“When The Excitement Slows Down”

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Life is meant to be exciting, that is, if you want it to be. There will always be challenges that crop up now and again, yet it’s our choice to continue to find the excitement in even the worst of times and the most mundane of days. It’s our choice to embrace the day, no matter the sadness or stress, knowing that it won’t always be that way…just for the day. It’s your choice to weather the storm with grace and dignity, or allow it to overcome you with hopelessness and despair.

My life hasn’t always been the happiest. There have been many moments of fear, sadness, anger and hopelessness. I’ve learned lessons from all that life had to hand me, and because of that, I’m able to sit back in the worst of moments and try to find some excitement, or at best, find some joy and happiness. There’s always something in every day, big or small, to be grateful for. It may be as small that first cup of coffee in the morning that starts your day, to something big like an awe-inspiring sunset or that feeling of knowing you are loved.

So often life gets the best of us. It gets busy and throws a wrench in a life that was going along smoothly. It hands us a challenge we’re too tired to handle or ill-prepared to overcome; it hands us a life changing moment that we weren’t prepared for; it hands us an end to something that we thought was a beginning.

It’s at those times of uncertainty that we tend to lose our excitement.

And it’s at those times that we have to pay attention to what matters most…love and all the excitement it’s meant to bring, if we would just allow it.

I don’t like when life gets boring, but I love when it’s peaceful. I don’t like when life hands me a challenge, but I love learning the lesson and overcoming it. I don’t like when relationships get stagnant, but I love finding something new in something old. I don’t like feeling invisible, but I love finding my light.

Excitement can be exhausting when you’re already exhausted, yet it’s one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world. Excitement for love and your life can bring you happiness and joy, peace and contentment, and most importantly, a new perspective on it all. Excitement for even the smallest and biggest of things can alleviate the exhaustion and enhance the gratitude of the blessings in them all.

I don’t like when the excitement slows down and all the challenges speed up. It’s at that moment that I need to find my balance, and I’m one to always try and tip the scales to the excitement side, that side that holds the love, the joy, the happiness for life. The challenges will come and go, and if you’re not paying attention, so will the people you love. You have to make the choice of what’s more important, and for me, love wins out every time.

Love is what helps me to overcome the challenges; love is what gets me through the bad times; love is what gives me strength to do it all. Love is my excitement for the people I love and for the life that I live each day with them.

Don’t lose sight of what and who you love; don’t lose sight of the excitement they bring to you; and don’t ever take any of it for granted, because one day you could wake up and find it gone.

And when the excitement  seems to be slowing down, and the boring seems to be speeding up, then you know it’s time for a change. Switch it up and see what happens, and if you find that nothing you do works, perhaps your “excitement” is meant to be found elsewhere.

Life is always changing, and if you want something in your life to change, you need to remember that the change begins with you.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“What Now?”

“Journey is over, the battle is won.A new chapter starting, a new day begun,

So what do I do now? Where do I start?

Do I take the road known or the one less travelled

Follow my heart.

 

Life is always changing,it’s time to turn the page,

Now the story continues

And it’s mine to create

So what do I do now? Where do I go?

Do I let my mind lead me backwards in time or move ahead slow?

 

What now with new beginnings

What now with the old life behind

What now that I’m starting over

With no clue, no reason, no rhyme.

 

Time to change my thinking

It’s time to lose the fear

The Universe is watching

That’s what brought me here

It’s all an adventure, my life is a song,

I know where I’ve been, not where I’m going

But I’m dancing along.”

I remember the day I wrote the story, which became these lyrics, in my book called “Waking Up.” It was my very last day of treatment for breast cancer, and as I said my good-bye’s to the nurses and staff, I felt a multitude of emotions.

I got in my car and started the long drive home. I felt happy, excited, relieved and a bit scared. All I kept thinking is “now what?” Now what do I do with my life? I had been on a breast cancer journey for over a year and a half, and suddenly it was over. The Cancer Institute had bid me farewell and sent me on my way. What now?

I thought “I know what the last year and a half with cancer was like, but what would it be like without it? Where do I begin to start over without it?”

And so I wrote the entry “What Now” in my breast cancer journal and a year later wrote these song lyrics.

But you know, this song isn’t just for my breast cancer journey; it’s a song for anyone starting over with a new beginning. It’s for anyone who is starting a new life. It’s for someone who has to learn to say “good-bye” to their past in order for the doors to the future to open.

It’s a song for you and a song for me…doors-to-past

It’s scary when something ends and is over, yet you need to find the excitement in the possibility of something even better coming into your life. I can promise you it always does when it’s meant to. Have faith in the Universe and have faith in yourself!

Embrace your day, embrace your new beginning, embrace this life that you are in control of.

