Posts Tagged With: happiness

 
 

Friday Letter to My Kids: That Was Real In Tents

March 25, 2016

Dear J, J, L and L,

Sorry for the bad pun in the title. I couldn’t help myself. But this letter happens to discuss tents. One tent in particular.

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Very handy

Your father and I recently went camping. Yes, camping in March in Arizona. We got up in to the pines but not into any patches of snow. We’ve done that with L and L as I recall. That was the “Little Muddy Foot” and “Queen of the Flame” with snow patches around us trip. That was cold. Oh, and once with Aunt Ny, up American Fork Canyon in April. Brrrr.

I digress.

So, as I was saying,  your dad and I went camping. Instead of the two-man tent, which is pretty snug and requires crawling around and barely allows kneeling upright, we chose to bring the good ol’ six man tent. You remember that one, a big yellow and white dome with a gray rain fly. Yup, that tent. It’s big enough for standing up to get dressed and maneuvering around in. It’s a spacious and comfortable temporary abode for two people.

For six people, it’s a snug fit. Oh, but the warmth generated inside there is awesome on a cold camping night. We’ve had a few of those in that tent.

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Ponderosa Pines and sunshine!

If I put my brain to it I’m sure I could almost come close to remembering all the times we’ve put up that tent and slept in it. We’ve slid the poles through the sleeves on that tent in a bunch of states. Washington, California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, (oddly, never Colorado) Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennesee, and North Carolina. Let me know if you think I missed any.

I remember a Thanksgiving in North Carolina with raccoons visiting during the night. And two days of rain camping also in North Carolina a little too near a stream that rose a few feet. There’s the New Mexico fiasco as part of the camping our way across the country. Pitched our tent across the lake from a nuclear power plant in Arkansas, where I was sure I was gonna die but somehow didn’t. We’ll never forget rain camping with a grand mud fight in Oklahoma.

We’ve had some grand adventures in that tent. We’ve also experienced angst and anger, aggravation and sheer boredom in that tent. If that tent could talk, imagine the tales it would tell. We’ve owned that creative piece of engineering genius made from fabric since October 1989. That makes it 27 years old. That’s quite a long life for a tent.

How can I be so sure of the year and month? Your Dad called me from Oakland, California where he was working in a skyscraper on October 17, 1989 to tell me he was in an earthquake. We decided in the days following that disaster that we needed to be more prepared for whatever the world and life threw our way. Owning a tent and some camping equipment would make us a bit more self-reliant if we ever found ourselves evacuated or homeless for whatever odd reasons life comes at us with.

One of the best investments we ever made was that tent and those sleeping bags. I hope you agree.

IMG_5981A few years back the rainfly became a congealed mass of guck. I think it spent a month too long in the back of the truck on an extended road trip and the heat did a number on its chemistry. The manufacturer no longer made that tent or rainfly (imagine that after 27 years) so we didn’t haven a replacement.

On this most recent camping trip we jury-rigged a rainfly out of a blue tarp. We did that not for any rain in the forecast, but to keep the heat from escaping out the mesh panels at the top of the tent. It looked a little amateurish, but it served its purpose.

Breakage kind of defined this camping jaunt. Luckily no bones were broken. But one of our cots broke, which was inconvenient but not unbearable. And one of the camp chairs collapsed while your dad was sitting in it. That was inconvenient. (I knew we should have thrown in an extra one.) And then after nightfall a zipper broke on one of the tent doors. As a quick and dirty fix we simply duct taped it shut. (Red Green would be proud.) But by morning the wind had kicked up and the duct tape didn’t hold things together in all that swaying. I woke up to a cold breeze blowing through the tent.

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My sewing job included a needle poke and blood.

We debated what to do about that, since we wanted to stay another night. I dug through my backpacking pack and found a sewing kit and guess what? I sewed that broken zipper opening shut! Was that clever or what? I was pleased with myself. Luckily that tent has two doors, so we simply used the other one.

