Friday, February 23, 2018

The Treasure of Today

A writing by Mary Jean Iron from the book, "A Grateful Heart"...
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. 
I catch myself, often, daydreaming and anticipating future fun. While there is nothing wrong with that, it tends to make me less aware of the blessings of the present moment. I'm especially vulnerable to this right now, in the midst of tax season. I am tax preparer, a job I do to fund my fun the rest of the year. So I tend to focus a lot on mid-April and the end of this intense 3-month job. I do, however, no matter how weird it may seem, love the tax job. It's a great match to my skills, I really like the folks I work with, and it pays well, funding the subsequent nine months of fun. I am grateful for the job. I am grateful for the learning opportunity. The knowledge I have gained has helped my husband and me enormously in managing our finances. So while this "normal day" at the tax job may not be as fun as the adventures to come later this year, I plan to enjoy it, appreciate my ability to do the work, and appreciate the opportunity I have been given.
     In the midst of a normal day and loving it,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sparkling Betty

     Last week my friend Betty made her transition. I came home Monday evening from work with the news, and upon telling my husband, he said, "That's interesting. The person I was playing music with this afternoon said his wife's grandmother was not doing well and they didn't know if she was going to make it." I asked his musical acquaintance's name, and replied, "Yes, that's Betty's grandson-in-law." Small world. Ironically, Dennis and I have known Betty longer than her grandson-in-law.
     I used to work at West Heights United Methodist Church, and Betty and Blanche were the money-counters during my tenure, faithfully there each Monday morning to count and record the previous day's offering. Betty stayed and entered the giving/giver information into our computer system. There was always great joy and laughter when they were in the office.
    Betty lived for many years in a condo overlooking the golf course at Rolling Hills. She hosted our partying group of women, the NUNS, for many lovely evenings of feasting, drinking and merriment. I sum up those magnificent summer evenings together with friends in the word LOVE--holding each other and our families in love and prayer and joy and sorrow. Betty was always "the hostess with the mostest."
     I remembered this weekend that our downstairs (primarily beer--here's to you, Betty) refrigerator was a gift from Betty. She was happy to get rid of it when cleaning out a rental property, and we are still enjoying it many years later.
     I visited Betty several times at Oxford Grand where she last lived. While others who knew her said that her memory was not what it had been, she was always "on top of it" when I saw her, asking me about our sons by name, and telling me the goings-on with all her family. Even when she was not feeling well, she still made lively conversation and smiled brightly.
     Betty sparkled. She had a magnificent smile, and rarely did I see her when she was not smiling. This is no small thing, as she suffered for decades with very painful arthritis. But she kept moving and contributing in so many ways, despite her pain.
     I believe Betty was ready to go Home. While I miss her, and it is still a bit jarring to realize she is no longer with us, I know she is back to bliss, and is sparkling ten-thousand-fold compared to her earthly life. She has truly blessed us with her time here. I am grateful for having known her. Thank you, Betty, for sparkling up our world!
     Grieving and joyful at the same time,

Thursday, February 15, 2018

I Screwed Up

     I like to think that I rarely make mistakes, and alas, that fantasy world in my own head is a lovely place to hang out. Unfortunately, because I hang out there so much, when I do actually make a mistake, my fantasy gets shattered, at least for a while. That's not a lovely place to hang out.
     As we move through the tax prep season, the thing we tax preparers dread is for someone whose taxes are done and filed to come in with another document and say, "I just got this in the mail, does this affect my taxes?" 99% of the time the answer is "yes." Are you guessing where my own screw-up lies? Yep, our taxes were filed on Tuesday, tax-changing document received Wednesday. Dang it.
     It will be handled, life will go on. I will restore my rare-mistake fantasy world. I will stick a note in my calendar for next year that says "Do NOT file our taxes before March 1!" I will continue to practice going easy on myself when I screw up. And I know my boss and my office mate are going to get a huge laugh out of all this.
     Forging ahead,

Thursday, February 8, 2018

What's Important

The words of Rudyard Kipling:
Do not care
Overly much for
Wealth, or power, or fame,
Or one day you will meet someone
Who cares for none of these things,
And you realize
How poor you have become.
     I think that none of us have to look very far to see folks in the "wealth, or power, or fame" category. I'll grant you that I don't know the "whole story," but even from what I see from the outside looking in, I don't care to go there.
     I've been listening a lot to Abraham-Hicks recordings. Abraham, through Esther Hicks, delivers a very simple message--our job is to do whatever it takes within ourselves to feel good. Feeling good keeps our vibration high, which enables us to attract what we desire into our lives. It's completely an "inside" job--there's no changing others or circumstances or government or anything outside ourselves in order to make ourselves happy. No matter what's happening around us, our most important function is to keep our vibration high, by paying attention, first, foremost and always, to how we feel.
     This is an enormous challenge in our head-oriented society. Connection to the heart and feelings are often poo-pooed as weak or irrelevant. And how can I feel happy when there's so much chaos and misery around me? Ah, there's the challenge.
     Feeling good is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When I feel good, I attract more things to feel good about. That's what life is designed for--the Universe supports this with every bit of Its energy. Pretty simple, not necessarily easy, but so worth the effort.
     I feel good!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Re-arranged Family Member

     Meet Dusty, our grand-dog. This is our son Derek's dog who has come to live with us while Derek adventures in Australia. The first pet in our home of 32+ years, it is quite a change, and quite wonderful! What a joy it is to wake up to this snuggle-buddy.

     Dusty seems to be adapting to our house quite easily, since he has been here many times before, and he is quite comfy with Dennis and me. He obeys well. Dennis considers it his mission to exercise Dusty and himself a lot during the day, so Dusty is ready to laze and snuggle and watch basketball with me after a long day at the tax job. Perfect arrangement, win-win for all!
     Life is grand!