The choice is yours…

And I know you’ve got this!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Lyrics by Anne Dennish – Music and Vocals by Sutton Thomas Music copyright 2016

“Funktion 11 – The Band”

 

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Life at the Jersey Shore is exciting, especially during the summer season, yet there’s one thing to keep things alive during the rest of the year and that’s finding a good band to spend an evening out listening to. There’s many bands around the Shore area, yet two years ago my love introduced me to a band like no other I’ve ever seen before: Funktion 11.

This band stands out above any I’ve ever seen before, and not just because it’s an 11 piece band, but because there’s something incredibly special about them. They put their heart and soul into their music, which includes songs of Aretha Franklin, Kool and the Gang, funtion-1111Michael Jackson, Prince, The Rolling Stones, and Miles Davis, to name just a few !They have a unique blend of musical genre, from Funk, Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop, Soul, and Rock.  They truly put the “funk” in the Funktion 11 band!

I’ve been following them for the last two years, and each time I see them I’m more blown away by their talent and unwavering energy! This band plays song after song without a breath, and you can’t help but get up and dance, especially while watching the bands’ distinct choreography of their own. If you’re looking to keep in shape, Funktion 11 will have you dancing non-stop! Every time I’ve seen them perform the dance floor is packed with people both young and old, men and women. And trust me, I love to dance and know that when Funktion 11 is playing, you better get your spot on the dance floor early! It get’s even better, because this band is interactive with their fans and audience. You’ll find the three lead vocalists getting right down on the dance floor with everyone, dancing, singing and getting everyone involved! They possess a unique quality in that you feel like they’re performing  just for you, and that’s because they’re so up-close and personal with everyone who comes out to see them.

Funktion 11 barely takes a break between sets, and when they do you’ll find them out funktion-111among the crowd, taking the time to talk to their fans. You don’t find that very often in most bands, and aside from their incredible talent and music, that’s one of the things I love about them. I’ve become friends with band leader and percussionist, Ronnie Nalven, over the past few years and have had the opportunity to speak with all the band members. They’re always available for a picture and truly care about their fans, and their dedication shows.

I  sent a message Ronnie a week before they were playing at the River Rock in Brick, NJ, that it was my two year anniversary and wondered if he could announce it to surprise my love. He told me “yes” and to let him know when I got there so I could remind him. Well, with Funktion 11 all you need to do is ask and you will receive. My love and I got there a bit late, yet only minutes after we sat down, Ronnie grabbed the microphone from lead singer, Vanessa Perea, and made our anniversary announcement. I didn’t need to let him know I was there or remind him: he saw us come in and made a beautiful announcement for us. You see, that’s the thing about this band, once you see them perform and meet them, you feel as if you’ve known them forever, and they make you feel as though you are truly part of their Funktion 11 family.

Funktion 11 is made up of the following band members: Samar Newsome: Musical Director, Keyboards, Vocals;Rob Edwards: Associate Musical Director, Trombone, Tony Zeke: Lead Male Vocals;Vanessa Perea: Lead Female Vocals;Misha Fatkiev: Lead Guitar;Kelvin King: Drums; Andy Gutauskas: Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Flute; Richard Polatchek: Trumpet; Alex Parchment: Trumpet; Ronnie Nalven: Percussion, Band Leader.funk2

I’m so grateful for that night two years ago that I first saw Funktion 11, and for the opportunities they’ve allowed me as a fan to get to know them. Their talents, their music, their camaraderie and their true love of the fans is what makes them a one-of-a-kind type of band, and that I know for sure.  I’ve driven through a major snow storm, and through torrential rain to be able to spend an evening watching them play.

Funktion 11 is without a doubt one of the best bands I’ve ever seen perform, and I can promise you that it will only take you one time of listening to them play for you to become a “forever fan.”

Be sure to check out their Facebook page at “Funktion 11” and visit their website at http://www.funktion11.com where you can listen to them and see their calendar of events.

Take the time and treat yourself to an incredible night of music with “Funktion 11!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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My love and I celebrating our two year anniversary with Funktion 11

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“Funktion 11”

Happy Anniversary “Waking Up”

Today I celebrate the one year anniversary publication date of my book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer.”

I began writing it during my journey with breast cancer. It began as a book of my quotes, which eventually turned into short stories, the topics of which are many: love, family, children, addiction, sexuality, relationships and more. Each story was based on my own personal experience or that of someone close to me, and yes, they’re all true stories.

As I began to put the book together to send to the publisher, I had a last minute thought, which would prove to be the most helpful to some people: I included my breast cancer journal. It was an up-close, personal and very intimate look into my journey with breast cancer.