Between the rainfly and the tent door we got the hint that it’s time to retire the old reliable family tent. I knew you’d be broken hearted to hear this. Or at least semi-interested. So I thought I’d let you know about it before we give it a fitting farewell. It almost feels like we ought to be respectful and burn it, but I don’t know if I could watch that happen. Saying goodbye is a tough thing.

Of course, we need to buy a replacement tent before we do that. I’d like a four-man tent that you can still stand up in, at least in the middle of it. I think we’re past the backpacking stage, but you know your dad will want to camp in all four seasons, so it’ll need to be a rugged piece of equipment.

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These Flutterbys were everywhere!

I have so many happy memories that revolve around that tent. We had some great times camping, didn’t we? I’d love to hear about some of your favorites sometime. To me, they were all epic and made us the family that we are.

Even though three of you are out of state this Easter, and I’ll miss coloring eggs and putting olives on our fingers during Easter dinner, I’ve been feeling a strong connection to you this week, thanks to that old yellow tent.

Thank you for always being willing to go along on those outings, and for being part of the joy of the outdoors that’s such an integral part of who I am. Here’s hoping that a love of nature and camping has woven itself affectionately around your genes as well.

Love you each beyond expression,

Mom

~~~~~

“My tent doesn’t look like much but, as an estate agent might say, “It is air-conditioned and has exceptional location.” ~ Fennel Hudson

 

Categories: Friday Letter to My Kids, Friday Letters, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

In Search Of: Missing Groove

A friend of mine recently mentioned “getting her groove on.” That led to an interesting discussion about what that meant, which led to Googling a random movie neither of us have seen, which led to a comment by me that I thought my groove might be moldering in the washing machine.

You know that mildew smell right? Ew.

Have you ever mopped up spilled milk with a towel and then let the towel sit for 24 hours or so? Or spilled a whole gallon of milk in the car in the summertime; oy, that’ll put you off driving for a while.

Mildewing groove. Gross!

Groovy crop circle. Not my missing groove though. Photo by Cropoilbrush (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Groovy crop circle. Not my missing groove though. Photo by Cropoilbrush (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

So what IS a groove and how do you get it back? And in my case, how do I get rid of that smell?

Here’s a mashup of what a few of the online dictionaries said about it: “Hippie term: Taken from music, but relating it to life, social situations, and nature. Generally feeling good , in tune and in the rhythm of nature. Enjoying life. An established habit. Enjoying oneself.”

According to that definition, my groove, and my friend’s groove, have both definitely gone missing. Me in tune? Nope, I’m way off-key. In rhythm with nature? I wish.

And just so you know, Diet Coke does little to alleviate the void left by missing grooveness. Although, ice cream can briefly mimic having a groove, but once the bowl empties, that feeling dissipates quickly.

When I ride my bike pre-sunrise I feel “in the groove.” But that sensation slips away sometime before noon. Sad, I know.

Maybe music would help. Cranking those tunes (<— click it, you’ll thank me) during the day could ramp up the groove meter. A little disco never hurt anyone, right? (Don’t answer that.)

Has YOUR groove wandered off?

Possibly that lack of groove finds its roots in one or more of the following:

  • Fifth month of relentless heat, with who knows how many more weeks still to endure. (Think cabin fever, but with heat in place of snow.)
  • Consistently running short on sleep
  • Little time spent in recreational reading
  • A deficit of fun
  • Not having something to look forward to
  • Missing family members or friends
  • Lack of a consistent schedule
  • Spreading myself too thin
  • Overcommitment
  • Too much time lost in my own circular thoughts
  • Worry, about lots of things that I have little or no control over
  • Lack of concrete goals
  • Not enough laughter in a day or week
  • Internalizing other people’s stress
  • Lack of balance between work and recreation
  • A disorganized desk, room, house, garage, car, life.
  • The ever-present money worries
  • A plague of pumpkin spice everything, everywhere!

Not a drastic, life altering list of anti-grooveness there, but just enough of a handful of them to make things smell a bit moldy and feel off-kilter.

