happiness

All posts tagged happiness

Ch-ch-ch-ch-CHANGES!

Published July 26, 2017 by Maryanne

SAM_2883New life, new hair! 

Last week I changed my hair. I haven’t been a redhead in a long time so when my new hairstylist/colorist encouraged me to go red, I went with it. The bottom half was done in foils and the top was a glaze, giving an ombre look (and when the glaze fades, as glazes do, my natural brown will look cool with the lighter shade of red, that’s like a strawberry blonde on the bottom). Note, this photo does nothing for the color — in real life it just pops!

Anyway, why the dramatic change in my hair? Because I had a dramatic change in my life!

It happened about a month ago, but haven’t told many yet. After working for myself for nine years, I took a full time job in the editorial department of a magazine!

For nine years I’ve worked as the sole proprietor of my business, Pear Tree Enterprises: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/

When I first started Pear Tree, I had just left an editorial job I worked at for seven years and was trying to find myself. In the past nine years, being my own boss: I’ve helped at least 20 people write their books for publication; I’ve written my own two books (with a third coming out later this year, published by GenZ); I’ve become a public speaker, speaking on various topics at libraries throughout New Jersey, including my Learn & Listen series, which made the front page of The Caldwell News (http://www.mypaperonline.com/library-patrons-learn-and-listen-about-famous-musicians.html); I’ve also put an entire magazine together, learning to use a design program.

During this time, I’ve been interviewed on blog talk radio shows across the United States; have been on well known NJ radio shows; and was featured on a Long Island cable show after starting a non-profit animal rights organization called R.O.A.R. (Respect Our Animals’ Rights) (https://respectouranimalsrights.wordpress.com/).

I’ve also done countless book signings and have met so many famous people I’ve highly admired.

So, with all this success, why would I ditch it all to go back to the so-called rat race?

Three words — I was exhausted.

Running your own show is hard. Trying to find the right help is harder. My husband put it best when he said that I never made the right connections to keep Pear Tree going on a full time basis. I’ve interviewed countless people to be my assistant, and I wasn’t “feeling it” for anyone.

Once I made the decision to re-enter the workforce, I decided to do it wisely. I took my time. I approached job hunting with the same seriousness as I did while looking for a husband. I found my soulmate in 2005 and have been happy together ever since. I was 42 at the time — a true late bloomer. I didn’t marry the first guy who asked me.

So, while seeking a job, I kept an eye out for all the signs of what could be right for me. I don’t even know how long I was actively looking because I didn’t make a job out of seeking a job. When I saw something desirable, I applied.

Then about a month ago, I was hired for TWO jobs! It was a tough decision because both were interesting and both were editorial related. Then I made the RIGHT CHOICE — and almost two months later, I am ecstatic! Not only do I have a position I deserve, with great team players, I can still work Pear Tree as a side gig. I am still giving lectures and helping people write books; as well as writing my own; and freelancing for a magazine I love and believe in. And it’s not like I’m “overworked” either. I simply do freelance work when I feel like it — an hour here, an hour there and the pay adds up. And it’s a damn good feeling to be able to pick and choose what you want to do in life — and the people you want to do it with!

Like being with the right mate, a marriage feels extremely free and liberating. That’s how it is when you have the right job. Work just never feels like work! It’s a time for learning. And I’m so fortunate to be working in a creative environment, using my talents. But best of all, I now have help. Working in a company means you’ll always have someone to fall back on; unlike running the whole show myself. That said, words just can’t express how happy I am!

Unfortunately I had to let some freelance things go like the low-paying blogging jobs; and doing lectures during the week, as I’m now limited to weekends. But to move ahead, you always have to leave some things behind. But it’s worth it. Everything fell into place in such a beautiful way. And while I was always pleased with my life and at times couldn’t imagine it getting any better — it always gets even better!

So, now, I’m officially part of the “rat race” — but it’s a cute rat race! Kinda like a pet rat race.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of three books, including “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon. If you like positive, fun, silly books that don’t go in a downward spiral, this one’s for you: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

Her third book “The Gypsy Smiled” will be published by GenZ later this year.

Dream Come True!

Published February 25, 2017 by Maryanne

sam_2169Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, author

Yesterday my life changed.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the email that my third book that I’ve been shopping around for almost a year was going to be published — traditionally!

My first two book efforts were self-published, which was an incredible experience in itself. I am forever grateful for making the effort of putting out two of my own books. It was exciting hiring good friends to do the cover and to proofread. And then be in charge of my own marketing experience, getting myself on radio stations, in libraries, and record stores for book signing events. What a ride!

Then it got to a point where I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t go for the instant gratification. What would happen if I shopped my third book around?

