Posts Tagged With: grateful life

IWotB 2021 edition ~ day three

Today is the day!
I’ve been alive and in this world for fifty years. (well, not till 9:13 tonight, but, you know…)
I continue to waffle between something that feels like, “Wow! Fifty!” and “How is this even possible?”

I don’t know what fifty is ‘supposed’ to feel like.
Like, should I feel more ‘grown up’ than I do most days? Because there are some days I find it hard to believe I’m any sort of grown up at all. Then some days I feel one hundred and fifty, so there is that.

Our neighbors hosted an intimate gathering Saturday evening to celebrate YBW’s and my birthdays.
We shared a delicious dinner. Bubbly flowed. As did red wine. Beer made by our friend too. Later in the evening some of us sipped on some pretty rare bourbon.
It was chilly out but we sat by the fire pit and talked into the wee hours.
I can assure you I felt celebrated, y’all. I love these people and they are the sole reason I’m sad to leave this neighborhood.

One couple is already in their fifties, the other in their late thirties.
Our fifty-something friend asked me what I thought about being fifty. What had I learned? What was I anticipating? That sort of thing…

What do I think about being fifty?
First and foremost, it’s simply a number. When I say it’s a number, I mean two things: Woot! I’ve made it to fifty! and Fifty is neither old nor young, it simply is.
I’ve made fifty revolutions around the sun. I gratefully choose to celebrate this. I’ve been here ‘getting along just singing my song’ long enough to learn a thing or two about myself and my place in the world.

What do I think about being fifty?
I think I’m finally at home in my own skin.
I know I’m smarter and more capable than I was told or taught to believe.
I feel strong and confident in my skills as a human.
I am clearly aware of my worth.
I can see value in my strengths, and possibly even more importantly, in my vulnerabilities.
I am as much as, yet also more than, the sum of my parts.

What do I think about being fifty?
I’ve done the hard work of being a mother and now I get to rest on my laurels and joyfully watch my daughters navigate their own lives.
I’ve done the hard work to learn and heal from childhood wounds and now I get to apply that to my daily life.
I accept the choices I made that helped and hindered me becoming the human I am today and I am grateful for all I’ve learned.

What do I think about being fifty?
I’m at an age where I am comfortable with the number of people I choose to have in my life. Some of these people have been with me for more than thirty years, some just in the last ten. But each one is in my world because they bring something beautiful. Each one of them is a part of my heart in real and invaluable ways.
I’m content to let relationships rest. I don’t have to be in constant contact with someone to know the value and power of the relationship. Friendships that pick right up where they left off as though no time passed are sacred and precious. Love is love is love. And the strength and power of that love can survive time apart.

What do I think about being fifty?
I am looking forward to being in a new home with my precious husband! A home we built together, and for each other. The physical manifestation of how our daily life together has become just we two.
I’m eager to explore more opportunities to learn and grow as a human. As a writer. As a photographer. As a mother. As a grandmother. As a wife. As a teacher.

I look at my life on either side of this number and more than anything I feel gratitude. I feel love. I feel empowered.

I’m grateful that every decision I’ve made, good, bad, indifferent, has brought me to this point in my life. I’m grateful to have the ability to make new decisions as I move forward. I’m grateful to have just the right number, but even more importantly, just the right sort of people in my world as I continue my life journey. I’m grateful to honor from where I come as I move forward and continue becoming.

Love is the watchword. Everything I do comes from a place of love. I strive to receive everything in love. Without love I would be nothing. Love is truly the greatest gift.

Empowered. This is a word I’ve used a decent amount in my lifetime, but I’ve not always felt it. I feel it keenly now. I am empowered by the culmination of all my experience, by the enthusiasm with which I look at my future.
I know I can do what I need to do. I know I can do what I want to do.
I know I can.
I can and I will.

Fifty sounds cool.
Like, some sort of leveling up.
My sass and smarts. My joy and pain. My love and gratitude. All sort of becoming more solid somehow.
For what more could I ask on my birthday?

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IWotB 2021 edition ~ day two

My darling friend and mentor Jessica sent me the loveliest gift to celebrate my birthday.

The concept of these wishbeads is right up my alley. Something Jessica knows intuitively.
When I called to thank her for this precious and thoughtful gift, I asked her if she knew how much I loved tigers eye.

She assured me she did know, her choice reinforced based on their meaning and her wish for me.
Her wish is contained in the little brass cylinder. A wish that spoke to finding my fierceness.
A wish filled with love from a woman with whom I share a fierce love.

