Simple Pleasures + 100 Happy Days = Making lists

A recent blogging “assignment” I had was to write my blog as a list. That was something different; self brainstorming, no grammar worries, a different kind of writing. Not bloggish as we think of a blog, but a list. As I wrote on May 22nd, I also recently signed up to do the 100 Days of Happy, where I take a photo of something that made me happy during my day. Every day, for 100 days! That’s a lotta happy. A fellow blogger wrote a post about 50 simple pleasures in her life. http://lyrallya.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/50-simple-pleasures-of-life/#more-3401 All of a sudden, I’m seeing a theme going on in my world.

It seems like people are trying to find the good stuff, the stuff that makes us happy, the positive influences, figuring out what’s real and important to us individually as well as universally. This is really incredible! Those moments that matter so much, and help us be genuine and true to ourselves. Wow–it’s the reason why I’m focusing on this blog; it’s really a purpose for my life. I’ve been teased my entire life for being a Pollyanna, seeing through rose colored glasses, being too happy. That IS who I am, and I’ve tried to understand why people aren’t always comfortable with me being like that. Hope those folks get over it!!! And if they can’t, it’s a true shame.

So far in my 100 days of happy, I have seen the absolute joy and love in my dog’s eyes, Gracie Jane. Next, I was awed by a big urn of pansies with their petals turned towards the sun. It was followed by my other dog laying down on the other side of the urn. A moment later, my son came over to lay down next to Spencer and laid his head on him. My heart just about overflowed with the happiness I experienced in a matter of a moment.
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The next day, my son took pictures of the young apples on the trees in our yard for me. This was so I could see the progression since I can’t get out there myself with my foot in the big old “non” walking boot and crutches. I got so excited to realize that I’d be getting to make apple pies, apple bread, apple sauce, apple crisp, apple butter… and more, come fall! We thought we might have to move for my hubby’s job, but he was offered a great position locally. We get to stay and enjoy the food our little 1/3 acre lot will produce. WOOHOO happy!!
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Another food related moment of happy was when Hubby was making dinner last night of grilled Vidalia doused in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, perfectly grilled chicken and grilled sweet corn. Yep, my honey knows how to make some wonderfully tasty stuff.
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And today had several moments of happy for me; my hubby installing a new bunny proof (HA!) fence around the garden today, as well as going to lunch and sitting in the sun with a dear friend, finally getting out of the house!

This activity of acknowledging things that make me happy has really opened my eyes to the frequency of my happy moments. Once again, I feel so lucky, even with the fragrance and chemical sensitivities, the broken foot, leaving my teaching career of 10 years, and not knowing what the future has planned for me. Last night I was seriously freaking out due to the unknown. Tonight, I’m happy with my simple pleasures, and recognizing that even though it’s not what I had planned, everything will be good as long as I treasure the moments I’m given. Same goes for you, you know!!

With warm wishes on your journey,
Nance

A Roller Coaster in My Head

So here’s one of those moments that matter.

My 13 year old son had just gotten out of the shower, excitedly asking if I’ve ever gone on a roller coaster in my head. Why, no, I don’t believe I ever have. And, in my opinion, it seems like a very curious (aka odd) thing to do. I couldn’t even imagine it, when he first said it, as I’d been reading a document I found in The Daily Post through WordPress.com, called “Grow Your Traffic, Build Your Blog.” My brain SURE wasn’t thinking about being on a roller coaster. I had to ask how you do it and excitedly he told me…

First, with your eyes closed, you stand with your face in the spray from the shower. Then you move your head from side to side as if you’re on a great roller coaster ride, kinda jerking it like what happens on those rides. He swears it was just like being on a roller coaster. HUH? I mean, Oh! Cool! Still obviously not sold on this imaginary r.c. ride, I just wanted to get back to this fascinating and educational article I was reading. Sonny boy wasn’t going to let it go. This was something I apparently needed to know more about. More details were given, more happy feelings were shared, so I pretended I got it and could hardly wait to take a shower to try this imaginary ride. Was that wrong of me? I kind of just lied to my dear, sweet boy. Not a bad lie. But an untruth. A falseness.

Do you get it? The roller coaster in your head thing? Not sure that I do. After kissing him goodnight, I realized that he shared a true glimpse into his imagination. Not the stories he can tell that keep me spell bound till they’re finished. Not the novels he’s writing that keep the reader entranced, turning pages until you reach where the story has paused and you want more. (There are three, currently, with other titles and details written down for future use.) Not the deductive explanations he shares as we watch Dr. Who or Castle or the other detective shows we’re both hooked on. But a pure, active, innocent, young imagination of a boy looking forward to the rides he’ll go on this summer with his friends, all screaming their heads off with complete joy, all creating the memories they’ll have when they’re old and wrinkled and achy. I don’t think I’ve ever had a glimpse into his mind like that. It was incredible. I’m such a lucky mom.

Twisted sweet grass basket

Twisted sweet grass basket

A photo challenge I’m participating in today is entitled “Twist.” This sweet grass basket, with a twisted rim, was purchased in Charleston, S. Carolina. It was woven by a woman who’d learned the skill of basket weaving from her mother, sisters, aunties, and grandmothers. They’ve passed it down from generation to generation. I watched women all over Charleston, on the streets, side streets and markets, selling their wares, all the while weaving more. I was steeped in the moment, and appreciated the glimpse into living history, family tradition, and local commerce, as well as learning about the craft and the women. MY beautifully twisted, memory filled basket was chosen from hundreds of beautiful baskets I saw over the course of a week. The bits of shells are ones I picked up on the beaches by Charleston. Most people just want the whole shells, but these shell pieces are all unique, beautiful, and underappreciated. Perfect for my unique and beautiful memory basket.

