Introduction. Story. Inspiration. New Beginning.
It has been a long time since I have sat down and written a post. A real honest to goodness post from my brain to the keyboard. I have wanted to sit down so many times and just say “hello” like I used to, but I never had the time. I was always under a deadline, exhausted, busy, or mentally, physically and emotionally unable to write. So I decided that today would be the day. Today, no matter how busy I was; I was going to say hello. I am going to tell you about my Introduction. Story. Inspiration. New Beginning.
Since it has been so long and we have gained so many new friends, let me introduce myself. My name is Lily and I am 42 years old, I will be celebrating a birthday next month!!! I was born and raised in California and have wishes of returning one day. I love to meet new people (but also suffer from severe anxiety), I love to travel and play in my craft room with my planners. Two years ago I went on my first cruise and I have been addicted ever since, there is nothing like it! Last year I went on another first, my first vacation/cruise alone with a child and it was life-changing! I love to blog because it allows me to meet so many people from all over the world.
In June I had my 5th minor stroke in 8 years and this time around it has taken me a bit longer to regain my footing. My memory and focus are gone as well as the emotions being all over the place, but the Doctor did say this was normal. I also suffer with severe anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, severe rheumatoid arthritis ; it’s a fair share of good and bad days. Sharing about my collection of diagnoses is something I love to do because there is always someone I can relate with, help, meet, and share experiences with.
Will and I have been married for 19 years. We have 6 children, we also have 1 dog, 1 cat, 1 rabbit and 100+ fish; and always looking for more pets to rescue and love! 8 years ago we moved from San Diego, California to New York and drove the entire way. We moved because my Husband left the Navy after 15 years due to a convoy accident he sustained in Afghanistan. He was also diagnosed with severe PTSD, TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). He is in school for his Masters Degree while working full-time. Though we have lived here for so long and own a home, I will return to my home State one day.
Our kids are 25, 21, 18, 16, 15, 13 and have many bonus children that come and go. This September we sent our Daughter off to college and it has definitely been a learning experience for all of us 😉 One good thing about this experience is that we now know what to expect with the remaining children.
Since my latest stroke I have struggled with focus in every single aspect of my life. From our Marriage to day to day life, it has all seemed to just be a daily challenge. I was invited to attend a retreat for Bloggers put together by Vera from Lady and the Blog and Audrey from Mom Generations and I was ecstatic. As the event got closer I began to second guess my decision to attend, it got so bad that the morning of my flight I kept trying to stay home. Despite my Husband’s efforts to get me out of the State 😉
Attending the Permission to Hustle Retreat aboard the Carnival Paradise was definitely the inspiration I needed to get my life back on track.
Remember that I tried to stay home because I was so terrified to attend, you see, I have severe anxiety and it was bad! Having to spend 5 days with 40 other Women, interact with them, having to be an adult without my Husband or children to hide with, ROOM with one of those Women?! I was sure I was going to have a breakdown or two. I was shaking with fear as the plane landed in Tampa, FL. As soon as I saw Vera at the airport my fears calmed down significantly. I made it on the plane and actually enjoyed my flight because I listened to music for the first time ever during a flight!
We made it to Tampa and Vera and Lauren were waiting for me as we got out of the plane. I have known Vera online for many years and have met her a few times in person, so I knew I was safe with her. Which made me think: “Lily, you know these Women, you have always dreamed of hanging out with them for more than a few hours at an event so what is wrong with you?!?”. No one knows because depression lies, anxiety lies, horrible self-esteem lies. But I was going to give this a shot, I had no choice right?!
When I least expected it, Inspiration moved into my brain!
We got to the ship, boarded and immediately my fears were gone. I was in my happy place. I was once again on a cruise ship and if anything went wrong, I could always go to my room and decompress. All of these Women let me know that it was okay to be afraid, that I was going to be hugged often, and that I was safe with them. I was, I felt it as soon as I met each one of them. The next 5 days were spent learning, bonding, laughing, eating, experiencing adventures together, as well as many firsts. Every single one of these Women brought something amazing with them to share, we all learned from each other and spent many beach-side moments speaking about our future plans with our blogs, our Families and our lives. Inspiration made a sweet return and I am here for it!
September 15th was the day our ship pulled into port and my flights were cancelled due to the Hurricane. My friends Dani from Ok Dani, Scherrie from Thirty Mommy and Tomika from Life in Pumps were headed to Orlando and offered to give me a ride. They were on the phone & social media trying to get me a flight from Orlando! They offered to house me and feed me if I couldn’t get a flight out, so I may have hoped for no flights. Ssshhh don’t tell them! I got to have lunch with them at a Disney resort and then I headed off for my flight.
On the flight home I made so many notes, schedules, to do lists, thoughts. Everything that I needed to get out of my brain while it was hot! The next day I woke up and went straight to work and began working on everything that I learned during the retreat. I had a talk with my Husband and I told him I was ready to get back to work. We both agreed that this would take me long hours to get back to where I used to be. Where I want to be and I have worked hard everyday since I got home. Many days I have put 11+ hours and they have all been productive. I have posted a new blog post everyday this month thanks to a challenge that Trisha from Salty Side Dish created for our group AND I LOVE IT!
These are our newest posts:
It was exactly the motivation and push that I needed!
Something else that changed during that trip was me. I learned what it’s like to have friends, Women friends, Supportive friends. I danced on a dance floor for the first time in my life thanks to Karen from Chica in the City. I screamed and cheered loudly for my karaoke singing friends. I willingly posed for a picture and I LOVED IT! We created friendships that I will never take for granted! I have since accepted the fact that even if I hate what I look like in pictures, I can still share them and IT’S OKAY. So I have!
I hope that you got to learn a little bit more about me, my life and our blog. I hope that you come around often and become a friend! Is there anything else you’d like to know about us? What types of articles would you like to read? Which ones are your favorites? Thank you for being a part of our digital Family!
Thank you for your visit and your support.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read our post. I hope that you are able to make a trip that changes your life and come back to tell us about it! If you would like to share pictures with us so we can share them, feel free to email us or share on our social media channels. If you love this post, please consider helping us by sharing it with your friends and Family, we really do appreciate it!!!
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6 thoughts on “Introduction. Story. Inspiration. New Beginning.”
I am so grateful that you came on the cruise and that I get to call you a friend!! So proud of you and so excited to see where the newfound inspiration takes you 🙂
You are such an inspiration. So happy we met and became friends!!!
What an amazing adventure! I’m proud of you and wishing you all the best! Carol
Thank you SO much Kara, for your friendship, love, encouragement and example!!!
Thank you SO much my sweet friend!!! I am SO SO happy we met as well, and I am so grateful for your friendship!!!!
Thank you so much Carol, your words mean so much!!!