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Tomorrow will be better because today I learned…

I don’t know how your month is going but OMG my June isn’t starting out so great. I was promoted to a full time position at work and honestly I feel like it just gave me more time to make mistakes. I’m really hard on myself when it comes to performing well on the job. This week has been BRUTAL! One of my supervisors told me that “the good thing about making mistakes is that we learn from them and then we don’t never make them again.” So this week has been a LEARNING EXPERIENCE.

One of my favorite quotes is from the movie and book Anne of Green Gables. Miss Stacy tells Anne that “Tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it.” I’ve attempted to have that mindset every day. It is a struggle. I’m not only learning about this job. I’m learning about myself as well. When I first started, I was terrified of the physical aspect of it. Weighing in at 130, soaking wet, and standing proud at 5 ft. tall, I was extremely concerned that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the physical labor. This is hard work guys! Lifting, stacking, tossing luggage that ways half as much as I do in a timed manner is no joke. I’m still not where I want to be as far as the speed, but I am stronger than I was 4 months ago. It’s an amazing feeling when we meet our deadline. I learned that I was physically stronger than I have ever been. Mentally, I’m also making gains as well. Not everything has been positive, as I’ve come to the realization that I don’t always work as well under pressure as I used to. I’ve also come to accept the fact that I’m not as confident as I once was. We’ll get to that later.

I’ve always had really amazing people skills, finding some way to connect with those around me and tie together a common denominator that lead to a positive experience. I honestly enjoy interacting with people. Not all of these interactions are idealistic, I can’t always solve everyone’s issue in a way they are happy with. For the most part, however, I enjoy this aspect of my job.

Personally I’ve learned that I am IMPATIENT. I want things and I want them now. I don’t mean physical things. I mean solutions to the challenges I’m facing in my personal life. I’ve been working extremely hard to get my finances back in order, meet some of the goals I’ve set for myself, overall get back to a level of happiness I once had. it’s not happening as fast as I want and that makes me sad, angry, and it turns that little voice recorder on in my head. The voice reminds me of how I am struggling to pay my bills on time and that I’ll never get caught up. It tells me what a failure I am to have bought a boat that I’m not currently living on, or even finding time to refit. It shouts at me about how I’m so broken that no one in their right mind would ever want to be in a real relationship. It point blank SUCKS.  So I started looking for ways to counteract the voice and realize that tomorrow will be better because today I learned:

Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to it’s power. If I feed that voice more negativity. It will only produce negative thoughts.

Don’t be afraid to start over. It’s a chance to build something better this time. 

You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are still thinking about yesterday. Sure you can go over the mistakes and decide how to better handle them, but don’t dwell. This only leads to negative thoughts which can become negative thinking patterns.

Be happy with what you have while working for what you want. News flash. Your situation, my situation isn’t going to miraculously better over night. I have to develop patience through the struggle. I have to learn to appreciate the “right now” over the “what could be”

So, take a deep breathe baby! It’s going to be ok because as Ms. Stacy said

“Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it.”~Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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Alabama Gulf Coast · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Uncategorized

How I express my Creativity

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From an early age, I was a creative soul. Born into a family of gifted musicians, I learned to play several instruments and to sing. Creating was something that just came natural to me. Whether it was the imaginative stories I dreamed up and wrote about, or the intricately detailed make believe games I planned for my sisters, creativity seeped out like ink on blank pages.

Now as an adult that creative spirit is alive in this blog. It is nurtured by every photograph that I take and share, every sail on the Rialto Zephyr, every adventure planned. My creativity is a celebration of my uniqueness and all the quirks that make me who I am.

People often confuse creativity with the act of making something but it means so much more! According to Dictionary.com the definition of creativity is: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination. Creativity is innovative ideas in the workplace. It’s by-products are some of the major achievements in civilization; think of the invention of the wheel.

Over time society has really downplayed the importance of creativity. We are taught not to think for ourselves. Educational settings often stifle creativity in favor of memorization. Schools drop music and art programs in favor of more time to cram math facts. Recess, a time when young children could explore and imagine, is almost nonexistent. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. Imagination opens up doorways and possibilities unknown. Imaginative and creative play is how young children discover the world in which they live.

