Archives for posts with tag: gratitude

I’m sipping my coffee enjoying a moment of fond appreciation and gratitude for the life I am living, and love I am fortunate to enjoy. There are no guarantees; circumstances change. Change is. Count on it!

Sometimes small surprises really turn a day or week around. 🙂 I got a nice little package from my cousin. I had sent her a wee note card a couple weeks ago. I think very fondly of her, and we haven’t stayed in touch very well. She replied, and sent me a couple cute quilted items she had made. They are delightful. I’m still smiling. I feel loved. It was such a thoughtful gesture.

Yesterday, my Traveling Partner surprised me with a substantial token of his affection – handmade in wood, a symbol of balance. It’s lovely, and sits here on my desk, just past my keyboard. I don’t know where I will place it longer-term. I like it sitting right here, where I can see it. On my desk, I’ve also got the desk caddy he custom made for me in his shop; holds my stuff, in the relative positions where I would place them on the bare desk, in the order I generally use them. It’s brilliant and I love it. He made a pizza peel for us shortly after we moved in. I use it any time we make pizza. Sometimes I use it as a big trivet. lol

Balance and perspective – critical tools.

I’m starting the morning in a good place. I feel settled and contented. I feel loved. Valued. It’s nice. It hasn’t been effortless getting from “where I was” to “where I am”, and I won’t say that I don’t see a continued journey extending ahead me. 🙂 I am still learning, every day, what it takes to be the woman – the human being – I most want to be. It’s not a journey about money, or material success and comfort, and I definitely don’t see value in making it a competition with other human beings on their own individual journeys. I’m just one woman on this one path of my own, enjoying a quiet Saturday morning over a cup of coffee, and feeling grateful to be as fortunate as I have been.

Spring – the pear trees on the other side of the fence have begun to notice, too.

I’m eager to be back in the spring garden. I’ve got my early stuff planted – but I’ve also apparently got a raccoon “helper” who has been rummaging around in the grow bags I’ve planted with carrots and scallions, and I may need to do some damage control. lol My space for gardening is very limited, so the veggies will mostly be in grow bags, and when warmer weather comes, I’ll add a couple hydroponic pots for things like peppers. I hope to grow some Japanese eggplant, too, but honestly I think those are quite beautiful plants, and I’ll just put them into the flower beds out front. 😀

My veggie garden getting started for the year.

In the simplest terms, it is a pleasant weekend morning. I’m enjoying that quite deliberately, sipping my coffee and thinking about the many things I am grateful for. Embracing joy and cultivating contentment are worthy endeavors; in my own experience “happy” has not come “naturally”, it has taken quite a lot of commitment and work to get past all that ancient pain, all that anger, all that despair. It’s for sure worthy effort, but… it is effort. It does take attention, and practice to make changes. I smile to myself; this morning is sure damned close to feeling “effortless”, and that’s something amazing (and very much worth enjoying while it lasts).

I queue up some gardening videos. I immediately find my mind wandering to cooking… I laugh and drink my coffee. My delight is not affected; if I’d queued up a cooking video, I’d have been thinking about the garden. This is where my happy place is – here at home, where I can cook, and garden, and hang out with my lover (even in when we aren’t in the same room, I feel his presence here at home with me).

Sure, I’ll begin the day again, after I finish this coffee… nothing fancy planned. Grocery shopping. Run an errand. Get out in the garden. Love my partner. It’s a lovely day for all of that. That’s enough.

I “slept in” – for some values of that expression – and woke to a rainy rather mild winter morning. I made a point to go to the store one last time, yesterday, hoping to enjoy the entire holiday weekend at home without venturing into retail spaces at all. I made this excellent coffee which I continue to sip on, now. There is holiday music playing in the background, with a warm, cozy holiday café scene as a backdrop on my monitor. No children live in our home – I’ve still got NORAD’s “Santa Tracker” up, where I can see that famous fat man in red flying around the globe in a sleigh pulled by reindeer (somehow, it still “makes sense” to me that this is even a thing! lol). Giftmas at home.

So merry

…Giftmas. At home. So many moments lead to this one, now, and I feel content, merry, and wrapped in love. My Traveling Partner woke around the time I did. It’s a lovely morning. So far, every detail of the holiday is just delightful, and seems lavish and rich in keeping with childhood expectations of the season, without actually being costly, or built on unaffordable excess. It’s just… pleasant. We took a modest approach to the holidays this year to focus more on longer-term goals. You know that pandemic thing? Yeah, that’s still going on, too – so the thing we’d likely both like most to do more of, which would be socializing in various settings, maybe having a holiday dinner or a party, these are all things that are pretty much not on the menu for us. We’re still masking any time we go out (or answer the door), and practicing fairly strict social distancing – we’re definitely not ready to invite a mob of friends over to party. Not yet. Hell, we haven’t even had a housewarming party yet, or had my partner’s brother over (who lives rather close, a couple towns up the road).

