Sunday, October 31, 2021

October 31--Another Month Concludes

Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get, you've got to make yourself.  --Alice Walker

    Let's close the October theme of "fulfillment" with the prescription for global and individual happiness:
We must return to the spiritual values that are the foundation of life. We must love and respect all living things, have compassion for the poor and the sick, respect and understanding for women and female life on this earth who bear the sacred gift of life. —Indigenous delegates to the Global Forum on Environment, 1990
    It's about time, I'd say.

"Sisterhood of the Divine Feminine" by Lila Violet

Saturday, October 30, 2021

October 30--Comparison--Not a Good Practice

Human happiness and human satisfaction must ultimately come from within oneself.  --Dalai Lama

    I think we have this idea well covered from the writings this month. 
    I feel led to write about the 5 Love Languages (see book of that title by Gary Chapman). They are gifts, time spent together, words, physical touch and acts of service. Specifically I'm considering acts of service. This comes up because yesterday a semi pulled up in front of my son's house with a very expensive, large and heavy wedding gift delivery from the bride's side of the family. My husband and I paid for the rehearsal dinner, but otherwise did not buy an actual wedding gift for the couple. Instead, we did acts of service: 1) We took care of their dog at our VRBO house during the wedding and post-wedding party. 2) I stayed at their house to dog-sit while the couple went on their honeymoon. 3) I provided the "shuttle service" to and from the airport for their trip. 4) I cleaned their house, not because it needed it so much, but because it is so nice to come home to a clean house. 5) I packaged and sent off their Warther** knives to be sharpened, desperately needed. 
    Why bother writing all of this? I mentioned last night to my other son that it is challenging for me not to compare our acts of service to an expensive gift (delivered by semi, no less!). I know that such comparison gets me into trouble every time. It is not a good path to tread. I must consider it simply a difference in love language, both of equal value. 
    Grateful for the reminder that comparison does not lead to happiness,

** Warther Cutlery--finest knives on the planet, they sharpen them for free forever, check them out.

Dusty, my sweet bud for the week

Friday, October 29, 2021

October 29--I am ________.

When what we are is what we want to be, that's happiness.  --Malcolm Forbes

    "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I consider that a perfectly valid question whether one is 4, 14, 44, 64 or 84 years old. 
    I am the following things that I want to be: useful, healthy, caring lovingly for myself and others, a dog-owner, a mother, a wife, active, a "numbers nerd," a teacher, in recovery (from addiction), loved, loving, a world traveler--I'll spare you a longer list. I am happy. 
    Yet... there are other things I'd like to be--a decent golfer, thinner--well, heck, I can't think of anything else except... I REALLY want to be a grandmother. If that happens, my high level of happiness is gonna blast off the charts 😉😉
    Lovin' life,
A glorious fall morning in Wellington, CO

Thursday, October 28, 2021

October 28--What Are You Good At?

Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.  --Bertrand Russell

    The photo of the day with this quote is a spider web sparkling with dewdrops. I have seen such in my own garden, and each one is a stop-everything-and-be-in-awe event. You don't have to like spiders to appreciate what they can do. Their good web work contributes to their happiness and full bellies. 
    Notice that Mr. Russell uses the word "good." He did not say anything you're great at or perfect at. Willingness to learn and try already makes one good at something. I'm gradually exploring different mediums of painting. I've gone from "hell, no way can I paint anything except a wall" to "I'll try it." Over the course of exploration, I found within a love of straight lines and I began painting barn quilts. I'm good at that, and doing such gave me many hours of happiness during the pandemic lock-down. 
    It is, for me, the willingness to open myself to the flow of Spirit through me that makes me good at something (such as writing). That vibrant energy flow is definitely a source of happiness. I would add that the determination of "good at" is a personal decision, and has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else's opinion!
    Good at straight lines, 

A traditional barn quilt

When I went for it with no pattern...
my favorite artwork to date (11:11)

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

October 27--The Best Friends

True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in the worth and choice.  --Ben Johnson

