Time To Go

For a chance t get int my head, listen t this song I listened to while I wrote this post. mood, I was listening to this Time Will Tell by Gregory Alan Isakov.

life has been changing. The days are getting longer, as we creep slowly towards Spring. Things are changing in my personal life too. I am in the process of making some big changes. My biggest goal right now is a career change.

 I work as a Para educator, supporting the daily needs of kids with special needs. I have been struggling with the choice for months.  My coworkers will be disappointed. The kids will be disappointed. I will be a quitter if I walk away. We live in a culture that values sticking it out.  There is this myth that in time, things will get better. Yet this isn’t always true.

There is a time to let go.  My work has left me tired, sick and burnt out. I have not felt happy for months. I have moved, making things difficult. The commute is long, and the money isn’t the best. I am losing my own happiness.

I can feel it in my bones. I know myself now, and it is time to go.

 

 

 

 

 

though its hard, I have to follow the path that is best for me.

Finding Happiness

I have been away, taking some time to regroup. Late in 2018 we faced some challenges that forced us to move in with family. We traded in a wide open country lifestyle for a hectic urban one. It was hard, but we needed to get out of a toxic situation. Yet it has been an adjustment.

Overall, I thought that it would be much more of a challenge to my mental health. In the past, adversary has tended to drag me down into a dark place. Yet this time It has not been too bad. I have been trying to figure out why, and I think it is all about my attitude.

This year I am making a big effort to focus on the positive. I have also taken time for self care, and reflection. I have found that by doing this, my attitude is better. I have found a way to be happy, despite the challenges.

Life is about how we meet challenges. We can either choose to yearn for something ahead, or choose to be happy where we are. This afternoon, instead of yearning for another far off trip, I enjoyed the moment. We forget to do that, and I believe that it steals so much happiness from our lives. It is great to wish for bigger things but we cannot let those dreams consume us and steal the joy out of everyday moments.

There is magic in everyday moments, we just need to open up our minds to see it.

Overcoming Chaos

To say this weekend has been rough is an understatement.

My instinct is to keep things private. To discuss things is to let that wall down. To let people in is to show weakness. It goes against everything that has been bred into me since childhood. Yet sharing can be cathartic, and helps us grow.   There has been a big change in my thinking, that I just noticed over the last few days. This weekend was challenging, but I overcame it.

Photo by Hristo Fidanov

When we went to bed on Thursday, I noticed Maddie, our 10 month old Australian Shepard, was acting strange. She tried to get up and couldn’t. Her body was raked with tremors that quickly developed into full  blown seizures. It was a nightmare with my eyes open. Nothing is worse than not being able to go fast enough as your puppy  shakes uncontrollably in your husbands arms.

We were able to get her to the vet, and thankfully, she is Ok,  The Vet thinks she got into something and it had to work itself through her system.  We got incredibly lucky, and are happy to have her home. Yet it was terrifying. You know it is part of the deal, but it doesn’t make it easier emotionally.

We stayed until they had fully checked her out. We didn’t get home until 3 am Friday morning. Maddie had been given Valium and was sleeping . We had to monitor as she came down, to ensure the seizures had stopped. I was up until 5 am and missed work on Friday because of it.

The rest of the weekend was bumpy as well. My paycheck was two days late, which was a major issue.  We were not able to go out for our special dinner on Friday. I didn’t end up getting bills paid until Saturday. I also managed to get a nasty cold.  Sick and tired, it has been difficult to rest and catch up on that sleep.  The bad things just seemed to keep coming.  It has been a challenging couple of days .

But, it is important to keep moving. And I believe that my focus on positive thinking has been paying off in big ways. In the past, a weekend like this would have brought me right down. I would have stuck in a bad mood, and unable to do anything. This weekend I was able to ride out the challenges, and do it with a positive attitude. I was also able to stay productive. I  finished an entire book, and wrote.  The chores were done, and the bills paid. It was challenging, but I was able to get things despite the challenges.

It was a good weekend, despite the issues. I am learning to rise above the daily challenges, and remain positive.  There is a certain amount of pride that. life hasn’t been easy, but with the right attitude, I can overcome it. This revelation shows me what I am capable of accomplishing. It give me confidence to push into the future.

Till next time’

Colleen

Book Review: Between Shades of Gray

I am a big reader, and my goal for 2019 is 30 books. So far I have read two books. The last book I read was Ruta Sepetys Between Shades of Gray. It is a historical fiction based in Europe during World War Two. Here are my thoughts on the book.

This book focuses on the Soviet deportation of Lithuanians during World War Two. The main character is a teenage girl named Lina, whose family is sent away. The story follows her from the cattle car she is forced to travel in, to her forced labor in Siberia.

The book touches upon a very important part of history. Often people see World War Two in black and white terms. Stalin was an ally, but he was far from moral. He was a cruel, ruthless leader. Dissenters were quickly dealt with. People were shot or deported to hard labor camps in the east. This book brings home how cruel Stalin was.

This book was pretty good. The narrative style was strong, and it immediately pulled me in. Lina and her mother were such strong characters they jumped off the page. This book displayed the strength of the Lithuania people. They endured so much, and they still found a way to celebrate their culture.

There were minor issues I had. The timing seemed off and uneven in places. I was unhappy with the ending. The book was detailed in spots, but did not explain how Lina left Soviet Russia. This book was tragic, I was not expecting a happy ending. Yet after seeing the pain that Lina and her family endured, I guess I expected an explanation of what happened.

