Days 16 — 30 of thanks

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

As a continuation of my 15 days of thanks post, here are the remainder of tangibles and intangibles I am ever grateful for.  Of course, there are countless more objects of my affection.  These are just the tip of the iceberg.

16)    One less thing to worry about (the rental property sold!).
17)    The relationship I now share with my daughter after years of struggling with the parent-child dynamics.
18)    Franklin, as in day planner.  Without it, I may forget to write my blogs.
19)    Words with Friends.  Great for vegging out while maintaining an active mind.
20)    Moisturizer.  Or I would look like a lizard 24/7.
21)    My backyard, a private oasis.
22)    Roof rat-free attic.  Knock on wood, or last year’s chewed water line.
23)    Short Arizona winters a.k.a. long Arizona summers.
24)    Kisses and hugs.
25)    Hot tea.
26)    A rare cloudy day.
27)    Happy memories.
28)    “Firsts,” even at my age.
29)    Chips and salsa.
30)    My dentist.

What are you thankful for today?

Getting ready

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[Image credit: Ambro]

In yesterday’s post, When you least expect it, I talked about how I’m afraid if I don’t stick my nose into fate, then I might miss out on what I’ve been waiting for my whole life — or perhaps what I never knew I’ve been waiting for.  But then I worry that tampering with timing and logistics may alter the course of my future altogether.   Instead, I must move forward with the expectation that my limited imagination underestimates the fruits of my labor and that I will be overwhelmed with gratitude once I finally arrive.  However, I have a feeling it’s going to take a lot more patience than I think I possess, while at the same time filling the time and gaps to equip myself for Someday.  And on the days when I’m feeling discouraged and see no progress, I need to remind myself I’m not missing out.  That I’m just getting ready.

How do you fill the time as you wait for your dreams to come true?

When you least expect it

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[Image credit: dan]

Stop thinking too much.  It’s all right not to know the answers.
They will come to you when you least expect it.
~ 7 Rules of Life, Whisper of the Heart

It comes as no surprise to those closest to me that I’m an over thinker.   Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to consider what I need to do next, or how to fix a problem.  I wish I wouldn’t dwell on the what-ifs or the if-thens, that I could stop second-guessing myself and others and that I didn’t allow the unknowns to consume me.  But I also hope that every decision I’ve made along my journey has paved the way for the answers to life’s questions.  And that my eyes and heart will not miss these answers because I’m too busy attempting to force the cosmos to speed up the realization of my hopes and dreams for Someday.  I’m just afraid of missing out.

Do you think too much, or let the answers unfold as time allows?

The good in your life

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[Image credit: PinkBlue]

Over a year ago, I wrote about how I often focus on what I don’t have, rather than on what I’m thankful for.  With the holidays upon us, it’s a fitting time to remind ourselves of the many reasons we’re grateful.  For me, even though it’s not Someday yet, it’s better to plan for my dreams than to dwell on “What’s-Not-Day.”  And, while it’s easy to recognize our appreciation of what others have done for us, it’s also important to reflect on the good we do for ourselves.  For instance, at first glance, it may appear selfish or fiscally irresponsible when I spend money and time on my Bikram Yoga classes.  However, what I’m doing helps me to be stronger, healthier and happier, as well as better equipped to handle life outside of the studio.  All of which benefits those around me.  So everything that’s good in your life may just touch others, as well.

What’s one good thing you’ve done for yourself lately that you’re grateful for?

Word-of-the-month: laconic (adj.)


[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

First, it feels like I just posted the word-of-the-month.  Even my daughter thinks that time seems to be speeding up.  I did remind her, however, that it goes faster the older she gets.  Second, if you know me even a little bit (especially if you read my blogs), you will agree that laconic does not describe me or the way I write.  Instead, it is an adjective meaning (according to (of a person, speech, or style of writing) using very few words.   Synonyms include terse; curt, as in “a response so curt as to almost be rude” or concise, such as a crisp retort.  A sample sentence might read: The student’s answer, although correct, consisted of the laconic reply, “yes,” which is short and easy to understand.  Another example is: Stand-up comics need to be laconic, or audiences may quickly lose interest in the act if he or she tends to ramble.  

