“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~

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“The Lost Stars”

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I think at one time in life or another, we feel lost. We lose our direction as to where we’re supposed to be and what we’re supposed to be doing. We lose focus, we lose balance, and for a brief time, we lose ourselves.

But we’re never really lost. In fact, we’re actually being found when we feel most lost.

And it’s you finding yourself.

What a gift that is to be lost. What a gift to work on finding yourself. What a gift it is to learn something new about yourself. Wow…what a gift!

I like to think that we’re like stars in the sky, twinkling bright one moment then hidden away by the clouds. Isn’t that what life is like sometimes? One minute we’re all that we can be until something happens to diminish it, and isn’t that the same as a cloud covering the twinkling of a star?

And here’s the best part: the clouds will move and the star will shine again, and that’s exactly how we are as human beings. We can’t always be perfect, and we can’t always shine, but when the cloud moves, there we are…the brightest star ever trying to light up the dark.

Feeling lost is similar to the cloud in front of the star; it’s only a moment or two that it lasts, but in the end, the star shines again and even brighter. Those moments of feeling lost are simply our cloud hiding our star, but a star is a forever, and so is your soul. A cloud will move on and move out; it will move across the sky and dissipate with time.

But the star has a light of its’ own, just like you. A star always burns bright, and while its’ twinkle and shine may get covered by a cloud, so will you. Your clouds are simply lessons to learn in life; they’re not meant to stay forever, just until you learn what you need to. And then it moves and so do you and you shine ever more brightly.

Try and look at a day when you feel lost as an adventure; you don’t know what’s coming next, you don’t know who will drop into your life, and you don’t know what opportunities are coming. Your light may be dimmed by this feeling, but if you can accept it as a gift, trust in the journey, believe in yourself and have faith in your Higher Power, you’ll find yourself again. Don’t worry about being lost; I can promise you that you will always be found,that the cloud will move and you will be left as a bright star who can light up the dark.

And I can promise you that you always be found!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“A Blizzard, A Bother, And A Blessing”

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Photo by Anne Dennish – copyright 2017

It’s going to get a bit crazy here today at the Jersey Shore: we’ve got a blizzard coming tonight into tomorrow, with promises of over a foot or more of snow! The roads and stores are packed with people trying to stock up on food and batteries; all the necessities when you’re “snowed in” and have the possibility of losing power.

Yet as I look out my window this morning, the sky is blue and the sun is shining brightly with no hint of a storm approaching. It’s the typical “calm before the storm.” There’s still a hint of snow on the ground from our small snow storm last week, and I have to say, it looks beautiful with the sun shining upon it. Last night the full, orange moon rose above the trees and illuminated the white stuff on the ground. It looked magical!

That’s the thing, you can find magic and miracles everywhere, even in the midst of a blizzard coming…you just have to keep your eyes open.

I know it may get a bit rough here when the storm hits, yet I know that being snowed in with the ones I love so much isn’s such a bad thing, in fact, it’s a rare occasion that we’ll all be here together at the same time. And should we lose power? Well, there’s always conversation around the fireplace.

Keep your eyes open today…look around. You’ll be surprised at what you can see with an open mind and heart. Change your perspective on what seems to be a bother and watch how it becomes a blessing!

For those of you in the path of this storm, I’ll be keeping you in my prayers to stay safe!

Wishing you love, light, magic and miracles,

~Anne Dennish~

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Photo by Anne Dennish – copyright 2017

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.

“The Home In My Heart”

 

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A beating heart is a most precious gift, yet the heart is so much more. Our heart is our home.

I lived in a house for over twenty years with my five children. I moved five years ago and the worst part of it all was that I was saddened by the loss of all that we had in that house, the good times and the bad. It was filled with memories and pencil marks on the wall marking the kid’s height as they grew. It held the sounds of babies crying that grew into the sounds of teenagers laughing. It held everything that was important to me. It held one of the biggest parts of my life.

