Wonder

The night sky in Autumn. Very clear and the moon seems to shimmer in white against the blackness of the sky. I took my grandson outside last night to share the wonder of it all.

When we first stepped outside, he wasn’t impressed. Yeah, big deal. Slice of moon and stars. But I walked him further out into the yard and as we stood gazing upwards, more stars appeared to us. I’m hopeless at pointing out constellations but as I gestured to the sky telling him they’re there, he perked up more and more.

That’s my job as a Grandma. It was my job as a Mom and now it’s my responsibility to pass that wonder onto my grandkids, also. On vacation, I showed my granddaughter’s how fascinating it is to hunt for shells. Show them the wonder of geodes and rocks I find in different areas. When we walk outside, I point out things they may not see or present things to them in a different light. Sticks aren’t just sticks, nuts are all unique to the tree they come from and textures all vary.

As a grown up with chronic illness that gives me a reduced life span here on earth, it’s important I keep that childlike wonder alive in myself. Even if I didn’t have grandkids to share my discoveries with, I’d still be out there appreciating all that nature has to offer. I regularly walk around the property just to see what I can see. Collect things to make crafts from. Take photographs to enjoy forever.

My challenge to you is to find that childish wonder. Find the magic. Experience the discoveries.

Have a wonderful day!

Seasons

Found my lost images! Below are examples of the Halloween garlands I’ve been working on.

I love the changing of the seasons. Especially the transition from summer to fall. The air just feels different and you know immediately that fall has arrived. Even when the temps are still summer.

It’s finally acting like fall temperature wise and that energizes me. My homing instincts kick in and I start fixing up my house ready for hibernation. I must have been a bear in a previous life! Removing stuff that I no longer use, deep cleaning and rearranging…that’s what I’ve been doing since the air changed.

It’s good to shake things up once in awhile. Two of my daughter’s are very cautious with change but my youngest is constantly switching things up. Wonder where she learned that?!

No matter how much I love my house and the way I’ve set it up, I’m always doing things to give it a new look. Adding, subtracting, changing… I never get bored in my home because it’s always new. Filled with things I love and everything in here is important to me.

As I feel the need to change things in my environment, I also am aware of the need to change things within myself. If you don’t find ways to challenge yourself, you become stagnant. My body may be deteriorating but I’m trying to find ways to prevent my brain from following suit. For all I know, it’s not working, but I do enjoy learning new things as often as possible. I don’t do easy reading often. Books can teach you so much even when they’re fiction. Wars fascinate me and take me out of my pain and put me into someone else’s reality that is far worse. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when so many others are suffering much more. And mysteries challenge your mind to work out puzzles.

Autumn calls me to get out and walk. To enjoy the cooler weather and colors. As I’m working on the changes in my own life, it’s good to get out and see the changes going on everywhere else, also. Sometimes my world feels isolated and overwhelming but when I get out of my own world into the larger one, I realize it’s only that way if I let it be. Which I have no intention of allowing.

That’s my challenge today. Expanding my world so the wonder and joys can enter my heart and motivate me to keep on changing and improving all I can. And on that note, I wish you a wonderful day.

Satisfaction

Completing projects, not matter how small or how large, is very satisfying. Today’s challenge is to enjoy that satisfaction without allowing feelings of inadequacy to interfere. Would I have liked to finish these a couple weeks ago? Yes. Would I have liked to have finished more? Yes. But the fact I finished any at all is a huge success and I’m setting aside my Type A to enjoy that completion fully.

(My satisfaction is dulled considerably at this very moment, because I just discovered the photos I downloaded to post have disappeared somewhere within the memory of my laptop! Well, that is an issue to deal with tomorrow.)

Learning to let go of disappointments, learning to accept my limitations and learning how to celebrate the little victories is a task I’ve worked hard at these past few years. Some days, no matter how I try to talk myself out of a funk, I can’t. So on the days I can see physical evidence that I’m leaving something of myself behind in this world, I feel great satisfaction in that. I have a pile of completed Halloween garlands in front of me to remind me of the focus it took to create them. They’re fun and the finished products aren’t the only important thing. The image in my head, the process of making them, the pride in my work… It’s all very satisfying.

Lowering my expectations and learning how to deal with whatever curves the day brings to interfere with those is something I relearn every day. So my challenge to you today is to set aside those lists of things you should have completed today and for some reason, weren’t able to. Think of one thing that made you feel satisfaction. Focus on that and celebrate!

Have an awesome day.

 

Quiet

That’s the challenge for today. Turn off the tv, limit internet and phone and just be quiet for awhile. It’s amazing how it can refresh and energize you at the same time.

We’re surrounded by noise all the time. Radio, tv, traffic, etc, etc. Without realizing it, it’s sapping our resources within. Listen behind the artificial noise and you’ll hear things you wouldn’t ordinarily even be aware of. Birds singing, the wind in the trees and sounds that are too soft to be heard over our daily noise.