Are you the short and sweet laconic type, or do you tend to ramble like me?

Saying “no” to ourselves

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[Image credit: pakorn]

In my post Guilt-free living, I talk about granting ourselves permission to say “no” without feeling guilty.  In that blog I talk about being okay when we turn down requests from others.  But what about those self-imposed tasks we create for ourselves?  On Thanksgiving Eve, I planned on attending a special church service.  After an early dismissal from work, I ran a couple of errands, came home and started laundry and prepared a homemade pie for the weekend.  I was also still recovering from a week and a half of crud so not feeling overly ambitious.  When it was time for church, I made the “executive” decision to lay low.  I felt that one more commitment would be one too many.  So I said “no” to my expectations, puttered around the house, played Words With Friends and prepared for the next day.  It’s new for me, but I’m learning how to be okay even when I say no to myself.

How do you say “no” without feeling guilty?

Genie in the bottle

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[Image credit: Victor Habbick]

While I was sick last week I watched the film A Little Bit of Heaven.  Although the reviews were mixed, the storyline touched me on multiple levels and I spent most of the hour and a half crying my eyes out.  Perhaps it was the cold medicine or my hormones were out of whack.  Regardless, the main character (Kate Hudson) is diagnosed with colon cancer.  A lovely friend of mine recently had a similar scare, so that may be another reason I was emotionally charged.  In the film, there’s a scene where God (played by Whoopi Goldberg) grants Hudson three wishes.  Although it’s a bit odd she doesn’t choose “to live” as one of her wishes, the overall theme that life is a gift to be celebrated in the short time we’re here definitely comes across.  Maybe if we were all privy to our general timeline like the main character was, we’d do a better job of living.

If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?

Keep your mind off the wait

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[Image credit: Janaka Dharmasena]

Forever is composed of nows. ~ Emily Dicksonson

A while back I wrote about time standing still when we’re waiting for something.  Especially as kids and it was our birthday or Christmas just out of reach.  As adults, vacations and monumental events take “forever” to arrive.  But as Dickinson suggests, our pasts, presents and futures are all rolled into now.  The older I get, the more I desire Someday be handed to me on a platter.  But time after time I remind myself that now is all I have to work with.  The thing is, I’m already living most of my dreams.  I’m just waiting for a couple of details to fall into alignment.  So while I figuratively wait for the rest of my life to start, I’m trying to figure out how to live now.  That’s when I get in the most trouble, however.  When I overdo and overload in order to keep my mind off the wait.

Are you living now, or thinking about the wait?

Try thankfulness

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[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici]

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.
It will change your life mightily.
~ Gerald Good

Several people in my life are struggling with illness and chronic pain.  Others are in dire financial straits.  At least two friends suffer from psychological issues and medication side effects; a few couples are going through the motions; an acquaintance goes to work and stagnates a little more each day.  A father sacrifices in the name of love.  Loss, heartache, regrets, poor choices.  Each of us bears our own cross.  But in the midst of it, finding one thing to be thankful for may make all the difference in the world.  Perhaps the person ahead of you in line paid for your coffee this morning.  Or you find the missing five dollars tucked between the receipts in your wallet.  A kind word spoken.  Second chances.  Pep-talks.  Another sunrise and sunset.  Every day find one thing to be thankful for.  It could just change everything.

What’s on your holiday agenda?

Benefit of the doubt


[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

A reader posted a comment on The demise of the human connection that brought a new perspective to my ramblings.  In a nut shell, for those who live in remote areas, the Internet is a Godsend.  I shared the response with a friend, excited that someone all the way in Australia had picked up my blog and with a few keystrokes we were communicating across the globe.  The person I told also thought it was neat.  But then he pointed out the blogger could be someone in a town 30 miles away from where I live who just said they reside in the Outback.  Way to burst my bubble.  But it’s true that more often than not I offer people the benefit of the doubt, taking their word at face value.  Shame on me at times, I suppose.  But I guess I’d rather be the type who believes in something until it’s been proven otherwise.

Do you give the benefit of the doubt or typically play it safer?

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