    Our family has been talking about the wedding, now that we've had a couple days to rest. It was not a large crowd, approximately 60 guests. However, we've all agreed that it was a gathering of the very closest friends and relatives. One of the groom's friends flew in from Virginia on the wedding day, and flew back home the next day. That is some "worth and choice." There were others, too, who traveled great distances. Even with 60 folks, the event felt very intimate because of the closeness of the friendships. 
    I've had lots of friends over my lifetime. I have been blessed. Those whom I am still in touch with today are very much of "worth and choice." Johnson's quote tells me that the number of Facebook friends is irrelevant... it's the number of friends we really want to spend time with in person that counts. Amen!
Late fall rose blooms,
Wellington, Colorado

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

October 26--Less Is More

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.  --Anne Morrow Lindbergh

    I've had a lot of stuff in my lifetime. I've moved it from place to place. I've cared for it, cleaned it and often ultimately disposed of it. I'm at the stage of life where I don't want more stuff. I have to REALLY love a thing to bring it into my home. Anything I don't really love does not get to stay. Therefore, as Ms. Lindbergh indicates, I find the less stuff to be more beautiful and more appreciated. 
    To be specific to the quote, I have found in some of my beach time a few perfect sand dollars. I framed three of them, and they are a precious reminder of past vacation fun and the perfect beauty of nature. 
    Adding a joy note: I'm officially a mother-in-law! I couldn't be happier with my new daughter-in-law. She is one "beautiful shell on the beach," priceless, a keeper.
    So much joy in my heart, 

Monday, October 25, 2021

October 25--Where Is It?!!?

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.  --Albert Camus

    Searching and looking tend to take us outside ourselves. Others may convince us that we don't have what it takes to be happy. We may think that we just need a certain something or someone to complete us. Maybe someday it will all magically become clear and happiness will land on us. Alas, it ain't gonna happen.
    We have everything we need within us to be happy. We did not come into this life unsupported. I believe the Universe (you can call it Spirit, God, HP, or Ralph--you choose) has our backs eternally, and encouraging that indwelling infinite presence to expand as us is the key to happiness and living an abundant life. 
        Got it right here,

Be yourself...everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

The mother-son dance...
infinite happiness!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

October 24--Doing Too Much?

In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it.  --John Ruskin

    This morning I am driving the honeymooners to the Denver Airport to fly off to their beach vacation. Then I get to enjoy their home and dog Dusty for the week. I am fit for my dog- and house-sitting duties; it is just for a few days; and I feel fairly confident that I will be successful at it. So yes, I plan to be happy in my work all week!
    I have a perfect example of Ruskin's quote. My son works at FedEx Express. He is fit for it (they love him). He is successful at it (on-time delivery is their thing--he does it every day). But alas, he is doing too much of it. The overtime is the happiness killer in this situation. Here is another example. I used to teach yoga in two separate locations, four classes a week. I was not happy with it over time, because it was too much for me, in that I did not want to be tied to four time slots a week. So I gave up the second location and two classes, and I am much happier with my schedule. 
    Ruskin knew what he was talking about!

Saturday, October 23, 2021

October 23--The WEDDING

Health is the finest possession. Contentment is the ultimate wealth. Trustworthy people are the best relatives. Unbinding is the supreme ease.  --Buddha

    The wedding celebration was perfect in every way. The weather and fall colors were spectacular. Dear friends and family traveled from all over the country to join in the fun. I am delighted to "join forces" with the Brennan family, all excellent folks. There were LOTS of tears of joy, and not just from me. The two dads performed four comical love songs at the reception--we were able to keep it a surprise for the couple, and everyone loved it. I was so nervous that I would cry through the mother-son dance (to Van Morrison's "Days Like This"), but I didn't. It was a priceless three minutes. I love my daughter-in-law with all my heart, and I am excited to get to know her even better as the years pass.
    It was all an extraordinary example of health, contentment, trust and releasing what has been and opening to the new good that life has to offer. Right on, Buddha!
    Love is overflowing!

The groom and I

The happy couple

Site of the ceremony

Friday, October 22, 2021

October 22--Work Worth Doing

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.  --Theodore Roosevelt

    As I look at my life, I feel the "work worth doing" I am most happy with is creating a home, having a good marriage, and raising two fine sons. Absolutely that is "far and away the best prize." You can't put a monetary price on that. I have also done "work worth doing" for which I have been paid. I was fortunate enough to have one job wherein I could hardly wait to get to work in the morning--I loved it that much, working with a tight group of people I dearly loved. Now my schedule is lighter and more flexible, but I'm still doing "work worth doing."
    Our older son works at FedEx Express, and he was marveling at co-workers in their seventies who are still working. Given their long employment there and the great benefits, he says they have to be millionaires. Why keep on working? I suggested that it is important, at any stage in life, but especially as we age, to feel useful. I don't want to be just taking up space. 
    Update on the wedding adventure: The fall colors are spectacular right now. The venue is beautiful with trees, pasture, creek, mountains. The rehearsal was simple and easy, and the set-up was handled beautifully by the Brennan women and friends. The rehearsal dinner was a delight, with family and friends enjoying a delicious meal at the Star of India. So much joy!!!