A336,_The_Wave_at_twilight,_Paria_Canyon-Vermilion_Cliffs_Wilderness,_Arizona,_USA,_2011

Pretty groovy, but not the one I’m missing. (photo © Brian W. Schaller / License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Your list for a missing groove certainly reads different from mine. Maybe you’re a caregiver with little respite, or a worn-out mom of toddlers, or a school teacher (bless your soul). Any one of those things right there can throw a person off track and leave them dazed and drained and with no groove.

Your list might include a hormone imbalance, or chronic pain, or living in a stress-filled situation. Maybe you’re completely clueless about why your groove got up and went. It happens.

How you find your groove might feel nearly impossible with time and energy constraints beyond your control.

Small and simple things like adding a bit of outdoor time, or hitting the gym, or a class or club you attend once a month might be completely out of reach. As would a regularly scheduled babysitter. Even making plans for something cool in your future which could light the fire under your groove and get it boiling could feel pointless. Even sneaking in a nap occasionally to revitalize your dormant groove could seem like a pipe dream.

Small moves, tiny changes, bits of brightness. Sometimes that’s where I often find my groove. Easy to overlook, and yet powerfully energizing, even if only briefly. Hearing a bird song as your walk in to work, catching a glimpse of blue sky through the window, noticing the flavor or texture of the food you’re eating,    breathing out a short amen to the sweetness of the pillow beneath your head as your finally, blessedly get to go to bed.

Maybe, just maybe, there’s more to that off-putting smell of mildew. Maybe some big repairs wait in the wings. A remodel, a mold removal service, a new roof. Meds, therapy, counseling, intervention, multiple steps, moving on or moving out, or simply hanging in there until forever or whenever. Heaven forbid that your groove goes that bad.  I know it can. Prayers for you, my friend.

A Cat Story

My cat was much scruffier looking than this beauty.

My cat was much scruffier looking than this beauty.

I adopted a stray tom cat when I was a teenager. Named him Tom. (I know!) He’d disappear for weeks and then show up battered, bloodied, matted, patches of fur missing, limping, open wounds. I’d clean him up, do my best to comb out his fur. He’d spend hours on my bed in a patch of sunlight, purring, healing, content to just be. And then a month or two later, he’d wander away again. After several years of his comings and goings he just never returned from one of his wild adventures.

I worry that my groove resembles scruffy Tom. One day it might wander off and not come back. I hope that’s not true. Not for me. Not for you.

I’m not really looking for a new groove like that animated emperor. I just want my old, comfortable one back. Sure it’s a little frayed and ratty looking, but it fits nicely and does the job when it sticks around. It likes to hum along to that Simon and Garfunkel tune “The 59th Street Bridge Song.” (Y’know, “Feeling Groovy.”)  Do you think there’s much chance I’ll find it? I sure hope so.

I’m posting a mental wanted poster: “Missing: One Groove.”

If you need me, I’ll be out searching.

 

Categories: Being Human, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments
 
 

Friday Letter to My Kids: I Hope You Laugh

Dear J, J, L and L,

You know that poster that hangs in the guest bathroom? The one with all the little bits of wisdom to make for a happier life like “Call your Mom,” and “Sing in the Shower”? Life’s Little Instructions. Yup, that one.

I think I’d add a few of my own.

See I can make a meme, just not very well.

I could do it…

  • Laugh some every day

  • Give at least one hug daily

  • Cry like you mean it, don’t hold back

  • Write it down so you’ll remember

  • Naps are okay, encouraged even

  • Grow something

  • Get outside and do something

  • Remember childhood Happies

  • Make new Happies

  • Have some quiet time daily

  • Get rowdy at least twice a month

  • Dance

  • Sing

  • Crank those tunes

  • Ditch the to-do list sometimes

  • Put yourself in time-out and enjoy it

  • Sleep somewhere odd

  • Be a tourist in the state you live

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

  • Smile more than not

  • Wink at little kids

  • Roll down a grassy hill when you can

     

That’s all stuff I ought to remind myself of, often. Maybe I can get your dad to play along with some of them. Not sure I can picture him rolling down a hill, unless it’s unintentional while skiing. Ouch.

And of course, everyone has their own definition of rowdy. Let’s just all keep it legal. (Wink.)

