Optimism

I’m not sure if it’s a joy or a curse, my eternal optimism. I know from experience that I haven’t yet managed to set up a booth at a craft show, a table at a flea market or any of the other ideas I’ve had. I can’t count on my health being ok, don’t have the supplies I need, haven’t managed enough inventory, etc.

Why do I continue to plan, work on my crafts, spend money on supplies when it never works out? The curse of optimism.

The same reason I draw out, plan, order plants and then come to a dead stop because I don’t have the strength to dig into this clay soil at all!

I suppose, if I wasn’t an optimist, I’d have no reason to get out of bed. I’d never plan or look forward to anything because what’s the point? I have no idea what my days would be like-very dark and depressing, I’m sure.

So, while it may seem like a curse as much as a blessing, I’ll just accept I’m an eternal optimist and continue on my bumbling way as I always have. My success may not be measured by actual success but what is success? Managing to sell my crafts, create and maintain a garden? Or, is success just finding happiness during my roller coaster ride of health issues and life? I’m not fond of roller coasters but I’m able to enjoy the ride nevertheless-because of my optimism.

The answer to whether it’s joy or a curse is obvious-JOY. I choose joy. I hope you do, too.

Perspective

My daughter bought her first home and as shopped for furnishings, it became clear she needed to change her perspective. She’s spent her entire grown up life in small homes and apartments. She couldn’t wrap her head around the fact she no longer has to be limited to apartment sized furnishings.

My entire adult life has been transient so I can pack a car to the last mm of space with a minimum of rearranging. I can look at a room and see exactly what will fit where.

Not that she doesn’t trust me, it’s more she doesn’t trust what she can’t perceive. So I got out the tape measure and proved that the sectional she thought was massive was actually going to look like children’s furniture in her new living room! Once she saw for herself, she was aware of how much space she really does have to work with now.

That opened up a whole new world of opportunities she hadn’t yet considered. All of her bedroom furniture will actually fit in her bedroom?! A dedicated library! Room to have people over with spaces for everyone to sit! A yard to entertain in! A kitchen with space to actually cook! A dining room! She’d known those were her plans but now she can actually see how it’s all going to work together to be her dream.

Do you need a new perspective on something in your life? I know I tend to try to be in control of everything. I also know I’m actually in control of absolutely nothing other than my reaction/reaction to what’s going on in my life. But am I making mountains out of molehills? Worrying about things I can’t change? Trying to change things I know deep down I can’t? Am I wasting valuable energy on things I just need to let go of? Of course. While that can be healthy sometimes and prompt changes for the better, often, it’s just a time consuming and unproductive thing to do. So, today, I will change my perspective and realize I’m not confined to the walls I live in. I can expand further than that and live as largely as I want to. Today, I will not focus on what I think will fit into my life. I will dream of things in the bigger picture.

Research

It used to be, I could type in anything on the internet and find what I needed. Now, not only do unrelated things pop up on searches but when I do find what I want, I’m asked to pay for the information.

I’m all for progress but not when it prevents MY progress! I can’t physically go where I need to for answers so it’s very frustrating. As my only income now is disability, I can’t afford to pay $20 for the answer to one question, $10 for another, etc. Sites that say they’re “free” are only free to find out if they have anything related to your search. You have to pay to even find out if it really is related or if it’s just similar.

So, today, I am feeling frustrated. Now that I’ve voiced my frustration, I will move on to other things and come back to research later when I have new ideas for finding what I need.

My challenge to you today is to let frustration roll off your back and move on. If you let it get to you, it will consume you. I refuse to allow that and I hope you can do the same.

Ok, now I’m off to do other things. Hope you’re having a wonderful day!

Ice Skating

I spent the majority of my childhood in Bay Village, OH. Every winter, they would create an outdoor ice skating rink. It was rarely smooth so if you managed to skate on it, you learned some interesting moves!

Five years of my early teens we lived in Darien, CT. One of my friends had an outdoor ice skating rink in her front yard.

Between those two places, I learned to ice skate quite well. I did simple tricks and really enjoyed it.

Then I grew into an adult. I put on skates after 25 years or so and couldn’t even stand up! I assumed it would all come back to me immediately and I’d be out there showing my kids how to do it. Nope. They skated around as natural as can be while I hung onto the side and then gave up and sat with the old folk.

Where had my abilities gone? Thinking back on it, it was probably just my trepidation. Afraid of falling because if I hurt myself, who would care for my kids? That underlying fear of “what if” kept me on the sidelines.