…As content as I am to spend time alone, or with only my partner for company, I am also “feeling the pandemic” as it wears on, month after month. Funny how much life we’ve lived in spite of that, and how much we’ve gotten done. lol I miss friends, though. I take a minute imagining how much harder it may be on my partner, who is much more social. He’s pretty much stuck with “just me” for company day-to-day. I doubt that he finds that boring – but it probably gets super annoying, sometimes. Maybe lonely, too.

Holidays aren’t always so easy as this one. I feel fortunate, and grateful. I think about other Giftmases, some long past, some even quite horrible, others so magical as to become defining moments in how I celebrate the season, even to this day.

When I was a kid, I didn’t really “get” how much actual work my parents both put into making Christmases magical for us. I mean it was pretty hardcore stuff that I only learned later; late nights into the wee hours assembling various “some assembly required” items – like my first bicycle, one year. Mornings no doubt came far too early for them, with eager kids waking nearer to 5 a.m. than to sunrise. When we were little, even the tree itself was part of the magic; it sat in a bucket of water for a handful of days, on the porch, and I truly believed then that it was part of Santa’s work to put up the tree, and decorate it – because for a couple years (at least) that’s how it all went down; no tree when we went to bed, and a world transformed on Christmas morning. Wow. The wonder still saturates my memories. That is some difficult shit to live up to! LOL It’s no wonder my Mom’s first thought on Christmas morning was coffee.

One year, Santa deviated from his usual routine. I must have been around… 9? (Sisters at 6 and at 3 years then.) I woke early on Christmas morning – super early – and there was… something heavy on my legs. I quietly turned on my light and discovered my Christmas stocking was there, at the foot of my bed! OMG OMG! Santa had come!! I went to my parent’s bedroom and tried to wake my Dad and tell him… he woke only enough, and only long enough, to tell me to “go back to bed for a little while” and that I could open my stocking quietly, and enjoy that. “Santa must have known your Mom and I want to sleep in a bit.” (“Sleep in” my ass; they’d probably just barely dropped off to sleep at that point! LOL) So, I did go back to my bed, and crawled back into the warm blankets. I started joyfully exploring the sweets and toys in my stocking as quietly as I could; it was stuffed almost to bursting. My sister woke minutes later, and came into my room (seeing the light under the door, probably) and excitedly told me about their stockings, on their beds, too. I passed on the encouragement to enjoy those, in bed. I think we were all still happily playing, nibbling chocolates, and enjoying our quiet holiday when my parents woke later (still properly early, but closer to something like 7 a.m.). It was splendid! It happened that way every year after. For me, it made stockings singularly important to the holiday in a whole new way.

Thanks for the magic, Mom & Dad. I haven’t forgotten.

Santa’s flying over Pakistan, apparently. This cup of coffee is almost gone. The rain continues to fall. Merry Giftmas. Here’s wishing you the happiest of holidays, however you choose to celebrate.

The dishes are cleaned up. The left-overs are put away. The Thanksgiving holiday is behind me. I woke from a sound sleep to the recollection of a tender kiss from my partner shortly after he woke, and a dream that Brian Cox had sought our help “moving the planets around” – so we could more easily study those currently so very far away, but pulling them closer. LOL

Dreamscapes are so interesting. I expect to find details from recent experiences, and it is interesting to see a physicist whose content I have not viewed recently turn up – most particularly since I don’t spend any notable portion of my life involved with physics!! I just watch a few videos, now and then, on a variety of physics topics, out of basic human curiosity. I listen to rain falling beyond the windows… but the windows, in this case, are not mine. Another video. A video of rain falling beyond the windows of a cozy library.

…What is my reality made of, exactly? Where does “real” begin – and end? Is that a question for physics… or philosophy… or neuroscience? I have questions. 🙂

Yesterday was an amazing intimate little holiday for two. It was lovely. I spent much of the day on the meal, and did what I could to make it as traditional – and as lavish – as Thanksgivings I remember from childhood. My Traveling Partner set the menu. I chose the recipes and did the cooking. By the end of a long day in the kitchen, I found myself equally grateful for the freedom to enjoy such an undertaking, and also the freedom from having to undertake such an effort day after day after day, as so many of my female forebears had to have done for their families every single day. Fucking hell, what a massive undertaking. Yep. Super grateful for the modern conveniences that allow me (and soooo many others) to leave the fucking kitchen!!