I hope you laugh! And sing and dance and love life!

 

Love you tons,

Mom

 

p.s. I could make this into a cute meme if I wanted to spend the time and understood computers better, but I don’t. So here’s a drawing I made of myself instead. Way faster than creating a meme.

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Sending lots of love!

p.p.s. It seems like a long list. Probably because it is. If I thought about it for a few days I could narrow it down some. But, it’s Friday and I wanted to get this letter out to you today. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Family, Friday Letters, good ideas | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

North by Northwest, Then East Toward the Sunny Side

Friday Letter to my Kids – January 9, 2015

Dear J, J, L and L,

We moved to the Northwest when only two of you had joined the family. What an adventure for all of us. That many years ago cell phones didn’t really exist yet. Surprisingly, we didn’t experience any car problems, which if you recall our travel history, probably made it to the record books. Driving that far with two little kids on my own (your Dad was already working and had found us a place to live) helped me feel like a mini-rockstar.

Happiness!

Happiness!

I’ll never forget when we pulled up to the local playground to wait for your Dad to bring keys to the new apartment. You both hopped out of the car, relieved to finally escape and stretch your legs. Little J immediately walked over to a boy on the monkey bars and said, “We just moved here. Will you be my friend?”

That floored me. What a direct and honest thing to say. Luckily, four year olds aren’t all tangled up in social customs and nonsense. They just say what they think, do what they feel, go with the mood.

Both of you made friends with kids of all ages when we lived in that first apartment, which helped me get to know the adults associated with those kids. You made the big change to a really new place so much easier. (As a side note, do you remember picking wild blackberries in the woods nearby? I think I might still have a scar or two.)

We added Big L to the family while we lived there. Then we moved a couple of years later, forty miles north. I loved that restaurant we went to that had the little train that ran on tracks suspended from the ceiling. They served this appetizer called an onion loaf. Basically fried onion rings packed into a bread loaf shape. But my tastebuds sidetrack us here.

We still have a cassette tape (which I should transfer to digital) of a typical morning there. For some reason there’s a cat in the house, although we didn’t own one, must have been a neighbor’s. I love hearing your voices, our discussion about needing lunches packed or buying lunches that day. Big L saying “stupid cat,” over and over again. And figuring out who was walking or riding with who. I think it might’ve been raining (ha, like that’s a wild guess for up there, huh?). Ah, good times.

  • Big L discovered knots when we lived there. She used to disappear into my closet and tie all the shoes together, which made getting ready to go somewhere an interesting exercise.
  • Big J played Lego’s every single day with, what was his name? And took shortcuts through the  golf course to visit your friend whose Dad worked for Nike.
  • Little J fell in love with the movie “Beaches” and ate candy bars and drank Cokes every afternoon with her best friend Sara.

I had a friend there too. I don’t remember her name. Maybe if I dug out an old journal I’d find it, but I don’t think I want to remember a name. We weren’t friends all that long. One day, out of the blue for me, she basically said,”I can’t be friends with you anymore. I’m trying really hard to be more optimistic and positive and you’re always so negative.”

Talk about a punch to the gut.

Even now I kind of feel this wave of nausea thinking about it.

You know how you sometimes walk along somewhere and all of a sudden you see yourself in an unexpected mirror? It throws you off balance a little. I know I carry around this picture in my head of how I sound and look. But then when I see the real me in a photo or a mirror they don’t match up. What my friend said was like a mirror thrown in front of me.

I think we need those unexpected mental views of ourselves that honest outsiders can provide. I try to be open to their perspective.

I had no idea I was such a downer until she said that. I thought one of the things friends did was share honest thoughts and feelings, even the negatives. Maybe I over shared. Probably she hit the bullseye there. Back in those days I probably rode the negative train, most of the time.