My life would be not only different without Jessica in it, it would be absolutely lacking.
The word gratitude is simply not enough to express the depth and breadth of my feelings surrounding this woman. But currently it’s the only one I have, therefore I will say I’m grateful for Jessica.
And thankful for the lovely gift she sent as I celebrate my International Week of the Birthday.

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adapting here and adapting there

Thing 1, Husband N, Baby K, and their two dogs officially began living in their new house April first. (no foolin’)
YBW took the day off work. We loaded up four vehicles with the last of their things, and off we went.

Baby K has a big girl bed with the most amazing (to her) Moana duvet cover! She’s so tiny in that full size bed, but it’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.
In the few days they’ve been there, Thing 1 and Husband N are getting settled in their room, and setting up work space for Husband N who only goes into the office two days a week.
Thing 1 built a kitchen table and chairs and a small storage island too.

After being at the house, YBW and I went out Easter Sunday for a visit.
Baby K came out of her house squealing and shouting, PAPA! BEEEE! (for Birdie) and running to hug us. That did YBW’s heart good, he’s missed his little granddaughter.

That girl had such fun hunting for eggs for the first time out in her brand new yard.

Her mommy found eggs big enough to hold Bluey characters, Moana and Frozen stickers, and even toddler-safe nail polish

color: Berry Sweet

It was so beautiful outside, we just had to sit on the porch and check out her loot! She’s holding her Bluey and singing to her.

After her egg hunt, she sat snuggled in her Papa’s lap before letting him take her to bed for her nap.
They’re coming to our house Wednesday afternoon and staying for dinner. If y’all could have seen the grin on my husband’s face!

My Momma heart is chock full of joy for my girl setting up her home.
I honestly think unpacking and getting settled is harder and more stressful than actually moving all your things. They’re making it work. Husband N goes through a space and cleans it well before Thing 1 begins to unpack. They’re working together to create their home in that precious little house.
My Birdie heart is chock full of joy that my grandbaby is so excited to see me that she runs into my arms when I arrive at her new house.

I thought I would feel so sad when they moved. I don’t really.
I mean, I miss seeing them every day, but I know they’re just a forty-five minute drive away. And when I see them in their new space, creating a home that works for them, I feel pride and joy.
When I’m home and I don’t hear a little voice saying, “Papa!” as she runs down the hall, I’m not sad like I expected, I’m grateful we had that time. Of course, when I’ve got a drink on the table and she doesn’t come over and snag it and chug it down as fast as she can then run away, I’m super happy she’s at her house.

We’re adapting here.
They’re adapting there.
It is as it is.
It is as is should be.
And I am content in my grateful life.

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IWotB 2020 edition ~ day one

Yesterday was Mother’s day. Also the first day of International Week of the Birthday.

YBW and I planned a shoot day, but as it turns out, he was feeling a bit wonky in his belly, and my head was trying to hurt, so we decided against that. Instead we went over to the construction site where our new house will (eventually) be.
The first building has plumbing and electrical.
The second building is missing the topmost floor.
The grading is almost finished for the third building.
The fourth building is still a big ass pile of rubble.

This is the same model as ours at the end of the first building.

After about an hour going through and taking photos of the unit, we headed for home.
We sat at the table on the porch for a while before YBW decided he wanted a nap.
I got settled with a coca cola, book, and notebook. (the coke helped my head feel better)


I’m eager to dig into this book.

And then the phone rang.
Thing 2 said: Happy Mother’s Day!
We talked for nearly two hours.
I said: Thanks for letting me be your Momma.
She said: I’m so glad you’re my Momma. She paused for a moment and said: I’m so glad to be your kid.
We talked for a few moments about the difference in meaning between those two statements.
Essentially, my daughter is content to have me as her mother, as well as being content to be my child. And these are two very different things.
(this may actually become another post)
As we do every single time we speak, we said: We need to do this more often.
She giggled and told me, I’m going to talk to you Tuesday anyway!
I said: Wow! Twice in two days. That means we probably won’t talk for a few months!
We decided that might be too long.

While I was talking with Thing 2, Thing 1 called. We exchanged texts earlier in the day, but hadn’t yet spoken. I texted her I was talking with her sister and would call her asap.
We talked about how even though this is her second mother’s day, it feels so much different than last year. Baby K was still brand new, and she was excited to be with her Momma on mother’s day for the first time in many years.
But this year, mother’s day is real. She has a daughter who can walk and talk. She has a daughter who can express her joy and love. She’s having a ‘real’ mother’s day.
My eldest daughter is a mother.
It doesn’t get any less weird the more I say it.
I can tell you that it is so wonderfully cool though!

