Posted in Blog, Blogger, blogging, Maine, Photography, Uncategorized, writing

A Place For Maine Writers, Bloggers and Photographers

 

Hi there! My name is Darci and am still fairly new to blogging.  I noticed that there aren’t any FB groups dedicated to bloggers in Maine.  I thought this would be a great place to first connect, and see if there may be in interested in joining one.  If there is, than I’d be very happy to get one going.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or would like to be involved. Just comment below!

 

Thanks!

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Posted in Blog, Blogger, blogging, Digital Marketing, Inspirations, Thoughts, writing

Beginners Bloggers Block

I started out strong. Just over eight months ago.  I was blogging often, having a fairly clear, concise point with each post.  The feedback I got was amazing.  People told me that what I was writing was relatable and how they looked forward to my posts. But, as the weeks went on, I found myself blogging less and less and less.  At one point going more than a month without posting a single thing.

I would still go to WordPress almost every day.  Just under the “Reader” tab.  I would scroll through my saved categories, spending a majority of my time under “Blogging”.   A common post I’d see would fall along the lines of “So, I haven’t posted in a while.” or “Things have been really hectic lately and I haven’t logged in”.  Listen, I get it. I do.  Life gets busy and things come up.  But I couldn’t help but wonder…  Were they really too busy for days, weeks, on end or maybe it’s because they didn’t have something to say? Something they were proud of, or inspired by, or excited about. And by no fault of their own necessarily.

It’s so very easy to rely on an excuse, rather than admit that you’ve maybe lost motivation.  Or perhaps, you’ve been looking for inspiration and have come up empty handed.  I find that so many of my posts have come to fruition because I was inspired by something.  Something happened or I read something.  Whatever it was, was so amazing that it just compelled me to write. To tell the WordPress world all about it.

A few weeks ago, I got the blogging itch.  The one where you need to write something down, purely for the sake of writing.  But, I didn’t know what to write about.  I needed inspiration in real bad way.  So I went over to  Dream Big, Dream Often, to see what the author had been up to. He has a fantastic blog.  Every day he publishes posts that are not only thought-provoking, but also entice engagement from a seemingly very diverse audience.  I’m pretty new to this, but even I know that is no small feat.  And as I scrolled and read, there it was. A simple blog post, about nothing really. It was maybe 3 or 4 sentances long.  In the post, he had asked a question about social media usage. I answered, and in my response, I typed the title of this post.  That’s all I needed, I had my inspiration.

When inspiration hits, there’s no other way to describe it other than a spark.  When I have an idea for a post that I’m excited about, there is nothing that will stop me from writing, editing, revising and hitting that beautiful blue “publish” button.  My eyes light up, you can see the wheels turning and from there, my fingers glide over the alphabet keys with the utmost of ease.  You never know where the spark will come from or when it will strike.  But thankfully, inevitably, it does.  Whether it’s slight or fierce, sooner or later, you’ll have a creative urge that will bring you back from that merciless thing called writers block.

Posted in family, Inspirations, life, Travel, Uncategorized, writing

Extra-Ordinary Love

I witnessed something a couple of weeks ago and have been thinking about it ever since.  While a parents love is unconditional, many of the things they do go unnoticed or unacknowledged .  I asked my brother if he’d mind me sharing a story about him and he agreed.  Thank goodness.

JJ’s road to recovery has been at a slow and steady pace.  A couple of weeks ago, he started having some pretty intense pain in his right hip.  Which happened to coincide with a visit from his two sons.  We knew it was going to be tough, especially since one of the boys was sick.  But, to him, a parent, it didn’t matter.  There was nothing that was going to stop him from seeing them.  So, one night after I got out of work, we headed out to meet their mom halfway.  I didn’t realize that the route lead us through the white mountains.

