Think and Be Brave {You’ve got a friend in me}

Ahhh … Do you ever wonder … is this my right path? Is this where I am supposed to be at this point in my life?

I wonder. A LOT! Really, a lot.

This summer — 2017. What a whirlwind! It is now going on the second week of August, and I feel as though the relaxation and reflection part of my summer has just begun! Why, you might ask? Well, I will share.

There have been vacations. (Yes, plural!) In June, my family joined my sister and her family, along with my dad and his wife for an amazing, truly wonderful trip to Disney World and St. Pete Beach, Florida. Dad and Bridget pulled out all the stops, and sprung for what can only be aptly called a “vacation of a lifetime.” At Disney there were Fastpasses and VIP Services; character meals and rides upon rides. The overwhelm and joy of it all reduced me to tears on several occasions. (Okay, I get that this is not difficult for me. But, understand, my friends. This vacation was UNFORGETTABLE!)

I love my daughter

Me and my “Minnie”

Dad and grandkids, Disney castle

Gramp and his loves

Donna Bear

Donna Bear!

Thankfully Bridget had the foresight to schedule our visit to St. Pete Beach after Disney. The Don Cesar was pure heaven.

St Pete beach

Dad and Bridget … ❤

sunset at St Pete beach

The Gulf coast of Florida has the most beautiful sunsets!

My second vacation was spent with my boyfriend and my two young ones at Ocean City, New Jersey. This is tradition. My favorite vacation spot on the planet. And I go here every summer. On the beach, listening to the sounds, and smelling the salty air is a place where I can experience a peace like no other. Particularly, spending time in late afternoon, say around five or six is my pure happy place. It is also a time for my brain to recharge and get excited to return to my handmade sewing business. 🙂

Ocean City NJ (2)

My daughter and me … last day on the beach

Ocean City NJ

Me and the kids waiting for the train ride

There was a long weekend camping trip with my friend Cathy, her daughter and my two littles. Our Girl Scout skills were a little rusty, especially when it came to starting the campfire, but we had fun. And we even got to relax (before the girls got too nuts). Plans are already in the works to make this happen again next year.

group

The gang’s all here!

kids around fire

Kids around the campfire

There was fishing — a first for Rhianna and James, and a resurrected family activity for me. James and I tried to go again, but I think I took all the wind out of his sail — maybe by “slightly” overreacting when taking the fish off the hook? Maybe. Hey, this was new for me, and it was not an especially seamless string of events from reeling in the fish, to letting that little buddy go free again. I just need some more practice, that’s all. And Brian said he would come along next time, just to be sure. I could use a good fishing teacher!

James and fish

nan and turtle

And someone caught a turtle!!??

There was a visit to my mom’s in late June. Just for a few days. But it was so nice. My mom always spoils us when we make the trip down to Bensalem. And she has a great pool in her housing development, so that hit the spot.

me and mom

Me and my momma!

I completed sewing orders in between all the summertime festivities. Such that any free time I had, like when the kids were with their dad, was spent catching up on and getting out orders. Not a bad thing, by any means. But I felt like I was always just one step ahead of my sewing game. Not exactly a peaceful, energized feeling. I didn’t vend at one of the summer craft shows that I typically go to. That one occurred on the day we left for the beach. The weather was beautiful, and I am sure it would have been a profitable show for me. But a girl can only do so much, ya know?

apron

Dollar Dance Apron all ready!

local delivery

Local deliveries, too!

I have also added a few extra side gigs to my income stream this summer, including tutoring and cutting grass. I really enjoy tutoring, especially Latin, so this is like a fun activity for me. 🙂 And I also really enjoy yard work. So this has worked out well, too. Since my dad is unable, I have been maintaining his yard as he and Bridget plan to sell their house.

Oh, speaking of Dad and Bridget selling their house, that means they have to empty out the house. And the attic. And cellar. And the garage. Well, yes. It does. I wouldn’t say that my dad is necessarily a full-blown hoarder. But let’s just say he has amassed a great amount of “stuff” over the years. And now, he and his wife are moving to a more manageable (for them) townhouse with very little storage. Woof. This has been difficult to say the least. Physically tough (90-degree July days, anyone?), but mainly emotionally difficult for me. Plus the fact that every time I go there, I come back home with a truck full of stuff. Where to put it? Ahhh …

giant pumpkin

Like, seriously. LOL

Now, my little ones are with their dad for the next two weeks. And there is a lull in the action around here. So, now … finally, I have a bit of time to myself. Time to catch up on a few orders. Time to create new products for my shops. Time to try to get an ever-loving grip on my business social media presence. And time to think and reflect.

That last use of my time can tend to be somewhat dangerous for me.

Because without the busyness of all the hullabaloo this summer, my brain and my emotions have space, and they tend to go into overdrive. I feel that I am not yet completely healed emotionally (will I ever be?), and without life’s distractions I tend to get a little dramatic in my mind.

So I wonder, am I doing it right? You know, IT — life, my existence, my purpose? Yikes, self-doubt is a dreadful thing. But I look at it this way. God is leading me on my earthly journey. And I am certain that these kid-free, vacation-free two weeks are by His design. Emotional introspection is hard work. But God is on my side, and I will view this time as a gift. Looking deeply at myself, and working through my fears, my doubts and anger — all of that is tough emotional work. But I am the only one who can make peace with me. So I must do this work and know that God is right alongside me. And I am right where I am supposed to be.

I hope your summer is somewhat productive, yet somewhat carefree. I hope you have some time, too, to think and reflect. I totally get it … life is hard sometimes.

Be brave and do the work!

And I hope that we can encourage each other in this walk. I’ll hold your hand. You’ve got a friend in me! ❤

 

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