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.

February round up

I can’t believe that it is already March. As I grow older, the years seems to go by quick. It is crazy to think that we are almost a quarter of the way through 2019. This year, I am following a group of goals, set month by month. This is much easier to track and attain that lofty year long goals.

I am using a special planner this year. It is a monthly planner by a company called Orange Circle Studios. Each month it has a goals section, where you can write down goals, and track daily progress. I love mine, and it is has helped me measure my progress. It has kept me really honest, and I think it has helped inspire growth.

These were my February Goals,

  1. Write One Page everyday
  2. Publish on my blog twice a week.
  3. Guided Journals each days.
  4. Participate in social media for the blog.
  5. self care each day.

So these were the goals. how did I do achieving them? It was mixed honestly. I did really well, but some unforeseen circumstances threw my plans off a bit. I got the flu on the 22nd, which really took the wind out of my sails. But that’s life, sometimes we have to make due with things. luckily I made great strides earlier in the month, so the hit wasn’t as bad.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

In the blogging department, I did well. Luckily I posted right before the onset of the flu, So I kept that goal for the month. Eight posts were published, which was my goal. My biggest challenges were the guided journals. This honestly was my fault. The commitment wasn’t really there. I plan to recommit to this in March, and am hoping for better results. The other goals were reached as well. I wrote a page everyday. I also got back into social media marketing. I also worked on my self care as well.

February was a good month. I am happy to be making progress towards my goals. Hopefully I will make the same kind of progress in March. Do you have any goals you are currently working on? Do you set goals monthly, or yearly? Drop your thoughts in the comments! I would love to hear from you.

I hope that you have a productive March

Till Next time

Colleen



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

Wildflowers

Tomorrow is Valentines Day, the one day many people take to celebrate love. For me the holiday has almost became too much. I have a major issue with the way holidays are peddled in the United States.  We are bombard by displays in stores, and TV advertisements for jewelry.  The day has become an excuse to sell stuff. yet at the heart of it, I think there is still some good. There are plenty of people who still use small meaningful gestures to express the holiday. It got me thinking about our new lifestyle. What does minimalist Valentines Day look like?

Thus year is our first Valentines day as a married couple. The day is a big milestone for us. It gives us a chance to look back on the wedding, and our relationship. We have come so far, and there are many exciting days ahead for us.  I’m so thankful that I have someone to share all of my adventures with. We plan on taking it pretty easy tomorrow. We may go out for food, and we will spend some time enjoying each others company. Last weekend we went to Wilson Farm in Lexington, Massachusetts. My husband, Ed got me a beautiful bunch of flowers.

It was the perfect gift.  Flowers are a meaningful symbol in my life. I love the way the Lupines, come out and welcome warm days in the mountains. They are followed by the Black-eyed Susans and Queen Anne’s Lace. In 2017 we said goodbye to our Boxer Birdie in a field of Flowers in Sugar Hill.  The year after my Mother passed away, her Lilac Bush that never bloomed burst out with dozens of colorful, fragrant flowers.  At our wedding our first dance song was a cover of Wildflowers, by the Wailin Jennys and My bouquets had wildflowers.  Flowers remind me of good times, and important  time, both good and bad.  We have had a cold dreary winter, and the flowers remind me of warmer weather. They are the perfect addition to the house.

 I know so many people, who would expect so much more. A simple bouquet would be an insult.  much. Often people get wrapped in these holidays. They feel obligated to show how much they care through things. We have been taught that the size of the price tag should match up with how much we care. For me, its more than that. The spirit of the gift is what means the most. Minimalism is perfect for me, because gestures mean more than things. My husband does not need to buy chocolates or gifts to prove his love, he has done that through his actions. All I wanted was a small reminder of the love that we share, and he gave me that.  The simple gesture of love, will carry me through the rest of the cold February days.  For me that is the perfect minimalist Valentines Day.

Excuse me, while I go enjoy my flowers, and think of Spring.

 

Till next time!

Colleen

 

Cover Photo by Barnes Photography!

 

Waves at Wallis

Today was a rough Monday. I felt tired, and stretched out, and couldn’t really settle. My mood was volatile, and I did only did the least expected of me. My daily life has been boring as of late. Right now, what is getting me through is the thoughts of tomorrow. The trips we are planning for this Summer is helping me through Winter. After work, I decided to look through pictures, to cheer myself up.

A few weeks back , we went out to the ocean on Sunday. We went up to the Hampton Beach. We got caught up doing family stuff, and didn’t get to the beach before sunset. My plan was to be there earlier, and the delay frustrated me. Honestly I was angry that that we didn’t get to the beach earlier. The plan to go to several beaches changed to a quick stop at Wallis sands. My opportunity seemed to have been lost. I rushed out, and began taking pictures.

Despite the challenges, it was a good trip. My pictures came out great, and It brought me peace. I got to thinking about everything on the way home. I tend to get wrapped up in things. My emotions tend to run wild, and cause problems. I get all bent out of shape when things don’t go the way they were planned. But that is life, and I have to learn to breath.

I have to let go and enjoy the twists in the road. That is when the best adventures happen.

How I came to Minimalism

Why Minimalism?

Its was one of the first, big questions. It’s an alternative lifestyle. One that many people find peculiar. So I wanted to share how so realized it was the life that I wanted to live.

I don’t need much to be happy. As I grow older, I find that the simpler the better. Nothing makes me happier than a clean uncluttered room. Honestly, I am stressed out by too many things. I find peace in quiet clean spaces. I also have a hard time cleaning, so less stuff makes staying orderly easier. Nothing feels better than sitting down after you cleaned the house, everything in its rightful place.

Another reason was the realization that my best memories revolve around experiences, not things. A few years ago, we went to Arches, we drove across Iowa. I have walked on the beaches of Norfolk on a rainy morning, and walked the hallowed halls of the U.S Holocaust museum. I have had some amazing experiences, but none of them are centered around things. I want to continue that roaming lifestyle . We cannot do that if we are encumbered by possessions.

I also have a issue with materialism. We live in a throwaway society. It is a society that places too much value on things, and not the content of peoples character. We don’t fix things anymore, and there is something sad about that. We also are doing damage to the planet with our wants versus needs attitude. I believe that we could do with a lot less. I may not be able to convince others, but I can make a difference with my actions.

So here are the core reasons why I am turning to minimalism. I believe that less is more. Hopefully this will helped me feel better, and live authentically. I will keep you all updated on our progress.

Till next time
-Colleen


Less is More

I have been doing a lot of thinking. I am nearing thirty, and feel the pressure of another milestone birthday creeping closer. Choices need to made about how to spend the rest of my life.One thing that I have been thinking about the type of life that I want to lead.

The last few years, I have been focused heavily on accumulation possessions, and it hasn’t made me any happier. Instead I was unhappy, angry, and unfulfilled. The system that we follow makes so little sense to me. We are told to go to College, get married, buy a home to find happiness. We are taught that this is the sole path that will bring fulfillment. If we give up our free time, the possessions will bring us happiness. There is something so tragic about that.

I also think that this has contributed to my heartache. I thought that things would fix my problems. If I got ahead, my past would simply melt away. The truth is that I cannot move forward until I fix the problems from my past. I need a simpler life.

I want to travel with my husband and dog. I want to spend time out in the rolling plains, see the High Rockies, and get to the Pacific. When we return I want a quieter lifestyle not encumbered by things. My whole idea of settling down has changed. I am no longer set on the 1800 square foot house. My dreams are smaller now, but I am eager to reach them.

This year I am rejecting the worm path to success. instead I am going to listen to the quite beating of my heart, and let it guide me to happiness.