author moments, dare to be different

Island Life

I am not on a tropical island in the Caribbean but I am on an island off the eastern coast of the United States. Just a short drive over a long bridge gets you to this quaint little area. A peaceful spot surrounded by water and simple beauty. Island time is the best time no matter what island you are playing on.

My perch where I write this post is simply amazing. An old house converted into a coffee shop with sweets, desserts and of course custard. But it’s not just what they sell it’s the ambience they supply. An outdoor area with tables / chairs / umbrellas for those who want a little shade. The fire pit for those who want to socialize in a small group by the warmth of the fire. A nice play space with corn hole and shuffle board for a little entertainment. And who could forget the kiddie castle. Yes a two story castle with a rock wall, slide and other neat spots for kids to stay occupied while their adult humans enjoy this unique spot in their own way. So many details.

Palm trees. Sandy beaches. Shady spots. Local dining spots with individual flair. Beach bikes galore. An easier pace of life. The dinner spots open at 5pm while local shops close up early in the evening. Warm days and cool nights this time of year. A perfect escape not too far for me to get a taste of island life.

For now I must go to find the perfect spot to catch the sun setting on this gorgeous evening. Tonight I’m walking to each spot I visit. Partly to get my steps in but also to make sure I don’t miss any of the fine details in and around my new island destination.

I hope you enjoyed my short island life post to help you mentally escape from whatever crazy you are in the midst of.

Teddie Bear Adventures

New Addition

No fancy birth announcement or maybe this is it. June 3, 2021 a puppy was born. Her breeder named her Minnie. The one with the mint green cat collar. The one who needed a home. The one a friend shared online. The one I saw and knew needed to be in my life.

Fast forward through a meet and greet, online question sessions and more.  Plans were set in motion. Supplies purchased. Many discussions about the name debated. A fee was paid. The puppy was mine. As she enters her new life as a pet she will go by the name of Bear. 

We already have Teddie and now we have Bear. Together they will have countless Teddie Bear adventures. Such a cute name combo for the dynamic duo who doesn’t even know each other let alone like each other yet.

So much anticipation. Teddie is spoiled but could benefit from a companion. A bestie. A playmate. Will she understand the logic behind us getting a new addition? Teddie is well trained, happy and a great family pet.

Bear is a puppy. Untrained. Chew monster. Whiner. Tiny little thing weighing just 4 pounds. How will she adjust? Will she like Teddie? Bear is still in the little greenish collar with a bell. Why? She is so tiny she can only fit in a cat collar. It doesn’t even have a spot to connect a leash.  Not that’s she is even remotely close to a walk on a leash.

So many adorable moments to share but I will only list my favorite: watching Teddie walk on a leash and the curious little Bear follows along side or behind just trying to keep up and mirror her gait. One modeling. One learning and growing. Such a beautiful sight to see. When the puppy paws are wet from the grass, they leave the most adorable paw prints on the ground. Sights like this confirm why they needed each other. For Teddie it’s such a growing moment. Instead of pulling and running on the leash she is exercising patience while she waits for the little legs to stay in stride with her. Simply amazing to observe. Those little adorable paw prints.

Sleep or lack thereof. With a puppy comes sleep deprivation. They are just too tiny to make it through the night no matter how tired they are. She does well but again isn’t perfect. Life isn’t perfect. What a subtle reminder we get about life’s imperfections through our puppy. You adjust. You balance. You push through. Ah to see the passed out puppy at bedtime. Out cold under the chair she soon won’t fit under with the big sister keeping guard nearby. Just makes your heart flutter.

What a sight to see. Puppy 1 out for the count. Dog 2 keeping watch. Deflated stuffed animal 3 lying lifeless nearby. A casualty of the busy play day shenanigans however at quick glance it could look like Dog 3. Of course it’s not real. One puppy in training is enough for this household.
I’m sure I will share many more stories and glimpses of life with Teddie and Bear. For now I am off to get a cat nap after rising super early for potty duty. Enjoy the cuteness over load of my four- legged pals.

As I conclude this entry, my heart swells thinking of my puppy’s birth date. June 3rd was also the day of my dad’s birthday. I had no clue until I saw the birth papers that they shared the same birthday. What a great way to honor my dad on his birthday after he passed in 2020. My little buddy has new meaning to me. A guardian angel of sorts.

author moments

What I Know for Sure, 2021 Edition

A group of friends recently shared their thoughts on “What I Know for Sure.” This task, based on Oprah’s essays and so on, was a pleasant challenge.

I jotted mine down in quick scribbles. Nothing really took too much thought. I just did 20 in no particular order. Most of them are pretty basic. There was some head-nodding as we shared at the dinner table. Here’s the list I shared:

1.) The most important approval in my life is my own.

