Friday, June 30, 2023

June 30--Fun With Thoughts

You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate.  --Elizabeth Gilbert

    This weekend I get to crawl around on the floor with my grandson. He's a speedy crawler now, taking his first steps, and ready to run! He's a very happy boy.
    I also get to play golf with my sons. I'll be heading to the golf course shortly for a cool morning tee time. 
    Last evening when we were driving to our hotel, we saw the item pictured below. Usually rainbows are nicely striped; this one was more of a rainblob
    Life is good!

Thursday, June 29, 2023

June 29--Joyful Youngsters

Isn't it wonderful the way the world holds both the deeply serious, and the unexpectedly mirthful?  --Mary Oliver

    I am so grateful that it does! 
    On Tuesday I went to the YMCA to play pickleball. I'd guess that the average age of the folks who randomly show up to play is somewhere in the high-50s or low-60s. I was treated to playing with a 10-year-old boy who came with his parents. He said, "I have been playing since I was 4, but I wasn't very good then." He played very well, was a great sport, and we laughed so much while he was on the court with us. It was so much fun to play with a youngster who is so agile, quick and joyful. 
    Our neighbor girls are promoting an "Odd Job" business for the summer. I am referring to them as "the entrepreneurs." Proving that one does not need fancy advertising to grow a business, I present below their business card. Already I have hired them for a lawn mowing while my husband was away, and they will be watering our flower and herb pots while we are on a short trip. I'm sure I'll find more work for them over the summer. Their parents appreciate the opportunity for them to learn while doing the various jobs, and they oversee the girls to make sure they do the jobs well. It's a win-win for all. 
    May we all find joy in this day,

The pencil is for privacy protection.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

June 28--Imperfect Love

Most of the time, all you have is the moment and the imperfect love of the people around you.  --Anne Lamott

    The first time I read this quote, I cried. I realized that I have been expecting perfect love from folks who are not capable of measuring up to my standards of love, and I cannot expect that of them. A wise friend said, "You just have to take what they give you." Enjoy the brief moments and imperfect love when offered, and move on with life otherwise. 
    The ability to love is hampered by trauma, addiction, busyness, resentment--the list is endless. No one gets through this life unscathed. Unconditional love is a fine ideal, but few can manage it consistently. Being a parent certainly shines a spotlight on ways our love is imperfect. (And once the children are old enough, they will most definitely bring it to a parent's attention.) 
    Let us continue to spread love as best we can,

Pets can be our example of perfect love.
This is Barney focused on a bunny.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

June 27--A Comfy Pace

It takes courage... to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives. 
--Marianne Williamson

    I have had, and continue to have, "sharp pains of self discovery." I do believe those are ultimately part of the healing process. I have also had the "dull pain of unconsciousness"--that's what led me into addiction recovery, and I am so grateful for that. 
    I have been doing a lot of garden weeding and tidying this week. I have filled our trash dumpster with the weed population that exploded while I was away. Even though my efforts get thrown away, caring for my little spot on earth, getting sweaty with my hands dirty is good for my soul. A friend reminded me to focus on what I can do rather than what I can't. There was a time when I could spend many hours at a time in the garden. Now I pace myself due to heat and physical limitations. Some jobs take longer, but they get done eventually. 
    Let us pace ourselves and enjoy life, rather than forcing it.
Colorado beauty

Monday, June 26, 2023

June 26--Does It Matter?

All that happens means something; nothing you do is ever insignificant. 
--Aldous Huxley

    That's one perspective. Another is that each of us is not even the size of a pinpoint in this giant universe. I think it's likely that we all go through periods of feeling life is infinitely meaningful and other periods of feeling "what's the point?" 
    One of the things that my exploration of anxiety and depression has brought up is the feeling that I am not needed. In my heart, I know this is not true, but my head can lead me there. That's part of my shadow self. I offer these words from Richard Rohr about that:

I am afraid that the closer we get to the Light, the more of our shadow we see. Thus, truly holy people are always humble people. Invariably when something upsets us, and we have a strong emotional reaction out of proportion to the moment, our shadow self has just been exposed. So, watch for any overreactions or over denials. The reason that a mature or saintly person can be so peaceful, so accepting of self and others, is that there is not much left of the hidden shadow self. 

    I know that I have a lot of "out of proportion" reactions, and my shadow self is alive and kicking. I take too much too personally. 

