it’s the little things


December, as each year ends, and January, as another year starts, bring out a lot of talk about goals and plans, and hopes, dreams, and aspirations, for hearth and home, for work, for family life, for spirit, for health, for, well, everything. This has started me thinking, not about major life changing goals, although that would probably be a good idea, too, but about simpler things.

Such as….

I want to pay more attention to the pleasant small things in my life. I tend to rush around or run on autopilot a lot. I run through chores while dwelling on the next thing I need to do or maybe thinking of some larger issue. That’s a good thing sometimes; I need to work that way through some of my morning routine, to get a lot done at home before leaving for work; I’d rather it go quickly as opposed to having to wake up earlier (I rise at 6am as it is). And it helps make morning chores more palatable, at least for me. I know there’s honor in honest work, really, I do, but that doesn’t mean I want to dwell over cleaning out cat bowls and litter pans, or even brushing teeth.

But I don’t need to ignore things around me all the time. I know I don’t really do that — who can? — but sometimes it feels that way.

So here’s to some of the glossed over pleasures…things that I want to notice and then stop a moment to savor…

    The aroma of a freshly opened package of tea
    The first sip from a steaming mug of tea
    Juliet’s soft purr and her sweet furry belly
    Channel surfing on the radio and catching an old favorite
    Figuring out the catch/theme in the crossword puzzle
    The delightful taste of a bit of dark chocolate
    The satisfaction of a good hair day
    The warmth of the sun on my hands
    The ahhh of reading a good book
    The beauty of a particularly clear night with a low moon
    The song and the excitement of birds piping in the bushes just outside my window
    Breezes in the spring and summer

And one more thing: noticing the myriad of other wonderful bits of life I haven’t listed.

What are the sweet little things in your life? There’s likely more than you realize.

best of 2009: coming to a screen near me

I’m trying something new for me this month, a web community challenge: Gwen Bell’s The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. Find the best the year has offered me, and review, remember, contemplate, reflect, and celebrate it. There’s a question/topic each day.

I haven’t posted in the challenge lately because I don’t have good picks for the topics from the past week and a half. But I do have something to write about today.

December 30 — Ad. What advertisement made you think this year?

I don’t pay attention to advertisements all that much. I usually ignore them on television and I skip over ads in magazines and generally ignore them on the Internet. But I do try to see promo spots for new and favorite TV shows and I try to catch the preview for the next episode of shows I’m watching. I don’t mind spoilers all that much (I can’t really complain too much about them: I often skim the ending of a book after reading some of it…might sound nuts to you but it’s what I’ve been doing for decades. I read slowly and I’ll get to some good part and want to know now what will happen, not wait ’til I reach it. So I start skimming and suddenly, I’ve skipped to the end. Rest assured, I still go back and read the whole book. But that’s not the point here, is it).

My best of 2009 advertisements are fun things: commercials for TV shows. Some were just well done — Dexter comes to mind — and some were welcome announcements that a good show was returning would soon be back, such as My Boys and Eureka. And then there were the ads promoting a new show, USA Network’s White Collar. They intrigued me and I am a fan of the show now. So they worked :-).

But I have to say, the best promotional ads for the past few years have been most of those for USA Network’s show Psych. The cast there clearly has fun doing their ads and “psych outs” and they are always a hoot. I will stop fast forwarding and even back up a recorded show just to see their ads. Doesn’t hurt that I find the show a lot of fun, too.

Hmm, I have more to write but I think I’ll go relax with a bit of TV now….

long and happy night

★☽ ★

Today is the winter solstice. Usually folks say it’s the shortest day of the year which feels sad. But last week a friend spoke of it being the longest night of the year, and suddenly it felt better.

Nothing is really changed. I did not have a shorter workday and I will not have a longer rest tonight.

But it’s still a much nicer night now.

Happy solstice.

best of 2009: singing of heroes

I’m trying something new for me this month, a web community challenge: Gwen Bell’s The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. Find the best the year has offered me, and review, remember, contemplate, reflect, and celebrate it. There’s a question/topic each day.

December 20 New person. … Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

My unsung heroes are the nursing, physical therapy, and cafeteria staff who helped ease my mother’s suffering this summer at Enloe Medical Center in Chico. In the surgical ward where Mom spent her time, doctors make daily rounds and visit the patients briefly, checking on how patients are recovering after surgery and such. The nursing and related staff are the ones who take care of so much of the patients’ needs and these lovely people treated Mom with caring and true concern, tremendous patience, and great gentleness along with great competence and professionalism. Many of these lovely people went to extra lengths to help. Even the student nurses I met were wonderful, each in their own way. I don’t want to write a lot about this; it’s too much to revisit Mom’s ordeal in detail. But I just want to acknowledge all the wonderful staff who tried to make Mom as comfortable as possible, to ease her pain, and also extended much kindness to my brothers, my sister, and me as we spent our time at Mom’s bedside.

Thank you all; you were true heroes in our lives this year.

snow, good and bad

snow is a wonder, creating a calm and peaceful vista.

    snow comes to soften
    the landscape’s harsh look and
    still the din outside.

but sometimes, i’d rather it pass us by…

    i dread this snowstorm,
    too soon for me. not ready
    to clear the paths.

disclaimer: never said i’m a writer.