Dried flower centerpieces made 
by the bride and friends

Site of the ceremony

Thursday, October 21, 2021

October 21--Freedom from Baggage

One is happy as a result of one's own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness: simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self denial to a point, love of work--and above all, a clear conscience.  --George Sand

    I'm going with the "clear conscience" on this one. Having spent the first three decades of my life in addiction, I know a lot about an unclear conscience. Having spent the next three decades clearing it, I agree that a clear one is necessary for happiness. 
    So just open that suitcase of mental/emotional/spiritual baggage and dump it. Alas, it probably won't work that way. Clearing a conscience is a "baby step" process, speaking from experience. As Edwene Gaines wisely says, "We've all done things we wouldn't want to tell our grandmother." I would suggest that there are probably some items of baggage that are fairly easy to release. Others feel like they are so big or awful that you couldn't possibly admit them and let them go. So go with the easy ones, and as you do so, you build courage and resilience which enable you to release the tougher ones. 
    There is great wisdom in Step 5 of the 12-Step programs: Admitted to God, to ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Just the telling of a wrong to another person brings freedom in some mystical, magical way. The relief is extraordinary. Happiness soars. 
    Let that shit go!

P.S. All the family members have arrived safely in Colorado for the wedding. Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

October 20--On the Road Again

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.  --Mark Twain

    Some humor for today: (source unknown) How to frighten the new generation: Put them in a room with a rotary phone, an analog watch and a TV with no remote, then leave directions on how to use in cursive. 

    The adventure begins! Today we head to Colorado for our son's wedding. I'm excited to meet my daughter-in-law's family. I have met her mom, but not the rest of her crew. It will be fun to see our son's local friends and others from college days. It is an outdoor wedding overlooking the mountains, and the weather is predicted to be beautiful. Love and joy overflowing!
    Stay tuned,

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

October 19--Do What We Do Best

To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.  --John Dewey

    A few years ago, I laid down three overarching goals for my life:
  1. To work only for myself and Spirit, i.e. to be self-employed. Flexibility of schedule is of primary importance to me. I had had enough experience in corporate/office life to know that I really didn't want to participate in that any more. Granted, my tax prep job violates this, but I work basically with two folks I enjoy very much, and it is a temporary gig. I love the work, and the money earned supports my travel adventures.
  2. To live long enough to see the Cubs win the World Series. Done! I feel for the multitude of Cubs fans who didn't make this one. And yes, there IS crying in baseball!
  3. To never wear pantyhose again. So far, so good. 
    I am blessed to be in a stage of life where I get to do just what I'm fitted to do, and yes, that makes me very happy. 

Monday, October 18, 2021

October 18--What's Next?

To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. 
--Bertrand Russell

    Hmmm... this seems to me to say desire is an essential part of happiness. Some, for instance, Buddha, would say desire is the root of UNhappiness. If desire moves one forward in life (what else does?), that's a good thing. Anticipation of desires fulfilled is a great feeling. I love to travel. Choosing the next place to visit is so much fun, and the anticipation of the upcoming trip is a great element in my happiness. What is life if we don't have something to look forward to?!?!
    Today I am grateful to complete another revolution around the sun. The big celebration this week, however, is the wedding of our older son on Friday, October 22. Stay tuned for more on that adventure!
    Excited for this week's fun,

Atlanta's Truist Ballpark,
one of the stops remaining on 
my "every MLB stadium" quest

Sunday, October 17, 2021

October 17--Freedom to Enjoy

If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased. 
--Katherine Hepburn