    Progress, not perfection,

Sunday, June 25, 2023

June 25--Beauty Is Happiness

The measure of your life is the amount of beauty and happiness of which you are aware.  --Agnes Martin

    I'm a lifelong gardener, and I tend to see weeds before beauty. During my recent two-week vacation, wherein we had a lovely amount of rainfall at home, the weeds in my garden went hog-wild. I have taken several tubs of weeds to the trash this week, and I'm still not finished. I am very pleased with the beauty I am leaving behind, for the rain blessed the flowers and herbs with abundant growth, too.
    Let's get light-hearted for a bit. I've written here about the usefulness and need for the human biological function of crying. (See the May 22 post.) I have also mentioned the TV series "Ted Lasso," on which I am totally hooked. Here is my favorite quote from the show so far, spoken by Rebecca Welton to Keeley Jones: 

"Crying is the best, isn't it? It's like an orgasm for the soul."

    May that give you a new perspective next time the tears flow!

Three have left the nest, one remains 😉

Saturday, June 24, 2023

June 24--Are You Offended?

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.  --John Keats

    Nowadays it seems that everyone is offended by someone else's behavior. I am offended by this--it is one of my pet peeves 😉😉
    Truly I am dismayed by freedoms being taken away because someone is offended. Here's the deal--I cannot offend you. You CHOOSE to be offended. That's taking the issue personally, which we know from The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz) is not a good plan. If you don't like drag shows, don't go. If you don't approve of abortion, don't have one. My religion (or lack of) is none of your business. I could beat this to death, but I'll stop. 
    Let us recognize that being offended or going with "live and let live" are choices we make. "Don't take anything personally" is a much more peaceful way to live. 


Friday, June 23, 2023

June 23--Integrity and Kindness--Wouldn't That Be Nice!

Perhaps the most "spiritual" thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness. 
--Jon Kabat-Zinn

    If you pay attention to the news nowadays, you're likely seeing more deceit and greed rather than integrity and kindness. Alas, I observe this to be especially true among those who boast about being Christian. Note recently the ouster of two churches from the Southern Baptist Convention because those two churches have female pastors, prohibited by the SBC Constitution. There is also the seemingly endless harassment of LGBTQ+ persons. A huge denomination, the United Methodist Church, has split over this very issue. And it appears nothing can be done to stop mass shootings. Yes, a huge dose of integrity and kindness is needed!
    I live in Kansas, a state where anti-women, anti-LGBTQ+, and gun rights are alive, well and thriving. It is disgusting. My vote rarely counts, but I will keep voting. I must do my best to live with integrity and kindness on a daily basis and let the rest go. 

A new straight-line painting underway...
creativity is essential to my sanity.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

June 22--Learning Every Day

There is still a lot to learn, and there is always great stuff out there. Even mistakes can be wonderful.  --Robin Williams

    I find this quote sadly ironic coming from a dearly-loved man who took his own life. It is "right on."
    A friend introduced me to Therapy Notebooks. I have the Depression and Anxiety Notebooks. I started reading the Depression one a couple days ago, and immediately started crying. Hope, help, and "I'm not alone" was immediately offered. I'm not depressed to the point of immobility. I'd label it a more low-grade now-and-then form. I think I've experienced this for a long time, but have just recently become aware of how long it has been going on. I'm using the Notebook for coping and healing tools. 
    There is a part of me that says "I've been working on myself for decades, and this is where I land, feeling worse than ever!?!?! Why bother!" But I will keep on keeping on, because I don't like to feel this way. I know from my 12-step journey that I am capable of changing. I am hanging onto that "thread" for dear life. 
    Learning more great stuff,

Hydrangeas--multiple colors
on the same shrub

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

June 21--More Love

Love is the essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.  --Marianne Williamson

    I can't dispute that one. Every act of love makes our world a better place. What if all of us practiced only acts of love? Wouldn't that make for a lovely place to experience life? In addition to love for others, let us not forget ourselves and our glorious Mother Earth. 