I was so incredibly lucky to have grown up in a family that encouraged my creativity. When I was 7, my parents purchased a Play-Skool camera as a Christmas gift. I set out to document every aspect of my life. From the mundane to the extradorinary, I snapped away. I remember pretending to be a National Geographic photographer. I wrote articles on the different flowers and animals I photographed. My Dad encouraged me to start a family newsletter. I wrote articles about my family and my aunts and uncles, how this cousin had made the honor roll, or this one caught 8 fish. It might seem silly, but that encouragement led me to write more as a teenager and now as an adult.

If you look at society, our most successful scientists, musicians, artists, and businessmen will tell you how being creative led to their achievements. Many businesses point to the lack of innovation and imagination in the workplace.

So next time you feel like being creative, don’t let society get you down. Step out of the box and think or make something beautiful. You never know what it might lead to!

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Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · dogs · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Final May Day

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Well here we are, the end of May and the celebration of a year of Wayfaring Tail Wagger. May turned out to be a rather interesting month. We had our first named Tropical Storm, Alberto, who didn’t make much of a fuss but did however, get me on my game as far as prepping for the storm season. I was able to get the Rialto Zephyr cleaned, began working on the sails to get them in proper order, and my Dad and I got the engine started! That’s something to be excited about.

In other news, I was promoted at my job and now it seems all I do is work. I haven’t had time for writing much, which is always a downside to “adulting.”

It occurred to me that I don’t have nearly as many adventures as I had originally planned. I think I miss that the most about my previous life, the adventure. I feel stale sometimes, like that heel of bread that no one ever eats. They just leave it in the bag on top of the fridge for weeks before it becomes dried out and crusty, tossed in the trash for lack of use. I’m not feeling sorry for myself, just an observation. I decided that I would at least find a local adventure and stumbled upon Blakely State Park in Spanish Fort, AL, just a 20 minute car ride from here. I think I’ll be hiking tomorrow as soon as I’m off work.

This month I discovered an amazing restaurant right here in Daphne AL called Bangkok Thai. They have the BEST green curry I have had in AGES!

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I always order the medium spicy and it’s just hot enough to cure what ails you! The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming. I’ve been twice this month alone.

May has really been a month of reflection. It was the anniversary of everything that happened that changed my life. It caused me to see how far I’ve come and how much further I have to go. It was a reminder that I am a survivor, independent, creative, and best of all resilient. Not all of it was a pleasant memory. I miss my life still, at least the life I had before. The pain has dulled a bit and I’m able to make it through the day without tears now. I heard something on a podcast today that I’ve decided to make my mantra. “I am defective, but I am healing. I am broken, but I am rediscovering myself.” I have also learned that I need to have a little grace and mercy for myself. I have accepted that I can’t change what happened. Now I’m allowing myself to move on from it. I am rediscovering who I am and who I want to be and realigning my life.

I am so thankful to those of you who have traveled with me on this journey. I hope you will continue to follow along as I chart out new adventures for Ava and I. Thank you for all the love and support. Your comments have encouraged me over this year in more ways than you’ll ever know!

Here’s to another year!

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Alabama Gulf Coast · dogs · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Happy Anniversary! Reflecting on a Year

 

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It’s here! The anniversary date of Wayfaring Tail Wagger. What a year it has been! There’s been some incredibly HIGH highs and LOWS that made me believe I was drowning while on the surface, but here we are. I survived.

I wanted to take some time to update and reflect on the past year. One of the most amazing things that has happened in this year is that you, yes you, my readers have followed along. When I started this blog, I really didn’t expect much from it. I thought it would just be a great way for me to release in print what I felt in my soul. I never dreamed that I’d have followers who devotedly read my blog and shared their own lives with me as well. You will never know how this encouraged me not just to write more, but keep my head up and believe that things would get better. Thank you!

This blog started with heartbreak and life change. While I am still recovering from the heartbreak, I can happily say that life is moving forward again. It’s not always easy. Some days it’s like trudging through calf deep mud as I try to make my way, but I am moving forward. This year saw me lose my husband, my home, my family structure that I cherished, and ultimately lead me to the realization that I had lost myself over the years. It saw happier times like the day I stepped foot on the Rialto Zephyr and knew that she was mine. It was the day my dad, Brian, and I sailed her from Perdido to Fairhope. An adventure! It’s now filled with memories of Ava happily sitting on the bow with Kaitlyn, Brandon and Kendall being home for the summer from college, and time with my parents that I may have never had. And while it’s intermingled with sadness and deep sorrow, I’ve come to the realization that while I was broken I was filled with a courage that I didn’t know I had. Courage to continue when I didn’t want to live. Courage to take a chance.