It took over two years to write “Waking Up,” and when writer’s block was slowing me my malibudown as I neared the end to finish it, a friend offered me the use of her Malibu beach house. I took advantage of the offer and went out there in October of 2015, spending a week writing the last few stories of the book. I had no distractions while there, unless you count my view of the ocean, which was sitting at the bottom of the steps of the house. It was a dream come true to be on the water, watching the waves, listening to the sounds, and being able to walk the beach under a beautiful sunlit sky everyday. I miss that house so much, yet the memories of that time there remain. The last story I wrote for my book was written on the deck of that house and it’s called “Voice of the Ocean.” I finished my book, packed my bags, wrote my name in the sand of that Malibu beach and flew home.anne dennish

The cancer journey ended, but the book hadn’t. It took another year to complete it, and while I was frustrated over the time it was taking, I knew that there was a reason why. I’d find out that reason in February of 2015 when I met the love of my life. He has been my inspiration and my muse ever since, and many of the stories are born out of our love for one another and all that I’ve learned since I met him. You can see why I believe so strongly that “everything happens as it should, when it should, and how it should.”

“Waking Up” was published one year ago today, and of all the things I’ve written over the years, this was truly my most valued piece. What started as a book of quotes turned into something different, yet my intention was always the same: to make a difference in someone’s life. And judging by responses I’ve received during the last year, I’d say that I did.

Thank you to all of you who have supported “Waking Up” throughout the last year! It means the world to me and I couldn’t have done it without you!

Reach for the stars, catch your dreams, and live your life to the fullest!

Dreams really do come true…and that I can promise you!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Copies of “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer” can be purchased online at BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com and in most Barnes & Noble stores.

“Someday”

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It took having breast cancer to realize just how precious and precarious life really is. I thought I valued every day of my life until I was diagnosed with something that stopped me in my tracks…cancer.  Suddenly, I valued every single minute of every single day. I began to realize just how lucky I was and things I took for granted were now becoming blessings to me.

When you’re going through chemo you have to be careful of chemical cleaners, people who are sick, including your own children, your pets, what you’re breathing, what you’re eating, what kinds of cancer causing chemicals are in your make-up, your shampoo, and the list goes on. I never thought I would miss the mundane things like spring cleaning, but I did. And one of the biggest things I missed was not being able to walk barefoot on the sand or put my toes in the water because if I got a cut it could be serious.

So you can see why I appreciate everything about my life, the good and the bad; it’s because I’ve learned that nothing should ever be taken for granted and that I’m blessed to have this life.

Cancer taught me those things, yet in the last year or two, and in the last several months, it’s all changed again. My family and I have been affected by the loss of loved ones and the diagnosis’ of life changing illnesses. It’s’ been quite a couple of months, yet we’re all here, together, weathering the good days and the bad ones together.

I never thought I could appreciate life or the lives of my loved ones more than I already did, but I’m here to tell you that I do. My life and theirs have become incredibly precious to me and I know first-hand that we never know about tomorrow…we only know about today.

There is no waiting for “someday,” because that’s never promised and I’ve realized that more than ever. I dislike when anyone says “I’ll do it someday, we’ll do it someday, maybe someday,” Actually, I hate to hear that, especially since I’ve lost  loved ones very close to me in the last few years that looked forward to “someday.” They never knew that on that last day of their life, their “someday” was gone.

I don’t wait for “someday” anymore, because there is no “someday, only today,” and today is a gift to me every morning that I wake up to see it. Every day is a gift to live my life to the fullest, love as hard as I can, and laugh at every chance I get.

Tomorrow is never promised and yesterday is already gone, so why wait for “someday” to come, when you can live every day of your life as if your “someday” is today?

Don’t miss out on something great because you’re waiting for something  better to come “someday;” don’t miss out on a lifetime of love because you’re waiting for the “right time for it someday;” don’t miss out on an adventure or an opportunity or a dream because you thought the best timing for it would be “someday.” There’s no time like the present, and that will be gone by tomorrow.

Don’t live your life waiting for “someday” to come; live your life as if someday is “today.”

And today, more than ever, I appreciate my life because today I am a

“3 year breast cancer survivor!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

*This is a song I wrote called “What Now.” I wrote the story on the last day of my treatment, wondering what come’s next after cancer. The story is in my book, “Waking Up,” which inspired me to write the song. It was about the end of my cancer, yet it can be for anyone who is changing their life and starting over. I hope you enjoy it! I have to say, it’s one of my favorites!

 

“3 Year Breast Cancer Survivor Today!”