Every curve of the road, hill and bump made JJ exhale in pain.  And then, when we were at the highest elevation, the snow started and the wind began to strengthen.  I was a mess.  Trying to avoid divots in the road, while staying on it, in a new vehicle.  I’m not a huge fan a driving in bad weather, but when other people are with me, like JJ or the boys, it adds a whole other layer of worry.

When we made it to the meeting place, pure relief came over me.  I told JJ that we needed to find a different route home.  We went to greet the kids and it was clear that his oldest was not feeling well.  He had a terrible stomach ache.  I got them loaded up with the help of their mom and we were on the road to home.  With a different route all set it google maps.

Our trip home was even worse.  We drove in some of the worst conditions, on some of the worst roads I had ever been on.  This new route took us through a national forest, with steep inclines and declines, and black ice everywhere.  We really should have been more thorough in our search earlier.

So, this is where the love story comes into play.  Ten minutes into the trip we hear “Daddy, my tummy hurts, can you rub it?”  JJ had already been huffing and puffing from pain.  The toll the trip there took on JJ was immense.  You could see it on his face and how he moved.  So slowly, so cautiously.   I looked at him, and he started wiggling and maneuvering his body as best as he could to face the back seat, and rub his sons tummy.  And that’s how he sat for the entire 2 hour trip back.  He fought through the pain, nausea and discomfort, so he could comfort his little boy.

While this act may be nothing remarkable for any parent.  They will do anything for their kids.  It was something I was in awe of.  It was beautiful.  To witness a love like that is just something I wanted to share.

I don’t care much for country music, but this post is for my brother.

“I know you have mountains to climb, but always stay humble and kind”

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in belief, Blogger, Inspirations, life, Maine, writing

Why Lularoe? Why now? My “Why”.

 

When you sign on to be a Lularoe Consultant, they ask you to create your “Why”.  Your reasoning for signing up with the company.  It’s not just about selling clothes, or their amazing leggings.  It could be, they are that good. It’s about so much more.  They are a company who motivate and inspire people to work hard and achieve their goals.  They built their brand with ethical business practices at the forefront,  a unique plan for customer engagement, and a beautiful product. So, this is my “why”.

The Backstory

A few months ago, I started to get bogged down a little.  I felt like I was starting to drown. One morning I was reading the news and came across a story about recurring dreams.  The most common one is where you feel like you’re falling.  I had recently started having this dream almost nightly.  The article said that usually means that you feel like you’ve lost control. And it was right, I had.  There was so much going on at home, with my brother, professionally, financially.  It was overwhelming.  I didn’t feel like any one person or thing or task was getting  100% of what they deserved or needed.   I was keeping a running tally in my head of who I had disappointed.  J.J. wanted to go to the store one night, but the dog was sick so I couldn’t take him.  I told him we’d go the next night.  The next night, something came up with Kruno, and he needed something.  But I had already disappointed J.J. the day before so I couldn’t do that two days in a row to him, so that night I had to disappoint Kruno.  My work suffered, my relationships, my health.  One of the biggest reasons we moved home was because of my health.  I was stressed to the max in Colorado.  I was having migraines almost every day.  I had lost feeling in my left arm and leg, and I had a 1.3 cm cyst in the middle of my brain.  Stress does very strange things to the body.  And some of the same symptoms had started happening again. I had to regain control, prioritize, and just get my shit together in general.

 What I realized

As things started to fall into place, and the stress was subsiding, I started to wonder about these episodes.  They seem to come on during times when I was in, what I consider to be, a mild state of depression.  I was down and out, unhappy, a real negative nancy.  In going along with my New Year post, that simply wasn’t going to do anymore.  I desperately wanted to change.  My outlook. My situation.  In order to do that, I had to do some serious soul-searching.  This is my theory:

I decided to take on a second job…  I know, it sounds crazy.  I’m sure most people would think that taking on additional projects or business ventures would be counterproductive.  Hear me out. While I enjoy my lovely little life.  I am truly blessed in all aspects of it.  There does seem to be something missing. It’s hard to put into words exactly what it is.  It’s lacking a little creativity, a bit of a social aspect, a desire to be in control (to a certain degree) of my future and success. I don’t feel completely fulfilled.  And I really really want to be, or at least know I’m working towards it.  Think of your life as a set of gears.  Lots of them, but all different sizes. Some big some small, remove one and everything after that one, will stop. And the end result will never be realized the way it was meant to be if all the gears were there. And maybe that missing gear is an aspect that you unknowingly long for, and just didn’t realize until now. For me, I think  that gear is something that brings a sense of accomplishment and confidence.  And it only took me 33 years to realize how important these things are both professionally and personally.

The Plan

Kruno and I want to be business owners.  We both have an entrepreneurial spirit.  We want something of our own.  Where we get out exactly what we put in.  We don’t expect to quit our jobs and start a business, have it be a success and make six figures tomorrow. But we wanted something to work towards.  We’ve tossed around business ideas for months.  There was always something that held us up.  Not enough time, or space, but mostly money.  It takes a lot to start a business.  But, what we’ve come to realize recently, is there will, most likely, never be the “right” time or specific conditions, for anything.  And if, by chance there is, you only realize it was perfect after its passed. I think this is true for most everything.  I probably shouldn’t be giving advice so early in the game, but at this point, I say if there’s something you want, or feel like you’re missing in life, get after it! (responsibly, of course)  You want to go on a trip?  Book it.  Want to start a new career?  Make the leap.  Want to adopt a child?  Do it.  I am a firm believer of the “everything happens for a reason” theory.  I think this opportunity came along at exactly the “right” wrong time for us.  It’s a wonderful company with a product I believe in.  I think this will give me the exact gear that I’ve been missing my whole life.   And Kruno and I couldn’t be more excited.

When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.                                          – Alexander den Heijer

 

 

Posted in belief, Donald Trump, life, New Year, Political, Politics, Thoughts, Trump, Donald J, Uncategorized, writing

These are a few of my biglyest fears….

I’m not one to post about politics, but I’ve had some things on my chest for a while.  All of them are coming to a head. And here seems like as good as place as any to voice them.

The countdown to January 20th continues, and there is no infiltration in sight.  No one is coming to our rescue, no one to deliver us from this evil.  Because, that was our job, the American voters.  We failed, his opponents failed, and like Meryl Streep said “we all lose”.  I was nervous when Bush Jr was elected, even more so for the second term.  And now, I am downright uncomfortable.  I watched his press conference with a knot in my stomach.  I kid you not, nausea is still coming at me in waves.  This may sound dramatic and maybe some day I’ll look back and agree that it is.  But today, I am terrified about what is about to happen.  I know I know, my New Years post was about being a positive Polly.  I’ve fallen off the wagon.  I’ll hop back on as soon as I stop dry heaving thinking about our President Elect.

I have been imagining the possible outcomes. And trying to estimate the probabilities of certain catastrophes happening during the next four years.These are the thoughts that have consumed me since election night.  I work in the finance industry.  When the president-elect makes a derogatory comment about an industry or company, all you can do is sit back and watch. Watch how that stock or sector flails about. While the market is a cycle and goes through ups and downs, the fact that this one idiot and his ignorant opinions, can wreak havoc in so many ways is unsettling to say the least.

Working in the finance industry, I find myself surrounded by men.  Not figuratively, but literally.  My desk is smack dab in the center of the four men I work for.  Throughout the election is was quite clear that some were supporters of the now president-elect.  I can’t count how many times I had to get up and walk away from conversations when it would deviate from the topic at hand to pro-trump bullshit.  Or when they would congregate at MY desk and chit-chat about their choice for president and how great everything was going to be once he was elected.  I may not be the most open-minded person this side of the Mississippi, but….how?  How is this what people think?  What they believe?  This entire election and everything that has come out of it has been just….unfathomable.

