Good morning, Journeyer,
This week has been agonizingly long and brutal…
I did not write.
I accomplished few, if any, of my daily designated tasks or goals.
I fought regularly with Warren.
I spent the better share of three days trying (unsuccessfully) to unravel an internet connection problem.
I experienced several nights of interrupted sleep, which is a rare occasion for me.
I spent the better share of the week feeling drained and fatigued.
I spent the better share of each day stuffing food into my mouth, vain attempts at creating some sort of energy.
I spent the better share of the week avoiding clothes with non-elastic waistbands.
I spent a good share of the week with puffy, swollen, and mascara smudged eyes.
And even though my newsfeeds are no longer headlining stories about Robin Williams’ life and subsequent death, I cannot seem to shake his suicide’s significance…
The short version?
My week sucked.
“How are you?” We ask people, but rarely do we want to know the truth.
Let’s work on that, shall we?
Let’s not pretend that our worlds are prim and proper and rosy and sweet smelling when they’re actually wearing a Royal Suckiness crown.
No, we don’t have to spill the laundry list to every person we come in contact with, but do we have to smile and say that we are fine or wonderful or peachy?
Can’t we say things like, “I’ve been better,” or simply, “I’m glad to see the sun shining today,” or “Thank you for asking?”
Even as I type those words, though, what is also crossing my mind is, Why can’t we just freaking say, “My day has sucked, really; how’s your day been?”
In essence, that’s what I’m doing with this weekly column.
Each week I invite you to share your moments of joy that happened as randomly as that old proverbial shit, and to encourage us all to remember that even when life seems to be placing steaming piles of shit at our feet, it is also presenting us with random moments of joy and peace and love and kindness.
It is the combination of all of those things that ultimately combine to create our sense of happiness.
And though I felt an extreme sense of overwhelm this past week, I was acutely aware of those moments that filled my happy organ.
As is often the case, many of this week’s events were like electric flashes, happening so quickly that I didn’t have time to capture them by photo.
When those fleeting moments present themselves, especially during trying times, I take pause long enough to write them down, so that I don’t forget, so that they don’t fade away into nothingness, so that they are given the attention and reverence they so deserve, the values of which I so deserve to reap…
This is the list I kept in my phone notes…minus those dastardly autocorrect errors and typos…
A paint horse kicking up his heels and frolicking in the rain
Running to the car in the rain with Big Guy, my sandal slipped off my foot and went skidding off in the water
Laugh with Big Guy as we ran from the photography studio to the car, in the pounding rain
Dinner and joking with Big Guy
Soaking in the hot tub and seeing two brilliant shooting stars
Hearing Fave’s excitement about his new truck
Thinking about getting closer to having Zee back
Going to dinner with Warren and friends (nice diversion)
And then there were these moments of reflection that combine to close this week on a happy note…
Big Guy and the baby toad he found…
…which brings back fond memories of helping each of my children with their second grade Frog and Toad book projects, a tradition at their elementary school.
This photo also reminds me of the big fat PAPA TOAD I found and brought in for Big Guy to see. I found the hopper after a late night walk with the dog one night. We couldn’t help but laugh as the creature peed all over me and the floor…
I recently learned that my life insurance company might reconsider my rates, since I am no longer a smoker.
AND THEY DO! There’s even an app (okay, a form…) for that!!!
Filling out this form reminded me how happy I am to be a non-smoker. I actually classify myself as a “recovering smoker.”
There’s not much that will cure what ails ya better than a day out with a girlfriend.
Needing a little adventure, we decided to quench our curiosity and try Thai food for the first time.
K enjoys food with bite while my taste buds don’t tolerate anything sour or spicy.
I LOVE the fact that you can order your meal with a spiciness rating from 0 to 5.
The waitress laughed when I told her minus or triple zero, and she winked at me when she said, “No try her food. Way too spicy.”
The presentation and the flavor was just right for both my friend and me.
We visited a local pottery store and then one of my all-time favorites, Ten Thousand Villages.
I purchased a few birthday and Christmas gifts, as well as one for myself…
This plaque made me think of Beauty, the only left-handed person in our immediate family.
One of my little hummingbirds created a disturbance outside of my window to let me know the feeder was empty.
I find great enjoyment in making homemade nectar and watching a steady stream of flyers outside my office window.
If you’re a hummingbird enthusiast and have never made your own, it’s a snap!
Homemade nectar recipe
One part sugar to four parts water. (I use ¼ cup sugar, 1 cup of water.)
Combine water and sugar and place over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.
Be careful to not overheat and DO NOT BOIL.
Cool completely. Fill a CLEAN feeder. Enjoy the sight!
And last, but certainly not least is this BIG BIT OF JOY:
I am one of four lucky winners to receive a $250 pay-it-forward sweepstakes hosted by Stephanie Weaver over at Recipe Renovator and the folks at Chicken of the Sea.
Though I’m not always successful, paying it forward is something I try to keep at the forefront of my mind.
Whenever we enter a contest of any kind, we always hope to win, we toss out a bit of a wish onto the universe before forgetting about the entry and moving on with our lives.
One of the first things I usually do in the morning is log on to my computer and check my e-mail, but alas, I was faced with a fourth day of fluky internet service, which led to several more frustratingly unsuccessful hours of trying to solve the issue.
Finally giving up, I shut down my computer and opened my e-mail from my cell phone, right before heading out for my afternoon rendezvous.
That’s when I saw Stephanie’s message: You won the $250 cash prizes for pay-it-forward good deeds giveaway!
I can’t tell you how FREAKING EXCITEDI am, Journeyer!!
This message reminded me that I’m a lucky, lucky girl…that we’re all lucky, lucky people.
But more importantly, this selection is not only spurring me on to do something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, it’s increasing the reach I’d envisioned.
I have something very special planned for these funds and I hope you’ll be a part of it.
If you’re a teacher or know a teacher or if you don’t know a teacher but know someone who knows a teacher, please, please, please come back on Tuesday to be part of a paying-it-forward to some of our world’s most deserving people: Teachers.
As the great Maya Angelou said: “We are all teachers whether we know it or not…”
What about you, Journeyer? What Moment(s) brought you a sense of peace or joy, what instance(s) made you laugh or smile? I invite you to share any or all of them here.
Until next time, yours in healing, hope, and happiness…