I was reminded of this as I went outside this morning in search of cell phone reception. My driveway is mostly ice and as I negotiated it, I thought of all those carefree winter days when I glided and swung around on ice skates without a thought or care in the world.

I know I can’t go back to those days. My old body isn’t up to it anymore. But there are so many things I don’t do because of the “what if” factor. Yes, there are usually physical consequences to some things I do, but all have been totally worth it.

I challenge you today to do something a little daring. It doesn’t have to be physical, it can be trying a new food, watch a tv show you normally wouldn’t, drink tea instead of coffee or vice versa, try a new exercise or just talk to the person in line next to you at the grocery store. Keep a journal of your new experiences (and don’t exclude the memories in your life related to them and why you tried them) and you’ll be amazed at all the things you’ve done at the end of the year. You’ll have a book to read next New Year’s Day that will motivate you to keep it up every year.

What am I going to do? I’m waffling between signing up for a French course or a photography one. Maybe I’ll do both.

Have a great day!

Worth It

I spent Saturday playing with my almost 8 yr old granddaughter in the snow and inside when we got too cold. We hiked around the woods, ran from invented enemies and fought them off with snowball fights. We made a small snowman that the dogs destroyed immediately and a larger one that was taken out overnight by warmer temps and rain. We hiked up and down the hills in the woods, made tracks in new snow and she played with her Schleich and Breyer horses when I got too tired.
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When her parents came home yesterday, I came back to my own house. And it was good timing as I’d started to suffer from reflux. I had a brief respite so did get some sleep but it’s started up again today. Unfortunately, this is normal after a burst of activity.

Just look at the little girl’s face. Any amount of suffering I go through now is nothing compared the look of happiness on that sweet girl. She’s used to me not being able to play with her when my pain level is high or I’m nauseous. She told her mom that “Grandma won’t play in the snow, she’ll just drink all the hot cocoa”! I surprised and delighted her by getting out there and actively playing. (And, no, I did not drink all the hot cocoa!!) I’d do it again in a heartbeat (and I will if it snows again). I’d do anything for those I love.

What sacrifices have you made for your loved ones? My daughters have made many on my behalf since I got worse. My grandchildren have gotten used to me just watching them play on bad days instead of getting right in there with them. I know and appreciate their understanding as they know and appreciate all I do for them.

Today, I am embracing my discomfort as tangible proof of my love. It is totally worth it.

Home

There’s something about being home that makes you feel safe. That nothing can hurt me here. Nothing can go wrong.

False sense of security, I know. But the feeling persists and I’m glad. I pull into my driveway and immediately feel safe, welcomed, loved. Walking in the door, I’m surrounded by things that have special meaning and memories to me. I change into comfy, old clothes and shed my troubles.

Even though they come with me. I can’t leave my pain behind but I can occupy myself with things to distract me from it. When other symptoms go haywire, the privacy I need is here. My home is truly my sanctuary.

I hope everyone has that experience with their living space. That it’s not just a place to stay but a place that truly feels comfortable and loving. If it’s not, I challenge you to find a way to make it better. Even if it’s just a soft blanket to snuggle under to make you feel safe and warm.

I wish you all a safe haven and a wonderful day!

Sisters

I’ve just spent a few days with one of my four sisters in St Louis. Having so many sisters, I tend to take them for granted. There’s always someone to talk to or email or text who will care, offer advice or just listen. They are more than sisters-they are my very best friends.

As different as we are, each of us tend to have common characteristics. With the one I just saw, we order almost exactly the same food in restaurants. Another in NC, we both love doing crafts. Another in FL, we share the same sense of humor. One in OH, we tend to share the same views on life. Of course, it’s not just one sister who shares the same characteristics, all are a mix of everything. Our differences just make our get togethers more fun because we aren’t clones of each other.

But, we share the same history, the same memories, the same love. So does my brother but he tends to shy away from our female gatherings. Enough can’t be said about our parents who raised us to love each other and stand by each other. They were wonderful parents and taught us how to be.

I hope my family knows what they mean to me. Today’s challenge is to never take a single one of them for granted again. They won’t always be here-as I won’t. I will never let an opportunity go by to tell them what place they hold in my heart. I hope all of you will also take up this challenge. You don’t have to like everything your siblings do but don’t allow that to eat away your love for each other.

May peace and love fill your day.