“Chemo and Racing…The Game Changer”

I was a journalist for years at our local racetrack, Wall Stadium Speedway. I had my own column called “The Need For Speed,” in which I interviewed the drivers. It was an exciting time to be “behind the scenes” of the track that I grew up listening to and going to every Saturday night!

This picture came up on my memories and I wanted to share it with you. I was asked to drive a car in the women’s race called “The Powder Puff!” Of course I said yes, and once I had the driving experience I understood the passion behind the drivers I interviewed even more.

I was scheduled to start chemo a week after this picture was taken and on that night I remember telling my friends that I believed that racing scared me more! 

Yet I did it and the fear turned to excitement, and after that race I felt as though I could get through anything…and I got through cancer. 

Sometimes life hands us an adventure or opportunity that we never thought we’d have, and it’s those moments that can change our outlook on things forever.

I took that racing experience with me right through chemo and knew that in time I’d cross that finish line as a survivor.

And I did.

And it was a very good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

wall stadium

“And The Last Child Graduates”

The youngest of my five children graduated high school last week. It was a bittersweet day for both of us yet an exciting one. It was the end of a chapter and the beginning of the next one. Of course his chapter is much different than mine, yet it’s a new beginning for both of us.

This fifth child of mine never ceases to amaze me. At just 17 years old (almost 18) he knows who he is, he’s comfortable in his own skin, and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him, yet the truth is, everyone loves him. He’s smart, he’s kind and compassionate, and he’s funny. His smile lights up the room and he can turn the saddest of my days into my best days.

And they love him because he’s his authentic self. I can’t begin to tell you how many teachers, faculty and parents of his friends tell me what a sweet kid he is: kind, respectful and funny. No mother could ask for anything more!

Yet I think back to when I was that age and wasn’t even close to being sure of myself. I didn’t know what I wanted in life other than the next step after high school: go to college. I cared about what I was wearing and what others thought of me. Comfortable in my own skin? I didn’t even know what my “own skin” was. 

Yes, I’m a proud mother here and one that is in awe of this fifth child of mine, yet I’ll be honest, all five of them are the same way. They are who they are and they’re amazing human beings. I’d like to think I had a hand in that while I was raising them because I allowed them to be their authentic self, without judgment or criticism. And it worked.

We all want to be accepted and loved and I believe that happens when we are our “authentic self,” not someone other people expect us to be. As I told my children, if people don’t like you or respect you for who you are, then they’re not your “people.”

And it’s true.

It’s a lesson I learn more and more as life goes on.

Congratulations to my fifth child, Sam, as he begins the next chapter of his life. I hope it’s a grand adventure. He certainly deserves it!

And here’s to all of us being our authentic self and beginning another chapter in our lives. Enjoy the journey and embrace the adventure.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

sammy

 

“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~

“Once Upon A Time…”

“Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted to be a writer. Since the moment she learned to spell she would write stories.

One day she told her mother that she wanted to grow up to be a writer. Her mother said that it was a nice dream to have. The little girl didn’t understand quite what that meant but she kept writing.

Time marched on and the little girl grew older and went to college…and she was still writing.

Then the little girl got married and had children. She loved being a stay at home mom yet she still kept writing. She wrote little stories and poetry for her babies and made up silly songs to sing to them.

She wrote in her journal every day about her secret thoughts and feelings.

Then the children started growing up and leaving the nest.

And she thought about her “once upon a time” so many years ago.

And she thought about all the people along her life journey that told her that wanting to be a writer was a nice dream and a fairy tale, that real life wasn’t about doing what you love all the time, and that most times dreams don’t come true.

And for many, many years she believed them.

Until one day when she stopped believing them and began believing in herself.

She started to believe in fairy tales and dreams; she started to believe in magic; and she started to believe that everything and anything is possible.

And on that day she wrote her first book and had it published.

And she knew then that her “once upon a time” was a fairy tale that came true.

There was a happy ending and a beautiful beginning for her.

Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted to be a writer….

And the little girl grew up…

And became a writer.

And that is not the end.”

What was your “once upon a time” story? What was your dream or fairy tale?

It’s time to remember that…

It’s time to believe in that again.

After all, “once upon a time” does come true.

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

once upon a time 1

“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~

piglet flood 1

“Life As A Writer”

I’ve been writing all of my life, since the day I could hold a pencil in my hand and learn to spell. It’s something as natural to me as breathing. When I was a young child my stories were nothing more than a few sentences and a crayon drawing at the bottom of the page.

Through high school and college I could be found sitting on the beach like a Bohemian hippie, writing lyrics and poetry. There were nights you would find me in the hallway of my dorm, hot pot of instant coffee and me sitting against the wall with a notebook writing through the middle of the night while all the other college students were asleep.

During my marriage and raising children I began keeping a journal about my feelings of being a wife and mom. I wrote poetry and journal entries which would become short stories.

