Posts Tagged With: top ten

A List to Remind Me That the Sun Shines

Aspens. My favorites.

Aspens. My favorites.

MSH reminds me when I start ranting about something and threaten to write about it on my blog, that I always intended for this project to lean toward the positive and optimistic.

Then I remind him that I’m also “keeping it real” which might not always come across as roses and sunshine.

Keeping It Real

How real do I feel comfortable with here on the blog? How real am I comfy with in person? All last month I’ve debated this with myself. And I didn’t write much during that debate. Lost my groove, I guess.

A path of shadow and sunlight.

A path of shadow and sunlight.

I felt braver a couple of years ago. Bolder. Speaking my mind came easier. Opening up about my life happened naturally and with less reserve.

This past year, in many ways, I’ve caved in on myself. I’ve tucked in the frayed edges. I keep the strained or raveled seams covered. I’ve inched toward a more hermit-like life. I used to do that during the month of January every year. I saw it as a naturally occurring regrouping and recovery from the two or three-month holiday season.

My January recovery session during the past year stretched into eleven other months. Maybe longer.

An online friend of mine wrote a (somewhat annoying) glowing top ten account of his past year for the following reason:

“Things can get difficult, and you never know when I might need to remind myself that these things happened, and how and what I felt like when they did.” ~ Brad McBride

Good reason to write up a top ten, you gotta admit. Even if it annoys semi-irritable people like me.

I’ve just survived a year (2014) where I needed to remind myself of happier times to get myself through the day or the week.

I’ve also just been through a year (2014, yes, same year) with some amazingly wondrous good things happening. I mean A-MAZ-ING! Happiness like nothing I’ve ever known.

Talk about a paradox.

I’ve felt lost and found, abandoned and loved, forlorn and supported, ready to give up and anticipating greatness, numb and electrified. At times hope eluded me and then there it shone like a stunning sunrise nearly blinding me.

So what would be my top ten good things for 2014?

  1. My oldest daughter’s new baby girl
  2. The volunteer work I get to do
  3. Hanging out with my favorite teenager while driving her to and from tutoring
  4. Spending time with a certain three-year old
  5. Snuggling from a fun-loving one year old
  6. Almost the entire family together for a weekend in November
  7. A Christmas concert extraordinaire
  8. Summer sunrise walks
  9. My family reunion – time with Mom and Dad
  10. Sitting in a high mountain meadow for hours with MSH

See, my life’s filled with wonder and joy. I just forget sometimes. The difficulties can cast such deep long shadows that block out the sunlight in such a way it almost feels like night. I just need to step out of the shade and let the sun warm me from time to time.

Am I Right? Or am I Write?

This blog has been a source of light for me as well. It’s like a conversation I have with myself to sort through things and make sense of the world. So I add a number eleven to my list.

11. This writing thing.

So I’ll keep things real. The good, the ugly, the stunning, the what-the-heck. Life as I see it written down right here just for me.

If you want to follow along, you’re welcome to join me. Just don’t make too much noise. It is morning, after all.





Categories: Hope, Mental Health, Sanity, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top Ten Reasons November is the Best Month Ever

A Dust Bowl storm approaches Stratford, Texas ...

10. Snowbirds convene for the longest flashmob ever staged.  What?  You didn’t know they  were the original inventors of the flashmob?  Wait for it…wait for it…wait for it….keep waiting.  Gotta love those retirees!  They have such perspective, incredible wisdom and lots of cash that flows into our local economy.  There are many reasons they are known as the greatest generation.

9. Perfect weather.  Well, it is here in Phoenix.  Not too hot, not too cold.  No apocalyptic dust storms, no skies opening up with a year’s worth of rain in one hour, no searing I-can’t-touch-the-steering-wheel heat. Mmmmm.  Ahhhhhh. I am in heaven!

8. NaNoWriMo  National Novel Writing Month.  It’s fun to watch and read about various writers’ efforts to write an entire novel in one month.  Oh, the obsession, the angst, the insanity, the desperation! Sounds so fun!  Maybe someday I’ll try it.  Or not. For now, my novel’s characters are all in a drug-induced stupor until the holidays are done and over with in January.  Believe me, it’s for the best.

7. Water returns to the local Riparian Preserve, bird sightings increase.  I start bringing my binoculars on walks so I can get a better view of all those incredible birds. Where do you think all those northern species hang out while winter cold rages elsewhere?

6. My favorite cousin is coming for a visit and a 10K race.  You should be excited too!  She’s awesome, cool, smart, a killer Scrabble player, very funny, athletic, a book reader, a water engineer, a biker, hiker, runner and she’s single. Just saying.

Arizona Sunrise

Sun rises at it’s scheduled time, once again.

5. Daylight savings time ends for six months, give or take an hour. I don’t have to do complex math calculations before I make a phone call out-of-state.  Arizona doesn’t participate in this odd hoax on time manipulation.  We’re waiting for actual time warp machines to be available at Walmart.

4. AnClOuGaSoMo. Not familiar with this one? Annual Clean Out the Garage Sometime Month. Also known in the Tilby house as Pack Rat Rearrangment Day or I-wish-I-lived-anywhere-but-in-this-household day. Once we’ve survived the self punishment of organizing all our junk it’s a nice feeling to be able to find things we didn’t know we owned but might want some day.

3. Gratitude, thankful status posts and happy lists abound.  Nothing wrong with a little optimism, some paying attention to the positive in our lives. Some people set a goal to post something they’re grateful for as a Facebook status every day of the month.  We are a very blessed group of people and ought to acknowledge that a little more often.

2. The Presidential Election will be over with – for a couple of months anyway. Hopefully, (cross your fingers) there are no hanging chads or other such anomalies.

1. Pie.  ‘Nuff said.


Categories: Humor | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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