The sprout of a canna bulb I was gifted

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

June 20--Let's Not Be So Nosey

The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value... we must develop basic good human qualities--warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful--happier.  --Dalai Lama XIV

    The Dalai Lama spoke wisely there. 
    One thing I've been noticing lately is judgmentalism and nosing into other people's business. Seeing this in others makes me realize that I, too, am practicing it, more than I care for. I much prefer the "live and let live" mode of operating. We don't know another's life story or what motivates them to do what they do. A spiritual mentor once encouraged us to look on another's behavior with an "Isn't that interesting?" attitude, and let it go. This is likewise a good practice to use on our own actions. 
    We can't be warm, kind and compassionate if we are being nosey and judgmental. 

More Mother Earth beauty

Monday, June 19, 2023

June 19--Me and My Shadow; You and Your Shadow

For there is never anything but the present, and if one cannot live there, one cannot live anywhere.  --Alan Watts

    What a challenge it is to stay out of the past and the future, to be here now. It seems there are infinite ways to feel guilt or distress about things that did or did not happen in the past. Equally boundless are worries about the future. In my case, I tend to focus on an upcoming adventure, and forget to pay attention to today.
    A significant aspect of living in the present is being able to live with oneself, ALL of oneself, the good, the bad and the ugly. Here are fine words from Richard Rohr regarding the shadow self:

Our shadow is what we refuse to see about ourselves, and what we do not want others to see. The more we have cultivated and protected a chosen persona, the more shadow work we will need to do. Therefore, we need to be especially careful of clinging to any idealized role or self-image, such as minister, parent, doctor, nice person, mentor, moral believer, or president of this or that. These are huge personas to live up to; they trap many people in lifelong delusion that this role is who they are or who they are only allowed to be.

The more we are attached to and unaware of such a protected self-image, the more shadow self we will likely have. This is especially dangerous for a “spiritual leader” or “professional religious person” because it involves such an ego-inflating self-image. Whenever ministers, or any true believers, are too anti-anything, we can be pretty sure there’s some shadow material lurking somewhere nearby. Zealotry is a good revelation of one’s overly repressed shadow.

    I have found over my lifetime that the more I deal with my shadow, the more accepting I am of others. We are all simply doing our best to make it in this world given the hand we have been dealt. 
    Let us practice kindness,

Sunday, June 18, 2023

June 18--Treasures--Dad & More

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  --Thornton Wilder

    I recently completed an excellent vacation with my niece and a friend. We often mentioned to each other how happy we were to be together. I live a thousand miles away from them, so it is truly a treat to have so much time together. Being at the beach was "icing on the cake." 
    As I ponder my "treasures," family and friends top the list. Good health, adventures, and the adorable Barney sleeping next to me follow closely behind. While I appreciate the comfort of my home, and I love my garden and neighborhood, "stuff" is becoming less and less important to me. 
    Dwelling on things that are not right in my life leaves me feeling dull, frustrated and drained. Focusing on those aspects of my life for which I am grateful leaves me feeling energized and alive. 
    Today I send a heavenly "thank you" to my dad. He was the best, truly a treasure, and I miss him every day.
    Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

June 17--A Simple Blessing Practice

If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.  --Albert Camus

    Good one! 
    Here is the loving-kindness blessing which appeared in today's "Daily Meditation" by Richard Rohr:

May you be happy.
May you be blessed.
May you be free and peaceful.
May you be ever loved.
May you be always loving.

    Breathe deeply and repeat this blessing, holding in mind each of these folks, one at a time:
  1. Someone you know and love dearly.
  2. Someone you barely know. 
  3. Someone who annoys/bothers/troubles you in some way.
  4. Yourself. 
    It's a great mindfulness practice that blesses our world and ourselves. 
    Enjoy your Saturday!
Mother Earth bounty--happy hostas

Friday, June 16, 2023

June 16--Here and Now

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. 
--Eckhart Tolle

    I'm home, I slept in my own bed after two weeks away--delightful! 
    My present moment now is "re-entry," which includes unpacking, laundry, plant-watering, dog-walking, work catch-up, and so on. I remind myself that it does not all have to be done this very instant. Returning from such an excellent vacation includes some letdown, so I choose to be gentle with myself as I readjust to home and routine. 
    More tomorrow,
One of the many lovely gardens
in Ocean City, Maryland

Thursday, June 15, 2023

June 15--Choose Boldly

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. 
--J. K. Rowling

I can't, and I'm not willing to learn or give it a try. 
I can't, but I'm willing to learn. 