When YBW woke from his nap, we ordered delivery food and watched the last two episodes of season two of Westworld.

I had a very Roby sort of mother’s day and first day of IWotB.

Even though the world is still shut down and in chaos, and I’m not getting to celebrate the way I’d like…
I’m chock full of love.
I’m chock full of gratitude.
I’m celebrating the forty-ninth anniversary of my birth in new and creative ways.

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time: well spent or wasted?

I spent over an hour Saturday morning looking at pantry and linen closet organization photos on Pinterest and vids on Youtube.
To be perfectly honest, I felt guilty about ‘wasting’ that valuable time.
But the more I considered the time spent, and the information gathered, it wasn’t really wasting time after all.
I discovered new and different organizational ideas that may work well for the way we live, as well as some that will not.
I’m extremely confident in my own abilities when it comes to organization and design, but I’m always open to new or different ideas, especially if I know I need a change.
Now, I could geek out over organization from now until the cows come home, but I’m more interested in this concept of wasting time.

I know we hear about how the average person loses ‘x amount of time each day’ to fairly normal things. But how much of that time is truly being wasted? That number will be different for each person.
Not because each person wastes a different amount of time each day, but because ‘wasting time’ means something different to each person.

I’m not a gamer.
Everyone in my immediate family is. Both my daughters, my husband, both my stepsons, and my son in law enjoy playing video games.
It could be said my family wastes precious time playing video games.

I like to watch vids of people organizing their pantries and linen closets. I like to look at photos of well organized spaces.
It could be said I waste precious time doing that.

I like to go to T.J. Maxx or Marshalls and Homegoods once every ten days or so. Normally I don’t purchase anything, I just like to look and see what’s new. I always go to the kitchen section first then organization before moving into the rest of the store. Some days, I’ll spend an hour or more, other days I’m in and out in less than ten minutes.
It could be said I waste precious time (maybe even money) in these stores.

What about those days when we just need to not. You know, some times we just need to be still and quiet. And more than likely accomplish absolutely nothing.
It will most likely be said we waste precious time doing nothing.

Marthe Troly-Curtin wrote,

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

How we choose to spend our time is directly linked to our quality of life.
Whether it’s gaming, reading, watching vids or TV, being still like broccoli, or going over Homegoods to see what’s new.
No shame in that!
If we’re using our time in ways that inspire and motivate us. If we’re using our time to relax and recharge. If we’re using our time to join a quest or save a princess, create civilizations or even shoot up stuff. If we’re passionate about how we use our time, if we’re learning new things, or perfecting skills, or simply taking the quiet moment we need, then how can that be a waste of time?

Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote,

What fools call wasting time is most often the best investment.

I’m not saying we don’t actively waste time, because most of us do at some point or another.
I think we need to be much more mindful about the way we judge how we spend our time. Because whatever that most fulfilling thing is to one person, is completely different to another.
I believe we need to treat ourselves with more kindness and respect. We need to acknowledge that time spent doing what brings us joy can’t possibly be time wasted.

Otis Redding sang,

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

No shame. No judgement.
Just straight chillin’.
And we all know that can be time well spent.

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September gratitude

As September closes and we’re still having days in the upper 90s, it’s hard to pay attention to anything, much less what I’m grateful for. But Indian summer or not, I’m aware. And I’m grateful.

finishing my degree
celebrating finishing my degree

one of my alternative healthcare providers twice
my therapist
a truly amazing WHNP-BC who not only has helpful ideas but also really listens
YBW’s and my therapist

Rendon bobblehead even though Nats lost this game

my girls
Friday the 13th
finally going to school and teaching 2nd graders
my big sketch book
the shift in me
colored gel pens
productive conversations with my husband
making real plans for the future
watching Good Omens the second time
Rimmel Scandaleyes Curve Alert Mascara

porchlife drinking vodka lemonade with homegrown basil

Amber (she does my hair)
playing Superfight with Thing C and Girlfriend L
bookshop and lunch with Mike and Josie
celebrating a dear friend and neighbor’s birthday
hitting the game tavern with Nora and Dale
a whole afternoon baking with Holly
one rainy morning

reading books
particularly Daisy Jones and The Six
this line from Daisy Jones and The Six

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my me things

What am I doing with all my free time now that I’m finished my degree?

