Fill your life

Fill your life with sunshine and your heart with love quote on bright paint and layered paper background

Here we are, at the very final hours of the year. 2021 will soon be behind us. We will enter the new year with 365 days of unknowns to be dealt with. Throughout the year there will be all the usual ups and downs, plus delights and sorrows which will catch us off guard. I wish all of you a year filled with more ups and delights, and lots of laughter and success to offset the downs and sorrows. Happy New Year!

On this eve

Sheet music with blue and silver accents and printed text from O
Little Town of Bethlehem

Here we are, Christmas Eve of 2021. Another odd holiday for many of us. I am grateful to have the day off to do whatever I want, or nothing at all. Usually I am at work having a quiet day that moves slowly along. But this year we all decided to take the day and make the holiday weekend a bit longer. This year has required that sort of flexibility of thought, to change directions and try new courses of action. To gives ourselves, and others, the chance to aim for something better or at least recoup where they are at. It has been a rough 20 months, many would say past few years, and as we move into a new year I am hopeful that there will be progress on inclusiveness and equality as we do. May you all have a wonderful Christmas Day.

Moments

Mixed media with bird and text

The holiday weekend is drawing to a close, most of us will return to our regular work week schedules in a day or so. For some the holiday stretch has been busy with family, for others with work, and some have had a quiet holiday. The moments that make up these days are unique, I prefer a more sedate way of celebrating, big crowds and lots of cooking aren’t my thing. I like to split my day up between a hike, some studio time, family time and a good meal. My friend likes a house bursting at the seams with 4 generations laughing and talking. Another makes a full turkey meal for just the 2 of them ensuring plenty of leftovers to enjoy. The common thread between all of those scenarios is that we each are fortunate enough to have enough, and can choose to celebrate in our own way. As we all know life is made up of moments; good, bad, funny, frightening, joyous and grief filled. Regardless, these moments come and go as they weave themself into our life. I hope all of you were able to have plenty of moments filled with laughter and joy this past week, and more will follow.

Al fresco

Garden

The evenings if dining outside are quickly slipping away. After many walks by this garden it appears they did have a dinner party or al fresco meal of some sort. I can almost hear the conversation and laughter, feel the relaxed enjoyment of those who gathered around the table. Perhaps much of the meal came from the very garden they were seated in.

I am often given to flights of fancy like that, creating a story where one seems needed. It allows me to make use of all I notice going on in the world around me. They rarely make it to paper, being just quick snippets vs. developed stories. It is just an exercise in seeing and stringing words to memorialize a scene.

When you think of it

Mixed media with caption “You will change the world by loving yourself”

Are you good at taking care of or loving yourself so you feel your best? Few of us are. Many of us have been brought up to think it is self indulgent, that it is undeserved or that or is a sign of weakness. This idea becomes ingrained and is hard to uproot. It is all well and good to be helpful, but running yourself ragged to do so is counterintuitive to the ability to help. You can’t change the world if you have nothing to run on anymore.

Which brings me to how you can refuel. That topic is one for a full book, but there are a few ways that can be mentioned here to get you thinking.

1. Exercise- an age old favorite, just get moving. Each day is best, as our bodies are designed to move and stretch. A regimented workout, bike ride, even jumping jacks on a regular basis will be of benefit. Keeping moving will help as you age too.

2. Nature time- absolutely a necessity, a walk through a park or in the woods can change your whole mood. There is forest bathing for those wanting to soak in nature in a meditative manner. Fresh air a.ways helps blow away the cobwebs and bring a sense of well being.

3. Nutrition- it is so obvious that junk food doesn’t provide the strong fuel our bodies need, but it is so easy to slip into the bad snack habit. I know I am guilty of it, and almost always feel the worse for it. You don’t have to go totally, full on “grown in my garden” diet, just make a few fuel changes you can love. Your mind and body will love you for it!

4. Brain play- the pandemic has unfortunately made binge watching and streaming too common. Let’s be honest, most shows are basically more junk food. Remember the “garbage in, garbage out” line? It is even more true now. Treat your brain to some quality input. Good music, different music, reading, puzzles, or simple DIY tasks. Get those neurons firing and develop new pathways.

5. Indulgences- if you can swing it a massage is a wonderful way to show yourself some love. So are proper fitting new footwear, fresh sheets or clean, unstained clothes. Indulgences don’t need to be huge and expensive, they just need to be meaningful to you.

Will loving yourself actually change the world? It sure can! When you feel good about yourself, you life and that you are worthy of good things. When you hold those ideas, and live them, you are going to move through the world and you will find you have more than enough energy, spirit, love, time and so on to share.

Getting somewhere?

Small pollinator on bright orange cosmos

Much like this little pollinator I have been busy the past couple days getting online course videos done, uploading them, finding typos in the form, trying to figure how to access, fix, and resave them. It has been a mainly fruitless task as deletion is the only option offered, no rewrites or write overs will take. To say it has been frustrating is to scratch the surface. It can be hard to go with delete and see all the work disappear, but staying in the “futile to save” loop is an exercise in futility. Of course delete does not always work either, and then things are left in a state of limbo requiring a tech call to handle it. Needless to say, 3 days later that is the route I have had to go in the hopes that they can remove the offending courses that I can’t override. Sigh. It is all part of the process, though this weekend it has felt like a process with no forward gains.