“Tips To Stay Calm During Social Distancing”

We’re already into the second week of “social distancing” and there are some people experiencing anxiety and stress from this virus. I find myself feeling anxious at times, especially since I’ve been quarantined for two weeks now, but I do have some tips that can help you to stay calm.

Right now we’re living in the “new normal” until this virus is under control and wiped out. Until then, do what you can to take care of yourself.

Take a listen to my video…I hope it helps.

Stay calm. Stay safe. Stay home.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Week Two of Social Distancing”

We’re on the second week of “social distancing.” How are you holding up?

Stay calm, stay safe and stay home. It’s time we do our part to save the world and the people in it!

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“A To-Do List For YOU!”

I woke up this morning with gratitude for another day. I made my first cup of coffee and sat on my front porch to watch the sunrise. It was peaceful and as I was sitting there watching the burnt orange skies of the sunrise, I was writing my “to-do list” for the day. In fact, I write a list everyday! The truth is, I have many of those lists cluttering my desk, yet not one of them is ever completely checked off as “DONE!”

I began to think about “why” the list doesn’t get done. Some days I’m tired or my allergies have gotten the best of me. Some days I lack the motivation and energy to get those things done. Some days I allow  situations that aren’t my problem or concern to distract me.

And I made a decision that there will be no more of that nonsense!

This morning a new idea was born in this already over-crowded mind of mine: “What about making a to-do list for ME?” Why not make a list of things I want to do or need to do to stay focused and balanced, to feel healthier, and to have  more energy to accomplish the tasks on the other list?

So,  today, instead of writing yet another “to-do list” filled with tasks such as “make a doctors appointment, go to the post office, run to the food store, reschedule the dentist,” I wrote a “to-do list” for me and I think it’s a good thing for all of us to do.

Write a list of things that are just for YOU! It could begin with morning coffee and meditation, a 20 minute daily walk, yoga, healthier eating, or changing habits that don’t enable you to live your best life. 

Life gets busy and we may find ourselves distracted by outside influences that are not our concern. We lose sight of taking care of ourselves. I know that in order to accomplish anything in my life, let alone my day, I need to feel whole, healthy, focused and balanced. I’m sure many of you feel the same.

I’m starting my Monday morning in a different way today. I’m starting it with a “to-do list” for me. 

What’s on YOUR “to-do list?”

Let’s see what YOU need to do for yourself to live your best life.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

A-To-Do-List-For-1.-Enjoy-my-morning-coffee-2.-Keep-positive-thoughts-and-3.-Buy-fresh-flowers-to-4.-Take-a-walk.-5

 

“A Day At The DMV”

My driver’s license expired over the weekend and I spent two hours at the DMV yesterday renewing it. I could have renewed it by mail but I wanted to have a new picture taken for it. Sounds a bit vain, but my reason was this: my old picture was taken when I was going through breast cancer and my hair was just growing back in. The picture wasn’t horrible, but I’m a different person now and wanted to have a picture of the “me” without breast cancer on my license. May sound silly to some, but it was an important moment for me.

So while I was standing in line for hours I struck up a conversation with the woman in front of me. She was with her daughter, who had Down’s Syndrome. Margo was about 12 and one of the sweetest and smartest little girls I ever met. The three of us talked about diets, health, diabetes, my writing, where we lived (which is down the street from one another) and that Margo is going to be in the Special Olympics! It was a beautiful conversation between three strangers who were sharing their thoughts and emotions with each other.

And the one thing that stuck with me that Margo’s mom said was that she had worked her whole life and now spends her time with Margo and her friends. She said it’s the happiest time in her life because they’re all so sweet and innocent and that for the first time in her life she’s truly content.

You see, that’s the thing about sharing our lives with others, and I don’t mean telling them every personal detail of your life (although that’s okay too!). I’ve come to realize that when we take the time to talk to people we learn a bit about their story and I believe that everyone has a story, we just don’t always take the time to listen to it or even want to know it. As for me, I love people and I love listening to their story.

When we share our emotions and experiences with others we could actually be helping them through a bad day, or changing their perspective on a situation, or just letting them know they’re not alone. We all travel our own journey in this life, yet sometimes and more often than not, someone else’s journey can help us along ours. That’s what I love about being a writer: I can share my experiences with other’s and through that I get to meet some amazing people!

My day at the DMV put a smile on my face and made me realize that while we all have things to do and jobs to go to, it’s important to remember those “happy and content” moments in our lives. Sometimes it’s a stranger that helps us to remember that.

It’s time to make a difference in this world and we can all make that difference together.

Take a minute to say “hello” to a stranger today or tell them to have a good day. You may think that’s a small gesture but to the other person it may be the biggest and kindest gesture of their day.

Let’s do this together…

It’s a good thing. 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

sharing

“Getting Your Balls Back”

I once put two brass balls in a plastic bag and gave them to my girlfriend. I told her that if I ever lost them again to give them back to me.

I was a different woman then than I am now when I went through my divorce. It was over 10 years ago and that woman I was seems so foreign to me now.

