Little things are bigger than you think

Winter crescent moon photo

Glimpse of the crescent moon this morning

You know those little things that people take for granted? Well, they’re not as little as you think! I do my best to appreciate the little things in life and I thought I was doing a good job until I got sick. Only then did I realize how being able to swallow without pain, having energy, sleeping to wake feeling rested, and having non-aching muscles are anything but “little things.” Today dawned with the first clear sky we’ve had in days and I took that as a big thing and a sign of another positive upswing in my life.

winter sky photo

Throughout my day I’m often grateful for and wish for more of three little things in particular, or at least I thought I was grateful for them. Whenever I look at a clock and it says something like 11:11 or 12:12 or even 3:33 I say out loud or in my head “I wish for continued health, happiness, and love.” I’d forgotten what an amazing blessing being healthy is, but my very recent reminder will remain with me for a while.

As I continued to feel better today, I finally had the energy to do some of the tidying and holiday decorating I’d planned on doing over the weekend. I also took some time to just sit and watch a movie. No beading, no playing on my phone, no working on freelance or college at the same time, just sitting on the couch with Owl and Jazzmin watching a holiday movie called The 12 Dates of Christmas. It was one I hadn’t seen before and I was watching it on Netflix because they weren’t showing any holiday movies on regular TV. I rather liked the movie and I liked even more the fact that I took the time to focus on one thing and enjoy it.

Jazzmin and Owl snuggling with me today

Jazzmin and Owl snuggling with me today

The woman in the movie starts out being overly anxious about her future and worrying about being alone and I can certainly relate. By the end, she realizes that it’s more important to live in and be grateful for the moment than to have everything planned out. She realizes there are others like her who don’t want to be alone on Christmas and she works on fixing that instead of fulfilling her own needs. As it turns out, through helping others, she finds happiness and the fulfillment she was so worried she’d never get. She also gets the man of course. πŸ˜‰

I’m now going to refocus on not planning so much and just trying to live in and enjoy the moment. The woman in the movie realized she couldn’t change destiny so there was no point worrying about it and it all worked out in the end. I imagine it will all work out in the end for me too eventually…

And of course I'm grateful for my little things called kittens!

And of course I’m grateful for my little things called kittens!

daisy goof2

Disconnecting, Recharging, Reflecting and Reconnecting

Heavy wet snow weighing down my pine tree the  day I left NY for NH

Heavy wet snow weighing down my pine tree the day I left NY for NH

My plans to post a blog entry every day in November fell through due to several factors, one of which was the poor quality of the wifi access in the hotel I stayed at in New Hampshire. That limited internet access turned out to be a good thing though because it forced me to disconnect and unplug from the constant writing work I’ve been doing the past several months. Had there been reliable internet in the hotel, yes, I would have done some work. The powers that be apparently didn’t like that idea, so internet reception was inconsistent.

The drive to New England Wednesday night was harrowing to say the least. From 20 miles west of Utica to 20 miles east of Albany, I encountered heavy snow and slick roads. I drove slow and steady in my dependable little Toyota Matrix and she served me well! At times I was only gong 20-30 miles an hour but that was okay because at least I was still moving forward. The big snowflakes falling were mesmerizing to look at so I kept a keen eye on the lines of the road, which were thankfully still visible.

People in SUVs and trucks went cruising by me amid the storm and I saw several of them wiped out further up the expressway. Slow and steady gets there, fast and reckless gets in the ditch! I kept saying to myself “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” and hoping desperately for the temperature to get above freezing which thankfully, it eventually did. Once I was out of New York State, driving conditions greatly improved and I even saw the stars at one point! I wasn’t sure they were still up there!

I was so stressed when I finally arrived at the hotel in New Hampshire, I couldn’t settle right away. It was past midnight and I knew I was exhausted but I was wound tight from the white-knuckle drive. I did a little unpacking, made up the bed with my own fleece blanket and holiday comforted and settled in for sleep. The next day was Thanksgiving and while it didn’t go quite as I expected, it was a good day!

Thursday night found me in my hotel room relaxing. I’d come back and taken a nap after the Thanksgiving meal at the church and couldn’t find the energy or desire to go back out again. It was nice being in a warm hotel room instead of back in my drafty house in NY. There was no snow to be seen out the windows and it was clear enough to see the stars. I relaxed on the couch watching TV, eating leftover turkey dinner and periodically playing the little ninja game I had on my phone.

My cell reception was pretty good so it was nice to still have that connection to the outside world. All in all though, I enjoyed kicking back and doing nothing for most of my New England trip. I went out Friday amid the Black Friday crowds but didn’t end up buying anything at the stores. On the way home from that madness, I stopped at a liquor store and got some spirits to help me relax. Once back at the hotel, I had nowhere I needed to be so warming up with a little alcohol was lovely. It all felt like a long overdue break!

I only wanted a small bottle but this was all they had!

I only wanted a small bottle but this was all they had!

I did some research on my phone and learned rather important details about Thanksgiving I had been ignorant of before. I have a new perspective on this time of year and my eyes are more open to the realities of history. I have so much more to learn and I feel I’ve been directed on yet another new and interesting path in my life.

I did go out and about more on my trip but those are stories for another day. For now, I’m just fondly remembering how great it felt to be forcefully disconnected so I could recharge and reflect on things. Now that I’m back in NY with my family and reconnected to all my resources, I realize I have a lot of work to do! Work of the best kind, work that I love, work with the goal of improving the world in my usual way of one word at a time.

Sunday in the Grass

While most of my neighbors were out busily mowing their grass today, I was out laying in it with my daughters. It was a nice sunny afternoon and with the cooler temperature there’s less bugs. Jordan helped me spread out the big, old comforter I always have in the back of my car and we all stretched out on it in the sun. As Mama Nature loves to mess with me the sun soon disappeared behind a large mass of clouds. It was still a nice day though so we stayed outside.

There was sun when we came out...

There was sun when we came out…

Jordan eventually wandered off in search of sticks and grass to weave into some sort of project. Jaycie rolled up half of the blanket like a little pea pod and I laid on my back looking up at the sky of clouds. The clouds were a dense blanket and there weren’t any discernible bunny, dog or flower shapes to pick out but it was still lovely. The roar of the neighbors’ mowers eventually subsided and the only sounds were the birds and bugs. Jazz was tied out nearby and she flopped down in the grass to enjoy the fresh air.

Jaycie the peapod

Jaycie the pea pod

Peaking out Jaycie

Peaking out Jaycie

There were lots of small butterflies fluttering around enjoying the sunshine and sipping on clover nectar. Honey bees and bumblebees were buzzing around the goldenrod gathering pollen on their back legs until they could barely move. They’re rather lucky they’re not allergic to goldenrod because my girls and I certainly are. Some days my eyes, throat and ears itch so bad I want to scream but instead I just sneeze, blow my nose and vow to remember my allergy pill at night. Even so, I’ll take this nice fall weather over the unspeakable season that comes after it.

Jordan trying to uncover Jaycie

Jordan trying to uncover Jaycie

Jordan trying to roll her sister up like a burritto

Jordan trying to roll her sister up like a burritto

I could have mowed today or trimmed my front bushes but I just wasn’t in the mood. Sunday doesn’t feel like a day that should be spent sweating and swearing doing yard work. I’ll tackle those chores later this week, they’ll still be waiting. Sundays are for sleeping in, making the girls pancakes from scratch for breakfast, hanging out in pajamas for too long, mixing up delicious apple cinnamon muffins for snacks and laying in the grass enjoying the autumn breeze. I did all that and I don’t feel like I’ve wasted the day. The slower moments count just as much as the busy ones.