Category Archives: Happiness

A sustainable future doing what makes you happy

Run for Joy

Living 365 days of joy, means being grateful for the simple moments and memories we make inspiring one another, that we are worth even running the greatest distances for. I am grateful today, for a healthy body and mind that’s at ease, when I am putting one foot in front of the other and taking forward steps to a bright future.

A little over a year, September of 2014, a few months before I was to marry the same man that I had married for the first time thirteen years earlier and sixty pounds heavier. My anxiety was overwhelming me with fear and insecurity. I had to find a way to make the time for myself, not to fall apart or get lost in the sadness of my past mistakes or let my depression take a hold of my emotional well being. I had to find a way, to fight my mental health issues, with a healthy and affordable course of action.

I was online seeking inspiration and encouragement when I stumbled across a Facebook community, “OutRun The Odds”. I was captivated by the joy and spirit of these outrunners, a community that passionately shared joy an enthusiasm for running and being part of a mission to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. This group inspired me, to do what I had never done before…put one foot in front of the other and believe I was worth running for.

I am happy to share on October of 2014, a month after my husband and I remarried, we completed our first 5k, in honor of my husbands late father.  Since that date…my body has carried me all over the state, running numerous 5k’s a 10k, completing two triathlons and two half marathons. I have built friendships, that will last a lifetime and created memories that carry me threw, on the darkest of days.

I have been able to connect with runners all over the world, threw various running groups and the positive spirit of the runner, is simply contagious. It’s not how fast we go, but that we do go and that we believe we are worth running for. Running for me has become a great way, not to just stay physically fit but has forced me to make time for myself and that has made me a happier women, wife and mother and I am eternally grateful for that. Today, I share I am proud to call myself a runner and look forward to running my third half marathon in NYC this coming March.

 

 

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If it’s to be…

“One of our favorite activities as a family is watching old home movies.”

Photos and Videography….the first time around I was so rushed and anxious to get to the party, I didn’t stop to take the time to get photos you can look back at for years to come. I was so anxious I didn’t remember the vows I spoke or the moment we shared that special kiss. At the end of the day, the camera doesn’t lie and whether you want staged pictures or candid moments the person or people you hire need to have an open and often unspoken communication with you at all times. If your not committed to the moment, no photographer or film crew can photoshop you in it.

A New Beginning

Allen Kee: A proud father who is passionate about his work as an advertising and editorial photographer. Allen took time from his busy schedule working primarily for ESPN to photograph our simple family on our special day. 

Allen had come into my husbands small auto detail business only a couple months prior to our wedding to have his car detailed.  My husband came home and said, “I met this great guy today and he is an awesome photographer.”

I immediately started checking out Allen’s work always thinking outside the box, I discovered this amazingly talented photographer working in the fast paced world of sports and falling in love with his still and loving photos of his daughter.  I knew he was exactly the type of photographer I was looking for. We needed empathy for family and the patience for my high energy and he had already established a genuine connection with my husband it all made sense. I asked my husband to do only one thing and that was to call Allen and ask him to photograph our wedding and he did. Allen said it was his honor,  he had found inspiration in our strength as a couple taking the non- traditional route in life getting re-married to each other. We not only had a true professional but now a friend who’s life we touched and that clearly advocates for human kindness. I encourage you to check out more of his work and I am honor to share we have been able to continue to work together: http://www.allenkeephoto.com/

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Chip Dizard:  A passionate teacher, father and husband. His videography speaks for itself in the work he produces.  I met Chip online threw a Facebook club called “Never Settle Club”, hosted by Mario Armstrong.

Chip and I made a connection via social media, sharing our passion to find a sustainable future doing what we are passionate about in life. He took the time to get to know me, reading my story about finding 365 Days of Joy. I found myself inspired by Chip’s dedication as a teacher and the work he does with his students. Throughout the course of the club online Chip shared his wedding videography and my decision to hire him had already been made.

When Chip came all the way up to our small town, he got to know my family. He spent time passing the baseball in the backyard with my husband and son. He spent time teaching my daughter how to use the camera’s connecting with her as he would with his own children and students. The crew he brought with him, were professional and acclimated themselves with the area we lived, scouting out arial views that would encompass all the things we love about the town we live. I cry tears of joy each time I see just the trailer that he completed of our wedding day. You can see more of his work at:  http://chipdizardweddings.com/

I know these are major expenses and for us we consider them is an investment in our future. I often say, when I look back at my photos it reminds me of the love I have for my husband and my family, by the expressions on our faces.  I have absolutely no regrets in investing in quality people my photographer and videographer. I consider them my friends for life…

No Greater Gift

I am one of the many members of “St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church” and have been for over twenty years.  I have now officially been married twice here, to the same man. Baptized two beautiful babies and celebrated while my husband and our two children had their first communion at your alter. What I want to say is that none of this would have been possible without you, “the people”, of this church and I am grateful.

