“What Would You Change?”

We’re all a work in progress and there are times when life isn’t exactly the way we wantchange 2 it and we have to ask ourselves “why?” No one can change us or fix a problem in our life; only we can do that. So today I ask you if there’s one thing you could change about yourself or your life, what would it be?

Please take a minute to think about it and post a comment…you may be giving someone else something to think about.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“A Day In The Life Of A Ship Agent”

When I first met my love he was a self- employed custom tile worker. He did the most amazing sawork yet a few months into our relationship he suffered an injury that would end his days of tile work. I remember how frustrated he was at not working, yet I kept reminding him that everything happens for a reason, and within 3 months time he knew the reason. A job that he had done many years prior suddenly had an opening and my love finally had his reason for the injury: he became a ship agent. It’s a job he loved before and one that he loves even more now.

So what is a ship agent? Well, it’s many things, and my love let me spend an entire Saturday with him on a day he had to “sail a ship.” It was an incredible experience for me to see what he does and to be able to watch the ship, the crew, and all that they needed to do.

First off, let me tell you that being a ship agent is a tough job. My love is at the beck and call of the ship and there are times he’s out in the middle of the night until the wee hours of the morning doing his job. He works overtime, spends every other weekend on call, and will even do ships on his weekends off. He climbs gangplanks and pilot ladders, rides on a tug to get to a ship that isn’t docked, and at times has to walk over and around an obstacle course of machines and equipment just to get to the ship, and all the while with a heavy backpack strapped to him.

I thought I knew a lot about his job until after this past Saturday. The ship had been docked in Staten Island so we had a long drive home and I asked him: I know what you do, but what do you really do as a ship agent? Well, he told me and it was much more than I had known and it filled the time in the car until we got home!

A ship agent is the liason between the owners and operators of the vessels, and everyone else in between, which includes the government, customs, immigration and the Coast Guard. The job of the agent starts long before the ship comes into the port. The agent has to gather the information on the vessel, the crew and their cargo, sending all this information to customs, immigration and the Coast Guard. A PDA, or proforma disbursement account must be sent to the owners before hand; this includes the costs necessary to bring the ship in. After that the agent sets up the pilots, tugs, lineman and long shoreman that are needed to help bring the vessel into port. Many factors have to be considered with each ship; whether they are tide restricted, which berth can accomodate them, and when it’s safe to travel, to name a few.

And the ship agent doesn’t stop there; he is there to help the captain and crew with anything they need while in port; this could be a trip to the store, a doctor or dentist appointment, phone cards or accomodations necessary if the ship is berthed overnight. The ship agent does what it takes to make the captain and crew comfortable while in the port and to help them with the lay of the land, especially when it’s a foreign ship.

Once the ship is ready to sail, the ship agent has to record a “statement of facts” which includes everything they did with the ship while they were in port. It is then sent to the owners and operators. All of these tasks are done at minimal cost and maximum efficiency.

The interesting part is that these ships come from all over the world, and the ship agent has the privilege of meeting the captain and crew, and sometimes is invited in for coffee and something to eat…all indicitive of the country they are from. It can be exciting at times for my love to meet people from all over the world, sharing stories of his life and listening to stories of theirs; many are out at sea for months, leaving their wives and children behind.  No matter the culture or the miles, the stories of “love and family” seem to be universal.

Each ship carries something different, from salt, to orange juice; chemicals to containers.  Ship agents rarely have a mundane day “at the port or the office!”

I’m grateful I had the privilege of spending the day in Staten Island watching my love handle a “salt ship.” It was exciting for me to watch the process and wave to the crew members on board…I know they all saw me watching and taking pictures.

I’m a believe that “everyone has a story” if you just take the time to ask and to listen.

And this is the story of my love and “the day in the life of a ship agent.”

Wishing you love, light and smooth seas,

~Anne Dennish~

ship agent and the girl

“The ship agent and the writer”

 

“Breaking Apart”

break apart 2We’ve all broken apart at one time or another in our lives. We may have endured a broken heart, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, or the brokenness of a good friend showing their true colors. Whatever the reason, it’s caused us to “break apart.”

I’ve had my heart broken, endured cancer, gone through divorce, and been hurt by people who I thought were my friends. I’ve been broken many times, yet through it all I learned that all these moments that “broke” me were all lessons I needed to learn. I learned to take the pain of each moment that broke me apart and make peace with it; I learned to be grateful for them because it taught me something about myself and my life that was for my Highest Good; I learned to see it as a blessing in disguise.

So what do you do when you break apart? How do you get through it all? You make a choice. You make a choice to put the pieces back together, and you put them back together stronger. It’s the lessons you learn through them that enable you to put them back differently; stronger, smarter and tougher.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll never “break apart” again, but what it does mean is that the next time you’re faced with a “breaking apart” moment, you’ll be able to handle it differently. You’ll handle it even better. And the time it takes to put the pieces back together get’s shorter and shorter…and that’s because you learned a lesson from each of those moments.