I was always writing something.

Yet until a few years ago whenever someone asked what I did I would say I’m a mom. I was a Sunday School teacher, a soccer mom, PTA mom, Cub Scout leader and a Brownie leader. There was never a mention of “I’m a writer.”

It’s funny how you can write and write your whole life and never say you were a writer.

Until my first book was published.

Well, even when it was published I still would say “I write books.”

It was my close high school friend, Rich, that said to me one day: “Why don’t you say what you are? You’re a writer. You’re a published author. You’re exactly what you wanted to be.”

Wow…I never thought of myself as that.

And why?

There’s really no definitive answer “why” I never said it or thought it; I spent most of my life raising my kids, so to think of myself as someone other than that seemed like a foreign concept to me.

Yet the truth of the matter is that I AM a writer. I AM a published author. I AM a lyricist.

And I’m even more than that.

I’m a writer who uses her words to heal and help others and try and make a difference in the world.

Writing is a part of my everyday life and as much a part of me as breathing is.

And as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I can use my writing to share my experiences with others; to help them through a difficult time; to let them know they’re not alone.

Writing is my voice that I want to be heard.

Writing is my heart reaching out to love the world.

Writing is my soul that shares it passion.

Writing is my passion and my dream come true.

Writing is the one way I know to reach out to people. It’s my way of helping, sharing and making a difference in one life and one day, I hope, the world.

My name is Anne Dennish.

And I’m a writer.

And it’s a very good thing…for me.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

meee1

 

 

“I Wish You Enough”

A good friend of mine reminded me of this poem this morning. It’s a reminder to be grateful for both the good days and the bad; that without the bad days we’d never know what a good day was; that without feeling sadness we’d never know joy; that without a moment of feeling weakness we’d never know the feeling of strength.

Every day you wake up is a good day, and all the emotions you feel throughout it are a gift…a gift of life lessons; a gift to learn more about yourself; a gift to see your life as it truly is.

The “down days” happen to remind us how many more “good days” we truly have to count, and they remind us that it won’t be like that forever, just for that day.

Embrace every day, good or bad; embrace your emotions, happy or sad; embrace the lessons you’re being taught.

No one’s feelings are ever wrong, they just “are.” Sometimes there are reasons for the down days, sometimes there’s not. And that’s okay. We’re all human. Just be sure you don’t sit in those down days for long. Feel them, cry through them and let it all out…tears are cleansing our soul of all that we hold inside, and there’s nothing wrong with that…in fact, tears are our release, whether in sadness or in joy.

Feel what you have to feel and take those down days, be grateful for their lessons, then release them, let them go, and move forward into the new day ahead.

It’s a good thing. 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

i wish you enough

“The Life Of A Writer”

life of a writer

I love being a writer. It’s crazy, it’s enlightening, it’s therapeutic; it’s living a life on fire with a passion for words; a passion for observing the world; a passion for love, life, and the people in it. It’s waking up at 3 in the morning  and coming to life with a story in your head; it’s nights of waking up during a good nights sleep with the next chapter; it’s constant thinking, wondering and figuring it all out.

It’s a 24 hour a day job, 7 days a week; the only days off are the one’s in which you don’t write, but you’re writing in your head even when you’re not writing on the computer or paper.

It’s finding a story in every conversation you have; in every person you talk to during the course of a day; and in every social event you attend.

It’s endless notebooks and journals of notes, of titles, of thoughts, of words.

It’s always “remembering something so you never forget.”

It’s always analyzing a situation to figure out the lesson or the message.

It’s always wondering “why” and “how” and “what if?”

It’s always wondering about your past that led you to your present that will take you into your future.

It’s always wondering what your dreams meant and why certain thoughts enter your mind at the oddest of moments and hours of the day.

And it’s always wondering about the title of the next story, the next book, the next blog, the next post…and so on.

It’s a mind that never turns off, slows down, takes a break, or stops thinking.

It’s a mind that’s forever listening, forever wondering, forever seeing the endless possibilities in every minute of every day, in every person you speak to, of every experience, of every lesson, of everything…everything!

It’s listening to different genres of music that pertain to your different moods; sad music for pity party days, upbeat music for when you’re feeling great!

It’s feeling all the emotions that life hands you and loving each and every one of them. You love the sad, the joy, the happy, the heartache because a writer knows that every emotion is a gift, and each gift becomes the words to a beautiful story or poem or lyric.

Writers flourish under pressure and under pain…our best writing comes from the deepest of pain. We hold onto it until we turn it into something beautiful; it’s at that moment that we can finally let it go.

It’s feeling the pain in the world and turning it into a beautiful words of hope, faith and encouragement.

It’s feeling the joy in the world and turning it into a motivational story of endless possibilities.

Writer’s feel it all; we accept it all; and we love it all because no matter the emotion, negative or positive, sad or happy, we’re able to embrace it, live it, feel it, learn from it and write about it.

