“Find The Time To Make The Time”

Isn’t funny how we can “find the time” to “make the time” for a hair appointment or visit to the spa, a trip to the store or a night of mindless television, yet we can’t seem to find the time for the most important things in life that truly matter: the moments we share with the people we love and the moments we need just for us, the kind that soothes our souls.

We say that we have to “find the time,” yet the reality is that we have to “find the time” to “make the time.”

Make the time to take care of yourself.

Make the time to stop what you’re doing and listen to someone who needs to be heard.

Make the time to stop and see the beauty around you.

Make the time to tell someone you love them and how important they are to you.

Make the time to enjoy the holidays, not just prepare for them.

Make the time to still your mind and listen to your intuition.

Make the time to make memories, not just money.

Make the time to let your heart take a picture of those “be still my heart” moments.

Make the time to count your blessings.

And make the time to be grateful for all of them.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“A Memory I’m Grateful For”

three years

It was four years ago today that I finished my last treatment for breast cancer. It was the day I had waited for since the journey began and as you can see by the look on my face, it was one of the happiest days of my life! It was over and my life was all my own to live again without the shadows of cancer hiding in the background.

And in that four years I’ve written and published two books and began to realize that my life purpose had become just that: a writer of my life experiences; a writer that wanted to make a difference in the world and in someone’s life by sharing her ups and downs and how she got through; and a writer who will never stop trying to help others.

I say that “chemo healed the cancer but the cancer healed me,” and it did. I became even stronger than before and learned how to put myself first and more importantly, how to love myself as much as I love the people in my life. I began to realize the importance of surrounding myself with positive people and that saying good-bye to the negative ones wasn’t a bad thing, but a necessity to live my best life. And that it’s okay to say “no” to things that don’t serve my Highest Good and to people and situations that cause me stress and drama.

In other words, cancer taught me to treat myself as well as I treat others, to love myself just as much, and to be just as kind to myself as I am to them.

Today I sit in a bit more gratitude than most days and am remembering that day four years ago. I’m remembering the lines of the song I wrote about that day:

“Journey is over, the battle is won, a new chapter started, a new day begun,So what do I do now? Where do I start? Do I take the road known or the one less traveled and follow my heart?”

What a day it was four years ago…

What an incredible life it’s been ever since…

What a  beautiful word to be blessed to call myself today: “survivor.”

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Be Careful What Doors You Open”

doors to the past 1

We all have a past; some of it filled with beautiful memories and some of it filled with heartache, sadness and negative energy. Yet I believe that when you close a door in your life it’s best to leave it closed because should you open it you never know what or who you’re letting back in…and that could be something that affects your life today in a negative way.

I believe that it’s fine to “revisit the past for a brief time, if only to remember why you left it in the first place.” Living in the past steals your present and your future. It keeps you from moving forward, it keeps you stuck in a time in your life that’s already passed and it keeps you from living in the moment. And living in the moment is what leads you into your future.

There are pieces of our past that are meant only for us to remember; speaking that past out loud to the wrong person could be hurtful. And I’m talking specifically about relationships here. The older we get the more of a past we have. We’ve had past lovers and significant others, we’ve had past heartache, we’ve had past intimate moments, and the door closed to that once those relationships were over. I’ve had them, too, yet once those doors are closed I keep them closed because once I open the door to the past I’m leaving myself vulnerable to what I’m letting back into a life I already moved forward in.

Opening the door to a past that was left behind means that you’ve allowed that energy back into your life, or you’ve let that person back in. It means you’re choosing to allow the emotions from that time to be felt again, whether good or bad, and it means you’re looking at your present life as less important than your past.

We have all those “past” experiences to teach us life lessons so that we can move into a better life, a better relationship. Remembering old loves is a memory to be kept to yourself; speaking it to your new love will only bring pain to them…and in the end, to you. There are some pieces of our past that are better left unsaid and kept to ourselves, because living in the past can definitely influence your present life which inevitably can affect your future.

We all carry some wonderful memories of our past, myself included, but I believe that when we “live” in our past, remembering our past relationships, then that is a sign that we’re not happy or content in our relationship now. And that is something to think about.

