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

Kennebunk Beach

On Saturday we went up to Maine for the day. It was a beautiful Winter day. It just warm enough so that wind coming off the water wasn’t bitter. The dogs played while we walked down the beach. I brought my Nikon D7100 along and was able to get some awesome pictures. I wanted to share some of the pictures I captured.

Till next time!

Colleen

What I am Thankful for

 Here in New Hampshire it seems we are in the full grips of Winter. We have had three snowstorms in a week. Today is Thanksgiving, and I am wondering where 2018 has gone. As I get older the years go quicker, with no sign of slowing down. Since it is Thanksgiving I want to share what I am thankful for. I have come through another year, with many lessons.

I am thankful for the adventures that lay ahead. Our living situation is changing, and to make the best of it we are making plans to travel. We are not tied down, and are going to make the best of it. In the next year we have plans to explore the American South and West. We are young, healthy, and have many miles in front of our feet.

I am thankful for our strength. We have faced challenges, but we are coming through them best we can. We have come through previous struggles. They have showed us how strong are, and what we are capable of. It has shown us we can make it through everything. No matter what comes we will rise above.

I am also thankful for my work. I’m a paraeducator for children with disabilities. My kids have given me a new outlook on life. My coworkers are great, and the position has given new value to my life. I am so happy I made a career change and never looked back.

I am thankful for many helping hands. We got married in September. We had so much help from many people. They planned showers, bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinners. They helped us set up, and made sure that everything ran perfect and made the day everything we dreamed of. I am thankful to be so loved.

So much to be Thankful for today. I am happy we have come through another year. I am looking forward to new adventures. I am thankful for this incredible life I get to live. What are you thankful for today? Family? A new job? Just life in general? Drop what your thankful for in the comments.

Till next time, and Happy Thanksgiving

Colleen

Wedding Planning

  One of the most exciting event for me this year is my Wedding. I am so excited for September, but there is so much work to be done. I am about halfway through, and have learned so much. So I figured I would share my thoughts. Here are some fun types on how to make wedding planning a bit easier.

Remember that it is your day.

Your wedding day is a celebration of your commitment to your spouse. It is  the exciting next step in your life together. Yet often friends and relatives get wrapped up in what the wedding should be. It can be disappointing when you and your family don’t agree on aspects of  your wedding.Usually I advocate putting your guests first, but not on your wedding day. Your wedding day is about you. It isn’t your families day, or your friends day. It is the day that you are celebrating the commitment to your life partner. Be a gracious host, but do not change your wedding around to please people.It is your wedding day, and you have the right to be a bit selfish.

Take it one step at a time.

Weddings are a giant event in your life, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed planning it.  In the beginning, there are so many questions, and you have no idea where to start. Take it one step at a time. Wedding planning is manageable if you take it small chunks. Figure out what is most important, and prioritize it. Once you do this, things will fall into place.

Don’t worry about impressing others people.

When I got engaged I chose the expensive package. I wanted our wedding to be perfect, and  thought I needed to spend a ton of money to accomplish that.  Everything is gilded and perfect in those wedding magazines,and I thought I needed that. As often happens, life got in the way. There were unexpected purchases, and house repairs.  Realization hit me, and I became really sad.  Yet as I began to think about it, I began to realize I didn’t really want those things. We want a nice wedding, but we don’t need extravagance. I wanted those things to impress others, not to suffice my own happiness. That realization has helped make wedding planning so much easier. We are spending what we can afford, and it will be a great wedding. Those who love us will have a great time either way.

 Do  research.

I cannot stress the importance of doing your research.  This helps you find the best fit for your budget and your party. I was originally going to pick a local photographer, even thought it was outside my price range. The deposit was about 1,000 and I couldn’t swing it. So I dug a little deeper, doing some research on photographers. I ended up finding another one for half the price with the same quality. This freed up money for other parts of the wedding. There are so many great resources out there for brides. Facebook is a great start, and check out Weddingwire. Weddingwire has  quick view cost tab on the vendor page, a major time saver. Use the age of easy information to your advantage.

Cost vs Quality.