Yet then I realized that all that I believed  had been living in that house was actually living in my heart and that “my heart is my home.”

The heart is the keeper of our dreams and accomplishments; the guardian of our precious memories; it’s the lens to all those pictures in our minds and the teacher of all that we’ve learned. It holds our deepest secrets and our biggest truths. It holds all that is and all that will be.

My house was a just a building made up of walls, windows and doors, yet it was my heart that filled it with all that it needed to become a “home.”

And  that home lives in my heart.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Bulk Day”

 

I spent all day yesterday cleaning out my garage…not an easy task. My love moved in over a year ago, and the containers of tools and Rubbermaid containers of his stuff was still riddled all over, along with remnants of my babies childhood…and with too many memories of the past. I started the job at 8 in the morning, and was still at it by 3! And still there’s more to do!

My two boys spent over an hour hauling stuff to the curb for “bulk day” today, yet as I sat on my front porch with my coffee this morning, I was looking at the pile.

And the memories came flooding back…

And I wondered if I should bring some of it back in…

The one item I keep looking at is my yard swing. It’s over 15 years old, survived two marriages and their divorces, and had a happy life at my prior house that overlooked “my lake.” The kids and I lovingly called it “the sleeping swing” because anyone that sat on it eventually fell asleep, even the animals!

And so the memories of “the sleeping swing” are overtaking my thoughts, and I’m remembering bottle feeding our cat on it when the kids first brought him home, rocking my two youngest to sleep on it, and envisioning all those I love piled onto it.

I remember my kids and my nieces and nephews all piled on it for a group picture for the sleepinggrandparents; I remember my son and his friends hanging out on it in high school, sharing all their stories with me; I remember that swing being my serenity spot at night when everyone went to sleep; and I remember it always being a source of comfort for my kids and I, and anyone else who needed to be outside and find peace.

Yet sadly, the swing didn’t do as well at this house. It lost its’ protection of a roof from my old house, and as much as we tried to keep it covered during a rainstorm, the waters still leaked in, and soon enough, my beige swing was turning green with mold. No matter the effort we put into it to wash it and clean it, nothing seemed to work.

So yesterday we made the decision to say good-bye and put it at the curb. And here I sit, wondering if I should bring it back in.

I keep reminding myself that the memories stay with us much longer than an item does; and that the past is the past, and there’s such a time to let it go and say good-bye.

And I know, this is one of those times. It was so easy to toss it out yesterday, and much more difficult this morning seeing it out at the curb. My love told me he’ll go get it and bring it in, if that’s what I want, or we can get a new one next year.

As hard as it is to see it go, getting a new one to fit with this new life is how it should be. The “sleeping swing” holds memories that I share with my children and a life I had prior to this relationship, and I’m a big believer in letting the past go so that I can move forward.

So, good-bye to our “sleeping swing,” and much love and gratitude to you for over 15 years of peace and serenity…and now to look forward to next summer when we buy our new one.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Mother’s Day”

When I think of Mother’s Day, I don’t think of it as a day for me to be honored or celebrated… I think of it as a day to thank my children for coming into my life and allowing me to be a mother. 373875_197902680304731_100002550010781_399695_369887769_n (1)

Five beautiful souls passed through me  and into this life we share together. Five sweet babies picked a day of their own to begin their life. And with each new life, my life changed.

My first child was born on Mother’s Day, and to say that my life changed that day is an understatement! That day changed me from being “just me” to becoming a mother, a role that was both exciting and terrifying.DSCN2070

There’s a story in my new book called “A Letter To My Children” and in it I described the  moment they were born:

“Life changed from the exact moment that you took your first breath, and with that breath, I held mine. I held my breath out of excitement of a new baby  placed in my arms, and out of fear as to all the responsibilities that were now a part of my life, from that day forward. “

I think we’re always holding our breath a little, hoping that we raise them right, praying that they’ll be safe, having faith that they’ll make the right choices. My children are older now, and three of my five babies have moved out of the nest, and two moved across the country.