When it’s quiet and I’m not looking at my tv or computer screen, I look out my windows. I watch the trees change from season to season. I watch clouds scuttling past or slowly moving along. I watch the sun’s progress across the sky or storms roll in. I see wildlife I’d miss if I wasn’t looking outside or sitting on my porch. Daily guests are deer, rabbits and lizards. The dogs are a never ending source of entertainment. My grandkids playing and my grown children going about their business.

When it’s quiet, I also look around my house. My gaze falls on things I’ve picked up travelling. All beautiful and all precious memories. I stare at photos I’ve taken on travels and relive being there. I see details I wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t do that. I look at photos of my family and offer thanks for such wonderful people being in or having been in my life. I look at my plants and see their growth progress. My house isn’t a dead space. It’s alive with living things and living memories that remind me that this is a house of love.

Look around you and remind yourself of all that’s good in your life. Renew yourself with love and good memories. Make resolutions on ways you can improve your immediate environment to make your space even more welcoming and joyful to you. Take awhile to be quiet and be grateful for all you have, no matter how little or how much. Even if your health is not what you’d wish, you can find joy and appreciation during quiet times.

And that is my wish for you today-joy, appreciation and lots of happiness.

Catch up

After about three straight months of a higher level of pain and issues related to a stepped up pancreatitis attack, it’s time to tackle everything I’ve had to let slide. First up is deep cleaning my house because that’s the first thing I have to let go of when things get worse. (In case you’re wondering, I do still clean but things aren’t spotless.)

Along with cleaning comes organizing all the stacks of things I’ve got going on all over the place. Stack of things to file, clothes to put away or put into storage now that cooler weather has finally arrived and books I’ve finished. It accumulates quickly and after three months, I feel rather stressed looking at it. So, I will take care of all that while I feel better.

Of course, my better means my “normal” level of issues and pain. They never go away. So while these catching up things may sound trivial to a healthy person, they’re a big deal for me. Makes me so proud with every single thing I manage to complete.

And that is my challenge to you today. Do something, no matter how small, that makes you feel proud and happy. Even if it’s just getting out of bed in the morning! To some of us, that’s a big deal and I want to encourage you to do all you can in every single day. Chronic illness goes hand in hand with depression so if you can find joy in all the little things, you’ll be conquering depression a little at a time, also.

Kindness

Today’s challenge is being kind to others. I was reminded yesterday, when total strangers offered to load my car with a heavy purchase, that it means the world to someone on the receiving end.

Be mindful of others and any chance you can to be kind to someone, you should never pass that up. Hold a door open for someone; let a car out in front of you in busy traffic; offer to get something off a high shelf for someone in a wheelchair; open the grocery bags on the carousal as you’re checking out; pick up a piece of trash… There are so many small things you can do that make such a difference to others.

Above all, smile. Say hello to strangers and if they seem to want to talk, stop and take a minute to do so if you have the time. In this world of internet friendships, we sometimes forget to make human connections. You can really make someone’s day by just taking a minute to let them know you see them. They aren’t invisible and someone cares enough to smile at them. You can make a difference in someone’s life without even realizing it.

Thank you, kind strangers. I will pay it forward!

Have a great day!!!

Progress

 

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Progress is slow but moving along, at least. These are some of the Halloween fabric pieces I’ve managed to get cut for garlands. I have to dig out thread and tomorrow, maybe I’ll have some finished projects to post for you to see.

Sewing and crafting keep me occupied and help me feel productive on days when I’m not feeling very well. I wasn’t feeling particularly bad yesterday but not particularly good, either. So, I focused on tracing patterns, cutting them out and stacking them up. I’m going to be working on weeding out more stuff from my belongings so I’m sure by this afternoon, I’ll need to just sit and work quietly while I watch tv.

My new binge watch is ‘Rick Steves’ Europe’. My oldest daughter and I have done some travelling (thank you for that, my darling!) and I enjoy revisiting some of the places we’ve been and dreaming of where else we may go. My health may not allow any further travel but it wasn’t conducive to the other trips, either, and I powered through.

After waiting almost a year for the okay to get a pain pump, it was a huge blow to find my body reacted badly to the morphine injected into my spine as a test before the procedure. Despite the ambulance ride, ER visit and unpleasant side effects, I was pain free for the first time in several years and I enjoyed every second. Wasn’t exactly what I would have chosen to do with my pain free time, but you don’t get to pick and choose so I surprised everyone with my happiness.

But, it is a blow and the past few weeks have been spent coming to terms with that. I’d taken the other trips after pain blocks. Only the first one really worked. The others helped but each one helped less till I didn’t bother to get the last one allowed me. So, future travel may not be in the cards.

I never expected, never really wanted, to travel outside the US so to have done so at all is a major accomplishment. This world is so large and exploring it has really made an impact on me. Walking among ruins in Rome, for example, I felt quite young!!

If I never get to travel again, I have my memories and thousands of photos to take me back to those wonderous adventures. I’m extremely lucky to have been able to go in the first place, how can I feel disappointed I can’t go anywhere else? I’m human, so I do, but in my heart, I really don’t. Make sense to anyone but me? Probably not. 🙂

My challenge to you is to accept something you can’t control. Embrace the good memories and consider yourself lucky to have good memories to draw from.

Have a great day!