 

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I’m a 3 year breast cancer survivor today! It’s amazing how cancer changed my life, all for the good. I sit here in so much gratitude today for this day, and for every day. It’s a day I remember the first day of being diagnosed, and the last day of treatment; a day of remembering those who left my life during it and thinking of the ones who stayed; I’m remembering how little I lost from it and how much I gained.

I want to give my love and gratitude to my lifelong friend, Colleen, who was there with me during the first biopsy; to my cousin, Marnie, who made chemo days a fun “girl’s day out” and was there the entire day of my surgery, having dinner waiting for me when I got home; to my best friend, Leslie, who made the later chemo days ones of “girls gone wild” days, and for all those lunches together on the way home; to Jim and Lilli, my friends from Wall Stadium Speedway, for having pink ribbons printed with my name on it and getting them to the fans and on all the race cars; and to my Wall Stadium family for all their support during my chemo days. And to all of my Facebook family, I give you my love and gratitude for your supportive and loving posts and instant messages. You’ll never know just how much all of that meant, and was so important during my journey with breast cancer. I have to say “thank you” to my boys, Dan, Noah, and Sam who were living with me day in and day out through my journey…you were all so brave and supportive to me, even though I knew you were scared, but we got through it together.

The door to cancer closed three years ago, yet it opened the door to finding love with Rob, publishing my book, writing songs for my CD, and finding myself living some amazing dreams and adventures.  I’m so very grateful to be able to say “3 year survivor and counting!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“When Life Happens”

Life has a way of sneaking up on us with no warning, and we’re left standing there wondering where it all came from. Well, I’ve had that kind of week. I was the lucky recipient of “life” and all its’ glory! And it’s once again taught me a lesson or two and strengthened my belief on how precious a life really is; how precarious and uncertain life can be; and how the drama caused by toxic people holds no place in this beautiful life I’m blessed to have.

It’s made me want to hold my loved ones’ a bit closer and much tighter; it’s made me see that changes need to be made for my Highest Good; and it’s made me realize that not only each day, but each minute, each second, each moment are a gift to be cherished and be grateful for.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this past week, contemplating what is and what isn’t, wondering what the next move is and making decisions to change things a bit. It’s a process, I’ll admit, yet with faith and prayer, it’s all coming together; my mind is clear and I’m able to hear the answers to my questions; and I’m understanding that all that happens is a gift from another lesson learned.

Hold your loved ones a bit tighter and take a good look at all that you’re blessed with in your life. Breathe in all the love that surrounds you and be grateful for it all.

“Life isn’t meant to be taken for granted; it’s meant to be taken with gratitude.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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Photo by Anne Dennish @2017

“Keep Dancing Along”

I believe that you should make your life an exciting adventure, no matter what it hands you. The past is the past, and the future can be as bright as you want it to be. It’s true that there are “endings” in your life, yet they are always followed by “beautiful new beginnings.”

You may not know what the day or future holds, but you always hold the knowledge of where you’ve been and the lessons that it taught you. Embrace each new day with excitement, let go of the past, and “dance along” through your life.

After all, there is no dancing in the dark; there’s only dancing in the light.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

whatPhoto by Anne Dennish 2017

“A Song For My Children”

It’s a snowy day here at the Jersey Shore and as I sit here watching the strong winds blowing the snow sideways I find myself thinking of my children.  I’m feeling a bit nostalgic in remembering five young kids growing up together in a big house with their mommy and daddy. And I’m feeling a bit sad that as the years marched on, the house would be gone and so was the family that they once knew. I’m sitting here and wondering how all those tumultuous years affected them. They all have such different personalities and what bothers one doesn’t bother the others.

I’ve watched them grow up and move on and can see where some resentment still lies in the minds of my two oldest, the ones’ who remember the most. I also believe that the changes in our lives were meant to happen; the changes may have been difficult at the time, yet they allowed us all to find a new, more peaceful life.  At least that’s what I hope and what I believe.

Life and the experiences, good and bad, that come with it are lessons for each one of us. Even at my age I’m still learning and growing and I can see that my children are as well. They’re learning to handle their own difficulties and solve their own problems. They’re learning, and at times the hard way, that it is their choice to be happy and grateful for each day of their life or to sit in discontent and lay blame on everyone else. They’re learning to take accountability for their life and their behavior.

I’ve tried to teach them to believe that “while life isn’t perfect, it’s perfect for them.” I’ve tried to be an example of strength and the power of positive thinking; of being grateful for everything that life hands you; and that every new day is a chance to do it better than the day before.

I wrote a story in my book, “Waking Up” called “A Letter to My Children” and it’s just that…a letter written to them from a mother’s perspective, yet it could also be from a father’s perspective as well. For anyone that’s raised a child, or loved a child as their own, the story is for you, as well as this song I wrote: “Dear Children.” I hope you enjoy it.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~