My Favorite Things

I responded to a friend’s internet challenge, to post a list 3 positive things a day. When another friend started as a result of my challenge, I committed to an additional seven.

Here’s the first batch of positive things, and I hope they brighten your day.

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Day 1:

  1. I’m grateful to my son who mowed the yard even feeling crappy and in intense humidity — it was a pleasure to drive down the street to home.
  2. I’m happy that I knit. I could give all 21 slots with a knitting related post.layout2_r1_c2
  3. I’m with Kim that cats make me smile. The world is better place because of our feline companions.

Day 2: 

  1. My garden has given us fresh tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini, as well as lots of Tomatoesonvine2basil.
  2. I am lucky enough to have a granddaughter.
  3. Evenings are getting cooler in Asheville–so much less need for AC, and more chance for open windows, bird song, and breeze.

Day 3:

  1. machine-bestI appreciate breathing…all through the night. I got a loaner C-PAP machine and sleeping is true rest again. What a joy!
  2. I woke early this morning, and one of the first thoughts was “what am I grateful for?” — I attribute that lovely waking to this challenge, which has re-focused my mind on the positive in life.
  3. I’m grateful for metaphoric and literal “off buttons.” There’s a time to walk away from drama and ugliness (as well as a time to act) and knowing when that it lifts a weight and frees the mind and heart. That’s a miraculous thing.
  4. –Oh, and a bonus 4) — I’m grateful it’s Friday after a good week at work.

Day 4:

  1. beautiful bird croppedBirds — when I step out my back door each time I leave the house, there are always birds there — in the trees and scrub, on the feeder, winging by. Bird song and that exquisite flash of upward wing never fail to make my own spirit soar. What a gift that is, through good and bad times, just a bird can make me smile.
  2. Jon Stewart is always guaranteed to make me laugh. He reminds me (in a good way) of my late husband, Dennis, who also could always make me laugh.
  3. barilla3Good Gluten-Free Pasta is no longer a contradiction in terms. There are several mainstream brands making gluten-free versions and this puts some old favorite dishes back on the menu.

Day 5:

  1. zen051Celebration (1)Friends! I could leave it at that, but especially the unexpected close friendships of adulthood. Good friends laugh and grieve with you, make meals, trade favors, secret jokes, and masses of understanding and acceptance. God Bless Good Friends.
  2. With said friends, we drank a bottle of cheap (3.99) red wine that was good!
  3. There’s a new produce stand in my neighborhood. An enterprising older man from the Islands, or even perhaps Africa (lovely lilting accent, gracious and warm manners) has taken a vacant building and desolate lot over — he’s put up a large roofed area and has tables and tables of beautiful fresh produce. I stopped for the first time yesterday and bought 4 tomatoes for $2! We talked about things for a bit and then he gifted me with a giant organic tomato and wished be a great evening.

Day 6:

  1. I love the way Facebook helps reveal social connections and make them visible in ways I never paid attention to before social media. The spread of this lovely challenge and the interesting variations it has taken fascinate me. Like an old-fashioned game of telephone, spreading the message changes the message and the messenger.telephone game (237x136)
  2. When I stop and think of it, I realized I have been much loved in my life — many of those have left the planet now, but the love doesn’t go away. It lives in me and my memories and I can continue it on by loving others. What beautiful magic that is!
  3. It’s Monday morning and I feel no dread or sorrow or anger at the prospect of going to work this morning and the rest of the week. That’s a blessing — if you’ve ever experienced those feelings in response to work week, you know. It’s also a privilege to have meaningful work in a pleasant setting with good co-workers. It’s one I pray every worker can have. When I center myself around the thought of how blessed I am to have that, I feel the glow of gratitude and joy seep through me and a smile spread across my face.

Day 7:

  1. Gorgeous George

    Gorgeous George

    Pretty much the whole internet agrees with me that kittens and cats are an endless source of fascination: more personality and energy packed in those springy bodies than can be contained, so it leaks out in extreme cuteness and apparent wisdom. When I need to laugh, a silly kitten attacking something harmless with such zeal can always do the trick. And isn’t it great that there’s no prescription cost, or anything….