Be careful when opening the doors to your past; you never know “what” or “who” you’re letting back in. And you never know who it’s going to hurt.

The past is meant to be left in the past; your future lies in your present.

Don’t lose sight of the people you love in your present life by constantly looking back at the people you left behind in your past.

Be grateful for the people you love in your life today…

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“My Family…Together Again”

Two of my five children live at home, so there are moments I feel the pang of the “empty nest” syndrome. I’ve gotten used to my three oldest living across the country, only seeing them every year or two, so I don’t feel that pain of missing them all living home very often. They’ve been living out of my home for years now and I’m used to my two youngest being the only ones living with me.

Yet yesterday things felt like the old days and I was reminded of just how much I miss having a house filled with five children.

My oldest flew in yesterday morning from the West Coast and it must have been close to family2two years since I’ve seen him. He brought home his beautiful girl for all of us to meet and she was amazing! We all fell in love with her instantly and I’d like to believe that she felt the same about us.

I raced to the airport early in the morning to pick them both up and the tears fell as I saw him. They both walked towards me with open arms, hugs, kisses and some amazing West Coast energy! Just what this mom needed!

Yet seeing him was so much more than a hug…it brought back floods of emotions and memories of having them all live at home together. I remembered family dinners at the table every night and weekends filled with a stream of teenagers in and out and hanging around. It was heaven.

And yesterday felt like old times for me. Seeing him with his two youngest brothers, introducing them to his girl, teasing them and laughing I couldn’t help but feel a sense of peace, of happiness…of true joy.

I had forgotten what it was like to have my family together like that. These days even myfamily3 two youngest are working or going to school and I feel as though they’ve already left the nest.

Last night felt like old times, even though two of my kids were missing. It felt like the family I remembered; the family that grew up and moved on to their own adult lives. Yet as I remembered the memories I was also watching them all together and making new ones. Suddenly the babies and teenagers I remembered were sitting at a restaurant out to dinner with me…yet they were grown up! They had become men in what feels like an instant.

And my four boys have grown up into amazing men, and I don’t say that just because I’m their mom.

They are respectful, kind, compassionate and non-judgmental. They are truly the type of people I had hoped and wished that they would grow up to be.

And they are.

I sat in amazement last night, savoring every moment, taking in all that surrounded me. It was a night I’ll remember forever, until the next time we can all be together to make new memories.

I felt so much pride for these boys last night, especially my oldest. I watched how he spoke to and treated his girl…he loves her, she loves him, and the respect they have for one another is the type a mother hopes her child will find in a partner.

familyAnd he found that.

And I couldn’t be happier for him.

It was incredible night of being a family together again.

It was a night of my heart being so filled with love that it could have exploded.

These boys of mine…they are a gift to the world.

And they have been and always will be a gift to me.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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All photos by Anne Dennish

 

 

“A Flood Of Emotions”

Isn’t it funny how one random moment in your day can bring back a flood of emotions from a moment in your past? I had such a moment yesterday…and for just an hour or so it allowed a literal flood of pain and heartache from my past.

And I want to share it with you because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: when I write from the heart and share my most intimate emotions with you, it’s therapeutic for me. It takes those emotions out of my soul and puts them onto paper…and it’s truly a good thing for me. And I hope it’s a good for those of you going through a similar situation.

Yesterday the Jersey Shore suffered from a tremendous amount of rain, causing massive floods in our surrounding areas. There were those that needed to be taken from their homes and cars by boat. I didn’t go through anything that extreme but what I did go through was painful in its’ own right.

The rains hit hard in the morning and around 11 am my son, Noah, went down into our basement. I heard him say “Mom, you better get down here.”

My heart sank because I knew it wasn’t going to be good and it wasn’t: my basement was flooded. I went down the stairs and looked around. There was water everywhere and all I could focus on was the cardboard boxes filled with their favorite childhood books and memories soaked in water. I knew right then and there that we had lost all of those things we felt “important.” Water was everywhere and I was overwhelmed with where to even start.

Yet I knew in my heart where to start and it was to start throwing things out.