I remember that at that time I made many changes in my life; I had lost weight, been college booksworking out at the gym, and had gone back to college to take creative writing courses. I was invited by my professor, a published author as well, to join his writer’s workshop. It was the best time of my life, yet also the darkest time knowing that there was a divorce to go through.

Yet I was strong. All those things I was doing for “me” gave me the strength to endure a nasty divorce. I felt good about myself, I felt like my brain was functioning like a writer, not just a mom, and I was in great shape. I will always believe that my Higher Power had directed me to all those positive changes to make me stronger, because He knew what was just around the corner for me.working out

I thought at that time that my children would feel like their mother had “left the building” because I was doing a lot of things, good things, for me. Yet that wasn’t so. I remember them being so proud of me for all of it, and I realized that all the things I did for myself were making me a better “mom” to them. What a feeling and what a lesson to learn. Sometime we “mom’s” think that if we’re doing things for ourselves that our children will suffer. So not true. It made my relationship with my kids even stronger, and to hear them brag to their friends about their mom going back to school and writing a book was one of the best moments I ever experienced as their mother. My oldest son loved the fact that I was working out and used to joke with his friends that “they better watch out because my mom can beat you up!” So simple, yet so empowering.

And that’s when I realized and learned that doing good things for me isn’t selfish. It made me a stronger and better woman and mom, and all that good stuff spilled onto my kids.

Sadly, it didn’t spill onto my husband. He hated it all. I look back objectively now and see that he may have felt threatened that this woman he controlled for over 20 years suddenly had a mind and body all her own, and she did it without him. I actually did it because of him.

Everything happens for a reason and I look back at that time and truly believe that all those things I did for myself were put in my path to make me strong, because once the divorce process began, my world changed. And it was all that I did for myself that helped to get me through.

It was sad enough that the marriage had been abusive on all levels, yet the divorce was even worse. The details aren’t important but the outcome is: I’m a different woman now and living in a happy life with two of my five children and the love of my life.

Yet there were times I lost my strength during it. I was a single mom taking care of the mental and physical well being of five children; I was the woman dealing with lawyers and sitting through mediations, which were a waste of time. I was tired, lonely, and so wanting it to be over.

My serenity at that time was in the backyard of my girlfriend. I could shed my tears there, talk for as long as I needed, and could always count on her shoulder to cry on. I remember one day she looked at me and said “where’d your balls go? You’re such a strong woman but not now? You gotta find your balls again, girlfriend.”

And so I did. I put two of them in that bag and told her to give them back to me if I ever lost them again.

And I never did.

Well, to be honest, there are times I feel weak and ready to give up, but I always remember that bag of balls that she still has and that’s enough for me to get them back.

And I always do…

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

brass balls 1

“On The Outside Looking In”

invisible me 3

There are times in my life when I feel like I’m on the outside looking in and I know in my heart that it’s okay to feel that way, because:

“Sometimes you need to step outside of your life in order to see what’s inside of it”.

Do you ever find yourself getting lost in the midst of your day to day routine? Getting lost among your loved ones, finding yourself wondering who you are anymore? Are you a mom, a wife, a “life partner?” And where are “you?” Where did you go?

It’s not a conscious decision to be on the outside. It just happens. One day you wake up and don’t feel like yourself; you feel like you’re “on the outside looking in.” At least for me that’s how it happens. And there’s no time frame for it; you feel that way for as long as it takes to see and learn what you need to, and it could be a day or two, or longer.

Sometimes amidst the routine of loving and caring for my nearest and dearest I suddenly find myself wondering where I went to…where am I in all this. It seems like everything is about everybody else, but not me.

I feel like no one notices me unless they need something, and tempers are shortened when I’m not doing what I should be…for them. I spoiled them by doing it all, and I love doing it all, but I also love being loved and cared for by THEM. I want them to spoil me just a bit, I want them to notice my feelings, I want them to reassure me of their love and commitment to me as much as I do to them. I don’t want to be taken for granted.

Yet on the other hand, I believe that being on the “outside” is most often times the only way we can observe our life; it’s the one way we can be objective by looking in from the outside at each person and each situation; it’s the best way we can see what is or isn’t and learn from it.

It’s the best way to see ourselves objectively.

And that’s when the lessons are learned.

We observe the behavior of others towards us; we see how they’re treating us and how we’re reacting to it. We see what the truth of our relationships are and what they aren’t. We see our strengths and our weaknesses, and we can see whether or not we’re speaking our truth.

Often times we find ourselves on the outside when we’re holding too much inside; we’re not speaking our truth for fear of the outcome. It’s that fear thing holding us back and keeping us on the outside.

I’m looking from the outside at all the excitement everyone around me is having; new adventures, exciting opportunities, and movement, yet I’m not a part of it. I’m here, in a life of laundry and cooking, responsibility and reality.

I’m looking at this girl I once knew who had one adventure after another, more excitement than she knew what to do, and an appetite for life and all it had to offer. Life slowed down on her, and she stepped back and she stepped into solitude; the woman who’s life revolves around every one else’s became invisible to those she loved most.

