granted for years now seems invaluable and unattainable. In working two jobs now instead of one i find a repeating pattern…its not the same as writing. I love what i do at both places and the people in most cases, but where is my heart and what is this doing to my spirit? I help people define and chase what they love daily…its my job! So what is my excuse?
  3. For me the lunchtime diaries will hopefully answer those questions, get me focused, allow me to pursue what i love, and with any luck open up and create a new chapter. Is this a perfect solution..probably not. Is it better than not writing…indee!
  4. Cheers!