So, as the title of this post said.  These are a few of my biglyest fears:

  • Advancements in Equality (all types) will be set back, potentially decades.  That’s worst case scenario.  Best case – is just comes to a screeching halt. We can’t reasonably expect the man who said that a judge couldn’t make a fair ruling because “He’s a Mexican” to truly grasp or believe in the idea of equality.  Or when doing an interview for New York Magazine and referring to the treatment of women said “You have to treat ’em like shit”.  I mean…C’mon.
  • The possibility that the last 8 years will be undone.  When you think about all of the things President Obama and his administration worked so hard for, and that some could potentially be for nothing in a mere 9 days. My god, I feel defeated. And I don’t really have any skin in the game!
  • Immigration.  My husband is from Macedonia and his family is still there.  When we learned that Trump was running for president my husbands first reaction was “I need to become a citizen”.  And he was absolutely right.  But now, questions arise.  Will his mother and father be allowed to visit?  What type of restrictions will be placed, if any?
  • Terrorist attacks, specifically on U.S. soil.  Donald Trump is a joke.  The entire world and it’s leaders know it.  Especially the leaders who aren’t our friends.  I think we have opened ourselves up to be an even bigger target than we already were.  I didn’t think that was actually possible.  But apparently, I was mistaken.
  • My biggest fear of all is for my nephew.  Who, by the way is an avid Trump supporter.  Bumper stickers and everything.  He is in the military.  The president elect’s temperament doesn’t seem to shake him though. But it shakes me to my core.  The thought of him being at the mercy of an overly sensitive, trigger happy, spiteful awful excuse for a human is gut wrenching.  I worry everyday about the probability of him being shipped overseas.  I have nightmares about it. I worry that someday I will get a call from my sister,  and it will be her telling me that my Joshy has been called for deployment.  Please don’t get me wrong. Serving in the military is one of the most selfless things a person can do.  I admire and respect every single service member.  It’s the thought of someone, who dodged several drafts, playing fast and loose with my loved ones life that upsets me.

While President Obama has repeatedly asked that we, as a nation maintain an open mind.  Be optimistic, welcome the new president just as President Bush did for him. I’ve tried and I can’t.  Not honestly anyway.  I can put on a fake smile for a person or family member who wants to sing Trump’s praises in my presence. But, my poker face isn’t that convincing.  They have to see through it, and if they don’t, they are just as oblivious as Trump himself.   I think the only sound advice at this moment is something I’ve written about before.  More than ever, we’ll need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in belief, family, Inspirations, life, Sports, Uncategorized, writing

Going To The Mattresses


 

 

 

I’ve never seen “The Godfather”. But, I have seen “You’ve Got Mail”. Many, many times. In the movie, Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen, is at odds with a big businessman named Joe Fox, whose company is about to put her’s under.  Unbeknownst to the both of them, they are each other’s secret online love interests.  Joe Fox, played by Tom Hanks replies with the following message to Kathleen when she asked him for business advice:

“Go to the mattresses. You’re at war. It’s not personal, it’s business. It’s not personal its business. Recite that to yourself every time you feel you’re losing your nerve. I know you worry about being brave, this is your chance. Fight. Fight to the death!”

This post was a tricky one to write.  There are so many variations of what it means to fight.  You can fight for an injustice, for someone’s well-being, or for something you believe in. My family has been tackling some of those lately.


My first lesson about “Going to the Mattresses”

For my entire life, I have been terrible at all sports. Awful. I have no business being on any sort of field or court in a competitive setting.  However, in 7th grade, I signed up to play on our middle school soccer team.  Every sport I had played leading up to this, I had been coached by my dad or his friends at the rec department.  That wasn’t the case this time.

During one match, our team was winning 7-0 and we were in the final minutes of the game.  The coach called my name for the first time that day and put me in as fullback.  The whistle blew and an opposing wing came at me with the ball.  I managed to take it away and kick it in the opposite direction.  A few seconds later the whistle blew again and I had been replaced.  As I came off the field I saw my dad get out of the car and start walking towards our sideline.  I thought “he’s probably coming to tell me what a great job I did, kicking that ball away.” I was mistaken.