    Ms. Hepburn was a fountain of great one-liners!
    One thing I've learned in the long, wonderful marriage I've enjoyed in this lifetime is that it is a great thing for each partner to have their own interests and pursue them. Then each of us is pleased, and it makes for a much better relationship. 
    I love to do these things, my husband, not so much: 
  • travel, especially internationally
  • golf
  • swim
  • practice Melt and yoga
  • watch baseball and basketball
  • garden
  • write
  • teach
  • go to estate sales
  • work on my "every MLB stadium" quest (six to go)
  • nap
    My husband loves to do these things, me, not so much: 
  • ride a bike long distances
  • camp in a tent
  • play many musical instruments
  • go to concerts
  • collect gadgets
  • follow current events and news
  • research vehicles and technology
    Each of us doing what interests us makes for good conversation, even after 35 years of marriage. I can sum up Ms. Hepburn's quote with this example. I LOVE a beach vacation--sun, sand, ocean, lazing, sunrises, sunsets, pampering--that's heaven to me. My husband says, "I don't get it. It's just a bunch of sand and water." I go on beach vacations without him, and we are both pleased!
    Lovin' life,

The National Baseball Hall of Fame
and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. 
Pursuing my love of baseball...

Saturday, October 16, 2021

October 16--What Sort of Influence?

You can never really live anyone else's life, not even your child's. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you've become yourself. 
--Eleanor Roosevelt

    Mrs. Roosevelt was quite a wise woman. We have all heard the phrase (possibly from our own parents), "do as I say, not as I do." We certainly know that one doesn't work! The way you live overrides anything you say. It is your walk, not your talk, that speaks the loudest and carries the most influence. My mother never told my brothers and me to become addicts. She modeled it to us in assorted ways from day one, and we took to it "naturally." This was all unconscious, mind you. She gave us what she had become herself. I feel a lot of compassion toward her because she never really knew (or at least acknowledged) the true source of her misery.
    My sons have very different personalities, a meld of influences largely from Mom, Dad, and brother. Thankfully I recognized my addiction around the time my older son was born. I sought help so that a) the influence of addiction would not pass to yet another generation, and b) my sons would see a successful method for handling life that I did not experience while growing up. I believe it was a better influence than I had.
    Life is good and mysterious,

Some of the fam on a windy spring CO hike--
the influence is LOVE!

Friday, October 15, 2021

October 15--How Much Fun Is Your Work?

It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.  --Pablo Picasso

    This one caused me to look up the definition of seduction, and I'm going with "a tempting or attractive thing." Making art was Picasso's most attractive thing. 
    As I ponder this quote, I see two things. First, it is awesome good fortune if your work, what you do for your livelihood, is your most favorite thing to do. That would make it more play than work, and resourced with unbounded enthusiasm. Second, how cool, attractive, seductive it would be to hang around such a person who is living out their love through their work. Most folks do a job to support their fun in life. Picasso's work was his fun in life.
    Full-time on fun,

Picasso, "The Kitchen," Paris, 1948

Thursday, October 14, 2021

October 14--Work for It!

People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you're fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort.  You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.  --Elizabeth Gilbert

    If you have read Gilbert's book "Eat, Pray, Love," you know she literally did travel around the world looking for happiness. Her happiness found in some instances became happiness lost, so she certainly knows that it is something we have to strive for and insist upon. 
    I have to credit the 12-Step program as the basis of my personal effort to maintain my happiness. It is noted as a "simple, but not necessarily easy" program for living successfully. I have a great husband, two wonderful sons and a daughter-in-law (official in 8 more days!), a great home, friends and family--all these contribute to my happiness, but all require loving care, i.e. personal effort, to keep the happiness flowing. 
    I learned a powerful lesson on happiness traveling to Uganda in 2005 on a mission trip. My group built a house in the Watoto village to be a home for a house mother and eight orphans. We met many mothers and children on that trip. Compared to their pre-Watoto life, these simple homes are a palace. Having someone to care for them, shelter, food, clothing, a faith community and schooling--what we consider only the bare minimum for happiness--is abundance beyond imagining for them. They are extraordinarily happy people with a profound, infectious happiness. Note to self: it is not our stuff that makes us happy. In fact, it's just the opposite--our stuff, or desire for more stuff, detracts from our happiness. 
    Less stuff, more happy,
Part of my woman cave
window garden and 
my laughing Buddha

P.S. This is the one-year anniversary of my hip replacement. Every day I am happy to be able to move and sleep without pain!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