    Which phrase do you use most often? We use them both, likely unconsciously. For example, I have no interest in climbing Mt. Everest. In another instance, had I, years ago, stuck with the notion of "I can't paint," I would have missed out on years of fun and creativity that I have enjoyed as I explored various ways of using paints and color. 
    The key is to make a conscious choice. And we ALWAYS have a choice, even though the options may not always be obvious. 
    On another note, today I make the journey home to Kansas. I'm grateful for another excellent adventure "back east." 
Missing the beach already!

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

June 14--A Peaceful Heart

Consciously put your attention in the heart and ask your heart what to do. 
--Deepak Chopra

    This vacation has been excellent for my heart. Being with my niece and other family and friends, away from home and its responsibilities, gave me instant relief from anxiety. I can feel the difference in my body, especially around my heart. I must remember this feeling as I return home tomorrow. 
    Lilies are my favorite flower. They bloom at home in early June, which tends to be a travel time for me, so I often miss the height of their glory. It was a treat yesterday to discover the magnificent cluster of lilies pictured below. What a blessing for my eyes, soul and heart!
    To the beach! This is our last full day here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

June 13--Honoring Nature

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road. 
--Jack Kerouac

    Being "on the road" continues to be heavenly. Yesterday was the cloudy/rainy day at the beach. It seems we usually have just one of those. We went for a walk before the rains came, then spent most of the day inside playing Rummikub, taking naps and doing laundry for breaks. In the evening we ventured out for supper at the Greene Turtle. Later we watched the NBA Finals--congratulations to the Denver Nuggets, the new champs. 

    Richard Rohr: "Nature itself is the primary Bible." 
    On Sunday, a group of young folks was near us on the beach. My back was to them, facing the sun. My buds said to a woman who came up behind me, "Thanks for saying something." The youngsters were vacating the beach planning to leave a lot of trash behind, and the woman (an unrelated bystander) strongly encouraged them to clean up after themselves, which they did. Had she not spoken up, they would have left this beautiful section of the beach trashed. We adults discussed the youngsters lack of "fetchins up" (PA term). 
    Do you throw trash around your house or yard expecting someone else to clean it up? I surely hope not, though alas I do see that in some instances around my Wichita neighborhood. It is an insult to our beautiful Mother, and if you go with the Rohr quote above, an insult to the precious Creator. 
    Let us be ever kinder to our Mother,

A beautiful sight along yesterday's walk

Monday, June 12, 2023

June 12--SEE More

Look at everything as though you were seeing it for either the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.  --Betty Smith

    With that lovely thought in mind, we just saw a coyote strolling down the beach. This is a very populated area, so one would not expect that. It's a good example of us humans taking away animal habitat. 
    The beach vacation continues with more game-playing, sunning, walking and loads of love and laughter. Sleeping in with no alarm is glorious. 
    I like these words from Richard Rohr in today's "Daily Meditation" wherein he is discussing the fact that all of life is sacred:

Divine Incarnation took the form of an Indwelling Presence in every human soul and surely all creatures in some rudimentary way. Ironically, our human freedom gives us the ability to stop such a train and refuse to jump on board our own life. Angels, animals, trees, water ... seem to fully accept and enjoy their wondrous fate. Only we humans resist and deny our core identities. We can cause great havoc and thus must be somehow boundaried and contained. The only way we ourselves can refuse to jump onto the train of life is by any negative game of exclusion or unlove—even of ourselves. Everything belongs, including us.

    Let us do a better job of INclusion rather than EXclusion.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

June 11--Faster Than I Thought

The more you look, the more you see.  --Robert M. Pirsig

    My gal pals and I went on a 2.5-mile walk yesterday morning, feeling the need to move. Along the way we saw plenty of lovely flowers (see below). Alas, the traffic noise eventually got to me, and I retreated to the condo for breakfast. 
    We headed to the beach, parked the umbrella and chairs, and proceeded to enjoy the scenery, both human and natural. At one point I decided to stretch out on the blanket in the sun, lying on my belly facing away from the ocean. We had discussed the fact that the tide was coming in. I was looking at my niece because she was talking, and suddenly she yelled, "Here it comes!" I jumped up, the wave missed me, but soaked the blanket and hit any of our stuff that was resting on the sand. We collected our belongings and moved to higher ground. We were not the only ones this happened to, and there was no harm done. And I did not know I could get up off the ground that quickly!! 😉😉
    After beach time, we showered, played more Rummikub and made evening plans. We went out for pizza and beers. The pizza place is about 50 yards away from the edible cookie dough store. (I discovered that place last summer and knew then that I had "died and gone to heaven!") A stop there is a must. We returned to the condo for more game-playing. I also fiddled with the TV/sign-on and got us hooked up to Apple TV for a few episodes of "Ted Lasso."
    Another day in paradise!