Many of you probably don’t know this about our family, but while we celebrated all these wonderful moments in our church lives our home life and first marriage to each other had fallen apart.  Two years ago, after our first marriage ended in a divorce my husband and I thought we lost everything…and we found ourselves at the doors of this church.  I would like to think, God answered our call but I know his hands were stretched far wider.

I know church is a place where all should feel welcome and sometimes that’s not very easy. A church is still a business that has salaries and bills to pay and at the time, leaning on these doors was a far stretch for even my own faith to reach, but I can tell you today it was worth it. It’s important to know where your consistent charitable donations are being spent and what your selfless time and dedication keeping these doors open means. You are changing the lives of people when they are in need and I share that you are making a difference.

After two years of hard work, support and counseling the “Episcopal Church Diocese” of Connecticut, gave my husband and I their blessing to re-marry and we did on September 13, 2014, here at this church.  This parish the staff and its administration opened its arms and embraced my family in a time of need. The music director played “No Greater Gift” while empowering our children to find their voice. The church administrative officer, not only helped me put together a program that celebrated my life, but include the lives of all people who celebrate joy in forgiveness and believe in the covenant of marriage. The alter guild gave me strength as I anxiously walked toward the alter. To the Reverend Steve Domienik…we are eternally grateful for your leadership, counseling and continued faith in a God which has empowered me to share how great it is to believe he exists.

Lastly and most importantly to my church family, you have given me the opportunity to share how wonderful this church is with so many people and to teach our children having faith can make a difference, in the lives of others.

I’m not crazy…

“We are what we pretend to be, so be careful about what we pretend to be.”-Kurt Vonnegut

I suffer the disability of having a mental illness and I am not ashamed to share this with you, because I am ok and happy to be exactly me.

Society sadly prejudges us for our past mistakes and behaviors breeding fear and anxiety for those suffering with any illness or disability. I think this prevents many from getting help sooner in life and finding the happiness they deserve.  I had to show the people who loved me and most importantly myself that I was deserving of happiness, which takes time and patience.

On September 13, 2014 I got married again. I didn’t just get married again to anyone, I got married again to the same man I had married eleven years ago. I married him because,  I believe I deserve to be loved, trusted and forgiven. I also want to share that I survived and it is possible for people to change and make a difference in the world, leading by example and from the heart.

Today, I surround myself with positive people who share my passion for life and are cheering with me to live a life filled with #365DaysofJoy. We celebrate one another and all the simple accomplishments, hurtles and goals we achieve. We all deserve happiness and as human beings that requires compassion and empathy for others. You never know what battles someone is facing, so be mindful of that when you teach your children and when you walk out into the world everyday.

I am eternally grateful that I have been given the courage and strength to share this message with you all and in sharing, my hope is that it will inspire others to get the help they need and find the happiness they deserve.

http://www.zip06.com/article/20150218/NWS10/502179997/1122/madisonlatest

365 Days of Joy

I had never imagined that I would still be here sharing the simple moments in my life that I celebrate #365DaysofJoy.  I am truly humbled by all of you, who listen, read and share my story. This journey has led me to be inspired by wonderful new friends, amazing opportunities and most importantly a new found “hope” my children will grow up and share my enthusiasm and passion for life. The greater good has always been for all children to have empathy and gratitude for not just themselves but for those they meet throughout their lives.

This weekend I re-marry the love of my life, again. Thirteen years ago when we first married, I didn’t know what it meant to be married. I was not prepared or ready to make the commitment it takes to have a life long partner. I was selfish, immature and insecure. We were clearly uneducated on what the covenant of marriage meant. I share with you today, “I’m ready” and I know my future husband is. We have both done our homework, finding our self worth and that’s allowed us to make the commitment to being one love. I honor us and our vulnerability to trust one another, the patience needed, the work required, the ability to forgive and have empathy and compassion for our differences. That’s what will sustain our marriage as we face the future ahead.

On July 1, 2001. My wedding day…It was a “fairy tail”. The big white dress, the tiara, the ring, the parties…I guess you could say I ended up suffocating myself in tule while drooling over cake tastings. This was suppose to be, the beginning of the future of all the things I had imagined would validate “me” in life. What I didn’t realize is that no amount of stuff or anyone person could validate me, only I could do that for myself. We came home from our honeymoon, expecting our first child. We moved into the new house we had to buy to raise our children…We got so caught up in making believe that when reality set in, we couldn’t afford the life that brought us nothing more then “fleeting happiness” nor were we equip to handle the underlying problems that had gotten us there to begin with.

In December 2011, we got a divorce. My ex and future husband likes to say, we made the most expensive mistake in our life. I say that’s true, but had it not been for that mistake and the pain it caused; We may not have been here today.