And through the hours that my youngest, Sam, and I filled one garbage bag after another with their childhood memories I began to think of a time in my life over 7 years ago when I was going through another time of throwing my “memories” in the trash.

It was over 7 years ago that I was getting out of a second marriage that never should have happened. At that time I had lost the house I designed, built and lived in for over 20 years. I lost my home, my car, and all the money the kids and I had saved up over the years. That second marriage cost me more than I could say. I remember two dumpsters in my driveway for two weeks as the kids and I threw out as much as we could, knowing that we were moving to a much smaller house.

I can remember the heartache of throwing out things that had meant so much to me and to them but we didn’t have much choice. The home we lived in was so much larger than the home we were moving to and still live in. I had to keep telling myself that it was just “stuff” and that I could take the memories with me.

It was a painful time to lose literally everything I had…that we had…yet we did it. And we moved into our “Cozy Cottage.”

And we were fine. We were happy.

I moved in here with nothing. No car, no money and no job, yet we had each other and within a few weeks I had a job and another car. And we survived.

And I’ve been rebuilding my life ever since.

Yet today brought all those emotions back again and I’ll admit that I shed a few tears as I filled garbage bag after garbage bag with yet more memories. It was tough and I felt overwhelmed. I kept filling bags of their favorite children’s books to stuffed animals, one right after another, and Sam just kept bringing them up the stairs and out the door to the trash. It wasn’t the exact “Mother/Son” day I would have planned.

But we did it and there’s still another couple of days to finish up the task.

Yet after my tears spilled of another time of throwing out things that meant something to me, I began to pull myself together and remind myself that they are just the possessions, just the “stuff” that we had compiled for many years. Throwing the stuff out didn’t erase the memories…it just got rid of the physical stuff, but it will never erase the emotional stuff we gained from the years we had it.

Life is a funny thing sometimes. There comes a moment in all our lives that brings back a moment from the past, and oftentimes it’s a painful memory. Yet we seemed to have learned from the past that when those sad memories come back we know better…we feel the pain, the sadness, and the heartache and let it go much sooner than we had in the past. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the things that we had tried to forget because we shouldn’t forget anything…we should learn from it, accept it and move forward.

Because, after all, we don’t ever lose the precious moments we have of our children or loved ones; they are embedded in our minds and hearts forever. The physical possession is a wonderful thing to have but losing it doesn’t erase what our heart holds deep inside.

Our hearts take pictures of those moments in life that mean the most and no flood, no fire, and no one person can ever take that away.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“One Day It Just Clicks”

“It takes but one moment in your life that you find yourself waking up.” ~Anne Dennish~

And that’s the day that it all just clicks…you see things differently, change your perspective and begin to move forward.

Life is a series of many “waking up moments” and “just clicks days.” It’s part of the journey and those moments are filled with valuable lessons for us to live the best life we can.

Some of those moments are wonderful and some not so wonderful, but they are important moments to have because it pushes us to change for the better, to grow as a person, and to open our eyes to the truths that lie in front of us.

I’ve had quite a few “waking up” moments in the last few weeks and while they weren’t all that pleasant, I learned some valuable lessons from them. I also was reminded of the lessons I have learned in the past that I had forgotten in the present.

Life is a series of “waking up moments” and “just clicks days,” both good and bad, yet how we handle them, how we see them, and how we react to them determines how we get through them.

Love yourself enough to value those moments and embrace the lessons that they give to you.

After all…

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

clicks

“Finding The Beauty”

It’s so very important to pay attention to what surrounds us in our day to day life. There is so much beauty on this journey that we sometimes get caught up in the day to day routines, whether it be a job, or taking care of the kids, or housework and bills. Yet it’s because of all those things that it’s so important to take some time throughout the day to look around and look up.

 

I find beauty not just within my house, but outside as well. In fact, spending time outside is what slows me down and helps me to find my balance.

When I’m outside I look around at the flowers that are blooming all around me and our beautiful vegetable garden. During the early hours of the night I sit outside in awe at the show of incredible lights flooding our backyard with fireflies.

I look up to the sky during the day to see a beautiful blue sky or one filled with puffy clouds. I see the sunrise and the sunset. I look up to my incredible “magic tree” that provides me with shade during the day.