  2. It’s the last few days of August and I’m not dreading September. Between world events and personal losses, the 9th month had assumed a pretty bad rep in my mind. This year, it’s pretty much just another month — I’m excited to see fall arriving while I mourn the loss of fresh tomatoes and basil. I see the sky lightening in the morning a few minutes later each day. But I don’t want to take to my bed with the covers over me! There’s a song “Wake Me When September Ends” that used to match my feeling, but now it’s just a song again. Since I loved September and its promise of autumn and new starts, I’m grateful to have it back.
  3. Sisters. I have only one official sister, who I love and adore and hope to continue laughing, playing, cooking, knitting, arguing and hugging for decades yet to come. I also have several sisters of the heart that joined my inner family over the years, and they too are a whole bouquet of graces.


With special thanks to Kim for starting me on this, I say with joy, And So It Is.

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More Shop Talk

I have some more photos Josh and I took over the weekend. It’s looking more finished now — though there is plenty more to add and I still need more shelves.

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Did I mention I finally named my business?  I’m nearly official (have to bring the dba form to the clerk’s office this week).

Vintage Octobia:

Crafts & Collectibles

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Gee, I feel like heading to Ft. Lauderdale… Oh wait, it’s only Spring Break!!!!!

I’m done. Finished. On time. Every single assignment. All week ahead, with nothing but time to knit, read books, knit, get some laundry done, knit, meet friends for a drink, knit.

……After this week, we come back for only another month (something a little screwy with that schedule, isn’t there?). Then it’s time to start the planning and deciding and juggling schedules, funding, priorities for another semester.

Actually, I love it all. Even the deadline pressures, the moments of “what the heck does that professor want!” or “that can’t be right!”

I’m going to recommend going back to college in your later years as a comical, self-deprecating Fountain of Youth. You’re buoyant with excitement, with the newness of the challenges, the changing semesters, and humbled by the energy of the young, the certitude, and the sweet, sweet callowness.

School Days, School Daze.

This week school starts, like it does each late summer, across this vast country and many others: in spite of unrest in parts of Europe, Africa, the MidEast, South East Asia, and Mexico — to mention a few hot-spots. While Nero fiddled and Rome burned, I bet there were kids sharpening their pencils right ’til the last moment.

Office supplies line the shelves of Walmart, Dollar Stores, and office supply warehouses, a bit like the specialized gear to handout to our troops. The trappings for the mission must be just right; the pencil-case Ms. B requires; the 3-ring graph paper Mr. X insists upon. Oh the glories of new school supplies!

I’m buying my books tomorrow.  I have a list and comfy shoes to brave the line. I also have a voucher, which is part that intimidates me a little.  Will it work? or will I be embarrassed, having to scramble around, getting in touch with Job Link, trying to stay cooled out. At least I’ll have some leeway before my first class on Wednesday.

Can you tell I’m excited? I keep hearing the bit from You’ve Got Mail, When Tom Hanks writes to Meg Ryan that he’d like to “buy her a bouquet of sharpened pencils.” Sigh.

A new school year: still full of promise and butterflies in the stomach; the sense of purpose and the dread of boredom or bewilderment. A truly human experience. I can’t wait.

Joining the Modern World

At least, I think I am. Maybe I’m just joining the current mass hysteria. Either way, I’ve joined twitter. I’m on Facebook. I blog. I got my very own cellphone. What am I missing?

I feel both all grown up and out there on a limb…but I’m joining in. I need to further my presence in the world, and these were quick and relatively painless ways to do so.

I almost titled this one “Isn’t It Ironic,” after the song by Alanis Morrisette. Right after posting about the tarot card on clinging to the past, I joined the massive pool of the laid-off. Yup, I lost my job of 14 years.

Like anyone in this space, I feel a million different feelings, and have a ga-zillion different fears and hopes. I expect I’ll be blogging about some of them during the coming months. In the meantime, I’m going outside now, to water my garden.

