Island life

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Is it the end of summer? Or the beginning of fresh ideas and crisp energy? Every year I have been joining co-workers to trip a 3 hour paddle to Jewell Island in the Casco Bay of Portland, ME. I didn't make last year because it was too much after the passing of my dad. So back on another annual experience and it was just what my mental and physical doctor ordered!

I love that the beginning of summer I was on Monhegan Island and have a great bookend of Jewell Island to the end. Even though the air has turned crisp and it feels like October, we have until the 20th to embrace summer. This cold snap is the awakening of our inner self to come abound. To stay in the present moment or flock away to a warmer place.

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I myself love the cold. I love the fleece jackets, the warm blankets, and renewed energy that the cold air brings to my soul.

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Our paddle to Jewell was not as smooth and easy as in times past. I had to whip out some bracing and paddling skills that my confidence is not up to snuff.

Our launch from Cousins Island was high gusty winds that led me to struggle to keep my boat straight. Water was splashing on the deck, waves coming at me in all directions. I felt such a lack of control. I thought, I can't do this, three hours of this will not work.

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We came around the edge of Cousins and could see protected waters in sight. All I had to do was paddle to that and a breather was ahead. Frustrated with my boat turning the way I didn't want it, my shoulder starting to hurt, and exhaustion setting in I didn't know if I could do it.

But I did! I made it to the calm. I expressed what a challenge that was and my co-worker stated that I looked so confident.

We had a few more challenging terrains after that, but I was on fire! I had the energy and gusto to take anything on.

It's amazing how we can be so buried in just trying to paddle through tough situations and not see how we could survive. How life can hand us challenges and in the end you get passed them and gain more strength. The hardest thing is seeing the flat water ahead. Breathe and hydrate is all I can say.

I realized when my co-worker told me I looked so confident, that we all wear layers of blankets that might make things look easy. I am glad I took the time to express my struggles so my co-paddlers could understand they needed to remove the blanket.

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Many times in life our blankets might be telling someone a story that is no longer ourselves or what we want to wear. Sometimes we might be telling ourselves these stories and holding on to our blankets because it can be scary out there.

With the chilly weather coming upon us choose what blanket you want.

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I am reaching for a new blanket. A blanket that will guide me into our winter with everything I need. A blanket to continue to focus on my needs first in order to give to others. A blanket of confidence, and the confidence that I know I have, not what others expect or see.

What will you surround yourself with?

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