Saturday, June 10, 2023

June 10--Think Happy

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. 
--Marcus Aurelius

    Totally, completely, 100% right on. So why do we think not-happy thoughts? We're human, and we have free will!
    Due to our very late (early morning) arrival the night before, we slept in, and it took a while to get moving. We managed to pull together a grocery list and went to the store to stock the condo frig and cupboards for the next few days. Then we spent a few hours on the beach... sunshine, light breeze, crashing waves, awesome. After a light supper, I taught my two buds to play Rummikub--quick learners, they are. 
    I LOVE vacation!

Friday, June 9, 2023

June 9--Ocean View

Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.  --Edith Wharton

    Here's my window on the morning. That would be the Atlantic Ocean as seen from Ocean City, Maryland. 

    We arrived late last night, unloaded the Lexus, celebrated with a beer, and fell into bed. Six full days of no alarms, lazing, sunning, game-playing, gabbing and exploring lie ahead. 
    The sound of ocean waves crashing is music to my soul!

Thursday, June 8, 2023

June 8--To the Beach!!

Be fully in the moment, open yourself to the powerful energies dancing around you.  --Ernest Hemingway

    Preparations were in full swing yesterday, for today is the day we head to the beach after my niece finishes her school year. It will be a late afternoon/evening drive, but we are determined to awaken tomorrow in Ocean City, Maryland. 
    I had "powerful energies" of recovery around me yesterday as I attended a 12-step meeting with my brother. No matter the addictive substance or activity of choice, the stories of recovery are always inspiring to me. The dramatic personal change required to beat an addiction, one day at a time, is not for the faint of heart. I was heartily and graciously welcomed into a group where many members have known my brother for decades. 
    After the meeting, my sib and I rolled on over to Handel's, my favorite Ohio ice cream shop. It was a perfect day to sit in the sunshine and eat excellent ice cream. My brother even treated. 😉😉 
    More to come from beach-side!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

June 7--Walmart Mission Accomplished

In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.  --Thich Nhat Hanh

    I survived Walmart. One has to be alert and awake there. 😉 It was busy, but not overcrowded. My brother is 83. While he did buy a few healthy food items, 3/4 of his purchases were "goodies." I made no comment, because I figure given his age and health issues, he can eat whatever pleases him. No amount of Brussels sprouts are going to cure his ills, so why bug him to eat stuff he doesn't like?!?!!!? 
    We also had an adventure to southern Akron to get his hearing aids serviced. That was smooth, quick and successful. 
    I braved the chilly water for a lap swim at the nearby Wellness Center. Their boiler is not working, and the water keeps getting chillier. I was desperate to swim, so I did it in what they claimed to be 77 degree water. It really wasn't too bad, but the staff at the desk told me that temperature is considerably colder than usual. Therefore, most regulars are not interested in the too-cold water, so I had the entire pool to myself the whole time.  
    I enjoyed driving my niece's lovely Lexus SUV while she was at work. 😎
    No more Walmart for me for many months, I hope!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

June 6-Adventures with my Brother

Taking in the good, whenever and wherever we find it, gives us new eyes for seeing and living.  --Krista Tippett

    My niece and I lazed through the day after the wedding of her son. We were tired and mostly took it easy, but we did manage a two-mile walk. In the evening, I got her hooked on the TV series "Ted Lasso." 
    This week, while my niece finishes up her year of teaching high school math (she's a saint!), I am hanging with my brother for assorted errands and appointments. He's had health issues, and age has not been kind to him. He likes to tell LOTS of stories. He LOVES Walmart, which I generally avoid like the plague. But as I told him yesterday, "I love you so much, I'll even take you to Walmart." Finding the good--with his health concerns, I always know that this time when I get to be with my brother could be the last one. It's a frightening but true reality. He and I are the only two remaining from our family of origin. He may annoy me, but I want to keep my "new eyes" open to see and live with love, to be patient and kind, and soak in this precious opportunity filled with good. 
    What's the rush?!?!
Glorious peonies in my niece's neighborhood

