Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Pursuit of Positivity

This is not an easy thing for me. Especially lately. I am not prone to positive thinking. I'm a worrier, an over-analyzer, an anxious heart. Cultivating a "positive mind" and feeling "positive vibes" takes serious work, and sometimes no matter how hard I try I simply can't get myself into a sunshine-and-rainbows state of being. I feel guilty, too, because I keep catching myself slipping into complainer-mode lately when chatting with a friend, family member, or even my husband. No one likes a Debbie Downer, regardless of how legitimate your grievances may be. I do have good intentions though; I do strive for a positive mind and those illusive positive vibes. But my emotional wellbeing is so unsteady at this point that even the slightest bump in the road can throw the Positivity Train way off track. And the Motivation Caboose (or is it the engine?) goes right with it, over the Cliff of Despair and into the Valley of Self-Loathing. 

Anyway, that not very well-crafted metaphor is a vague description of how I've been feeling today. Yet I know this is true: if you think positive and believe positive, you will feel positive. So here's a pep talk for myself (and maybe you, too): Your life is what you make it to be. It is not easyit is not without challenges or negativity—and it certainly isn't "fair," but hiding from or wallowing in the hard things, the disappointing things, the scary things, won't make your days any better. And they definitely won't make your dreams come true. The only thing that will improve the situation is to take action—to hop back on that metaphorical train—and keep moving forward, remembering that small steps every day are better than no steps at all and that sometimes rejection or failure is pointing you on to something better.

While searching for inspiration to pull me out of my funk earlier today, I found these words particularly comforting and re-energizing: You were never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed or unworthy. You were created to be victorious.

Powerful, right? While re-reading those words and typing them now it hit me that there is great power in positive thinking (and, as I know firsthand, great paralysis in the opposite). And not just the power to feel better in the day to day but to actually create a happy, purposeful and, yes, victorious life. I've always admired people who seem to possess a sort-of innate optimism, my husband being one of them, but I realize now how important it is to cultivate that quality in myself. Positive mind, positive vibes... Positive life. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Breathe and Reboot

This week seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye. Actually, make that the last two weeks. Which is kind of a good thing, seeing as my Coastie hubby is still stuck with his boat in dry dock, only returning home to our new, still-unsettled apartment for all-too-quick weekend visits. (At this point, I feel like I live in New Jersey and he lives in Rhode Island.) His absence is a little more bearable when I'm busy. 

And I have been fairly busy since the movers finally delivered our stuff on the last day of June. Almost every day last week I spent knee deep in cardboard and packing paper, opening and unloading as many boxes as I could. (And, sadly, cataloging broken and damaged goods for claims formsyippee! Military moves are FUN.) G and I then enjoyed a low-key Fourth of July weekend, with a picnic on our balcony and watching the fireworks from our apartment, before he had to travel back to RI Sunday night. 

When I awoke Monday morning I proceeded to write a laundry list of things to do in the week ahead. (Laundry not being one of them, but in hindsight it should have been on the list.) Now that it's Friday, I'm looking at those scribbled tasks and feeling like I didn't get nearly all the things I wanted to accomplished. Sure, I inventoried all the stuff we have and don't need that can be donated and set up a pickup with the Salvation Army. I researched local vets and groomers and scheduled an appointment for our furbabies to get clean. (Jasper is in desperate need of a bath and a good brushing.) And, happily, I applied to two magazine jobswhich, to be honest, commanded most of my energy and focus the last three days. 

As a result, there are still many boxes left to unpack and rooms to organize and claims forms to submit. Plus, there is so much content I have been planning to share here, including our road trip from Florida to Jersey, our first adventure into NYC, recipe and wedding posts... So stay tuned. But for now, I'm going to hit pause on my stress, pick just one more task to tackle and then be proud of what I did get done this week. 

Sometimes you just gotta breathe and reboot. And when all else fails to quell the overwhelm: Puppy snuggles. Works like a charm.

(Top image of our new doormat from Target,
bottom photo of my little unpacking helper)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Thoughts on a Summer Evening

One of my favorite things about my evening walks in Weehawken (other than the view of NYC) is seeing fireflies dancing around the sidewalk and front yards. As a SoCal native, I had never seen fireflies in person so witnessing one a few weeks ago was quite the thrill. I was in awe with each blink of light.

Now, I have to say, fireflies are not all that pretty in their non-illuminated state. Some insect-phobic people like myself might call them strange looking, ugly even, and maybe a little scary. I truly don't enjoy when they fly up near me or my face. (It's the same way I felt about all the colorful dragonflies buzzing around in Florida, no matter how many times my husband assured me that they wouldn't bite or sting. I like bugs to keep their distance, pleaseandthankyou.)

However, fireflies are incredibly beautiful when they let their light shine. And they are even more stunning when strengthened by a community of their peers, their friends and family.

So, yes, they might just be weird little beetles with glowing lanterns on their tailsthat's very scientific of me, right?but they gave me a lot to think about during my evening walk last night and a few good reminders for us human folk:

Let your light shine. Don't dim your spark. Share your gifts. 
And surround yourself with people who encourage that inner glow.

(Photographs by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth!

Happy Independence Day from New Jersey! While this past month has been trying, to say the least, I'm going to do my best to focus on the positives today: my husband, who has been in Rhode Island since the beginning of June, is coming home this weekend to visit. This will be his third quick trip down to Jersey and while I loathe the fact that I still don't know when his boat will be coming home from dry dock for good and resuming a more normal schedule, I'm happy that I at least get to celebrate the holiday with him, especially since up until recently that didn't look like it would be the case. I'm not sure what our plans are, if we'll go out or stay in, but I'd be fine just staying home, making dinner, sitting out on our balcony and (hopefully) catching a glimpse of a few NYC fireworks. Whatever we do, I'm just glad we'll be doing it together.

Hope you and yours have a fun and safe Fourth of July!

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