Do I hold my breath more? Sometimes, yet my heart knows that I’ve taught them all I could, shared my experiences with them, and was the best mom I knew how to be.And you know what? The breathing is easier and the love remains the same. Now the breathing is one of excitement in waiting for the call from them to hear about their life and the new and exciting things they want to share with me.

Today I sit with a smile and contentment over being a mother, a role that I was blessed to Ruthless Peoplebe gifted. There are no perfect mothers and there are no perfect children, yet what we are is “perfect together” and mother and child. After all…

“It’s not their job to love us; it’s our job to love them.”

And I would say that knowing they do love us is perfection in itself!

Happy Mother’s Day!

With love,

~Anne Dennish~

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“My crazy tribe…but they’re all mine!”

“Anne Dennish & Sutton Thomas”

I’VE GOT SOME EXCITING NEWS TO SHARE WITH YOU!

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Sutton Thomas

Sutton Thomas and I have joined creative forces to produce a compilation of songs that coincide with the stories in my book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Through My Adventures with Life and Breast Cancer.”

We spent a few hours yesterday working together on some new songs, and it’s a match made in heaven as I write the lyrics and Sutton Thomas writes the music! He’s one of the most creative and amazing musicians I’ve met, and I’m grateful that the Universe conspired for us to meet and work together. It’s such an amazing feeling to work together with another creative soul such as him.

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Working on our latest song!

Our CD is a beautiful work in progress, and will be released sometime in the summer of 2016! We will keep you posted when this final work of inspirational and uplifting songs is available to you!

 

I am so grateful for this  journey I’m on. Every day something wonderful falls into my life, bringing people and opportunities that I never saw as possible. My life truly is an adventure, and I’m embracing every moment of it!

I believe all things happen just as they should, when they should, and how they should. The secret is to keep the faith, believe it to be true, and put out into the Universe all that you want to come back to you. Positive thinking brings some amazing adventures!

In the meantime, check out Sutton Thomas at www.heart2song.com and get to know more about the creative genius of this amazing musician. You can also find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Sutton-Thomas-Music!

It’s time to make a difference, and we can make that difference together!

Dream big and make it happen! You can do it, I know that you can!

anne dennish and sutton thomas

The creative forces of Anne Dennish & Sutton Thomas meet!

 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“Motherhood”

I wrote a story called “A Letter to My Children,” which can be found in my new book, “Waking Up.” I remember the day I wrote it, and I remember WHY I wrote it.

It was a balmy, summer night and as my kids were floating in and out of the house, and those that didn’t live home had called me, I started to think about all the things they don’t yet know about parenthood…what they don’t know about “motherhood.”

Being a mom has been the greatest role I’ve had in life, and as much I love being a writer, I believe I was born to be a mom. I wasn’t perfect and I know I made some mistakes along the way, yet everything I was as a mother was born out of love.a letter to my children

“And on the day the first of you was born, I was re-born. I was not longer just a married woman; I was born again as a mother. Life changed from that exact moment that you took your first breath, and with that breath, I held mine. I held my breath out of excitement of a new baby placed in my arms, and out of fear to all the responsibilities that were not a part of my life, from that day forward.””

“The love of a mother never dies, not with time, not with distance, not with death; the love of a mother grows stronger with each passing day, with each new milestone you reach and each heartache you encounter. Your mistakes become lessons for us, and with each mistake, together we become stronger and better for it.”

“There is nothing that can or will break or lessen the love a mother has for her children; the heart of a mother is the heart of her child.”

I love my five beautiful children; they’re all unique in their own way, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d like to think I gave them the strength to be who they are and to dream big. I know I made mistakes, yet my children and I learned through both their mistakes and mine. We’re all stronger for it. And isn’t “strength” one of the greatest gift we can give our children?

“There is the proverbial knowing that our children are not here to love us; we are here to love them.”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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