You see, life is filled with beauty and it’s up to you and to me to take the time to see it.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

beauty

“Free Will”

I have a close circle of friends and there are moments I have to sit and wonder why they make the choices that they do. I know to my toes that it may not be their best choice, but they make it anyway.

And in all fairness, I bet they think the same thing about my choices.

We love who we love and we love the people in our tribe, yet there are moments that they’re handed a situation in which they have to make a choice…and sometimes those that love them sitting on the outside of it wonder why they chose the path that they did.

We may know that they’re making the wrong decision, but it’s at those moments that we need to step back and let them move forward with their choices, wrong or right.

And why?

Because it’s their “free will,” not ours.
And if we don’t let them lead their own life, make their own choices, and do what they think is right, then they’ll never learn a lesson that their life is about to hand them.

And that’s “free will.”

It’s allowing those we love the freedom to make their own choices, even if our intuition tells us that it’s wrong.

We learn life lessons by making mistakes and learning from them.

And if someone takes our free will away from us, then they’ve stolen a valuable moment in our life; they’ve taken away our right to make a choice, bad or not, and learn from it.

We may not always understand why the ones we love make the choices that they do, but a big part of loving them is respecting them enough to allow them their free will to do so.

We all want to protect those that are important to us, but if we don’t allow them to make their own choices and in some cases, mistakes, then we took away their right to learn and grow as a person.

The best thing we can do is be there for them if they should make a wrong choice and celebrate with them when they make the right choice.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

right or wrong

“On Being Lonely”

 It’s been such a sad week at hearing of the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Depression, mental illness, and worse than that, a feeling of loneliness…it attacks even the most strongest of people at times, rich or poor, famous or not. We’re all vulnerable at feeling such times of sadness.

Robin Williams said it best years ago that the worse type of loneliness is being with people who make you feel that way. And he’s right that being alone isn’t the worst thing in the world, it’s being with people you love that make you feel alone.

So today I want to say this to all of you: If you’re blessed to have people in your life that love you, care for you, respect you, and are always there for you then know how lucky you are. It’s a gift to have people like that in your life.

Be sure to let them know you feel the same. Don’t let the ones you love feel lonely. Give back to them all the gifts they give to you.

Think about it.

Stop what you’re doing right now and grab the hand of someone who loves you that may or may not be going through a sad day; wrap your arms around them in a loving hug; sit with them, share your thoughts with them, share yourself with them.

Be there.

Don’t wait for the day they’re not there anymore for you.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

robin williams

“One Chair”

Years ago whenever my grandmother saw a two seater car she’d say: “That’s a selfish car. There’s only enough room for two people.” It was a funny thing to hear her say, yet as I’ve grown older I understand even more of what she was saying.

I’m that way with chairs.

My front porch has a table and two chairs on one side of the door and on the other side is two chairs with a table between them. I’m usually in one of those chairs and look forward to the people I love sitting with me in the other chair.

There’s not always someone sitting with me but there’s an empty chair just always waiting for someone who needs to use it.

When I see someone put only one chair out for themselves it tells me a couple of things. It tells me that they want to be alone, it tells me that they don’t want me sitting with them, it tells me that they never had a thought to how I was feeling and that I may need someone to give me a chair.

Sometimes we all need a chair. We need that second chair to know we’re not alone. We need that second chair so that we don’t feel lonely. We need that second chair to let us know that someone is just waiting for us to sit in it.

The second chair means that someone wants us.

The second chair means that someone loves us.

The second chair means that we matter.

And to me, when I see only one chair I see a person who is selfish, who doesn’t care about anyone other than themselves and a person who takes the people in his life for granted.

You can spend your life with only one chair.

But remember what that chair represents to those that love you.

And be mindful and aware that a day may come in which there won’t be that person to fill a second chair;  you will be there alone with one chair.

I love having two chairs on my front porch.

It’s my small way of letting the people I love know that they’re always welcome to be with me, that I love them, and that I want to spend time with them.

Chairs.

How many do you have?

I hope you have more than one.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

two chairs