ThxFriday, Courage Edition.

Fresh eggs and warm kitties; lengthy Saturday AND Sunday naps; the luxury of reading an entire book in a day; early submissions and on-time departures; celebrating one of my favorite little dudes; fast-moving weeks; new opportunities; PDX plans all coming together; the promise of the ocean; realizing, once again, I am usually the one getting in my own way (and doing my best to get out of it); minor explosions clearing the air; solution orientation; active gratitude; finding that perfect fit – when you know, you know; recognizing patterns and cycles in others, reinforcing the lessons for you; moving on when it’s time to (let) go; and having a good excuse to put on some silly makeup and wear a costume to work. We have a little dude staying with us who is VERY EXCITED about Halloween. He’s dressing up as Captain America, and there was no way I was going to let him be the only one dressed up today when we trick-or-treat this afternoon. None of my other co-workers dressed up, so it looks like it’s just him and me. RAWR! ❤

CowardlyLion

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“Scraping Little Shavings off My Ration of Light”

I’m working on practicing gratitude as soon as I wake up, in an effort to set the tone for the day. Some days, that’s easier than others. But this morning, I woke up way before my alarm went off (after getting a good night’s sleep), and couldn’t think of anything better than lying in my warm, cozy, comfortable bed listening to the sound of the rain.

It occurred to me the other day that if you’re always waiting for something to happen before you’re able to relax, be happy, etc. – like, “Once I get that job, I’ll feel better!” or, “Once these things happen I’ll be able to relax and enjoy life!” – then not only are you putting joy and gratitude on hold, but you’re also preventing yourself from finding whatever good is in the present moment. I mean, sometimes that goodness is hard to find, I get it; sometimes it might not even be there.

But most of the time, it’s there, and it’s passing you by if you’re too busy looking elsewhere. Find the good, y’all – and share it, when you do. We could all use a little light. ❤

————————————————————–

The title of this is part of a line of a Bruce Cockburn song called, “Isn’t That What Friends Are For?” and the rest goes like this: 

I’ve been scraping little shavings off my ration of light
And I’ve formed it into a ball, and each time I pack a bit more onto it
I make a bowl of my hands and I scoop it from its secret cache
Under a loose board in the floor
And I blow across it and I send it to you
Against those moments when
The darkness blows under your door

Quality Quotes and Errant Thoughts.

Every once in a while, there’s a quote or a saying or just some words that come out of someone’s mouth at just the right time in just the right way, and it all seems to lend itself to navigating what Pema Chödrön refers to as the fundamental ambiguity of being human.

  • “Sometimes just sitting back and letting people escalate in whatever direction they’re going to is a powerful way to let them show you who they are.” (A comment on this post from Captain Awkward) 
  • “But all the love in the world won’t make up for a lack of respect.” Another comment on a Captain Awkward post – those comment sections can be such a font of wisdom, I swear; never mind that CA always has such good and insightful things to say.)
  • “He who throws dirt loses ground.” – Texan proverb, by way of Noelle
  • “A person is a person because of people.” – Zulu proverb, by way of this amazing story. I can’t recommend watching the video enough.

And then there are those meandering thoughts that always seem to come out of nowhere, and are nothing at all like the meaningful quotes. So, here we are.

  • I’ve been cat-sitting for the last week. Yesterday morning, I woke up to three puddles of watery spit-up and a solitary turd in the kitchen, with an impressive skid mark leading up to it. I decided to write a country song called, “Three Piles o’ Puke and a Turd in the Hall.” Sure to be a winner.
  • Presumably, the puke and turd were cat protests, demanding the return of their humans. Has anyone invented a game called “Angry Turds” yet?
  • (I gotta say, though, having a cat to pet on has significantly reduced the anxiety otherwise inserting itself into everything, everywhere, so I’m grateful for that.)
  • Why do finger and toenails start growing differently as you age?
  • When a bug is on your car and you drive a few miles with it still on there, where does it go? Can it find its way home, or does it just start over because of the inadvertent relocation service you’ve provided? Are they able to just pick up where they left off, or have they been displaced forever and do they lose their family and friends and community? Maybe they’re hitching a ride to get the hell out of dodge?
  • Does honoring your limitations actually exacerbate them? Where do you draw the line between stretching your comfort zone and harming yourself for the sake of societal expectations? By giving in to your anxiety or your shame or your fears, are you giving them (and the triggers) more power? I wonder about this sometimes, because I know that the longer I sit with something negative – shame, anxiety, insecurity, etc. – the bigger it gets. And I know that Brene Brown talks about the only antidote for shame being compassion and connection, but sharing is like the LAST thing you feel like doing in a spiral. So how do you know when what you really need goes against what you’re feeling driven to do at the time?