2.) I feel better when I move first thing in the morning.

3.) I can do without way more than I imagined (e.g., cheese)

4.) The main thing I can control is my own choices.

5.) Focusing on what I can control eases my anxiety.

6.) Bring food, a book, and something to do with you.

7.) I can provide guidance, but walking the walk and being an example is the most powerful, grounding thing I can do for others and myself.

8.) I can’t expect anyone else to prioritize my physical, mental, and emotional health – that’s my job. They also may not understand what prioritizing those things look like. That’s also not my problem.

9.) Garbage in, garbage out – reading, media, food, all of it.

10.) Most people are doing the best they can based on what they know and are capable of at a given time.

11.) Play is important at every age. Laughter is, too.

12.) Local places beat chains.

13.) If it’s worth it, go for it.

14.) Nature heals, redeems, centers and grounds.

15.) Writing matters.

16.) Dogs are amazing and make most of the people in my life happier than other people do.

17.) Most things that seem like a big deal really aren’t that serious.

18.) To be on time, leave at least 15 minutes before you think you should. Always leave a buffer.

19.) Time and attention are the most precious gifts we can give other people.

20.) Thank people often for things big and small.

Most of this stuff is not groundbreaking. What I marvel at is how my list would have changed from even 5 years ago. I didn’t work out in the morning. I was beset with anxiety most of the time. I didn’t spend much time outdoors. I didn’t write for myself. I didn’t like dogs. Life is changing. I am changing. If my list stays the same, have I really learned or grown? What will the next 5 years bring?

I have a number of friends who are on the cusp of this time of great change with me. It’s wonderful to share such an exciting and transformational time with people. Instead of a stumbling, fumbling block it can be a launch pad.

What do you know for sure, right now?

perspective

Opportunity Driven

Are you driven by opportunity?

I am, or I have been categorized as such recently.

This made me think a lot about the word opportunity and what it means to me, to others, or what it could possibly lead to in many instances. Oh how I love to stimulate my mind with possibilities.

I am definitely driven by opportunity. The opportunity many would shy away from. The diamond in the rough, however normally hidden from plain sight. The chance many won’t take.

I like a challenge. Most opportunities involve challenges. I grow the most through challenges thus the challenge is an opportunity in itself.

Just a Tuesday tidbit for you as I sit outside in the heat of the sun contemplating my next opportunity and challenge. This is a typical Tuesday. No matter the season, the mind is always in overdrive. The warmth of the outside air warmed me up from the a/c of the office allowing me to defrost my mind. Relax and drift into the peaceful thinking space I like to visit often.

adventure

24 Hours

There are 24 hours in a day. We all get to use those 24 hours as we wish. Or depending on your age you may have some limitations.

What can you do in 24? How much fun can you pack into those hours? How much could you complete of anything? How much stress would you have? How much food? How much heartache? How many memories?

Each 24 hours is different for sure. Sometimes when I put my head down to rest at night I think did I really just do all that in 24 hours? Sometimes I even surprise myself. That’s the beauty of my life. Every day is a challenge. It’s up to me to overcome obstacles and make strides. Then rise again for the next 24 hour episode.

The current 24 hours is road tripping, rest, work, eat, plan, tennis, parent, grocery shopping, and a bunch of other mundane tasks. Some I like more than others but I’m going to add my twists and personal touches to the day to make it exciting. I will also have some first-time memories tucked in the hours.

My last 24 hours were memorable. Time with the mini. Time with friends. New sights. New adventures. New places to eat. So many memories. What I reflect on is that I changed my normal. I changed my scenery. I let go of the have tos and did the want tos.

I’m looking ahead to a week of work and have tos and saying I’m going to get all this done and more because at the end of the week I have a new 24-hour time with a different group of people. A different destination. A different kind of adventure. I already know there will be memories made. I already know it will be fun or I wouldn’t have said yes. 

As I look back to think about 24 hours the week before I can truly say I had yet another experience in a different location with different people doing different activities and being equally happy. There is a common theme surfacing.

Take 24 hours a week and make them momentous. Change the scenery some way some how. Engage in activities that are fresh and new or repackaged for a different outcome. Visit with others. Some may have you giggle one way while others make your belly hurt you laugh so hard.

Take the walk with a friend. Whisper to your confidant. Jot down the memories in a journal. Smile a lot. Tell somebody how much they are valued and/or loved. Cherish the memories today as they may not be available tomorrow.

Life is precious. Time matters. You are important. Living my best life while avoiding anything and everything (including people) who want to snatch the life out of you. My 24 hours of happy time has no room for sour attitudes.