Overall, I liked this book, but the plot could be stronger. It is a great read for anyone interested in history. It touches on a unknown part of history, and that is important. I applaud Ruta Sepetys for dedication to bringing obscure tragedies to life. I highly suggest this book to anyone who love history.

Till next time

-Colleen

 

 

Me First.

 In my last post I wrote about my past, and its challenges. I wanted to follow up by writing about my plan of action. One part of my plan is a deeper focus on self care. We live in a face paced world, and often put our needs last.  Taking care of ourselves is important to our mental health. I can’t engage in the reflection needed to move forward without a self care routine. These are the things that I take care of myself.

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Photography I have always enjoyed photography.  The camera of choice is my D7100. I enjoy taking pictures of nature and cities. These pictures are taken and posted online on sites like Instagram. it is rewarding to share my point of view through pictures.

Writing Writing has always made me feel free. My days are not complete until I sit down and commit words to a page. My mental health is tied into this activity. When life gets busy and writing get pushed off, I get irritable.  It is important for me to try to write at least one full page a day. Writing is therapeutic, and helps relieve stress.

Reading Books are always a welcome distraction. Opening a good book helps me relax. Each day I try to end my day by reading. I have learned so much from books. They also serve as a quiet source of entertainment.  Reading is one of my most important types of self care. Books help me let go and relax.

Walking A good long walk helps put many things into perspective. The fresh air makes me feel better, as does the exercise. Sometimes I get too intense and need to step away from things. Walking gets me out into nature, and often I come back with story ideas. They also help with my worry.  Getting miles under my feet brings me back to my center.

These are the activities that make me feel better.  This routine of self care makes me feel centered and calm. It gives me a piece of mind, I have never had. I am just learning to take that back for myself, and it feels good. Hopefully these things will help me move forward.

Do you have a self care routine? Or something that helps you feel centered?  If so, drop it in the comments. I love new ideas, and fun, fresh takes on self care.

Till next time

-Colleen

 

My Past

What are you up to this weekend? In New Hampshire we finally have some snow on the ground. It has been a dry boring winter, so the snow is a welcome change. We also are FINALLY done moving. This weekend has been our first calm weekend since December. The down time has given me time to reflect.

Honestly I have been struggling the last few years. I feel unsettled and am struggling to get ahead. My growth has felt stifled. Life has been chaotic, but that is part of being an adult. I look around and see people overcoming what I can’t. only recently, have I begun to realize that the issue is bigger. My struggles have to do with my past.

My Mother was a alcoholic. She drank heavily, and was verbally abusive. I witnessed many nasty fights as a child. I hid that fact from the world for years. During my early twenties, I was bulletproof. I had escaped unscathed. I was willing to accept that my childhood had made me stronger, but ingored the damage that had been done.

Trauma… It was trauma. The type that digs deep into your soul, and changes you. It can break you, if you let it. The first twenty eight years of my life were spent running from that. I put a strong face onto it, and ignored until it caught up with me.

I am only beginning to realize the depth of the challenges. My defenses are always up, which has made building relationships hard. I struggle with debilitating worry that harms my health. Easily overwhelmed, I have outbursts of intense, uncontrollable emotion. My brain simply can’t handle even small issues. Everything is a perceived threat. I am terrified of conflict, and so hard on myself. The scars are deep, and I am still coming to terms what that means for my life. The damage has held me back. It is time to face it.

2019 will be a building year. It will be focused on my personal development. To be successful, I need to face my past. It is also important for my happiness. I decided to write about it today, on a whim. I need to own the past, to give it life. That is the only way I will be able to get past it. I hope that this can help someone out there who is struggling with the same thing. We can all get through this, the first step is facing it.

Till next time

-Colleen

Constant Changes

2019 has been a busy year so far. One of my major goals for 2019 is to making writing a main focus.So far I have done good job of keeping that promise. Lately my writing had been limited to my notebooks and guided journals. I figured it was time to check in and write a few lines. There have been so many changes, and I am excited to share them.

Once again our life is going through changes. Every weekend since early December has been filled with the fun of moving. Work has been hectic as well, with 54 hour work weeks, and being placed in different classrooms everyday. Overall life has been very unsettled and tiring. Overall I am beginning to reevaluate what will make me happy.

We are moving from a large house into a small apartment. For many reasons, the house didn’t pan out. we could have made it work, but it was too high of a price. We would have spent the majority of our time working to swing it. Last year I overstayed at a job that harmed my mental health to pay the bills. My Husband and I were fighting about everything, and we realized that the house was not making us happy. We could have made it work, but we really didn’t want to. Keeping up with the bills meant giving up so much.

We would have had to give up our entire lifestyle to keep the house. We are a couple that enjoys travel, and being on the move. For a year we gave up our roaming lifestyle to do that. This led to many discussions and reevaluations. We have one life to live, and we do not want to waste it piling up possessions. We are looking to downsize, permanently.

Life turns in cycles. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that change is the only constant. We cannot stop it, but we can learn to gracefully face it.We are thankful for our time at the house, but we are happy to move on. We are ready to cast off the responsibility of the house, and rediscover our nomadic side. I think that we will be happier this way, even if it unconventional. There are many paths to happiness, and I feel like we forget that. We are looking at this as a new beginning.

Till next time

-Colleen