I wish I could say I changed immediately. More than likely I got defensive. More than likely I moped. More than likely I didn’t try to make friends again for a while.

In fact, I’m thinking I probably didn’t really change for the better until Oklahoma a year after Little L joined our gang. Do the math there. That’s a long time as a dweeby, self-absorbed, cloudy skies sort of person.

Sunny is good.

Sunny is good.

I could hope that there’s some chemical equation that makes positive ions/attitudes weigh more than negative ones and that things have balanced out. I think they might not have. For me it’s a nearly constant struggle to “keep on the sunny side of life.” (<= click to hear the song)

What does any of this have to do with how this letter started out?

You all have weathered change and challenge with such bravery and grace. You must have arrived here preprogrammed with awesome genes. You step up, state the facts and take action. Look at you!

When I grow up I want to be like you: open and straightforward with what I think, willing to try new things, brave enough to ask for what I want and need, creatively finding ways around obstacles and difficulties. And optimistic! Yup, you each see life as a bright, good thing.

Thanks for the great examples you are to me. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to have worked the other way around. At least that’s probably what the parenting books all say.

This I know for certain. I’m positive that I love you.

Always,

Mom

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~~~

“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

~ A.A. Milne

 

Categories: Friday Letters, Happiness | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Happy Side of the Airport

I hung out today on the happy side of the airport.

Which side is that you ask?

Why the arrival side, of course.

By MSgt Mark C. Olsen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By MSgt Mark C. Olsen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

People pour down the walkway like milk from a tipped over gallon in little wavelets. Finally, blessedly, released from the tube of recycled air and far too intimate perimeters I could practically see bruised personal space bubbles fluff up and stretch. As they walked toward luggage, toward loved ones, toward whatever they flew here for, a sort of relaxation visibly enveloped nearly every person.

Hey, i even saw two smiling TSA agents. They must have just ended their shifts, because I’m fairly certain they aren’t allowed to smile on the job. At least, I’ve seen very few who do. (Can’t be an easy job, not sure I’d smile either.)

Three dogs also walked up from the deplaning area. Not by themselves. No, humans’ accompanied them. One rode very stylishly on a faux leopard skin doggie suitcase, its little head peeking out at the crowds. Oddly, all three dogs I saw were small white poodle-ish pups. Made me wonder why. I suppose bigger dogs either aren’t allowed or the owner would have to pay full fare for a seat just for the pooch.

I wondered what you’d do if you have doggie allergies and you get on a plane with one of these unusual passengers? Can you request a no doggie flight, like some people can request a no peanut flight?

Just curious. But not curious enough to research it.

By CPT William Carraway [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By CPT William Carraway [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The happy side of the airport most often involves hellos, hugs, kisses, smiles, laughter and cheering. Lots of good stuff going on there. Homecomings almost always feel like a blanket settling on your shoulders. I like that.

Of course, not every passenger gets a greeting in the terminal by someone they know. Some rush past all the mushiness like it’s a disease they might catch. Others dodge the huddled groups and couples with little notice or concern. And often, there’s a taxi, bus, shuttle, another flight, or a car waiting to take them away from this odd place of comings and goings. I would never refer to the arrival lanes outside as a happy place, even though happiness surely happens. It’s private and sheltered, not public. Plus, there’s too much exhaust, too much cigarette smoke, too much noise, too much rushing. it doesn’t feel happy. Not like inside feels happy.

I meant to take pictures, to better illustrate what I experienced as I waited almost an hour. ( I was a little overly excited to get there, and I also overestimated how long it would take to navigate rush hour traffic.) But somehow, even taking iPhone photos seemed intrusive and kind of, I don’t know, rude, I suppose. I attempted a photo of the dog/leopard skin bag but it was blurry and I felt sheepish afterwards. I don’t think I’m very stealthy. And I know I don’t want some stranger snapping my photo at an airport, or any public place for that matter.