Somedays I still feel like the poet in Psalms 23 says “Yay though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will feel no evil. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me”. There are times when I am in that “Valley of Death” when everything around me feels lifeless and fear sucks the breath from my chest. I recently recalled a night from when I lived in New Hampshire and Kenny and I were working on the farm. It was pitch black outside and the goats had not been brought in. They bleated from outside in the far field. It was dangerous out there at night. Predators could end their lives in a second. I walked out into the field with a stick and kept the herd together as we made our way to the barn. My rod and staff comforted them and guided them to safety. Guess what that’s what the Psalmist is talking about! Although I’ve been in this valley, God has been leading me, even through the blackest of moments when I couldn’t see. He was there guiding me to safety.

Ok so updates! My Dad and I were able to get the engine running on the Rialto Zephyr. It was a moment of pure joy. I jumped up and down like a little kid, laughing. My Dad did a little jig and a whistle. We ran her for awhile, cleaned the bilge, and the cabin. Brian joined me the next day and we started a list of projects, large and small. The first I sat out to accomplish was to re wrap the mast inside the cabin. It’s currently wrapped with a dinghy, brown rope like material. It sheds a brown itchy mess every time I touch it. So off it goes. I decided to go with braided line. We started wrapping it and OMG it takes FOREVER. After only getting a quarter of the pole done in an hour, I decided to take it down and cut off the old material. I’ll let you know how it works out. I’m putting pictures below of what it looks like right now. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! Brian helped me lift the sails and she’s definitely going to have to be re-rigged. That’s quite the project. I may enlist the help of a fellow sailor, David, who lives in the marina next door. He has become my walking encyclopedia of sailing knowledge. I highly suggest becoming friends with someone like David in your marina!

Brandon started working at a new restaurant that has just opened in Spanish Fort. If you like Italian food, you will LOVE La Dolce Vita in Spanish Fort. It’s traditional southern Italian food and the chef, Diego, is an amazing guy from Italy creating things I never even dreamed of. You really have to try this place out if you are local! Tell them Rebecca sent you!

Ava had her yearly check up and I am HAPPY to report that she is a healthy, happy dog.

We survived this year.

Thanks for following along on our adventures. I love you all!

 

Fair winds and Following Seas!

 

Rebecca

 

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Friday Faves and Spring Decorating

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HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE! I hope you are enjoying Spring as she seems to finally be waking up all over the country! Here on the Gulf Coast we’ve been enjoying spring like weather for several weeks meaning cool mornings and evenings. I love it!

Every Friday I like to list my favorite things. Sort of like Oprah without all the money. At any rate, today’s list has several sailing related products or services. I’m trying SO HARD to get back into the mindset of being out on the water as opposed to tethered to the dock. Unfortunately, I keep running into issues so at the dock we sit.

So here’s Friday, May 4th’s list:

  1. Kwik Tek Airhead AHDL 4 Bungee Dockline: This dock line absorbs the shock from the boat and has a hidden internal bungee cord. It has a built in loop making it easy to tie up at the dock. This is a GREAT product for smaller boats. You can find yours at http://www.amazon.com for a very reasonable price of around $9.99.
  2. Tacking Master: The Tacking Master is a wrist worn navigation device to help track wind shifts and trends. If you are like me and new at sailing, this is an amazingly helpful device! You can purchase a Tacking Master at www. tackingmaster.com for $75.
  3. Southern Cross Boatique and Ship Chandlery: MY NEW FAVORITE PLACE! Ok so this place is AMAZING. Looking for the parts to an older boat, or maybe just a cool nautical item to decorate with? This is the place. From seat cushions to pulpits replacements, the Southern Cross is a place you can get lost in! The owners are incredibly helpful and really nice. I visited last weekend and it is definitely on my top 5 for the refit of the Rialto Zephyr. I mean seriously! It’s a remodeler’s DREAM! The list all of the items they carry on a weekly basis so check them out at http://www.southerncrossmarineservices.com or their Facebook page!
  4. American Sailing Associations Celebrate Sailing: On June 23rd the ASA will be hosting a worldwide event called Celebrate Sailing. They are inviting everyone to get out on the water and post their activities on social media to bring awareness to the joy of sailing! You don’t have to be part of a club or organization to participate. Visit http://www.asa.com for more details.
  5. Sufficiently Secure- This is an AMAZING devotional for Singles by Kennetra A. Bryant. I’m really learning so much from this study. You can find it on the Bible app at http://www.youversion.com. If you are looking for a way to navigate singleness, this devotional has some really incredible, practical and Biblical advice!