October 13--Take a Hot Bath

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.  --Sylvia Plath

    Ms. Plath and I are of one mind on this one! I love a good soak in the tub, complete with Epsom salts and bubble bath. I can't ever recall feeling worse after a hot bath; I always feel better. It's good for the body and the soul. I must add that I have to keep lavender out of the process. It smells like old people and nursing homes, and though I am "old," I do not want to smell old!
    The hot bath gives us a time-out, a chance to relax, think, process, forgive, read, and wash away cares, worries, aches and aggravations. Whatever needs to be released is, poof, down the drain, gone. Writing this makes me want to go climb into the tub, but I'll save it for later. 
    The big question is: can you give yourself the peaceful relaxation time for a hot bath, setting aside everyone and everything else to regroup with your own soul? Such a gift, as Ms. Plath states, will take care of most any ills. 
    I love water!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

October 12--Dancing with Life

A sure way to lose happiness, I found, is to want it at the expense of everything else.  --Bette Davis

    We humans are doing an extraordinarily bad job of seeking happiness at the expense of our Mother Earth, damaging her in epic proportions. It definitely will wreck our happiness if we destroy our home planet. 
    Let's consider living in harmony with creation. Here are words of Sherri Mitchell, an attorney and activist for environmental protection and human rights:
    Every living thing has its own creation song, its own language, and its own story. In order to live harmoniously with the rest of creation, we must be willing to listen to and respect all of the harmonies that are moving around us...
    We must tune in to our ability to see beyond the physical reality that surrounds us, and awaken to the vast unseen world that exists. Then we can begin to see beyond sight and to hear beyond sound. We see the underlying structures that support our world, and life begins to take on new shape, new meaning. When we live as multisensory beings, we find that we are able to comprehend the language of every living thing. We hear the voices of the trees, and understand the buzzing of the bees. And we come to realize that it is the interwoven substance of these floating rhythms that holds us in delicate balance with all life. Then, our life and our place in creation begins to make sense in a whole new way. Our vision expands to see the overall order of our path, and our hearing tunes in to a whole new source of information... When we merge our internal rhythms with the rhythms of creation, we develop grace in our movement, and without thought or effort we are able to slide into the perfectly choreographed dance of life.
    Let's dance!

Pennsylvania beauty

Monday, October 11, 2021

October 11--Care for Another

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded. 
--Maya Angelou

    What would my life have been without my husband and sons to love? I've said many times that the raising of two good humans has made my life a success, and Ms. Angelou would have agreed. Everything else I have accomplished is bonus. We are made to love, it is our very essence. Using what we are--love--permeating our DNA--fulfills our lives and enriches others in unknowable ways. That is success.
    Our family is grieving the passing of my sister-in-law after a long experience with cancer. She was an enthusiastic, creative, warm, caring woman, beloved by her four children, many grandchildren and extended family. With her big caring heart, she most definitely succeeded! Thank you, Mickey!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

October 10--Fun in the Here and Now

If only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time.  --Edith Wharton

    "Am I doing it right?" This question, whether stated or implied, drives me nuts as a yoga teacher. Especially with beginners, there is considerably more concern about doing it "right" and looking like everyone else than there is about experiencing what the pose feels like in one's body. Likewise, as Ms. Wharton suggests, we work too hard at acquiring and maintaining the trappings of "happy" and miss all the fun. "I'll be happy when __________" surely is a joy-killer. So is perfectionism, codependency and "keeping up with the Joneses." All these may seem to be routes to happiness, but they are constantly moving targets, the pursuit of which overshadows the "pretty good time" available in the present moment. 
    I have my coffee and my doggie and a relaxed Sunday ahead of me--looks like a pretty good time!

Barney has a pretty good time with a lawn sprinkler.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

October 9--The Comfort of Home

Ah! There's nothing like staying home for real comfort.  --Jane Austen

    Well! The pandemic either proved this true, or not. Even with staying home, I'd say "moderation in all things." I do consider myself a "home body." I love being at home, I love my home, and I especially love the woman cave. I often say I could easily be a hermit. I doubt that's really true though--I do relish being with friends and family, and I appreciate those interactions more due to the lack of them during the pandemic lock-down. 
    Home is comfortable, with my husband of 35 years and my young dog Barney. With the sons off on their own, there's very little conflict. Occasional barking is the most noise we hear. It's relaxed. Our schedules are flexible, and life revolves around mealtimes together and twice daily walks with Barney. 
    Yet home is also uncomfortable. Everywhere I turn, there's a project I should be tackling. I should wash the windows. I should repair dings in the walls. I should deep-clean. I should clear the cobwebs off the porch (after Halloween). I should wash the car. I should de-clutter the laundry/storage room (I've done this several times in our 36 years here). Needless to say, I'm pretty talented with ostrich-mode relative to all these "shoulds." 
    Enjoying the comforts of home,

