Don’t Lose Faith

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I was secretly on a mission for the last 11 months and I am sad to report that I have failed.  My goal was to meet a hot and super rich guy to marry and travel with and never work again.

I have put my goal aside (for now 😉 ) and found a new job!  I’m pretty excited because it’s something new but nervous AF hoping I do a good job.  I do feel good about it because they have already set up a Welcome Liz Lunch (I love lunching!) whereas my last employer threw me in a cube and my boss didn’t talk to me for six months.

With that said, I came across a blog I never posted when I was down in the dumps.  I had made a list of goals that I have mostly accomplished:

  1. Stop the negativity – work in progress
  2. Do what makes me happy – my favorite one!
  3. Walk everyday – eh, working on that
  4. Love myself – work in progress

I have made a lot of changes since I made this list and feel really good. I probably haven’t felt this good for an extended period of time in years.  I am not perfect and I will stumble but I am conscious of what I need to do to stay on track.

My time “off” has been time well spent.  I have helped others which fills my heart and others have helped me.  In down times we learn who our friends our and I certainly did.  My friends have really stuck by me and when I was a raging bitch or in a dark place; they certainly made it known and balanced me.  THANK YOU!

My parents have been my safety net and I am incredibly lucky to have them.  Despite disagreements I know they have my best interest at heart.  ❤

Lastly, like the quote about says, “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick.  Don’t lose faith.”  It’s easy to be positive when things are going right for me at the moment, but I learned how to have faith in myself.  No one can ever bring you down unless you let them.  This was a hard lesson for me because it meant I had to be mentally strong and block out the bullshit.  I built that faith in myself by knowing I was better than what anyone says or thinks.  I had faith that I am a hard worker and would figure out a way if I didn’t find a job.  There is always a way…

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“Brooklyn” & Opportunity

brooklyn

I recently saw the movie “Brooklyn”,  based on the book by Colm Toibin, about a young woman who travels from Ireland to America seeking opportunity.  I immediately thought of my great grandma, Mary Healy, who left her home in Riverstown in County Sligo, in 1907 and arrived five days later at Ellis Island.

At the young age of 11, Mary accompanied her aunt Bridget in search a better life but mostly the unknown.  Unknown because there weren’t televisions, iPhones, computers and barely a telephone.  I can’t imagine the hope and fear they must have had similar to Eilis (pronounced Alish) in “Brooklyn”.

Eilis arrived at Ellis Island around 1950 all alone with no family or friends except for a Priest.  He helped her get a job, a home with other Irish immigrants and eventually an education.

I don’t know if my great-grandmother had a plan laid out like Eilis but most importantly, she survived.  Mary found a home in Newark, NJ, eventually met my great-grandfather (O’Hare), started a family and had six children.

Great Grandma Mary & I She lived to be 97 and passed in 1993.

Great Grandma Mary & I
She lived to be 97 and passed in 1993.

My grandmother is now 95 and had a family of her own, one son who died shortly after birth and three daughters; one of which is my mother.  I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m telling this story!

First, let me say that I think the evolution of my family is amazing.  I think I get my fire from my great-grandmother and grandmother; smart, witty, wise cracking and family above all else.  That’s where I come from.

Second, you reading this are a relative of an immigrant.  If you don’t already know your story, find out.  You might be amazed.

Lastly, the world we live in today is a scary place and very different from 1907 and 1950.  ISIS and other terrorist groups are threatening our freedoms.  As an American, we are the land of the free and home of the brave which will never change but I’m very conflicted on the topic of refugees.

We have our own citizens that are sick, dying, homeless and without food.  Syria is a place of terror and poverty beyond our imagination yet I fear for our own safety of terrorist.  I don’t have an answer, but if we didn’t have immigrants then you or I wouldn’t be here.

 

 

In Our Hearts

Today marks 20 years since the death of my brother.  The amount of time that has gone by is shocking.  I am sharing this to provide comfort to those suffering a loss:

In Our Hearts

We thought of you with love today.

But that was nothing new.

We thought about you yesterday.

And days before that too.

We think of you in silence.

We often speak your name.

Now all we have is memories.

And your picture in a frame.

Your memory is our keepsake.

With which we’ll never part.

God has you in his keeping.

We have you in our heart.

liz sean

An Ode to The Feehery’s

Family Quote

When I was about two, my mother met a wonderful man from a large Irish Catholic family.  They married shortly thereafter and I suddenly had about 20 new cousins and 12 aunts and uncles.

Not being blood related is not a factor in this family.  They welcomed my brother and I from the beginning.  I can vividly remember Christmas parties at Aunt Joanne and Uncle Pat’s house with all the cousins, I was in my Aunt Jane’s wedding, summers in Stone Harbor with Uncle Jef and Aunt Kathy, playing at Aunt Marie and Uncle Mike’s house, Aunt Eileen holding my family together when my brother died and New Year’s parties at Aunt Chris and Uncle Joe’s house.  And then there’s the countless weddings…

Last night I attended a wedding for my cousin Alicia.  It was a beautiful day and the family gathered to celebrate the special event. My cousins are mostly in Pennsylvania but some are now in other places like Virginia, California, Colorado and Minnesota so it’s not easy to see them often but they were there (some in spirit).  Seeing my cousins is like that friend you’ve known for years and even though you don’t see each other that often, you pick up right where you left off.

