Thankful

Some thoughts that struck me while exercising today . . .

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Do you ever wake up thinking you have a beautiful life? That the life you lead is because of the confidence you have in yourself to make it happen?

I’m not sure if these thoughts have bombarded me because I had a conversation with someone from my past, or if I’m just reflecting on how far I’ve come because I’m experiencing the daily change in new life right outside the window.

The life of nature, if you think about it, goes through some drastic changes before new life is born. That new life of spring, and the warm temperatures that also grace this season, has spoken to me.

I really cannot put into words the feelings that take over me when I spot that new flower presenting itself on a tree or on the ground for that matter. After seeing the trees bare for so many months, its eye-catching for sure.

Today, while I was out taking pictures, I heard lawn mowers running and the smell of new cut grass filled the air. This alone made me smile. Do you know how long it has been since hearing those sounds or smelling that fragrance?

Yeah, is all I have to say.

Reflection . . .

The best part of that conversation earlier this week, is it made me smile, instead of making me dwell on the life I decided to leave behind. It’s amazing how much your life can blossom when you have the right people in your life. Without support from my closest family and friends, those mountains that blocked my path seemed unbearable. With their constant encourgement, the mountains turned into little, tiny hills, bumps for that matter. It was easy to catch a glimpse of the other side of the hurdle and continue along this path of my life.

IMG_1434What I took as genuine happiness about how far I have come from this individual kind of left me speechless. I know it shouldn’t have because he was so encouraging when he was a big part of my life. Even as discussions were had about another person of my past, the feelings that used to consume me no longer did. The only feeling that grabbed a hold of me was sadness. The same conversation that was had almost five years ago, was the same tune I heard that day. It’s a shame when someone can’t or does not want to find the new light at the end of the tunnel to carry on and see the new beauty that presents itself.

Life is precious, you have to make the most out of everything. This of course can be hard on occassion. The daily stresses of life sometimes gets the best of me.

The statement below I found one day is very true.

“Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.”

I have found myself getting better at this every day.

New beauty . . .

IMG_1429New beauty is constantly presenting itself, if not in nature, in the daily happenings of my own life.

So, why not leave the worry behind, the unneeded stress, when you are in charge of your own happiness?

That one day struck me, it was time to grab a hold of that happiness and be in charge once again.

A huge turning point for me was moving back home to Fort Myers to be close to family and friends. The unconditional love and support often times took my breath away. I will never forget those days. I will never forget how my dad was my strength, how he carried me through one of the hardest times of my life.

The second best thing was rekindling that relationship with my first love.

I will never forget that conversation that started on Facebook almost five years ago after more than a decade of time passing by.

Strength . . .

That word can mean so many different things. I often find my thoughts turning to this word as I’m out in nature admiring its beauty. The more time we spend outdoors, as well as my time I spend at the gym, constantly reminds me just how strong I have become.

IMG_1423I have discovered a strength I did not know existed almost five years ago. I owe that discovery to my family and Jason.

Jason constantly pushes me, which I am so incredibly grateful for. He pushes me in every aspect of life. Every aspect in life.

When we are out hiking and an obstacle presents itself along our path, he pushes me forward, often times giving me words of encouragement, as I battle with the “I can’t do that” kind of thinking.

I have also found a strength inside as we continue this adventure in our new home state. Things, I won’t lie, were really rocky when we first arrived. I was an emotional mess for a few months, until I found my own footing. Found the confidence I needed in the new life we created for ourselves.

This morning as I chatted back and forth with my really good friend back in Florida through text messages, I was flooded with the thoughts of accomplishments. She asked how many papers I now contribute for . . . eight in Arizona, four in Florida and one in Tennessee.

Who say’s you can’t accomplish something when you have faith in yourself?

After telling her this information, my mouth kind of dropped open. I knew I contributed to quite a few, but until I wrote them all down, I guess I forgot the extent.

Independence . . .

IMG_1421I was taught to take care of myself through the years I was growing up. My parents raised all of their children to be independent, which I will forever be grateful for.

Unfortunately, sometimes through the course of life, you lose site of that “independence.” You believe life can only be fulfilled with that one person next to you.