Yet, it was her fault. She allowed it, she contributed to it, and by not speaking her truth, those around her never knew how she was feeling. She had hoped that they would; but they didn’t. And I guess in the end,  it doesn’t matter, because that’s what being on the outside is about, and she knows that it’s up to her to get back to the inside.

So, here I sit on the outside, observing, making decisions, and making big changes. I want those adventures again; I want to feel the excitement of my passion again; I want to be me again.

And so I will. I believe that everything happens for a reason, even being on the outside, and once I  get back to the inside I feel that my life will be even better than it is now.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

outside looking in

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.

“3 Year Breast Cancer Survivor Today!”

 

bc-timeline-ad

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~

 

“February – My Month Of Milestones”

love-my-life-1

If you had asked me a few years ago about what the month of February meant to me, I would have told you it was just another month. I would have told you that it meant nothing to me, that Valentine’s Day was just another Hallmark holiday. And a few years ago, that was my truth.

Yet as life changes, so has “my truth.” February has become a month of milestone anniversaries and celebrations, all of which I’m blessed to have and grateful everyday for each one of them.

I spent over two years writing my book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer,” and it was published in the month of February last year.

I fell in love with an amazing man, which was something I never thought would happen to me, and certainly something I wasn’t looking for. Yet love found me, and it found me in the month of February.

I had breast cancer surgery three years ago, and it was then I found out that my cancer was gone and the journey was over. I became a survivor in February.

And of course, it’s the month that holds “Valentine’s Day,” a day which is no longer a Hallmark holiday to me, but a special day to celebrate all the love that surrounds me in my life.

So you can see, it’s a big month of milestones, and I look forward to sharing my stories about each of them with you throughout the month. I have some surprises to share as the month goes on, so keep posted.

I’m devoting my website and  my Anne Dennish Facebook page this month to “love.” I want to fill it with upbeat stories, positive outcomes, inspirational quotes and stories of survival and strength. I want to fill it with all the love I have in my heart for my life, my loves and my family and friends. I want to fill it with my love of writing. I want to fill it with the love and gratitude I have for all the lessons I’ve learned and all the gifts I’ve received from learning them.

I want to fill it with as much as I can, because in the end

“it’s time to make a difference, and we can make a difference together.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

love-header

“Down For The Count”

sick-1

It’s that time of year again: flu and cold season! Not one of my favorites, yet one I feel that can happen to us for a reason. And that reason is usually that we lost sight of taking care of ourselves.

And that’s when the Universe steps in and “whacks you with a two by four!”

I consider myself “whacked.” It started with aches and pains, then progressed into a burning in the back of my throat. By the time I went to sleep was nose was completely stuffed up and I became the ultimate “mouth breather” throughout the night. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep too well that night. And it’s safe to say without a doubt, “I’m sick.”

I know it could be worse; social media is awash with posts of the flu and colds and the duration of anywhere from a week to two or three. I can safely add my own experience to these posts as well. People are posting advice of cures and things to do to get through, and I can say that I’ve been trying them all.

For two days I’ve been drinking warm water with lemon, which helps to soothe the throat, and tons of green tea with honey and lemon to get rid of the cold. Chicken soup with tons of garlic has become a staple here. A jar of Vicks, an old home remedy from my grandmother, hot-toddysits on my nightstand, as well as a now half-full box of tissues. I’ve tried over-the-counter medicine at night, which seemed to help, but what helped more was a nice hot toddy: 8 oz. of herbal tea with 2 oz. of whiskey or rum, as well as a lemon slice for good measure. Sweeten with honey. I have to say, within minutes after drinking that I found myself drifting into an amazing, restful sleep, one that was much better than from the over-the-counter nighttime medicine.

I’ve been down for three days now, and it seems that the rest of my household felt the need to join me. We’re all sick with this nasty little cold. I always believe that “sharing is caring” and I guess they didn’t want me to feel left out!

I’ll be honest, I knew it was just a matter of time before I got sick with something. I lost sight of myself and wasn’t taking as good of care of myself as I was at taking care of everyone else. I was running around too much in rainy, cold weather; I wasn’t eating as well as I should; and I definitely wasn’t sleeping well at all. All those things mixed in with a few more are a recipe for the Universe stopping you in your tracks and making you pay attention to YOURSELF!

I knew that’s what happened, so I turned off my phone, put on my pajamas, and went to bed. I decided that as much as I wanted to be there for other’s that right now I needed to be there for me. I needed to sleep, rest, and place my efforts on getting better. Sure, the housework is piling up, but I know that my health, my body and soul, are much more important right now.

And as much as I don’t like being sick, I have to be grateful for the time that I am because it has forced me into resting and taking care of myself, something I wasn’t doing much of until I was forced to.

“Thank you, Universe, for this gift of making me remember that I’m important, too, and that if I’m not doing things for my Highest Good, I’ll be no good to anyone else. I’ve learned my lesson…you can take this cold and move along now!”

Wishing you love, light, and good health,

~Anne Dennish~

sick