I’ve always enjoyed people watching. I find it exceptionally rewarding at an airport both for the variety and the amount of people. Today’s excursion provided some vicarious joy while I waited. And then, my own giddy greetings and hugs made the day completely wondrous.

If you ever find yourself in need of a boost and an airport’s handy, I’d recommend a visit to the happy side.

Categories: Happiness | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Priceless Moment Captured

While walking this afternoon with Mom and Dad at the Riparian Preserve I snapped this photo of them.

Sweet moment.

Sweet moment.

At the time I didn’t think much of it. Just clicked the shutter and pocketed my phone. It wasn’t until hours later that I looked at it. Honestly it caught my breath. With dusk approaching and trees overhead the light framed this scene with a patina I find so appropriate.

Mom’s head inclined just so toward Dad says more than pages of words could ever achieve.

If you look really close you’ll see a bunny that allowed the two of them to get within mere feet to take its photo. Kind of magical, if you ask me.

I’m loving every moment I get to hang out with them. So glad they made the long drive to visit. I’m feeling loved, reassured and enveloped in a sort of peaceful bubble. I’m pretty sure it’s due to the presence of angels they surely have attending them. They definitely deserve that extra attention and care.

I love these two people beyond words.

That’s all.

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

Unicorns and Happiness

image by ChristerD

image by ChristerD

Don’t you get a buzz when you run across something the confirms and validates something you already believe or do?

I sure do.

My buzz started humming last week when I watched this TED Talk by Shawn Achor from May 2011 about Happiness.

I’ll wait while you watch it if you want.

Or you can click on it to open it in a second window and watch it or listen to it later. It’s only about twelve minutes long and worth every second. You’ll laugh. You’ll have a smile on your face when you’re done watching.

(You could even listen while you’re eating your cereal tomorrow morning, or while you do your hair or your makeup, or while you’re driving somewhere. Please, just watch or listen to it.)

So, why am I so adamant that you watch?

Because I want you to have more happiness in your life. If you’re happier, people around you are happier. And if they’re happier, then others are, too. And eventually, those ripples reach me. Theoretically, anyway.

Here’s info from one of the visuals he pops up on the screen for us.

Creating lasting positive change

  • 3 Gratitudes

  • Journaling

  • Exercise

  • Meditation

  • Random Acts of Kindness

That first item?  Well, it’s made a difference in my life over the past twenty years. I’ve been paying attention and keeping a gratitude journal, mostly, over the past twenty years.

Yes. Twenty.

I’m my own study. And the results rock!

And that’s just with item one on the list.

  • Shawn recommends taking two minutes every day and listing three things you’re grateful for.
  • “Journaling about one positive thing from the past twenty-four hours allows you to relive the positive emotions.”
  • Exercise floods our system with endorphins which are the happiness chemicals that we could all use more of.
  • Meditation allows us to briefly focus on one thing in a world where we’re constantly multitasking.
  • A random act of kindness is as simple as sitting at your desk and writing one positive email to someone in your social support network, thanking them, praising them, encouraging them.

Do we have time for any of this?

YES!

Can we afford not to make time for it?

No.

In just twenty-one days, studies show a marked difference in happiness level. And consequently, they experience greater productivity and enhanced learning ability of people who implement the five steps outlined above.

Please watch and put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.

Here’s the link again, in case you missed it.

 

 

Categories: Happiness, Mondaze | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Scattering What We Can

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“Nuf said.

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.” ~
Joseph Addison

I’m headed out to see what good I can do today. If someone smiles back I’ll think maybe it’s you doing good, too.

Categories: Happiness, Mental Health | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

What? It’s Wednesday? Dang it!

What a slacker!

I can’t believe I didn’t post a Gratituesday yesterday. I can’t even come up with a decent reason. Busy. Life. Sidetracked.