Since Friday is technically my Sunday, I’ll be spending the rest of the day prepping for my work week. I’m really trying to get back to healthier eating aka no sugar, but O.M.G. is it hard this time around. I know I’ll be better for it so I’m setting my intention to be the little engine that could!

I’m also in the search for some ways to spruce up the Rialto Zephyr while she’s tethered to the shore. World Market and Pier 1 have been my go to stores recently, with some really great spring and sailing related decor. Just because I don’t have four wall doesn’t mean I can’t decorate my “Home”

Hope you all have an AMAZING kickoff to your weekend! Till then:

 

Fair Winds and Following Seas!

Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Uncategorized

Home

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Home /hom/ noun- The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

A simple word with a a defined meaning. A physical place, and yet not a physical place. As a military family, home was often very loosely defined for us. It could be the base housing unit we resided in, or the friends and churches we called home as we traveled the world. It could be my childhood home in Jackson County Mississippi or it could be wherever my parents and siblings were living at the time. Home became more of an adjective to describe a feeling of comfort rather than a physical place for me. It became memories of sitting on the front porch with my Granny while I listened to her recall her childhood. It was skipping down dirt roads, hand in hand with my Daddy as we carried our cane poles to the ditch for fishing. It was the way my Mama played the piano every night after she mopped the floor as I lay watching her from my bed. That was home.

Today’s blog is about the place I call home now. It’s mixed with those same memories as I mentioned before, but it’s also a very physical place that I have learned to love the more connected I feel to it. After moving from New England, I joined my parents in the small coastal area of Mobile, Alabama. Like I mentioned before, I grew up just across the state line in Mississippi. Mobile was the largest city near us and we only visited when we were shopping for school clothes or Christmas. As a teenager, it was the only place I could go to see a movie. I didn’t really know much about Mobile other than my parents always warned me about watching my surroundings as Mobile had a significant crime rate.

Mobile is a beautiful oak tree lined 300 yr old city. She’s had a history that predates America’s birth, one that is rich in both tragedy and triumph. She sits proudly at the mouth of the Mobile River and the Mobile Bay. She’s musically talented, quite the party girl (just check out her Mardi Gras celebration), and rooted deep in faith. Her people are stereotypically welcoming, gracious, and full of southern tradition. To her east, sit small picturesque communities such as Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort.

I sailed the Rialto Zephyr back from Perdido Key, Florida in September and made her new homeport Mobile. The bay is great for first time sailors because typically she’s calm. Although shallow, the bay provides an easy navigating body of water. I’ve learned so much just in the short time I’ve sailed here. Small coves and inlets provide shelter and the occasional beach bar/marina.

The downtown area is dotted with restaurants, bars, art galleries, and cathedrals. You won’t go hungry on Dauphin St.

The sunrises and sunsets over the high rises, with their color coordinated rooftops is breathtaking.

This is my home. Where the air can be so thick you can taste it. Where swamps and marshes give way to the Gulf of Mexico. Where I am loved, accepted, and comfortable. Home.

 

 

Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · dogs · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Uncategorized

Blog Anniversary Post 1: If I’m in Love…

 

Love has become a word that is often painful to think of let alone even feel. This last year  I watched someone I love become someone I didn’t even know. I was abandoned by “love”. I was really angry about that for a very long time. You see, I thought that after everything I had been through, I deserved that relationship. I deserved happiness and while that is very true, I missed the point that the love and happiness I really deserved was a love for myself.