Friday, October 8, 2021

October 8--Do/Love/Hope

The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.  --Alexander Chalmers

    I love what I do. Teaching, coaching, bookkeeping, tax prep--all these things use my skills well, and I love the variety in my work and schedule. I love to travel, play golf, swim, walk my doggie and nap.
    I have loads of love in my life. I have been blessed with an awesome husband, two great sons, and (so far) one awesome daughter-in-law (as of Oct 22 upcoming!). There are lots of extended family and friends who brighten my life. And there's Barney--there's nothing like a dog to fill the love cup to overflowing!
    I have a lot of hope, too. I love my life, and hope that it continues for quite some time. I have great hope for one or more grandchildren! I hope to travel a lot more, and to complete my "every MLB stadium" quest. I have hope that upcoming generations will live and express our common humanity in a more kind and loving way, and care for our Mother Earth with much greater respect and appreciation. 
    I have all the "grand essentials," woohoo!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

October 7--Money = Happy ==> Nope!

Anybody who thinks money will make you happy hasn't got money. 
--David Geffen

    My first reading of this quote made me laugh, but it's right on. Geffen should know--he's got money, lots and lots of it--in numbers that I can't even comprehend. 
    Living in the state of Kansas, which is fundamentally owned by the billionaire Kochs, (I'm not being facetious), I often wonder how much is enough for the very wealthy. The drive to have more, control more, seems insatiable, an obsession of epic proportions. Success demands more success. That kind of wealth requires a whole staff to figure out what to do with the money so that taxes can be avoided. Money seems able to buy the privilege without the responsibility. Our consumerism/materialistic society is failing miserably, with the wealthy few seeking to keep the rest of us "dumb, sick and poor," i.e. easily manipulated. 
    Money is a very messy subject. There is a lot of emotion around money. We worry if we'll have enough to last our lifetime. It can be a giant source of conflict in relationships. Too little money is just as difficult as too much (Geffen). Money buys power, which is seldom used to the advantage of all. It is an addictive substance, just like alcohol, food, drugs. Wise money management is a skill too few learn. I am grateful to my dad for giving me a good understanding of finances, and for his example of generosity, using money wisely for good. 
    Happy with enough,

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

October 6--Don't Settle

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.  --Steve Jobs

    I think Mr. Jobs spelled it out quite well. The Life Is Good Company, my clothing favorite, puts a tag on each shirt that says, "Do What You Love, Love What You Do." In my lifetime, I'm seeing the transition from a person spending an entire career in one company, often doing an unsatisfying but relatively secure job, to having the freedom to explore options and potentially have many different jobs. There's less settling. I believe that's a good thing for our mass consciousness overall--less settling for racism, homophobia, war, violence, greed, misogyny, low wages and so on. 
    The words "Don't settle" are really screaming at me from this quote. As I have become ever more aware of my codependency, I recognize times when I'm settling, or feel pushed in that direction, to keep others comfortable. Here's an example. We are in the process of investigating a vehicle to replace my car. Since my husband is the supreme car researcher, this process takes years, literally, especially with the new electric and hybrid options to consider. Mainly I want a bright color, "no black, white, beige, gray, or brown." (You can tell this is a chant with me.) Recently my husband went on about the low supply of vehicles to purchase, and if I want one, it will have to be one of the "no" colors. Given that this could be my last vehicle (we keep them a long time), I can wait for a red or blue one. I don't want to settle for a dull color. Check it out--boring colored vehicles abound. There you have it, my vehicle rant. 
    I'm off to teach Melt and yoga, my "great work" that I love!

Life is Good tag

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

October 5--Happy?