Ungrateful?

Never.

Well, maybe on occasion I get grumpy and forget how decadent a life I lead compared to ninety percent of the rest of the world. Shame on me when I do that.

I recognize abundance every day but don’t necessarily mention it online. My journal hears about it. The interior of my car hears my comments and catches glimpses of car dancing and singing I might do when I’m feeling particularly blessed while I’m out and about.

There’s something about putting my gratitude out there for all the world to see that makes it bigger, better, and more real. Almost gives it life, if that’s possible. And so I’ve clung to the idea of Gratituesday since my sister posted one three years ago on Facebook. Tuesday has been like my extra little Hallelujah day.

Six-month old's first selfie.

Six-month old’s first selfie.

So, this Wednesday, a day late, but better than ignoring it altogether, I’ve built a list from this past week.

  • seeing a six-month old becoming mobile, rolling, stretching, reaching, becoming less dependent every day
  • joy clearly visible in the eyes of a physically challenged older adult when music plays and people sing
  • tiny purple wildflowers mixed in among the orange and golds
  • a chorus of birdsong to wake me every single morning
  • the dogs down the street who howl with the fire engine sirens, as if they know some sorrow has occurred
  • an orange eaten fresh from the backyard tree, juice running down my chin, fingers sticky with delight
  • a reliable, decent looking vehicle, new to me since December
  • opportunities to help in a different way than I’m used to or comfortable with
  • warm, clean water pouring out from the faucet at the mere twist of a handle
  • time with my children talking, laughing, texting, sharing
  • a zillion book choices for reading, mental traveling, learning, wondering
  • a red valentine balloon, droopy and deflated, but filled with love of the purest kind
  • a refrigerator full of food, cupboards stocked, every need supplied
  • friends and hugs, support and encouragement
  • wonderful memories to fill empty spaces

And that isn’t even half of the amazement that rocked my world.

I found another rock gift! Cool, isn't it?

I found another rock gift! Cool, isn’t it?

Oh, I know to anyone looking in on my life it would seem ordinary and boring. Maybe it is. But noticing and acknowledging the blessedness of it all makes it extraordinary in my eyes. And that’s all that really counts, isn’t it?

As is my wish every Tuesday, I hope you find happinesses in your life as well.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Happiness | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nine Happinesses To Share

photo-20 copy 19

Fabric hearts sewn together in a garland for my front door. Ta da! An actual finished project!

It’s Gratituesday! Today’s thankfulness is brought to you courtesy of a quick list of things I’m thankful for.

  1. I belong to a book club that makes me think about things I don’t always consider. I should also mention I feel lucky that they’re so easy-going about my critical, not always glowing words when we discuss things.
  2. Cold weather and I don’t get along well. I’m blessed to live where the winter is mild and reasonable.
  3. I’ve had lots of time in the past two weeks of influenza fog to do some big time reading. So I guess there’s a plus side to being sick.
  4. I finished a craft project I started a year ago. Nothing fancy or complicated. But I finished it. I’m not normally a finisher, so I feel pretty dang successful and proud of that little project.
  5. I missed January’s vegetable planting window, but I still have a February garden waiting to start.
  6. My wildflowers out front bust out more every day, making a green, yellow and orange carpet of my rocky front yard. Add in the brimming flower pots at the front door and I feel welcomed home with open arms.
  7. A good sized “to-read” stack of books beckons me with undiscovered adventure, wisdom and laughter.
  8. A vacancy opened up recently on my writing desk, just roomy enough for my little family of journals, notebooks and a laptop computer.
  9. I think there’s music fluttering about that I’m not hearing, so I’m turning up the volume on my potential-good-stuff-in-my-life-meter. I’ll fine tune a few things and hopefully, soon, I’ll catch a melody breezing about and let it in.

I’m sure there’s more, but midnight’s closing in fast and GratiWednesday just sounds dorky.  I wanted to make sure I acknowledged the happiness in my life today, and every Tuesday.

Feeling blessed.

And sleepy.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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