Although I cannot look into my future and not see Jason there by my side, it doesn’t take away my independence. We built this relationship on us both being independent, but sharing a life with each other.

Through the course of last year and into this year, I have found that independence. My contribution to all these publications provides me with the independence I need.

You see . . . some of these things leave such an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. Often times it leaves me breathless, but in a good way, when I think about the beautiful life I have created and absolutely love living.

The outdoors . . .

Growing up, my brothers, sisters and I, spent a lot of time outdoors. It was just how we were raised. So, it really isn’t a mystery that I still love being outdoors as an adult.

I’m just thankful I have a new found love and appreciation for everything around me. When we moved to Tennessee, I had a feeling I would appreciate my surroundings a little more. Indeed, I have.

Jason and I have run into many people who have lived here their whole lives and not seen half of the places we have in the last year. Being with Jason has shed a light on exploring new places. I couldn’t imagine not exploring. I never want to take where we live for granted, especially when it provides so many great getaways only miles down the road.

So on that note, here are a few more pictures I took today while out and about. The pictures above are also pictures I took today of the simple beauties that surround me.

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“You Can Do Anything”

“You Can Do Anything.”

This quote has been running through my head ever since this morning when I sat down and interviewed Sabrina for the Herald & Tribune.

There are many obstacles that unfortunately find their way into our lives producing pebbles, rocks, boulders or sometimes mountains to overcome. I have found through my own personal experience, it’s your attitude that shines through, it’s your ability to look at that situation and say “I Can Do Anything.”

No one is stopping your greatest achievements, but yourself.

This single mother of three children unfortunately went through some hardships in life, some difficulties that did not get her down, but rather showed her a new direction where she found some happiness. This outlet of happiness shines through her painting, a self-taught discipline she loves to do when she has spare time, when she needs to escape the stresses of life.

Her story was incredible to hear. It started off with joining the Navy in 1999. She was stationed in Guam and experienced some super typhoons and earthquakes. As a Florida girl, I know about hurricanes, but not natural disasters of this extent. One of the experiences she shared left with her without power and water for 30 days. She said it made her appreciate the ability she had in the United States to leave the area and find shelter. Tha was not an option on Guam because of its isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean..

After serving for four years, she pursued the next chapter in life and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

All of the obstacles she has faced only made her stronger, only made her want to fight for what she wanted.

“Everyone needs to have goals and something to keep driving them,” she said. “Never give up.”

I was rejuvenated after I left this interview because we shared the same visions – live life and enjoy life. I have been rather happy these last few weeks, on a natural high so to speak because I fought for what I wanted and am slowly making my dreams come true.

backyard67It was a wonderful interview. We laughed many times throughout the 45-minute conversation about both of our personal lives, what we have achieved, what our desires are and the thought process of “we can accomplish anything.”

It’s always wonderful to feed off of someone’s positive energy, especially during an interview. That energy only benefits me when I sit down and write the article because her cheerfulness further enhances the words I use to tell her story.

My first interview as a freelance reporter for the Herald & Tribune could not have gone better. Sitting down face-to-face, rather than doing a phone interview, was wonderful to do again. Yes you can hear the excitement in one’s voice, but to see their expressions and body language is a whole different story.

Best message

Sometimes all you need is a text message from a loved one to brighten your day.

I put my car into park and looked at my phone before walking into the office today, something I tend to do every day. The message that appeared on my phone brought me to tears.

Those words filled my heart with so much joy, so much love.

There is no better feeling … to hear what someone thinks about you, really thinks about you.

I’m talking about Jason of course.

His words, those words now saved on my phone, have played through my thoughts for the past few hours, taking away the stress I was feeling when I said goodbye to him this afternoon.

The embrace he gave me before leaving has also stayed with me.  

One of the flaws I have, I stress out way too easy when I know everything will be fine.

My heart is still smiling thinking about his words, almost five hours later.

I will never be able to put into words of just how much this man means to me, what an extraordinary role he has had and continues to have in my life.

It’s amazing how much emotion is still flooding through my body … the happy tears are being held back … only because I am sitting in the break room at work.

He is my rock for sure …