“The Gypsy Smiled” is in a unique category, music fiction. I did not invent that genre, as I’ve seen it used before. Last year I sent it out to several publishers and then waited.

And when I least expected it, I was contacted by a traditional publisher! My book will be published and available all over the world in the next three to six months!

So, not to be secretive, but I’d rather stop here and when the book is published, I’ll talk about it — especially how super cool my publisher is!

All I will say, at this point, to anyone — don’t give up on your dreams! Keep believing in yourself and enjoy every bit of the ride. I mean, the chances of being published traditional are pretty slim; and I am so humbled to be one of the fortunate ones.

You just have to love what you do, whether you are successful or not. Love every minute of the process: the writing and the writer’s block; the success and the rejection letters; the praise as well as the bad reviews … and the long days where it seems like nothing is happening, because it really IS; the universe is just getting all the ducks in order for you to start shining.

It happened to me, and it could happen to you!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, now an upcoming traditionally published author, has self published two books, both available on Amazon:

On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X4

Love Cats (in paperback and Kindle versions): https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513

She is also an award-winning journalist, currently writing for Vitamin Retailer magazine and New View Media news publications; as well as proofreading legal ordinances at Coded Systems in Spring Lake, New Jersey. 

Congratulations to Ashley & Mitchell

Published September 25, 2016 by Maryanne

sam_1304I was honored to officiate the wedding of Ashley and Mitchell Patino

Yesterday I was so touched to join two beautiful souls together — Ashley and Mitchell.

Officiating weddings is not something I do, but Ashley had asked me to, so I got my certificate. Ashley and I have been friends about two years and she is like a sister to me.

And this is the story of how I came to be the officiant at their most beautiful day.

The precious thing about life is that you’ll never know what a new day can bring. Pure magic can happen in a split second. Two years ago I was doing one of my first book signings ever. Ashley and Mitchell were there, in the audience. I did not yet know them. And it was one of their first dates.

While I was reading, from my own memoir, with my own love story, I noticed Ashley looking wide-eyed and attentive. We spoke after the reading and found out we had a lot in common, even though I was 26-years-older than her! We both loved the music of HIM, poetry, reading, and animals. We remained friends and saw each other from time to time.

It was earlier this summer that I received a call from Ashley, asking if I’d officiate her wedding. I was honored.

Between the rehearsal dinner on Friday night, and the actual wedding day, I can honestly say I have never seen so much love! Ashley and Mitchell both have the greatest family and the greatest friends. My husband and I had the time of our life! From start to finish, it was incredible. Hearing music by HIM, David Bowie, and The Cure. The gothic theme, with pumpkins along the aisle, Edgar Allen Poe and ravens set up at the reception area. The DJ and two percussionists that had the party going full hilt. And the food, especially the chocolate mousse dessert. It was the first time I had sugar in months!

It was certainly a day and night I’ll never forget. Wow. Just wow! ❤

All the happiness to Ashley and Mitchell as their FOREVER has just begun!

I’m sharing just two more photos below, but feel free to check out my Facebook page to see the rest: https://www.facebook.com/maryanne.christianomistretta.1/media_set?set=a.1778705042351466.1073741903.100006359623422&type=3&pnref=story

sam_1357Maryanne (left) with Ashley — I love this girl!! sam_1326The cake! 

Time, God, and Patience

Published November 17, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7832Nature’s Timing is Impeccable

Yesterday I was on the phone making an appointment to see a woman I highly admired and couldn’t wait to see. As an author, public speaker, book editor, managing editor of Dining Out magazine, wife, and kitty mom, you can imagine how busy my schedule is — as I imagine how busy everyone else is in this day and age. I squeeze as many things in as possible to have a beautiful, happy career and am as equally precious about my down time. In other words, I know what works for me and what is right for me — as should you!

Because I couldn’t squeeze this person in when she wanted me to, her words to me were: “What I’m hearing is you’re not interested and you’re not flexible. When a person wants to do something, they will make the time.”  Then she went on about how busy she is

I corrected her.

“No, what you’re hearing is I know my limits of what I can and can’t fit in. Yes, I am interested, but sometimes the best things in life you have to wait for!”

That stopped her dead in her tracks and she realized I was right. I told her I adored her, but what difference did it make that our appointment would be later than sooner?

As a late bloomer, I am used to waiting. I’m not the most patient person in the world, but when you are patient, good things are well worth it. As I’ve said before, I had my first article printed in my mid-20s, but didn’t make a career out of writing until my late 30s. I married in my late 40s. And had my first book published the year I turned 50. What is wrong with that? NOTHING!

Isn’t it better to do things when the timing is right? I’d rather wait to see this person, when I can focus on her 100 percent and be bright-eyed and bushy tailed, rather than go in a rush and watch the clock.