Life is all about perspective and if you can learn to embrace those “breaking apart” moments as a gift towards you having the life you deserve, then you will understand that those moments aren’t forever…just for the time it takes for you to understand the lesson.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

 

“Maybe You’re A Dreamer”

dreamer 1

I wrote that quote two years ago amidst some naysayers telling me that I was a dreamer and should be more focused on the “real world.” They felt that all my dreams were “nice” but that they were to far fetched; too high to reach for; too ridiculous. They thought I should be focused on “reality.”

I used to believe that it was a bad thing to be a dreamer; that it meant you were living in a fantasy world, not reality. I thought about what they said, took into account WHO was saying those things to me, and realized something about myself: “I am a  dreamer and I do live in reality;  but I still believe in going after my dreams because the difference is I have faith, and they don’t.”

I’ve come to realize that the people who critisize my dreams are the one’s who have no idea how to pursue their own. They are the one’s who look at me and see what they wish they could do: believe in themselves. And they are the one’s who will hurt and criticize me the most because they’re afraid.

They’re afraid to take a chance on their own dreams; they’re afraid to step out of their comfort zone; they’re afraid to do something new; they’re afraid to change. And that’s their choice.

And my choice is to be a dreamer.

“Dream big and make it happen!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

*Here’s a song I wrote about myself called “The Dreamer.” Who says dreams can’t come true? Not me!

Lyrics by Anne Dennish – Music by Sutton Thomas Music – Vocals by Sutton Thomas & Anne Dennish

“The Sweetness of Doing Nothing”

It’s a lazy Sunday morning in my home today.  My love and I are sipping our coffee a bit more slowly and are in no hurry to get dressed for the day. I can already see that it will be a day of sweat pants, big comfy shirts and slippers, mindless television and catching up on reading.

It will be a day of “dolce far niente” which in Italian means “the sweetness of doing nothing.” And after a busy day yesterday, this is just what the doctor ordered for everyone in my house: a day of doing nothing…together.

“Dolce far niente” is one of my favorite Italian quotes and one of the most important ones for me to remember. All of us get so busy in life that we forget to do nothing, and doing nothing together can be the most meaningful way to spend your time. Sometimes we have to slow our life down to be ready for when it speeds up.

“The sweetness of doing nothing” means that you can breathe, meditate, think, talk, love and laugh with no agenda of time limits or constraints…just time “to be.”

Find your “sweetness of doing nothing.” It will inspire you, motivate you, and allow you the time to rest and relax. It will fill you with peace and serenity…and that is a good thing!

“Dolce far niente…”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

dolce far niente

Photo by Anne Dennish – copyright @2017

 

“The Lost Stars”

lost timeline

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 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~

maroon 5 lost stars

“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

“The Gift In A Sunrise”

aaaaa

I believe that everything happens for a reason and this morning was no exception. My love had to be up at 4 am this morning, which meant I was up with him! Once he left I grabbed my coffee and sat down at my laptop, my usual morning routine. As I was trying to piece together an article, I caught a glimpse of the sky in my backyard. It was no longer pitch black, but getting brighter. I knew that meant one thing: the sun was coming up.

I haven’t been up for a sunrise in awhile, and the thought crossed my mind to go down to my “happy place” to see it. It’s still freezing here, but I decided to throw on my big red coat, grab my coffee and camera, and head out. I was so afaid it would rise before I got there, yet as I pulled into the marina parking lot, I knew I still had time.

The sky was a burnt orange color reflecting off the water. It wasn’t windy like it has been herebbbbbbbbbbbb for days, but a gentle breeze blew strong enough to make ripples across the water. The seagulls and ducks were silhouettes against the sky and as I sat there I thought how incredibly lucky I am to live near the water, and how grateful I am that I was up to see this awesome show in the sky.

I’m so drawn to this beautiful area that I call my “happy place.” It’s the place I go to think, to listen and to just “be.” It’s the place that holds beautiful sunrises, sunsets, and amazing glitters of sunshine across the water throughout the day.

It was a perfect Monday morning and a great way to welcome in spring. The weather is still cold here at the Jersey Shore, but spring has definitely sprung! My heart is warm with this beautiful gift of the sunrise this morning and I know that any day that starts out like this will hold some endless possibilities.

Everything does happen for a reason, and sometimes even the earliest of mornings and latest of nights can bring a beautiful surprise or two into your life…you just have to be open to seeing it all.

Happy First Day Of Spring!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

All photos by Anne Dennish – copyright @2017

 

“The Will And The Way”

There are days you may feel like you can’t do it anymore; a day when you feel as though no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get where you want to be or have what you want to have. Yet, it’s on those days that I have to remind myself that “if there’s a will, there is always a way!”

Obstacles will always pop up in our lives, yet there is always a way around them. On the days you feel as though you don’t have the strength,  simply relax, take a breath, and get some sleep, and know that it won’t be like that forever…just for the day.

Here’s to a day of “having the will and finding the way!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

will and wayPhoto by Anne Dennish – copyright @2017