Bitty and Beau’s

We had spent the majority of the week in South Carolina. Yet we were ready for something different. On a whim, we decided to visit family down near Savannah. It was a beautiful morning, and we took off around 6am. Heavy fog sat at ground level, the air sticky and warm. It would be a great beach day, but we had traveling to do. We got settled in the car, and headed south on route 17 towards Georgia.

The ride was pleasant. The morning was warm and sunny. We rode through the  South Carolina countryside, taking everything in.  We passed by deep marshes, and wide open fields. There were also small towns, that passed by. It was beautiful country, and I’m glad I got a chance to see it.

Soon found the need for caffeine gnawing at our bones. As I navigated the rush hour traffic just north of Charleston,  my husband looked to find us a coffee shop. We were looking for a local place.

We had bad luck the entire trip trying to find good coffee. We repeatedly visited Dunkins, which is a staple in New England. Yet we could never get coffee made the way we wanted. We both like our coffee dark. We couldn’t get a coffee without a gallon of cream added in. We tried everything, to no avail. So we wanted a local place, knowing that they usually let you dress your own coffee.

We stumbled upon Bitty and Bea’s by accident. It was the highest rated coffee shop in town. He looked through their page, murmuring that it looked really good..

” Your going to love this place, they work with people with Intellectual and Development Disabilities.” He said with a smile.

Bitty and Beau’s was founded on the idea that people with disabilities have a place in our society. You can read more about their incredible mission here. It is a mission that is close to my heart. I am a direct support professional, and working with people with IDD is my passion. These people are often marginalized, even by those with the best intentions. Many people champion inclusion, but few people follow through with those promises.  The Wright family has though, and they are changing lives in the process.

We stopped in on our way through Charleston. They are in a renovated spot, off of Church Street.The inside is modern and welcoming. There was a beautiful picture up on the wall of the employees. Above the group shot, was the explanation of the organization, and the ideals they represent.

We were ushered in by a soft spoken young man who took our orders. We got two cups of coffee and a couple of pastries. The young man that served us, was attentive, sweet and professional. The service was great, the coffee was tasty and the muffins were warm and tasted perfect.We took our goodies and sat on the benches that looked out over the street. On our way out the door, I grabbed one of their their awesome T-shirts too.

It was a pleasant stop on our road trip to Georgia. I’m so thankful it was our first taste of Charleston. If you are Charleston, I recommend that you check them out.  It was such a unique experience, but it shows us what we are all capable of.

 

 

Road Notes: Savannah

Savannah was many things. Much more than the Spanish moss I went there to see.

It was a waterfront, with a wide open park. People sat upon the benches, twisting palms in their hands, calling out to us. The muddy river wound lazily by, only interrupted by the ferry.  A Child circled a monument of the world broken in two, his father explaining the world war.  Just beyond was the cobblestones of River Street. People walked down the sidewalks, drink in hands, taking full advantage of the historic district.

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It was the cotton exchange, and the complex history of the Antebellum South. The worn cobbled streets,  and their legacy.  It was Factors Walk, and the many people who had worked here. As we wound our way through, I could feel the legacy thick in the air, history that I had learned years ago leapt off the pages.

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It was the green spaces, that change the character of the city.  Old live oaks towering over parks, dappling the sunshine on old brick walkways. The many flowers in bloom and the way their perfumes hung in the air.  The fountains that bubble over with cold water on a hot summer night. Tourists wandered cameras in hand, as locals sit on benches quietly. The parks were a quiet place of rest.

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It was the pain of a fallen office. Outside the police department there was a memorial for a police officer that was killed days prior to our visit. To see a police cruiser covered in flowers with a portrait out in front brought home the meaning of violence against the police.

Savannah showed me southern charm.  We only skimmed the surface in our short visit. Someday I hope to go back, and hope to immerse myself in the beauty that is Savannah.

June Check In

So much has happened since my last post in April. I have so much to share!  There have been some progress on my goals, and some fun trips. Yet I wanted to take a moment and back track on my journey the last few months. I have made some major life changes. These changes are centered around putting my overall well being first.

In my last post, I talked about my old job. Looking at that post hurts. My words were careful to skim only the surface. I am passionate about working with people with Intellectual or Developmental disabilities. Yet the place I was working was terrible. We had little support to help the kids. It was chaotic and the hardest workers were taken advantage of. If you got physically assaulted by an escalated kid, you got a five minute break. Each day I was getting beat up. It is hard to do such taxing  work with little support.

On top of the physical and mental aspect, I was constantly sick. In a four month period, I experienced four colds, the flu, stomach flu, and strep throat.  My body was tired, and I was emotionally taxed, I could barely keep my eyes open and was always on the edge of tears. When I wasn’t working I was sleeping, or trying to relax. There was no time or energy for goals or dreams. It got to a point where all my energy was being put into survival the next day. That isn’t a way to live.  Towards the end of May, I needed a change.

I got my break at the end of April. I was diligent and worked to earn myself a new position. It is working in the same field, but with a less volatile population with better support.  I was getting burnt out, and loosing passion for the field. I am so passionate about this field, and look forward to pursuing it.

I was also blessed to be given the opportunity for a trip. I spent ten days traveling in the south. I took this time to step away from everything and relax. I mean everything. A big part of my life is reading and writing. I put both of these aside for self reflection. Most of the trip was spent sitting in the sun, exploring, and engaging in much needed self care.

I needed it more than I realized.

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These are two pictures of me. The left one was taken in April.  My face is sunken and tired. What haunts me the most are my eyes. looking back, I knew how I felt, but didn’t know how evident it was on my face.  The second picture is after seven days on vacation. The life is back in my eye. I look healthy, and alive. Looking at these pictures, I am happy  I made these changes. No job is worth your mental health.

It took a lot of hard work, but I’m happy that I took the initiative and moved on.

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.

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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



Knocked Out

Been under the weather for about a week now. On Friday I caught the flu. I have been out of work since. I ran a fever, caught a cold, and somehow ended up with a case of vertigo. After about six days, I am finally feeling a bit better. Honestly it has been a rough road. I am ready to rejoin polite society now.

It amazes me, how tiny little germs can throw our plans off so badly. They invade our lives, throwing everything out of balance. we think of yourself as invincible. In truth we are fragile, at the mercy of the world around us.

I am taking it how it comes. I could get frustrated but it isn’t wort the effort. I am letting go, and just letting it shake out. I am taking a deep breath, enjoying the rest, and taking lots of naps. I figure sooner or later, it will pass, i just have to be patient.

But I am looking forward to getting back to it.

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