“Darci! Get your shit, we’re going home!” I stopped in my tracks, shocked.  He didn’t stop there though.  He then turned to the coach.  “Hey!  You’ve got an awful lot to learn about coaching!” he said.  “You’re up 7-0, and you can’t leave her in there for more than 30 seconds?  You’ve been playing your first string the entire game!”

That was the end of my soccer career.  I was so embarrassed.  I remember crying and dreading going to school the next day.  We are from a very small town where everyone knows everyone.  I knew kids and their parents would be talking about it. Later on that night, dad came to have a talk with me about what had happened.  I believe this was after he had had a phone call with my former coach.  While I don’t remember his exact words, the moral of the story was “That wasn’t right.  That’s not how to be a good coach.  And she needed to know how I felt” My dad lacks subtlety, at times.  It’s a blessing and a curse.  But, I’ll never forget that day and the lesson I learned. He fought for what he believed.  It’s a story I tell often.


 

Our family has fought our share battles recently. All of the varying levels of intensity and for different reasons. Some have been fought as a group and some have been taken on singularly, and even internally.

My mom, for example, has fought for my step-dad every day since September 1st.  He was in a car accident and has been in the hospital since then.  Most of the time he hasn’t been fully awake.  She has fought for an adequate level of care. She has fought to keep him alive, more than I believe the doctors have since the first days after the accident.   She has been at the hospital (with the exception of when my brothers’ accident happened) every day she could since the beginning.  My mom with her vigilante style bedside monitoring, and her demand for answers.  She’s fought real hard.   He woke up last week, and I got a phone call from him. He said, “What’s going on, kid?”  That’s always how he started a phone call with me. It was probably the most amazing phone call I’ve ever gotten in my life.  Unfortunately, he did have a bump in his recovery road a couple of days after that phone call.  But, he’s still here.  He’s still fighting.

Today is the 3-month mark since JJ’s accident.  There is no way for anyone to really understand what he must battle with every day.  There’s no way to measure how much he has to fight on a daily basis.  Even in his first days in the hospital, the doctors and nurses all talked about how tenacious he was.  How much strength and determination he had.  And all that was said before he was able to talk.  My family knew he had all that in him.  But I never truly noticed the degree of it until then.  When he would insist on doing things himself when he had 6 very willing family members in his room to help.  When he would surpass every expectation the doctors had set.  Stand with almost full weight on a leg that he doesn’t have full feeling in.  And most recently, when he was told he wouldn’t be on a snowmobile this year.  He showed them all just how much fight he had in him.

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Just from a personal standpoint, my brothers fight aside.  This is what I’ve learned in the last 3 months:  Fighting is hard.  It is exhausting and often tear-inducing.  And because of the recent uptick of occurrences in which going to battle is required, I’ve had to pick them more carefully.

My brother is home from the hospital.  And everyone in the family is ecstatic. We have been looking forward to this for three months.  We knew that the transition would be tough, but I was totally unprepared for how tough it would be at the beginning.  In one week alone, I have cried at 2 different pharmacies trying to pick up my brother’s prescriptions because of issues related to billing.  I’m sure I looked like a lunatic.  And then, inevitably feel immediately embarrassed and start pleading my case as to why I’m not a lunatic and then probably look like even more of a lunatic then I did at the beginning. It’s a vicious cycle.  Anyway, One of the battles we’ve taken on is making the house handicap accessible.  We have been begging for 2 months for someone to come in an access our house.  Get it set up for him so when he got home, he’d be able to be mostly independent.  We were met with every stall tactic and excuse they had.  And I, having never navigated through anything like this before, fell for it.  At this point, there are 5 or 6 different people or companies involved in this.  The caseworker, the caseworkers assistant, the insurance company, the contractor, subcontractor,  and as of today the owner of a very large home modification company.  Everyone is pointing the finger at the other as to why this is taking so long.  I make multiple phone calls a day trying to figure it out but usually end up more confused than I was at the beginning.  Today, I made an extra phone call.  To a lawyer.  As this process goes along, I’m seeing that sometimes you can’t fight your battles alone. And I need help fighting this one.  There won’t be many more niceties.  It’s not personal.  It’s business.

