Three “R”s and the Friday Effect

06-02 Relaxing
Relaxation… taking in the moment is good

I haven’t always been grateful for my life and I still struggle with being thankful for a life that isn’t what I wanted, or imagined it would be.  The good news is, I’m finding when I stop “doing” and focus on “being”, I can catch some much-needed moments of peace.

It’s easy for me to get caught up in my “to do” list and finding worth in the number of items I cross off it.  After going to the grocery store and putting the groceries away (crossed that off my list!) I decided to take a few minutes and rest on my front porch.  The sun had already set, but darkness hadn’t taken over yet.  The wind chimes hanging over the edge of the deck made beautiful music, which helped me relax in the moment.

My gaze went past my feet propped on the railing and through the thick tree branches.  Instead of dwelling on the things that bring me down, my thoughts went to what is good.  In those minutes alone- taking in the breeze, listening to wind chimes, as the light gave way to darkness, I became conscious of the thought that I was thankful to have a house with a deck, with beautiful trees in front of me.  I looked to my left and saw my continuing project.

06-02 Rocks
Rocks… this pile will line drainage paths – before monsoon rains come, I hope!

And then I thought how thankful I was to have the money to pay for the rocks.  I don’t have the money to pay someone to move it for me, but that’s okay.  At least I am able to do it myself.  Look at that, another item for my mental after-sunset “thankful” list!

It was after 8pm when I went inside.  I debated about whether to fix something for dinner.  Since it’s just me and I didn’t have the kids, I decided to be cat-like in my choices…

06-02 Roxy
Roxy… snoozing on the counter (like she’s not supposed to) because no one was looking

… since no one was looking, I had an ice cream sandwich for dinner.  I don’t eat those often, so it sure was yummy (and I can be thankful that I can work it off tomorrow!)  Not even the prospect of getting outside by 6am to make the rock pile smaller dampened my mood.

Maybe it’s the Friday Effect (no work for 2 days) or maybe I’m finally seeing a shaft of  light at the end of my long, dark tunnel. Either way,  I’ll take it 🙂

Have a beautiful weekend!

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Lights… Cats… Bags – My Joy This Week

My follow up therapy appointment is tomorrow.  I think I have done a decent job of staying focused on finding myself through things that bring me joy.  This blog is about me finding myself every day and although I do contemplate this daily, writing every day just isn’t going to happen.

Of course not writing might be a good thing.  I’ve been quite amused at the number of “follows” I’ve gotten on my old blog since I stopped writing and then posted I wasn’t writing there anymore.  The message seems to be “if I don’t talk, they will listen.

But I’m not one to please others.

This makes me think of something the pastor said on Sunday that has stuck in my mind.  The message pertained to divorce and also remarriage after divorce, but at one point he said we can justify our actions all we want to, but the question we should ask ourselves is if what we are doing pleases us, or pleases God.  I need to ask myself that more often.  (Although I’m fairly certain my consumption of dark chocolate is pleasing to God, so I should definitely continue that 🙂 )

I think I’ve used enough words today, so I’m going to wrap this up with photos of things that brought me joy this week.

12-8-lights
I put up Christmas lights after Thanksgiving… the joyful part is talking to the neighbors who smile and comment on the lights
12-8-cats
I smiled at my ten-year-old’s excitement over having both kittens curled up on his lap. His laughter gets me every time.
12-8-bags
For a couple years, my ten-year-old has wanted to do something for the homeless. We’re finally doing it! I bought some new fleecy throws and supplies and, together, we packed bags.  They are in my trunk ready for God to lead me. (I’m shy so I’m a bit nervous about it). Oh, and all cats/kittens are accounted for… I checked!

 

Two More Joyful Things

I washed a couple loads of laundry yesterday (not exactly a joyful thing).  I left the dryer door open while I hung clothes in my closet and I came back to find a little more than a few pairs of pajamas and socks:

11-30-kittens
So… this is what happens when I don’t clean the filter?

I laughed when I saw the kittens’ solution to a chilly day.  Luckily I was done running the dryer, but I always check the washer and dryer because of a co-worker’s horror story about one of her wiener dogs who climbed into the washer when she went to grab one more towel to wash.  He was discovered before the spin cycle and, thankfully, he survived and didn’t suffer any permanent damage.  (However, he still tries to climb into the washing machine, so his intelligence level is questionable 🙂 )

I have had the kittens nearly a month now and I already couldn’t imagine not having them.  How quickly I get attached.  Now, with the four felines in the house, I can say I have four joyful things for today instead of two!

Progress Isn’t Perfection

On Halloween, I adopted 2 kittens from the Humane Society. It wasn’t an impulsive action; I’ve half-joked about becoming a crazy cat lady since my divorce.  I already have a pretty good handle on the crazy part, so I just needed a few more cats.

11-27-kittens
2 adorable litter mates in their new home

Well, I thought the kittens were adorable, but my sons’ seven-year-old cats were not so impressed.  Though technically not my cats, these litter mates sleep in my bed (most of the time) and have trained me fairly well.

11-27-cats
These “old” girls rule the house

My therapy assignment to find things that make me happy is never far from my mind.  I have a problem with the word “happy” though.  Happy is like a mirage; you think you have it only to find out you don’t.  Happy results from circumstances, which are ever-changing.  Over the last week, several occurrences have affirmed what brings me lasting joy.  The fact I can recall them easily is a sign I’m on the right track.

  1. I got to surprise someone I hardly knew with an anonymous gift and I still smile when I think of her reaction.
  2. I had Thanksgiving dinner at my house… my ex, his girlfriend, her son and my 2 sons were the guests.  Calling a truce on the past animosity concerning his mother made extending this olive branch easier.  Of course I still don’t trust him, but at least this opens the door to forgiveness so I can finally be free.
  3. I encountered a woman seated behind me crying in church.  In the past, I would’ve pretended not to notice because it’s awkward, but I surprised myself and asked if she was okay.  The woman said no.  I moved to a seat beside her and asked if she wanted to talk but she didn’t.  I’ve prayed about her often today, and I hope maybe by acknowledging her she didn’t feel so alone.

I notice the things that stay with me most are instances where I can make a difference for others.  I have always wanted to be a positive person and lift others up, but honestly, I’ve been stuck in my own pain for so long, I forgot how to do that.  I think that’s why my last blog died:  I couldn’t say anything nice (positive) so I said nothing at all.  I think to help me, I need to help others.

11-27-progress
“Old” kitty snoozing with kitten nearby… they aren’t best friends yet, but it’s progress

Like the evolution of the relationship between the 4 cats in my house, I am a work in progress.  Progress isn’t perfection… however, it’s a move in the right direction and I’ll take it 🙂