Peace.

It’s Tarot Tuesday Once Again!

Clinging to the Past

Well, that will learn me! I haven’t been back to my blog site in a month, and thought, “how lovely, I can re-enter easily by drawing a tarot card at the Osho Zen Tarot  site!” So what do I draw, this:  Yuck!  I don’t like it at all.  Which is probably just why I needed to have it pop up for me. 

One big question that runs around in my mind is, what’s the difference between remembering and clinging? If I think about people and events gone by, and I have good or bad feelings in this moment because of my thoughts, is that clinging to the past? 

Maybe it’s about recognizing that it’s my thoughts in the here and now about the past that are causing the feelings I have. I’m having the feelings right now, after all.  But, feelings slip away after being felt, and new ones, and new thoughts and sights and sounds take their place.

There’s where my opportunity to cling or release comes. I thought my thought, remembered my memory, felt my feeling… now, what’s next?

Struggling to bring my blog into my present is what’s in front of me at the moment.  This wonderful on-line journal has served me so well!  I hope it’s been even half the pleasure for y’all as it has for me.  I’m not closing up shop — but rather dusting things off, ready for a new season of sharing. 

So, thanks for the memories yet made, and the thoughts and feelings not yet experienced — future, here we come.

 

From the Zen Osho Tarot commentaries:

These tenses–past, present and future–are not the tenses of time; they are tenses of the mind. That which is no longer before the mind becomes the past. That which is before the mind is the present. And that which is going to be before the mind is the future. Past is that which is no longer before you. Future is that which is not yet before you. And present is that which is before you and is slipping out of your sight. Soon it will be past…. If you don’t cling to the past…because clinging to the past is absolute stupidity. It is no longer there, so you are crying for spilled milk. What is gone is gone! And don’t cling to the present because that is also going and soon it will be past. Don’t cling to the future–hopes, imaginations, plans for tomorrow–because tomorrow will become today, will become yesterday. Everything is going to become yesterday. Everything is going to go out of your hands. Clinging will simply create misery. You will have to let go.

Osho The Great Zen Master Ta Hui Chapter 10

 Commentary:

The figure pictured in this card is so preoccupied with clutching her box of memories that she has turned her back on the sparkling champagne glass of blessings available here and now. Her nostalgia for the past really makes her a ‘blockhead’, and a beggar besides, as we can see from her patched and ragged clothes. She needn’t be a beggar, of course–but she is not available to taste the pleasures that offer themselves in the present. It’s time to face up to the fact that the past is gone, and any effort to repeat it is a sure way to stay stuck in old blueprints that you would have already outgrown if you hadn’t been so busy clinging to what you have already been through. Take a deep breath, put the box down, tie it up in a pretty ribbon if you must, and bid it a fond and reverent farewell. Life is passing you by, and you’re in danger of becoming an old fossil before your time!

We Can Too!

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This great little image is from the artist who blogs at  http://agreenearth.blogspot.com. She’s initiating a weekly add-on post for positive change a baby-step at a time. 

I’m giving the “We Can Wednesday” meme a shout-out in part because I just love the image. It’s a pretty terrific concept, too. Report on positive change “small or large, personal or worldwide, action or concept.”  — Go girl!

The change I’m seeing is more laughter — in my personal life and at work. Sometimes it’s an effort to laugh rather than bitch when things go awry.

In his classic You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought, the late great Peter McWilliams said, “if it will be funny later, it’s funny now.”  Reading that statement for the first time set off one of those inner bells that lets you know it’s a profound truth — at least for yourself.

Another favorite quote is from Paul Simon, as he tried to sing “Still Crazy After All These Years” in a turkey costume on Saturday Night Live, “they told me, ‘Paul, you take yourself soooo seriously.'”  Oh how that made me wince!

So, I laugh at me, and foibles and mistakes, at the world’s antics, and in return I see the smiles, the lightened burdens, the spontaneous chortles, and the growing glow in people’s eyes. 

Happy We Can Wednesday.