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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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 🙂

Black Friday

I don’t have cable TV, I don’t have the newspaper delivered and I don’t often check news on the internet, but, even though I live just outside the threshold of a cave, I couldn’t avoid the fact that today was Black Friday.  Over the last few days, I’ve deleted hundreds of emails meant to hype up big sales, bargains, and the need for “something”.

So, this morning, I woke up early and dressed warmly in comfortable clothes.  I knew the weather would be frosty and I would enjoy unrestricted movement.  By 5:30 am, I took to the road along with several other early birds.  I had a hunch we weren’t headed to the same place, though.

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I prefer the roads less traveled

The old me would scour the Thanksgiving day ads, looking for good deals, mapping out the stops.  I was married then, and it was a morning out without the kids.  We picked up some gifts we normally couldn’t afford and ended the frenzy by relaxing at Starbucks; he drank coffee and I sipped fruity tea.

The new me feels a heavy burden in “stuff”.  Last year, as I prepared to downsize from a too-large house to a manageable one, I spent many weeks sorting through things and weighing necessity vs. nicety. Now, I don’t look for good deals or things to buy.  I shop when I know what I want to buy and that’s it.

Today, instead of fighting crowds in stores, I traveled to the Mogollon Rim to catch a sunrise.  I’ve talked about doing that for a long time.  For me, it’s the time just before sunrise that I find most appealing.  I used to anticipate the gradual fading of darkness into streaks of orange and although a picture doesn’t do the moment justice, I’ve taken my fair share over the years.

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Sunrise on Mogollon Rim

Today, I took the pictures.  Maybe tomorrow I will feel the joy of anticipation again.