ThxFriday, I’ve Found a Reason Edition.

A weekend spent taking the very best care; doing well enough to take that break; Sunday yoga and coffee talk; drive-by visits with excellent hugs; breaking the silence just enough; affirmations and new directions; kindred spirits and fellow travelers; filling the senses to combat the butterflies; doing all that hard, hard work to get to a better place; making room again; kittens, chickens, and the howling of coyotes; catching up on Last Week Tonight with a lot of laughing out loud; the kind of quiet that takes some getting used to; fresh, warm eggs collected in early morning hours; the merging of preschools with nursing homes; “A person is a person because of people.” – Zulu proverb; the power and pull of real community; recognizing what will (or won’t) change and charting appropriate courses; and, finally, a night I’ve looked forward to for months: Jason Isbell​ and Amanda Shires​ at the Ryman Auditorium​.

I’m putting on a fancy dress and taking this tender heart of mine to a show. I imagine I’ll carry that light and those reminders for days and weeks and months to come. ❤

Sunday Randoms

It’s been a wonderful weekend so far.

Yesterday was all about self-care stuff… gym, car wash, massage, stocking up on healthy food, pedicure, stocking up on delicious wines, ordering out for dinner, and wrapping it all up with a little bit of coloring. (Yes, coloring.)

This morning, I met up with a friend for yoga and then coffee/breakfast afterward (which was fantastic). The yoga class was right up my alley, too; a perfect mix of instruction, work/challenge, and laughter. I think that may be how I spend my Sunday mornings from now on. The instructor also encouraged us to join her for figure/ice skating, which has totally piqued my interest, so I’m going to look into that. Despite having so little free time these days, I am rediscovering just how crucial it is to maintain a balance.

Anyway. After coffee and food, I got to see another friend I haven’t seen in what feels like a really long time, for a multitude of reasons. I gotta say, the healing power of hugs, coupled with some much-needed affirmation, did my spirit a world of much-needed good. I’ve  been cooking all afternoon, and have a huge assortment of healthy food to eat for the week. Between that and going to the gym every day, I can tell I’m getting stronger; that feels pretty great.

And, finally… Marshawn Lynch is back in the game, baby. So, you know. ❤

I realized I am simply continuing to take steps, whether small or large, in a really solid direction. It reminds me of that Thoreau quote, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” Yep! Totally doing that.

Today also starts the countdown to Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires at the Ryman on Friday. I sold my Sunday night show tickets to someone who is near, dear, and SUPER excited to be going; I’d hoped to have a “special someone” with whom to attend that show, but life has a funny way of working out. It’s okay, though. I find that I am much happier to be attending all by myself on Friday. It’s a lot less awkward to sniffle your way through an entire concert when you’re on your own.

(Or maybe it’s not, but whatever. I CAN’T WAIT.)

Saturday Curiosities.

Lengthy and informal (and primarily rhetorical/internal) Saturday Poll:

What is your primary means of interacting with your friends? Text? Email? Phone calls? Intentional plans? Figuring you’ll run into them at a certain location and hoping for the best?

For those of you in relationships or married, do you get most of your personal interaction needs met through your partner/family? Or do you spend a fair amount of time with others outside of your relationship/marriage?

Do you see/talk to your friends in person as often as you’d like? If so, are you more of the active planner type who reaches out to effect contact and make the plans? Or do you count on/wait for others to reach out to you?

Does the internet make you feel as though you get enough interaction from people? Is it a primary means of interaction, or more of a tool to facilitate in-person interactions?

ThxFriday, “That’s How the Light Gets In” Edition.

Wrapping up the Weekend of A.P.; keeping the kids alive; the raising of awareness (my own, and those around me); sleeping in my own magical bed; coming off that challenge straight into clubhouse food (and wine); beautiful autumn days spent outdoors, raising money for an excellent cause; all the things running smoother than ever; accidental innovation; commiseration co-conspirators; the sustenance of memories; doing well enough to take a break; a return to the gym, having missed it for a week; recognizing terrible dreams as a means of sorting through and letting go; when the morning sun shines through the trees after an evening of rain, making misty sunbeams; clear skies and cooler days & nights ahead; brief (but welcome) homework respites; and looking forward to self-care Saturday, sort-out Sunday, and a week filled with kitties, chickens, and a wide-open sky full of stars. ❤