And in my heart, I feel that when God wants something for us, it’s in His time. Not ours. How do we know it’s His time? When it’s easy and it feels natural. Just like animals in nature; they know when to rest and when to come out of hibernation. That’s why I love the saying about God having three answers, “Yes” “No” or “Wait.” Waiting ain’t that bad.

Two years ago, I had a lecture in Pennsylvania and I had to cover a story in Paterson and somewhere in between I had to eat and attend a funeral. It was a very crazy day to do all that. Luckily the weather was nice for all that driving. My regular life isn’t too far fetched from that day. It’s fine because I live a comfortable life, making my down-time all that more enjoyable. But when someone suggests for me to drive somewhere that’s two hours away from where another appointment is, I have to put my foot down, when something can simply be scheduled on another day.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Every blessed moment of it. Whether it’s your career, your friendships, your marriage, your family and so on …

Sometimes our priorities have to shift because of death or illness and we have to make sudden changes and choices over what needs to be done pronto or what can wait. But most of the time, a happy, well organized person knows his/her limitations. And if we have to book events well into the future, we (and everyone else) needs to be okay with that.

Like the old saying goes, “Tomorrow is another day.”

So get a good planner and look forward to many tomorrows! ❤

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an author and public speaker. For more information visit: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/

High School Friends Reunited 35 Years Later!

Published July 31, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8136Maryanne (left) and Pam – Class of 1981!

Today’s most awesome reunion with my high school classmate Pam was phenomenal on multi-levels. As adults, we had a super duper time lunching at New Jersey’s famous Tick Tock Diner. But this meeting goes way beyond a reunion. I had an agenda … to thank Pam, personally, for a favor she did for me back in high school.

Pam was my high school hero. She defended me, standing up to a bunch high school bullies! That was a very brave thing for a young, petite girl to do. At the time I was a deer in headlights. I was grateful, but shocked. I was young and so awkward, I never gave Pam the proper thank-you. Nor did I even give her a smile. I just stared blankly and went about my business. Not that I didn’t appreciate what she did, but perhaps in my young mind I felt undeserving? Why would this cool girl, who was obviously mature beyond her years, defend me?

As the years went on, I often thought back to this genuine act of kindness and that if I ever ran into Pam, I’d give her a big hug and thank her. Back in the 1980s we didn’t have internet. So if you didn’t have someone’s phone number, you had to wait until you ran into them.

In the mid-1990s I ran into one of Pam’s high school boyfriends on a train while commuting to work and I told him, “If you ever see her, tell her I said ‘Hi.'”

Then the internet came, and I looked Pam up several times over the years and then finally found her on Face Book. I hoped she’d remember me as a nice person, not the awkward girl who was too shocked and shy to say “Thank you for defending me.”

Shortly afterwards, she friend-ed me back and we made a date to have lunch! I was ecstatic and counted down the days til I was able to meet my hero!

After 35 years I was finally able to give Pam a great big hug and some flowers! We spent three hours catching up and having a blast!

Mission accomplished! It’s never too late to thank someone for their kindness! ❤

I look forward to seeing my “forever friend” again in the near future!

I love you, Pam! ❤

Beautiful Day!

Published July 24, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8028Photo of NYC taken from my car

This past week I’ve had so many blessings, I feel like I’m living on a cloud!

One of the coolest things is that I’m going to be the managing editor for a new food/restaurant magazine! Today I had a meeting with the publisher and the publisher from the Colorado division at the publisher’s yogurt restaurant in Edgewater.

The magazine launch will be for the holiday season and I just can’t wait to start writing!

Stay tuned for links to the website — once I start writing!

Peaceful Blessings

Published June 7, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7596Peaceful Saturday Evening

Peace is always so close to my heart.

I am so fortunate for having the best husband and kitty, and Grandma in heaven. My trinity of solid rock. Confidence never lacks when you have true love behind you, allowing you to shine as bright as you can. And the three who definitely make me laugh the hardest, the best medicine aside from music. A husband, a cat and a Grandma — the perfect remedy for anything.

Though true friends are few, there’s those I know I can count on with a phone call when I need someone. Grandma always said one good friend is all you need. But let’s not forget the beauty of acquaintances, some who are always there for you in their own special ways. Some have touched my lives in ways they will never know.

Finally, to be able to have a career where I’m in charge and can work with people I respect and who respect me. Every day is a magnificent adventure, living life to the fullest in beauty, good health, creativity, humor, intelligence and love.

People tell me what great things I am doing for other people. To me, it’s just a natural way to live. When people want and need you, God puts you there for them. We’re all in this together, as a team. Just know to go where the love is.

Life is a beautiful blessing.