…G’damn that was a good dinner, though…

I’m human. I’m not a chef or professional cook – never have been. I “learned to cook” mostly through trial and error, with some “helpful” reinforcement in the form of being yelled at (first marriage). My cooking is thoroughly average. I do a few things really well – and most everything else requires a recipe, and considerable care. I do a few things pretty dreadfully – and those I just frankly avoid. LOL This year, Thanksgiving was quite wonderful, partly because there really just wasn’t any pressure or stress. Two people at home, dinner would be happening regardless, and all the shopping was already done. I ended the cooking feeling pretty proud of myself; everything came to the table at the proper temperature, at the same time. My Traveling Partner carved the turkey breast. We enjoyed a genial festive meal together, and the glow of being well-fed, and well-loved, afterward. I no longer recall what small detail or another may have been less than entirely “perfect” – from this vantage point, it was all quite splendid. I’m grateful for that, too.

…Leftovers for days…

Monday seems far away. I’m also thankful for that. It’s nice to have the long weekend to enjoy. Later today, after my coffee, after a shower, maybe after a walk (if the rain slows down)(it actually is raining here, too, not just in the video I’ve got on), I’ll get started on the holiday decor. It’s time to get the tree up, the wreath onto the door, and the mantlepiece decorated. 😀

…How the hell is it already almost Giftmas??

Sipping coffee, feeling thankful. I hope this feeling lasts the entire year. 🙂

The seasons sometimes seem to change so peculiarly. Like, nope, not summer yet… not yet… not yet… NOW! Summer! lol It’s definitely a summer morning, this morning. Warmer than it seems like it should be, shortly before dawn, and a big muggy – I still enjoyed my walk, before work. It’s a nice start to the work day. So far the day is pleasant and mild – I know the afternoon will be a scorcher. It’s been in the news.

I think about ripe summer strawberries fresh from the garden, and cherries on the neighbor’s cherry tree, one temptingly loaded down branch dangles over the fence, beckoning me to turn my attention to the bounty of summer. It’s a work day; it’ll have to wait. 🙂

I sip my coffee, grateful for the pleasant start to the day, grateful to be in minimal pain this morning, grateful for A/C and modern conveniences like refrigeration, potable drinking water, and indoor plumbing. It wasn’t that long ago that sweltering days in the weather forecast would mean days of pure misery, cold showers, and trying to drink enough water or eat enough frozen ice pops of one sort or another to stay “comfortable” (for some versions of comfort – some summers it was enough just to succeed in not falling over from heat stroke). I look out the window, over the fence, beyond the pear trees; the wall of my neighbor’s house is illuminated by the early morning sun as it climbs to it’s preferred summer vantage point. It’s very bright. I smile; I’m grateful to be sufficiently wise to refrain from looking directly at the sun – some people are not similarly fortunate. 🙂

So. Another day. Another week. Another summer. Another moment to reflect with gratitude on how fortunate I really am to have come so far. Another chance to begin again. To reflect. To grow. To do better.

…I’ll get right on that, as soon as I finish my coffee. 🙂

Funny thing about change… it changes things. Sometimes a lot of things. Just breathe through it; it’s only change.

I’m sitting here listening to the end of the work week. It sounds like this. Friday.

There is sunshine casting bold shadows over the deck. The afternoon is not quite warm, but it isn’t cold at all. I’m listening to music I love, sitting cross-legged, relaxed and smiling and feeling loved. My Traveling Partner had a lot to do with this lovely sunshine-y moment; he bought us a new amplifier for the stereo, and spent much of the past two days getting the sound just right. I feel a bit as if I am falling in love with a lot of great music, all over again.

I’m listening to music. Smiling. Relaxed. Feeling loved. Feeling fortunate.

…It’s a lot to take in, actually… it used to be pretty reliable that feeling this good would rock me off my center, and be followed by some colossally inappropriate, ludicrous temper tantrum or PTSD meltdown, at some especially inconvenient moment. As if everything good that I might experience needed some sort of emotional reckoning, or reminder that I was not worthy of good experiences. I’d end up filled with so much despair, and a sense of lasting futility. Mired in that mess, I’d exert real energy to make it all just that much worse, if such could be done – or so it often, inexplicably, seemed to be.

Today? Today I’m just relaxing on a Friday, listening to music, and feeling fortunate. I’m grateful to have come so far, but humbled enough by hard times to know that “this too shall pass” also applies to the best moments. Enjoy it. Savor it. Don’t take it personally. Don’t develop an expectation that the sun will always shine in this lovely spring moment. Be here, now. Breath. Exhale. Relax. And still, even now, also practice non-attachment. Enjoy. Breathe. Accept. Exhale. I’m still smiling. It’s enough.

Soon enough the album will end. The track will change. The sun will set. There will inevitably be a time to begin again. 🙂