Think frugal, not cheap. You want to find cost effective ways to manage the wedding, but you get what you pay for. A DJ that is only charging 300 dollars, may not be as experienced as one that charged 1,000. My advice, spend the most on what you want to prioritize. There are some things thing that our worth spending that extra few dollars for.

Ask lots of questions.

Question are necessary part of picking venues and vendors for your day. As a quiet person, this has been the hardest part of planning. Yet it is so important. As someone who is meek, I felt like questions were rude.But a good vendor will understand the need for question, and this is a great gauge on professionalism. You need to know how your vendors will handle adversary, refunds and travel. If you do not ask questions you may end up with unwanted surprises.You want to make sure you have the most supportive team the day of your wedding.

Pick your party wisely.

This can get pretty contentious, because it is an honor to be beside a couple side as they say their vows. But again, it’s your day. The day of your wedding will be chaotic, and you will need helpful people by your side.  Choose friend and relatives who will help you navigate your wedding successfully. You may need help create your centerpieces, help decorate, give advice, and calm you down. You need a team of helpers and supporters.

 Other than this, have fun. Your wedding is a major life event, don’t forget to take time to enjoy it.  Remember the reason for all of this. The wedding is part of a celebration of love. Don’t forget that. As of with much of life, it is also about the journey.  Happy Wedding planning!

Are you married? Are you planning your nuptials. What advice do you have for other bride. Leave it in the comments.

Summers End and New Beginnings

Here in NH, Fall is upon us. The days are getting shorter, and I find that it is dark when I get home from work now. It is bittersweet, but I am looking forward to the changes. I am looking forward to the leaves changing and bitter winter storms that will follow. Our summer was long and hot and sunny, it is time for a change.

Things are changing personally again too again. I have decided to keep this site but as my personal blog. I will still be posting, but it will be different. This will be a free area where I write down rambling and stories thoughts, and fears. One things that will be coming is my first set of Halloween stories, beginning in October. Last year Deep River did so well, that I decided to write more scary stories. I will be bringing them to you every Sunday of October, so look for those!

On the professional front I have some really exciting stuff coming. I have been working on developing North Pack Media. I want a place where I can display my pictures and writing. It will be based around Nature and Americana. I will have a blog and some galleries to display some of the pictures I feel like I have found a way to combine my writing and photography and my love of old lost and forgotten things. I hope that I will find a niche, and the venture takes off. My dream is to create a job around something that I’m passionate about. Now I am juts finally getting around to making the plans and putting them into action.

Thank you for following along on all my adventures. There will be more to come, and I will give you more updates. Also the first Halloween story will be coming on Sunday.

Have a great week everyone!

Summer Rest

We are finally getting some rain here. We had a dry Winter that has continued into a dry Summer. It first it was glorious, yet now the plants are brittle and the lawns are brown. We have needs this rain. Today it has been cool and rainy, a nice change. I enjoy the cool weather, it is a relief.

Life has been more of the same, working with a smattering of writing and photography mixed in. The weather has been so nice. We have been outside a lot and I have not done much writing. We have been spending the long Summer days enjoying all New Hampshire has to offer. By the time I get home, I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I am happy, yet I also know that I need to work on my writing.

I just finished another article for Explorer Gear. I hope to see it out soon. I was also supposed to do another article for another group, but I am on the fence about it. I like the subject, but I am unsure of if I want to submit it. I have had mixed feeling about the organization it is for.

The more that I think about it, the more that they seems like a corporation. Their articles are good, but they don’t represent the state in the way that I wish to. I think that I may be better off showcasing my work elsewhere. Opportunities are great and exciting. Yet even at this early stage I have to be careful in choosing them. There are many opportunities out there, but you have to be sure to find one that fit you.

Originally I wanted to write for them. But I’ve had a change in heart. They don’t seem like they know the state too well. I hate speaking negatively, but I just don’t know if I want my work associated with the site. I think they do good work, but it isn’t in line with where I want my career to go.

I just think there are better ways that I can spend my time writing. I was actually thinking of the idea of starting my own magazine. I want to continue blazing my own path, and I’m looking for a challenge. Maybe that is what I need.