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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A deep appreciation

My father is filling my thoughts and heart with joy as I reflect on just how lucky I am to have this man in my life.

This man has taught me so much over the years, which has only helped me become the woman I am today. I am truly blessed to have such a caring, involved father in my life, one that truly wants the best for me.

Although my dad has always been there for me, there is one time that holds a special meaning in my heart. Four years ago he was my strength, my courage and my number one supporter, without him I would not have made it through that trying time. Our relationship grew from that experience … a deep appreciation was formed. It goes to show what kind of love my father has for his children, what he will do to make sure we are all okay.

Although my dad is a man of few words, the words that were shared on the airplane, while we were at our destination and the weeks after I returned back to my parents house, were all the words I needed. Our relationship grew from that experience we shared.

And to think that is just one instance of my dad being there for me . . . one incredible moment to say the least.

My father is a wonderful man, one I can always count on when I need him. I know over the years I have called him countless times … he would offer a piece of advice or help me with something that I had a hard time accomplishing on my own.

I admire my dad … after all these years he still does the one thing he loves, playing baseball. Why not fill your days with your passion? It’s inspiring to see my dad play ball, especially since he is now in the best shape of his life. It just goes to show that when you have a passion you will do whatever you can to make it happen.   

A father of six children and grandfather of four grandsons, his love is never ending. I love watching how much fun he has with my nephews, how they flock to him whenever he is around. It is a heartwarming feeling because I know that is what we had growing up.

Dad, know that I love you and cherish what we have. You are a great father, a father I truly cherish.

Since I now live a couple of states away, I wanted to give you a Father’s Day gift, a gift using my passion, the written word . . . Happy Father’s Day!

Overwhelmed

I have never been this overwhelmed with emotions before …

As the word slowly gets out that I am leaving the Pine Island Eagle, members of the community are pouring their thoughts and incredible comments about me with me.

After spending a lunch with a great gal I realized it is going to be incredibly hard to walk away from this community.

This community has given me the strength and confidence I need to continue my journey and make a difference in another community through my words.

I will forever be grateful that I was given the opportunity to be the editor of this weekly newspaper and turn it into a reflection of me.

Week after week I poured my heart and soul into this newspaper because I never wanted to produce a paper that was not my best work.

I am overwhelmed with the gratitude, the wonderful words and the appreciation this community has shared for giving them a paper filled with news they enjoy reading.

This wonderful emotional rollercoater I believe is only going to intensify as the days continue to countdown for my departure.