I’ve decided to get my shit as much together as humanly possible. (Is there a ‘duh’ at the end of that sentence?)
I even have the perfect notebook with which to handle this task.

All kidding aside, I intend on putting forth as much effort possible into organizing my own personal chaos.
My goal is to get/have all my ducks in a row between now and August of 2020.
That’s when I want to start my Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MEd Concentration. It’s 60 credits plus another 15 to go through licensure.
It took me two years to make this decision.
The decision involved many conversations with YBW, my girls, friends, my therapist, and my creator. (and finally finishing the degree plan I was already in)
I knew I no longer wanted to teach for a living, but wanted a way to help people. I believe I will be good at (as Thing 2 says) ‘therapizing’ people.
I am content in my decision.
I mean, I may be bordering on crazy to jump back into school with both feet, but I truly believe it’s right for me.
(100% believe, 89-93% decided, just so we’re clear)

That’s not actually my point though.
My point is getting my shit straight/ducks in a row/chaos organized.
I don’t actually feel too chaosed…but I do feel the need to be organized.

How will I spend my time now that I’m not always spending my time doing course work?
P.S. still haven’t been called in to school yet. This concerns, but does not worry me. I’ll be turning down days soon enough.
I can be productive.
I keep myself occupied. (TBR much?)
I can run the errands, etc.
I can do the things.

But how can I do me?
What am I doing for me during this gift of ‘free time’?
How am I living my intention?

I want to explore my me options.
Get all my me ducks in a row.
I saw my therapist Tuesday, we spent our time pretty much catching up since I haven’t seen her since I first came home after Baby K was born. We celebrated my achievement with my degree. We briefly discussed the new degree plan.
I intend to spend more time with her as I organize me.

It occurs to me I spend a great deal of my time and energy outwardly focused. The other side of that coin is that I spend a great deal of time and energy focusing on everything ‘out there’ from my own particular point of view.
What I’m after is to focus a bit more inwardly, but from a broader perspective. I think…?

Anybody know that song Complainer by Cold War Kids?

You say you want to change this world
Well, do you really believe in magic?
But you can only change yourself
Don’t sit around and complain about it

I’m talking about healthy boundaries and productive conversations and improving overall comfort.
I’ve become weary of sitting around and complaining about it.

I can change only one thing in this world and that’s me.
Changing me isn’t going to be easy.
But what’s that saying, nothing worth having comes easy, or whatever? Teddy Roosevelt, maybe? (will google after I finish my thought so as not to lose momentum)
So, if it’s worth having all my me ducks in a row in order to live a more mindful, grateful, and content life. Not to mention aid in my preparation for 75 new credits, I’m willing to do the hard work.

I have a brand new notebook and pen.
I have some vague ideas.
I’m going to write down stuff that makes sense.
I’m going to develop those ideas into a plan I can utilize.

Instead of looking around me at what I cannot possibly fix, I’m going to fix me.
My ducks.
My shit.
My chaos.
I’m going to concern myself with me things.
Not in a selfish way.
In a way that makes me the kind of human I want to be.
Mindful.
Grateful.
Content.
Learning.
Growing.
Living my intention.

Now that’s for working hard for what’s worth having!

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didja miss me?

Didja miss me?
I missed y’all!
I was silent for longer than I expected!
I was a straight creeper, reading your blogs, even commenting on some, but not writing at all.
After the sadness and grief of leaving Thing 1 and Baby K, I needed time to fit back into this house, this life.

The first week I was home, I saw girlfriends and got my hair did.
I went back for the last two days of school, mostly to say goodbye to students and staff.
We saw our last play of the season at Woolly Mammoth.
I cleared the DVR of HGTV shows that got recorded in the six weeks I was gone.
I finished the third of five books for one of my last five courses, wrote a quick essay about it, and participated in a book discussion.
YBW and I got invited by friends to go to Williamsburg for a couple of days.

I did a great deal of this:

For the most part, the weather has been beautiful! Cooler temps, lower humidity, and good breezes keep me on the porch. When it was hot and humid last week, well, we were in Williamsburg sweating our balls off. But, I was able to come back home to great porch weather and be out there with my books and iced tea.

I knew it would be hard to come home after being with my daughter’s family. And with the exception of some acute sadness and grief the first three hours in the car the day I left, I’m handling it well.
I miss them. I want to be near them.
But we talk frequently. And they’ll be here in less than thirty days!