You see, I hated myself. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see the dark haired beautiful woman that my friends and family told me I was. I saw acne in my late 30’s, pounds that I had lost and regained, wrinkles. I saw a woman who had never had a great fashion sense, who often didn’t wear make up or fix her hair, except in the laziest of pony tails, and I hated her. Inside I began to remind myself of what a failure I was. I wasn’t the mother I wanted to be to my children or the daughter that I felt my parents could be proud of. I was unemployed, practically homeless if not for my family taking me in. I really developed this self loathing after Kenny left. I created scenarios in my head where instead of the gaping hole of silence he’d left, there were discussions about how he didn’t love me anymore, how I was no longer attractive, or how I couldn’t be what it was he wanted. All of those scenarios, however, were self inflicted. He never once said those things.

I became incredibly depressed. Often finding myself in crying spells for no apparent reason. I was miserable. Friends and family would remind me how loved I was, how strong and brave they believed me to be, but it didn’t matter. I didn’t believe it about myself. I moved home heart sick and broken. At least my definition of broken. I had always been a spiritual person, a Christian. My faith was a huge part of my life, but as time wore on I began to feel indignation toward God. How unfair to allow my heart to be so shattered! How could He, the God who loved me, abandon me. I later learned He had certainly NOT abandoned me. While He didn’t give me the answer I wanted, He has certainly led me to a place of healing, and that has been learning to love myself.

I remember the day that the thought of how much I truly hated myself hit me like a ton of bricks. My friend Brian and I were walking the docks in Fairhope. Patient and understanding, Brian has listened to me with possibly the most nonjudgmental ear. I was pouring my anger out, hot tears rolling down my face, when he grabbed me by the shoulders and turned me around to face him. “Rebecca,” he said, “Girl you aren’t angry with anyone but yourself. I don’t think you like yourself very much. As a matter of fact, I think you hate yourself. For every good and positive thing someone tells you, I know you’ve got a negative, angry retort on the tip of that tongue. You are never going to be able to move on if you hate yourself forever.”  Anger welled up inside of me. How dare he tell me that I hated myself. It made me angry because deep down I knew it was true.

“You’ve got to learn to love this amazing, talented, fierce woman you are.”

I had no idea where to even start. Self love had always seemed selfish to me. If I only loved myself then where was the love I was supposed to have for my family, my kids. I started small. I looked up and read about self care. I finally found a description for how I felt inside. Just like my bank account that stayed in the red, I was deep in the red emotionally. I’d been writing “love checks” for everyone, but making no deposits for myself. Being in love with myself wasn’t self centered or narcissistic as I had believed. It was essential to my self confidence, self worth, and ultimately my sanity.

One of the first ideas I had to be comfortable with was being alone. Being alone seemed incredibly frightening to me. I had learned to wrap my self worth up in what others valued me for. I wasn’t comfortable on my own. I decided to do something fun just for me. At first, this was painful. I chose an activity that I had previously never done on my own. I went to the movies. I thought that was easier than my first idea of dinner by myself. I was nervous almost like first date nervous and then I realized, hey this is sort of like a first date with myself.

I made a dream board. ALL FOR ME. Up until this point, my dreams had centered around the things I wanted for my family. I cut out pictures of places I wanted to travel to, of the boat I would eventually own, even products or items I had always thought I’d like to have.  I started a journal, one that is so deeply personal that I keep it locked away. It has the good, the bad, and the really ugly. It was so empowering to just release some of those thoughts and then mark through them with a black marker.

I learned the power of no. As a people pleaser, it was really hard for me to not want to be all things to all people. I discovered that saying no wasn’t always negative. My “yes” moments hadn’t always led to my best work. It’s hard to be at your best when you worn thin. This is a really hard lesson for women.

I made a list of my accomplishments to counter all the things I believed were failures:

  • I raised 3 great kids despite the challenges we faced.
  • I was hired by a major airline company doing a job I really love.
  • I bought the boat!
  • I am a published writer.

The list keeps growing. Now before I go to bed every night, I mentally tick of accomplishments of the day. Nothing is insignificant. Today will include menial things like, cleaned the bathroom, loaded the dishwasher, cooked a healthy meal to share with my family. It also includes some big ones like finally believing a coworker when after listening to me share a little bit of my personal life remarked “You are one amazing, interesting person! What an empowering testimony you have!”

I don’t know where this road is going to take me and sure there are days when I feel that doubt and negativity creep in but you know what, I have the tools to combat it now.

If I’m in love, I’m going to love me for who God created, for who my family sees, for the woman my friends believe is worth friendship, for the mother my children still need, and for the soul who was ALWAYS worth loving.

Even when she didn’t believe it.