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.

Recognizing That Your Moments Matter…

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How do YOU make your moments matter?  I’ve been reading articles and self-help guides that say that you need to be aware of your world, your goals, your dreams all the time in order to become successful with your gifts.  I just recently recognized that I can’t MAKE my moments matter, but they end up mattering because they were a moment in my life.  Overdoing, over-planning, almost obsessing on everything being important and useful.  I found it becomes overwhelming, a waste of energy and, ha!, a waste of moments.  They happen and do matter, with or without my assistance.  When I realized this, I became incredibly appreciative and grateful for the comprehension.  I’m still wondering where all of these moments are leading to, but I’m so very glad for the realization that I had.

This ah-ha moment arrived for me yesterday, as I was taking pictures in my yard.  The flowers and the leaves are coming out like I’ve never seen before.  We’ve had an unusually long, harsh winter for central Missouri, and the plants seem as though they’re also ecstatic that warmer weather is finally here.  I was shooting pictures from different angles, close-ups, and even got some wonderful semi-posed shots of my son.  This was amazing to me, as he’s been camera phobic for a few years.  He was such a ham when he was a wee guy–even telling me to take his picture when he finally had the words to use!  When he started school, he became camera shy.  As in wouldn’t ALLOW his picture to be taken easily.  When he was little, I made sure I did not have a camera in his face constantly, as I knew that was too intrusive for all of us.  Has this happened to you, where your child made an actual choice to not be photographic?  I’m not sure what transpired in his brain, but it sucked!  I’d been taking great pictures of him for years, providing a growth and adventure history for us to look at and enjoy. Then, NADA.  It was so challenging for me since I loved catching special moments in parenthood, childhood, life adventures… I started focusing on scenery and nature shots, but missed taking pictures of my “bouy” and my hubby.  Hubby had never really liked having his picture taken, but having a son helped him relax from that aversion since we loved looking at the results so much.  Once my son didn’t want his picture taken, neither did my husband!  It was such an odd lag in my photographs, and one that actually saddened me deeply. Now, my photography bug seems to be back in full force; maybe that’s what has made it ok for my guys to have their pictures taken again.

While I’ve been off work with my fragrance sensitivity, I’ve turned my energy back toward photography.  I recognized how alive I felt yesterday, for the first time in forever!  My yard became my inspiration.  My son is my inspiration.  The results of my photography are my inspiration.  Knowing that my moments happen with or without my assistance and realizing that my true job is to simply acknowledge them not only inspires me, but also removed a large burden of finding my life success.  What’s your inspiration for your creativity, your life-energy, your moments?  I’m so excited to feel this and truly hope you can/do too!

With warm wishes for your journey,

Nance