We sent Baby K an ipad so we can facetime with them.
Yesterday when YBW came home from work, I was facetiming with Thing 1 and Baby K and he got SO excited! But here’s the thing, Baby K got so excited when she saw her Papa YBW’s face, she broke into a HUGE smile!
That girl smiled at her granddad, y’all! She knows what’s up!
She did not smile at me. She pretty much ignored me while I talked to her mom. She did however, look at me when I said, “Birdie loves you, girl.” And she attempted kisses which pretty much turned into her sticking her tongue out at me when I made kisses at her.
God I miss her!
But seeing her is such fun!

Here’s a pic just in case y’all want to see her too!

Gah! Don’t you just want to squeeze this deliciously fat baby!?!

I have a bit more course work to knock out. Two more books, five more annotated bibliographies, a hefty paper, and I’m finished.
I’m eager to tackle my TBR stack!
This summer I’m all about me on the porch with a stack of books.
Bring it.

I missed writing. Sharing my thoughts with you.
But I needed to circle the wagons a bit as I reacclimated myself into my life here.

Since Easter, everything has been all about Baby K. Well, Thing 1 and Baby K. And I’ve absolutely adored every moment of that time. But I’m beginning to realize not everyone is as hype as me. (mais pourquoi pas, je ne peux pas dire)
I’m beginning to remember that life is a bit bigger than that precious baby bubble.

My (summertime) life is farmers market Thursdays and day drinking with Holly. It’s me porchlifing my ass off. It’s books and magazines stacked up near me to pick up when I can. It’s laundry and groceries and Target runs. It’s weekends with friends, and YBW and I having ‘shoot days‘.

I’m gently stepping out of the bubble to embrace my life.
I feel a little out of practice, but I’m a quick study.
It’s easy to want to be in your life when you love it, and y’all, I do love my life!

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giving of thanks for November

November. The month that contains the giving of thanks. And y’all, I am not a Thanksgiving kind of girl.
That said, I am chock full of gratitude this month.


Charleston visit.
Time with Sally and her fam.
Time with Jessica.
Solitary road trip.

My therapist.
Two of the three alternative healthcare providers.
Our therapist.
Amber. (she does my hair)


First snow day of the year! (Nov 15)
YBW’s sense of humor.
An unexpected day spent with Catherine.
Independent bookshops.
Michaels coupons.
Mail from Sundance.
My mother in law’s ring back on my finger.
40% off sale at J Crew. (Roby’s getting a new coat for Christmas.)
Flannel jammie pants.
My monogrammed rain boots.
Target’s customer service.
Old Town Warrenton.
Shop small Saturday.
Accidental wine tastings.
Eric Clapton’s Christmas album.
redbubble.com
Holding hands with YBW.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Apple cider mimosas.
Spending Thanksgiving with friends and family and actually enjoying myself.
YBW’s mad kitchen cleaning skills.
A powerful phone conversation with Thing 2.

A new menorah for Hanukkah. (first night is Dec 2)
Christmas decorating.
Making bows.
Fairy lights on the banister.
So! Many! Baby! Jesuses!

And quite possibly what I’m most grateful for!

Thing 1 is pregnant!
The best part is that she is in excellent health, and the baby is strong and healthy!

My cup runneth over.

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September gratitude

September was a difficult month.
That wretched therapy appointment started it off.
YBW and I spent a great deal of time focused on the lack of effort Thing G spends on being responsible for his own life.
I didn’t realize how disappointed I would be when the time came for us to be holding a new baby and there was not one to hold.

That said, there’s much to be grateful for!

Boyfriend J’s birthday.
My therapist.
Our therapist.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s production of Gloria.

All three of my alternative healthcare providers.
Fall decorations!
Amber. (She does my hair, and it looks GOOD!)
Meaningful conversations with Sally.
The sun finally showed up!
Ridiculously fun meme sharing with Sundance.
The easiest blood draw I’ve ever experienced! (my veins roll and that makes for bad times)
Double date at the art festival with M and J.
Phone calls with Jessica.
Being in the park for the last home game of the season. (Nats won 9-3!!)
Sirius XM Broadway.
Cocktails with YBW.
Sitting in the sun at the Naval Academy watching our nephew play Rugby.
Spending time with great friends-as-family in Annapolis!
Talking with my girls.
Cooler temperatures. (Only by a smitch, but I’ll take it!)
Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Comedy of Errors.

Finishing a successful school term.
Did I mention the sun finally showed up?

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