And then we move on…

But not a moment before…

There are those in my life that tell me I hold onto things too long, to just “let it go,” but as a writer, I can’t. It’s not in my nature nor is it in my soul. It’s not how I’m wired or how I was born. It’s nothing I can change and I wouldn’t want to try. It’s who I am…body and soul, mind and heart.

Feeling pain is something I’ve grown accustomed to. Life happens and even pain and heartache happens to a writer. How else could we write what we do? Pleasure is born out of pain; happiness is born out of heartache; joy is born out of sorrow. So why would we not feel these emotions? It’s our feelings that give us focus, give us answers and clarity, and most importantly, it’s our feelings that give us the “words!”

Writer’s are built on words.

We are great communicators.

We are intuitive…and insightful…and pay way more attention to detail than the average person. We listen, we hear, we process, and we write.

We live everyday to its’ fullest, whether we’re sad or happy, whether you believe it or not. We don’t see feeling heartache or pain as a waste of time; and we don’t see joy and happiness as time better served. We see it all as life…our life…your life…and we value all of it as precious time.

For me, “when my heart speaks I listen, and then I write.”

And that’s the truth.

My stories begin in my heart and soul; they are cultivated through my tears and heartache; they are polished by my joy and happiness; and they are written by the words of my truth.

If the eyes are the window to the soul, my writing is the window into “me.”

If you’re not a writer you’ll never understand, and why would you?

We writer’s are dreamers, and most of the “real” world thinks we’re crazy; obsessed; and a little weird. They think we’re constantly pursuing a dream we’ll never catch yet we believe differently. We believe in our dreams and in ourselves; we are born out of this obsession to achieve the dreams, no matter the cost; and yes, maybe we’re a bit weird because we know that what we dream, what we write and what we feel is reality: it’s the reality of a writer.

I love the life of being a writer; it’s crazy, it’s exhausting, it’s painful, and it’s simply amazing.

I am Anne Dennish…

I’m a writer, a dreamer and a poet…

I’m aware of my surroundings and all the people in it…

I’m a talker and a listener…

I’m your friend, your family and your lover…

I’m your mom and your mentor…

I’m all these things because…

I’m a writer.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

Photos by Tim McGeough – EVNFlo Photography

“February – My Month of Love and Milestones”

february my montFebruary has become one of the most important months for me; it’s one I look forward to more and more as each year passes. The reason for my excitement about February is because so many incredible things happened in my life. They were truly life changing events; moments of dreams coming true; and signs of hope, faith and love.

It was on February 15th of 2015 that I met my love, Rob. We were two people who had new hope24been broken by prior relationships and had given up on love and dating. Yet it was through one long phone call that we got to know each other and the first date happened a week later on February 15th. We were nervous and unsure of whether we wanted to risk the heartbreak of another failed relationship, yet by the third date we had fallen in love. In just two weeks we’ll be locked away in an “undisclosed location” to celebrate our three year anniversary. No phones, no computers, and no work!

4 year survivorIt was on February 21st of 2014 that I underwent surgery for a lumpectomy. It was the last piece of my journey with breast cancer. It was on that date that I become cancer free and a survivor! It’s a day you hate to remember yet one that you want to celebrate year after year. Breast cancer was quite the journey for me; one that taught me so much about my life and myself. It helped me find my voice, stand in my truth, and to surround myself with only positive people. This year I will be celebrating my 4 year anniversary date! Each year is such a gift; each day is another blessing.

It was on February 23rd of 2016 that my last book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Throughsend to dad 1 My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer” was published. It was a dream come true; one that became more than a book when I teamed up with a musician who wrote the music, sang, and recorded my song lyrics to the book. We did several public appearances together and used them as an opportunity to help others by making them a fundraiser. It’s another anniversary to celebrate, and a wonderful 2 year one at that!

promo picsAnd here’s the new and exciting news for this beautiful month of February, and strangely enough, an amazing coincidence: my newest book, “My Collective Soul: Things I Know Without Knowing Why” will be publicly released on February 23rd of 2018…just two years to the day that the last book was published! Yet I don’t believe in coincidences; I believe that everything happens for a reason and the Universe must have planned it this way.

And I’m so glad it did.

I am so incredibly grateful for this beautiful month of love and milestones.

I’m waiting to see what other endless possibilities the Universe has planned for me this month.

I have faith that it will be something amazing.

And I can’t wait to see what it is.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

gratitude for my life

 

“Life Is An Adventure”

adventure within

It was quite the weekend for me and after a 36 hour adventure in Connecticut, I’m home. I’m tired, yet filled with so many exciting stories to share with you about all that happened over the weekend! It was an adventure packed with new experiences and new people.

I always say: “Adventure is held within us and found all around us.” Remember that when you wake up each morning; you never know what the day will hold for you.

Life truly is an adventure, my friends, so enjoy the journey!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~