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. 
--Guillaume Apollinaire

    I love this! In a world pervaded by the moving target of perfectionism, I think we sometimes fuss too much about getting all the supposed trappings of happiness in order rather than simply being happy. 
    A friend and I had a discussion recently regarding meditation. There are those who would say that one must study meditation, practice many years and sit in perfect posture in order to get it right. Some would say that the only way to do it wrong is to not do it. But wait... isn't the purpose of meditation to get in touch with the Higher Self/Spirit within? It's right here, all the time! We can simply hang out, talk, debate, sit quietly at any moment. There's no where to go to get more of it. It's within. So is happiness!
    I offer the same sentiments regarding heaven. Religions tend to encourage the pursuit of heaven at the end of life, suggesting that we must behave and believe in certain ways in order to someday achieve some level of bliss. It is much more logical to me to create and enjoy heaven here and now, so that when we do transition from this life, it's simply an eternal continuum of bliss, joy and peace. 
    Happy now,
Barney knows how to just be happy.

Monday, October 4, 2021

October 4--Sunshine

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. 
--J. M. Barrie

    I call my two male children "sonshine." They are my two most brilliant sources of light and love. 
    Barrie's quote is another way of saying "what goes around comes around." When we give light, love, joy, sunshine, we can't help but receive it, too. Sitting here, pondering the many folks who bring sunshine to my life, I recognize that, yes, they do live good lives as their light returns to bless them. 
    My favorite activity in life is to play golf with my sons. Their golf bags were in very rough shape after many years of use. I offered them the early Christmas present of new bags. They each selected one, I ordered them and had them shipped to them. Yesterday my older son sent me the photo below from their 18-hole round on a beautiful fall day in Colorado. Sunshine for them, sunshine for me. 
    Keep sharing the light,

"New golf bags in action, thanks, Mom!"

Sunday, October 3, 2021

October 3-- Treat Yourself!

One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.  --Iris Murdoch

    This is certainly an interesting one for me. When I was active in my addiction, this meant grazing--eating nearly non-stop, a daily pattern of "continuous small treats." Like M&Ms. They are small, but a whole bag of them is not. Ultimately I realized that such behavior was not creating a happy life. 
    Now many years into recovery, I agree with Ms. Murdoch statement. Occasionally the treat is some sort of food (I'll always love ice cream), but I've learned to direct my energies in other ways. Small treats are now things like a pedicure, a massage, a walk with Barney, a swim, a warm bath, a date with my husband, talking with my kids, and the daily nap. A whole world of creative possibilities opened up for me when I wasn't 24/7-obsessed with food. 
    Treating myself to a happy life,

OMG, who knew there is a "National Napping Day"?!?!?!?
Monday, March 14, 2022. I'm in!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

October 2--Yippee, October!!

When we cannot find contentment in ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere. 
--Francois de la Rochefoucauld

    I love October. It is birthday month for both my husband and me. An extra big bonus this year is our son's October wedding. The extreme heat of summer is mostly past, and the fall colors are so welcome. It is great golfing weather. Baseball playoffs will be in full swing shortly (alas, without the Cubs). I'll pass the one-year anniversary of hip replacement, fully appreciating my ability to walk without pain. All that sounds like I'm feeling quite content, and that would be correct.
    I have to credit my daily spiritual practice and self-care tasks for days that are usually quite satisfying. Oh, yes, and coffee. 😉😉 Whether it's an "ordinary" day at home, or I'm exploring another country, staying grounded with my routine keeps me on an even keel. I'm comfy in my own skin, and that comes from nothing outside me. It's all internal work--a daily practice.


Friday, October 1, 2021

October 1--Good People

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.  --Marcel Proust

    October's theme in "Daily Joy" is fulfillment. As I have lived more years, I have become more aware of time and how I want to spend mine. I want to spend it with people I enjoy. I want to be useful. I want to live at a relaxed pace. I want to travel. 
    I have many folks in my life who support and expand my happiness. I learn from them. They inspire me. We have fun together. Laughter blesses and heals us. Our souls blossom together.
    I can recall some folks who did not make me happy. I no longer hang with them, and I do not miss them. If a relationship does not bring each party joy, then it is a waste of time for both. We intuitively know when interactions are not satisfying--we've all been preyed upon by "energy suckers."  
    I am very grateful for the many friends and family members who bring joy to my life. The best thing we can do is let our special people know how much we appreciate them.
    Thank you for reading!

Blossoms at the San Diego Farmers' Market