Monday, June 5, 2023

June 5--Mission Accomplished, They Are Married

And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.  --Kurt Vonnegut

    The "present" right now is post-celebration letdown and tiredness. The wedding and reception were wonderful. The setting was a country estate with a pond with swans right behind the spot where the couple and minister were standing. The reception, meal, speeches and dance were all great. 
    This morning family members are heading for home, but I'm staying with my niece, and we've got the post-chaos home to tidy up. We have discussed the possibility of both morning and afternoon naps. To our credit, we also talked about a walk at a park. We'll see. 
The trail near my niece's home

Sunday, June 4, 2023

June 4--Love for Self & Mother Earth; Wedding Day!

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.  --Rachel Carson

    This applies both to the planet and to our individual bodies. I believe one of the results of 12-step recovery is learning to value oneself, and as that becomes more integrated into one's psyche, there is less desire to abuse oneself with a substance or addictive practice. 
    Likewise, the appreciation of our magnificent Mother Earth--"the wonders and realities of the universe about us"--should, and I believe is, leading us to take more loving care of the place we call home. It's a slow process, turning around our dominating, destructive patterns. 
    Back to my adventure... yesterday folks arrived from parts distant, and we had a lot of hang time to catch up and enjoy being together once again. Necessary pre-wedding tasks were completed. 
    Today is the big day!

Saturday, June 3, 2023

June 3--OHIO!

Love isn't something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn't a feeling, it is a practice. 
--Erich Fromm

    I'm thinking this is referring to being in a love relationship. That does take work. I do, however, believe that love IS natural, otherwise we would not be so determined to find someone to love. I also think it is likely that we all have a bit of a narcissist in us. 
    Speaking of love relationships, I am in Ohio for my great-nephew's wedding. What a joy it is to see extended family members and friends after many months apart.
    I had the most delightful encounter on my trip to Ohio yesterday. I was wearing my Wichita State University hoodie, and I stopped for an iced coffee at a surprisingly unbusy Starbucks in the Dallas airport. A young man was waiting for his order, and he said, "A Shocker, huh? I went to WSU." Thus began a lovely conversation and a two-mile walk, because both of us had long layovers. His name is Marcus and he was on the WSU mens' bowling team that won the national championship in 2015. He came from Sweden to WSU for bowling, leaving his whole family behind. He admitted it was quite a "culture shock." He has since earned his PhD in an area of neurological science that studies the brain and aging. He was headed to Seattle to start his first job in the field. We talked about bowling, other sports, why he elected not to go on the pro bowlers' tour. I am not one to start up conversations with strangers very often. My WSU hoodie did the job for me, and this reminds me how interesting people are. It pays for this introvert to come out of her shell now and then!
    Double bonus... I was wearing my 30 t-shirt (see May 17 post), and a young woman walking past me said, "Way to wear your age on your t-shirt!" LOL. Thanks, made my day!!
    More fun to come!

Friday, June 2, 2023

June 2--The Little Table

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.  --Henry Miller

    We needed a small table for our new deck. I found a folding one at an estate sale (divine treasure hunts) a couple years ago. It was bare wood, so I sprayed a few coats of clear acrylic on it to preserve it. That failed. One section broke off due to weathering. Nevertheless, it was the perfect size to hold two beer glasses during happy hour. So last week, I checked my paint leftovers from barn-quilt-painting days, and there was enough to make the table colorful. With several coats of Kilz, paint and polycrylic sealer, it should last a while. 
    The point of this story... I am a much happier human when I am creating something. It is a bonus if it involves lots of color, such as painting. Refinishing the table made me think of a painting I'd like to do. I haven't felt this creative urge in months, and it feels so good. 
    Below is the much-improved little table... I like straight lines 😀

Thursday, June 1, 2023

June 1--In the NOW, In the KNOW

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.  --Oscar Wilde

    Welcome to June where our theme is mindfulness. We can either be operating on auto-pilot or living mindfully, and I'd say for most folks that it is typically a combination. The key is to have mindfulness be the larger part of living. 
    What is mindfulness? Greater Good Magazine offers this definition: 

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.

      There's our challenge for the month. Let's do June mindfully!