Looking back on the conversations I had last night with many of my cousins, aunts and uncles, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with love and gratitude.  Each of them are such special and loving people who want the best for me and each other.

Over the years this family has seen a lot of tragedies and lately, thank God, a lot of triumphs.  I just wanted to give a special message to the Feehery family and let them all know how much they mean to me.  It’s not very often you have special relationships with family who truly come together in good times and in bad.  Mom Mom and Pop Pop would be proud.

Change of Scenery

change of scenery

I have a friend at work who I confide in about my work and life challenges.  Every few weeks she tells me that I need a change of scenery.  It seems like a simple suggestion but then my brain goes into overdrive…

A change of scenery could mean two things: changing jobs or moving away.  The moving away part seems to cross my mind more often lately but that’s a major change that I don’t know I’m willing to make.  I have my family and friends in the tri-state area that I couldn’t live without.

Sure, I make friends everywhere I go, but moving states away?  Is a big move like that worth leaving those important people behind?  The thought of that brings on anxiety and fear but could it be worth it in the long run?

I need to hear from people who have made big changes like this.  Was it worth it?  Were you so terrified of that change but laughed at it later on?  Was it a huge mistake?  I need your help because this girl needs a change!

 

2015 Improvements

New Year 2015

I don’t know about you but I hate setting a New Year’s Resolution!  I have always felt that we don’t need the end of the year to reflect on the past and make changes in the future because it can be done everyday.  However, I will indulge you with my thoughts on how I want to improve in 2015….

Saying Yes

Saying yes to things outside of your comfort zone can be scary and rewarding.  I’m going to take more chances in hopes for larger rewards.

Saying No

Saying no to things you don’t want to do just makes you unhappy.  Don’t get me wrong, there are obligations we don’t want to do but they are the right thing.  I’m going to say no to things and be ok with my decision.

Taking Care of my Body

Being a healthier person is important for our overall happiness.  I’m not perfect and put on a couple of pounds this Holiday Season but as long I am conscious of what I need to feel good that is ok for me.

Slowing Down and Being More Thoughtful

A few times this year I have been faced with many work challenges and changes.  In an effort to prove that I can handle it all, I had compromised my responsiblity to be strategic.  This year I will be slowing down, thinking clearly about the down stream effects and best solutions.

Cooking More

I am a good cook and rarely do it because it’s easier to just pick up food for one!  I am going to make a bigger effort to cook new things at a reasonable price and in a healthy way.

So, in my last post of the year, I encourage you to look back on the last year.  Applaud yourself fo your accomplishments, recognize your failures, pick yourself up and move into the new year in a positive way.  Who knows, changing ourselves could yield bigger changes around us.

Happy New Year to you!

Spasiba 2014!

In honor of #tbt I took a look back on 2014 and laughed and smiled at all the things I have done.  I have met new friends, strengthened others and completed some goals!  Here are just some of my main squeezes…

friends

2014 started out pretty amazing as I celebrated my 35th birthday with important friends and family.  For those of you who closed down the bar with us, the party didn’t stop there (Neptune ballet)…  Who knew I would meet a new friend there and would have many memories throughout the year (ahem, Bar A in AC, Irish car bombs, etc etc)

liz knipper friends

The Spring brought on awesome outings with new said friends as well as a great trips with my Mom.  The first was up to the city to visit my bro on St. Patrick’s Day.  My first time at the parade and at The Tonight Show.  If you have an opportunity to do these things – do it!  You won’t regret it!

st patricks day

We also traveled to Miami to visit my family.  I had an awesome visit with my cousin who gave me a tour of the upper Keys via boat bar hopping – the best method!

keys

Memorial Day Weekend was also a start to a big goal of mine; to complete the Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix (running five specific races over the summer).  During this time I completed two 5-milers and three 5Ks.  My favorite was the Spring Lake 5.  The crowd was awesome and the weather was perfect.

spring lake 5 finish line

As the summer came to a close my family and I were off to the beautiful state of Colorado to celebrate my cousin’s wedding at 11k+ feet on Keystone Mountain.  It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen and to celebrate two people who make each other very happy was the icing on the cake.  The Rocky Mountains were crazy cool – GO!

pat staceyrocky mountains 2014
The cold weather started to close in which meant it was time to get out of Jersey.  My travel buddy and I took an amazing trip to Punta Cana where we had the time of our lives.  We met great new friends from Latvia, Newark and Pittsburgh!  I wonder what we’ll do next year!

saona island 1pc 1

 

Lastly, and most importantly, we celebrated my Grandmother’s 94th birthday.  How lucky are we that my Grandmother is not only still with us to celebrate the holidays but she’s sharp, funny and is still able to live on her own.  We had a great day with all the grandkids to celebrate how much we love her!  Nine grandkids and four greats – amazing!

gma 94

 

Looking back on all of these amazing memories makes me wonder if 2015 will top it.  Who knows what goals I will create but as long as I have these good people around me I say YES!  Wishing you all the best in 2015 – hope to see you out there! Nostrovia!