On, September 13th 2014, I look forward to the future with a new found hope and gratitude for the love of my life as husband and wife, sharing #365DaysofJoy till death do us part.  Amen 2 That!

Simply Not A Simple Minded Mom

When my own children entered middle school I started to feel lost. My role had always been, “full time mom”. I had been this super involved mom, a constant presence in their daily lives an admitted “career volunteer”. In elementary school parents are welcomed to be present as much or as little as they choose and I chose to be present a lot. I was good at it and it was rewarding knowing that not just my kids, but all the kids enjoyed and wanted me around. As my children have gotten older, entering their pre-teen years I am no longer needed in the same capacity as I was in prior years. I also felt as a mom, this sense of allowing them that independence to grow up and make mistakes finding their own paths, that don’t require my constant physical presence in their daily life.

My journey to finding social media success sharing 365 days of joy starts with them. I had to find a way as a mother to stay connected to my children, because even though I trust my parenting thus far I believe that while and as long as my children live under my roof, its my responsibility to know what they are doing and who they are socially sharing with.  I felt compelled to protect them and that required joining them.

I started with the most popular platform, Instagram…girls and a boys in the pre-teen ages. I just started sharing simple happy messages of joy everyday, using a daily hashtag that I would create to catch their attention and would include them without totally embarrassing them. MondayFunday, TerrificTuesday, WackyWednesday, ThorwbackThursday aka TBT, FunFriday, SuperSaturday and SundaySelfie all became part of a daily routine. The joy of it, I didn’t just lift my children’s spirt but those of their friends and in turn my own, as I started watching them curiously follow and often share or comment on what I was posting. Today and to my great surprise “I” Rachel Salvo aka “ctgirlonthego” am followed by so many who’s lives I have touched over this past year just being a simple mom who not so simple-mindedly had found a way to stay connected to my family and feel valued doing it.

The strategy to educate myself on how to even use social media required hard work and I have to give credit to Twitter for this one. I was able to communicate with professionals in the field of social media that without a doubt are beyond brilliant.

I made a list on the topic based on a trusted source and someone I had followed for years years via NBC  “The Today Show”, Mario Armstrong.  As I continued to share my joyful and sometimes witty self with my daily tweets, I came across a women whom I have grown to respect and admire, Marsha Collier. I share her book “Social Media Commerce for Dummies”, it’s an easy affordable fact finding book that gave me the basics to get started. I got involved in “daily chats” that have been without a doubt an essential tool to finding success in human connection. I credit someone I can now call a friend, Brian Franzo he is one of the hardest working social media strategist I have ever met @iSocialFanz. I am grateful for all these people who actually cared enough to share with me.

I can say today, that I am one step closer to finding a sustainable future for myself sharing 365 days of joy. I am passionate about inspiring people to succeed and it makes me feel good that I add value to someones life. Social media has enabled me to lend my face, my voice and my story with so many amazing people and for that I am grateful. My character is simply created to share joy and for today this has lead me to my own personal brand ctgirlonthego sharing #365daysofjoy all year long.

Embrace the Character

I will admit I am rather torn writing this because I alone am not the solution. We tend to highlight what it is we are doing rather then who the person is that is doing it.  I would like to shine the light on all those people that are out there and aren’t being heard who do make a difference and are valued. I am also going to express gratitude for all the people who do recognize the bigger issues and work everyday to “shine the light” on what we can do better.

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If you looked at my report cards after kindergarten you would see a mediocre or below average student who never worked hard enough to meet her full potential never really applying herself. From school to school I would go as we moved quit often and that’s what the emphasis always was, Rachel isn’t applying herself. I was defined by my education and the grades I was achieving. I will say today that I was preconditioned to fail. In defense of the educators at the time we didn’t have the knowledge we do today about learning disabilities, or the empathy for those who suffer from them. I do think we need to re-define what makes a person valuable and be very cautious not to focus too much on what they do rather who they are their Character what makes them happy.

I will say that I am far from mediocre and far from perfect always a work in progress. I started paying it forward for my own kids by getting back to basics only a couple years ago. I hashtag #365daysofjoy because I am grateful I am here and have the courage to reach out be vulnerable to share what I know about being happy and what I have learned to sustain myself. I embrace the tenacity of my own Character to share with you here today.

My hope is that we can redefine what it means to be a success and focus on the Character. What inspires those who don’t know how to achieve it. Embrace the individuals sharing joy in their ability to make you smile or laugh. The American dream should be happiness and I think that we need to get “back to basics”. We can’t change the past but we can certainly learn from it.

We need more leaders who stop enabling failure by turning a blind eye and look Humanity in the face. Paying it forward by empowering others to do whatever it is that they are passionate about and it will continue to sustain itself.

I am happy that I have this amazing Character that is ambitious enough to hope I can make a difference with even one smile each day, sharing #365DaysofJoy