100 days of happy

I signed up today to do a photographic “happy” memoire over the next 100 days. On the website, it states that only 71% of participants succeed. They don’t have enough time is the main reason. In our extremely busy lives, we forget to be HAPPY. Or we don’t have time to note that we’re HAPPY. How sad is that???!!!???

I’ve been feeling pretty low lately. There really are legitimate reasons. Hubby is looking for a replacement job since his employer lost their contract; having broken my foot 1 1/2 weeks ago, I’m wondering if I also damaged the tendon (which will then require surgery;) still trying to come to terms with my uber hyper-sensitivity to fragrance. OH — and I resigned from teaching next year, by not signing the contract. Maaaan, what a hard decision. Even though teaching is becoming more and more challenging, the threat of violence hang over our heads the whole time we’re there, and the fear of more fragrance assaults that could literally kill me, I procrastinated with my final decision until the day the contract was due. And I still didn’t notify my principal until the next day because I just didn’t want to finalize it.

With all of this going on, a friend informed me that she was signing up for this challenge of showing/finding/honoring 100 days of happy. She’s a pretty happy soul, in my estimation; life seems to be going well, she’s young and healthy. Well, heck–if Kendra is going to do this, me too!!

I like the idea that by consciously thinking about what is making us happy, we become happier, more appreciative of what’s in our life, filling our minds and hearts with gratitude. As Kendra said, can’t hurt!

Today, one of my big moments of happy came from my 4-legged daughter, Gracie Jane. She’s a spazzo, crazy, joy-filled dog. Can you see her smile? Hard not to be happy with a creature who’d never had a home until ours, is so thankful when you come back to the pack that she smothers you in kisses and talks about how much she missed you. Watch it–she’ll jump up and give a kiss on lips if you’re not watching–she’s part border collie and jumps like she’s got springs in her feet! If we humans kiss on the lips, why can’t she? I mean, we’re all family aren’t we? Yeah. no. I almost lost my cookies one time when she even got her tongue in. blech. I do love her. But no French-kissing from a dog. nope. But, she sure knows how to make me feel happy!

Gracie Jane

Gracie Jane

What was your happy moment today?

With warm wishes on your journey,
Nance

 

All Natural Air Fresheners

Love the Organic Gardening website. With my fragrance and chemical hyper-sensitivity, this was a great article. Toward the end, there are also some alternative home cleaning “recipes” that I plan to try. Anyone have a good window cleaning formula? Just click on the link below and you’ll be taken right to the site and article. Happy reading!!

http://www.organicgardening.com/living/6-weird-all-natural-air-fresheners?page=0,0

With warm wishes for your journey,
Nance

On the Move

I’m taking the weekly photo challenge from The Daily Post, called “On the Move.” The challenge is based on documenting my life at the moment, and how I’m getting around.
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Nice moon boot, eh? It’s what I get to wear for the next 2.5 weeks, thanks to the sweet gum tree seed pods, locally known as sweet gum balls. No, they’re not candy.
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They’re spikey balls that are treacherous to walk on when one has skinny ankles. This lovely boot is allowing the broken bone and tendons to hopefully heal. But there’s too much happening to be non-weight bearing right now ~~ Places to go! People to see! Things to do! Hoping I heal fast and heal well.

In the meantime, I’m learning on this journey, because that’s where the happiness is, remember??

Warm wishes on your journey,
Nance

A prayer/poem

This beautiful prayer/poem touched me deeply in my soul and I wanted to share it on my blog. Thank you for putting it on your blog, Pavanneh.

Because I can...

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These flowers had the most wonderful scent.

I saw this on a friends post in one of my email groups and I really liked it. It spoke to me of what I would like to do and to be.

Forever Oneness,
who sings to us in silence,
who teaches us through each other.
Guide my steps with strength and wisdom.
May I see the lessons as I walk,
honor the Purpose of all things.
Help me touch with respect,
always speak from behind my eyes.
Let me observe, not judge.
May I cause no harm,
and leave music and beauty after my visit.
When I return to forever
may the circle be closed
and the spiral be broader.
 
 ~ Bee Lake ~

 

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Responsible is the New Sexy

Reading through facebook this morning and discovered this statement from The Art of Simple:
“I think I have now created a system that will work for me as I strive to create a life of intention that is rooted in my values, not just compulsions. I’m calling this personal project, “Responsible is the New Sexy.” Why I chose that name is a long story. Part quirky, part serious. The idea is to focus on one area of my life each month and make specific, but realistic progress in that area.” http://theartofsimple.net/wearing-a-watch-being-sexy-and-changing-habits/

ohmygoodness I love this! Responsible is the new sexy!!! LOVE IT! It’s what I’ve been thinking, but didn’t realize it–I’m trying to live a life of intention based on my values, being present in the moment, and here’s my new slogan!!! Thanks, The Art of Simple!!!

With warm wishes for your journey,
Nance