I have yet to find a manual or script anywhere to offer me any guidance on how to fight. The desire alone, to fight, comes from within.  It’s propelled by a person’s heart, gut instinct, and moral compass. And not very often, do those 3 things combined steer you wrong.

 

“If you’re feeling froggy, go ahead and leap” – Butch Hanson

 

 

 

 

Posted in blogging, family, Inspirations, life, writing

As my Meme would say – “To Us”

As the year comes to an end today, and we reflect on the year past, there are surely lots of things to be remembered.  Good and bad.  It’s what we make of the year to come that matters most now.  Looking at things with rose-colored glasses is difficult for some, and I am that “some”.

While the traditional New Year’s Eve song “Auld Lang Syne” isn’t necessarily relevant to my life right now, it is a symbol of new beginnings. It brings us into a new year. A new state of mind. Resolutions, promises, and expectations. 2016 seems to be a year some would like to forget. If you find  yourself on any sort of social media, you will inevitably see things like “worst year ever!” or a growing list of hashtags with similar sentiments. Celebrity deaths aside, it would appear that more people than usual have experienced hardships, tragedies or loss this last 365 days.

I find myself coming up short on the positives often. Every year on my birthday, I get a call from a friend of mine. Her name is Katie, we’ve known each other since elementary school and she is a rose-colored glasses kind of girl.  She does this thing on birthdays. She’ll ask “What was the three best things about this past year? And what three things are you looking forward to in the next year?” I turned 33 on November 22nd, and I knew the call was coming. I had tried to prepare for it.  I dug deep for answers to both questions. So deep, in fact, I don’t remember what I said. I think maybe I’ve forgotten because the responses I gave her maybe weren’t the truth, or particularly important. Except one answer. In response to the best thing about last year was “I moved home.” That’s all I had, but it was a big one.  When she called,  my brother was still in the hospital.  Our lives were in a mild form of chaos.  I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. I had tunnel vision, and I mean like longest tunnel in the world vision, with only my running lights on.  What I could see, was very dim.

I know that I am more negative than I intend to be.  I envy the optimists, the positive Polly’s of the world.  Negativity creeps up on me. I’ll start a sentence or story with the intentions of it being neutral, and before I know it, it’s taken a turn south. Or when I’m preparing for something.  An event, not in a social way, but more of an outcome of something.   It’s hard to see when you’ve crossed over from being prepared to pessimist. “Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best” is a saying that sums up my outlook most days.  I don’t see that perspective changing for me. While I believe in this saying wholeheartedly, it does, more often than not, tend to slant towards pessimism Negativity spreads like a weed, while the opposite somehow takes more care and nurturing to hit not just mainstream media, but self-acknowledgement.

But in this time of reflection, I’d like to publicly declare my one and only resolution attempt for 2017. I will be that positive Polly. No more negative Nancy. I will make a serious attempt to see the best of situations and speak only to that. Not in the annoying overbearing way some people do, but in a realistic, non-condescending way. A way that doesn’t demean the gravity or seriousness in the situation, but simply emphasizes the best possible outcome.

With all that being said, or typed rather.  I’m going to start the new year early.  My rosey glasses are on.  I’m going to take today and celebrate the end of an unforgettable year.  For better or worse, it is done with.  I will raise, perhaps a few glasses of champagne tonight.  As I have been known to do, often without a special occasion.  We will move on to the next year and I’ll do my absolute best to make it one where #bestyearever will be my most often used hashtag.  As soon as I figure out how to use hashtags…

 

To Us!