Friday, September 23, 2011

Trying this again

It has been nearly two years since I started writing this blog! When I first started writing it, I was trying to pull myself up out of a depression and change my thinking so I would have a better life. I figured that looking for something good to write about in my blog would help me develop the habit of looking for good things in my life. And it did! For about a year and a half, I had a great time writing in my blog and spending my days looking for good stuff to write about. But somehow, somewhere along the line, I slacked off on doing that and I allowed myself to slip back into a pretty deep depression, just like before I started this blog. I don't know why I slacked off or why I slipped. But slip I did!

I guess it's the same as the way I've slipped back into my old eating habits and have gained back some of the weight I lost in 2007. I haven't gained it all back but I've gained some of it back. I'm also not sure why I went back to my old ways of eating. Or my old ways of thinking. But one thing I do know is that I sure was a lot happier when I was a positive thinking size 6!!!! :D

So with this post, I'm pledging to get back to looking for good stuff to write about in my blog. And I'm pledging to break up with Ronald McDonald once and for all and get back to  eating right and exercising regularly .... and getting back into all the cute size 6 clothes I have.

So here's what was good about today.

* The weather was beautiful. Perfect temps, blue skies, a warm breeze.
* I felt genuinely good and happy today. I don't know why but I did and I enjoyed every minute of it.
* I spoke to a person today who gave me some info that may possibly make a huge difference in my life financially.
* I talked to a really cute guy! Didn't get his number but he was still fun to talk to and to look at! LOL!
* I stayed on my diet.
* I exercised.
* I got the idea of working as a volunteer at the farm near where I used to live and I sent in an email about it.
* I got the idea that I need to find places to go where people are having fun. Then even if I'm not doing anything with them, I can have fun vicariously through them by watching them and that will give me "fun" mentality.
* I talked to a really cute guy! Oh, I said that one already. Hee hee. :D
* I finally figured out something I had been thinking about for a long time with regard to what kind of male companion I'd like to have. The really cute guy I talked to today woulda been a good start! :D
* I felt pretty for the first time in a long time. I wonder if the really cute guy thought I was pretty. :D
* I felt strong for the first time in a while.
* I felt safe and peaceful for the first time in a long time.
* I'm writing in my blog for the first time in a while.
* I felt like looking for the good for the first time in a while.

I really think that exercise and meditation is what's pulling me back up from the depression. A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with that "something" inside me telling me to go for a walk instead of sitting around drinking coffee. And somehow I managed to push myself out the door and go for that walk. I had been so so depressed for quite a while and just that one walk made a huge difference in my mental outlook. It really perked me up better than any drug I've ever taken for depression. I was amazed at the dramatic difference. I've continued to exercise and I've started meditating again too and I can tell I'm releasing something when I do that. It also is helping me to stay in the present moment. I had been having a lot of anxiety and feelings of fear. But when I brought myself back to the present moment in meditation, all that went away. I think I'm on to something here!!!! Of course, every self-help book I've ever read said to exercise and meditate. Duh!

This post hasn't been "philosophical" like my other posts. But I really wanted to say what I've said in this post both to encourage anybody who might read it and to recommit myself to being the looking for the good girl! And being the looking for the good girl is a good thing! There! I found some good! :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Don't ever tell me there's no God!

Although I'm not a religious person, I am very close to the God of my understanding. And there are times when I get an undeniable sense, or awareness, of "something or someone" walking in front of me to open my doors for me like a true gentleman. The last couple days have been one of those times. Here's the story. Follow close now because this is one of my stories that has some twists and turns. Like life!
A couple weeks ago, my beloved old Jeep Cherokee started having yet another little quirk. It got to where I couldn't turn the key far enough to start the car. At first, I could jiggle it or play with it a little and it would turn. But the problem quickly became more frequent and quite aggravating. Being the slacker that I am, I made a couple phone calls about it but did nothing to get it repaired.

Yesterday, the problem occurred several times. The last time it happened was, well, the last time it happened! That's because when I stopped off at the grocery store, the key wouldn't turn at all no matter what I did. I was stranded!!!! I had planned to go straight home after I cleaned my last house so that if I got stranded, at least I'd be stranded at home. But I just had to have some sodas for the weekend so I decided to chance it. That's when the switch died and I knew I would have to get towed. The first problem was, I only had $38 to my name! I have AAA so I knew the tow wouldn't cost me. But I also knew $38 wasn't going to cover a repair. What to do???? Think! Think! Wait! No! Don't think, you big dummy! Thinking is what gets you in trouble! Be still. Breathe. Let the answers come to you.

After breathing and listening to that still, small voice inside me, I realized I was only a couple miles from the customer whose house I needed to clean today. I've been with them for years so I was comfortable calling them to ask if they'd consider paying me a day early for their cleaning so I can have the money for the car repair. They didn't mind a bit and they brought the money to me. Then I remembered that the customer whose house I had JUST cleaned had not left me a check, because I had told her to wait till the end of the month and write me one big check. I was only half a mile from her house. I called her and asked her to go ahead and write me the check. They brought the money to me too. Now I had about $148 instead of just the $38 I had before. That felt better but I still wasn't sure it would be enough. All I could do was wait and see. It's worth noting that if I hadn't stopped for the sodas, I would have been stranded at home instead of being stranded closeby the two customers who brought me money!

While I was on the phone with my customer, a AAA tow truck drove right by me!!! I wanted to jump out of the car and yell for him. But I knew I'd have to call AAA and go through the process. So I did. And while I was still on the phone with AAA, I saw in my rear view mirror that same tow truck that had just gone by. Wow! Great service! :) Out of the tow truck hopped this really hot guy. He looked like a tin soldier!!! But I guess that's not relavent to my story, huh? It WAS a nice little treat though in the midst of this situation. LOL! Jonathan put my car up on his truck and drove me to my house and dropped me off. I live on a main street and I had told him just to stop in front of the house and not try to get into my driveway. When I got out of the tow truck to cross the street to my house, he noticed that the traffic kept coming and I couldn't get across the street. Sometimes it takes me several minutes to get across the street when I go for my walk. Well, Jonathan pulled his big ole tow truck right out into the street and blocked the traffic so I could get across. My hero!!!! Did I mention he was really hot and looked like a tin soldier??? :D

Anyway, I digress! :D

After I got home and settled in for the evening, I starting thinking about what I was going to do today. My car was at the shop but I was not! How was I going to get over to pick up my car? I am such a loner that I don't have, or didn't think I had, any friends I could call to help me out. (Note to self: Quit being a loner or else buy a new car! LOL!)

The challenge of how to get to my car was solved this morning with the poor service from my mechanic, or should I say my FORMER mechanic! I'd had my car towed to his shop because he'd helped me in the past. His shop was about ten miles from my house. The last time I stopped by there for some help, he was not helpful like before but I thought maybe he was just having a bad day. I could see he was busy with a big job and didn't want to be bothered with my little issue. So I let him slide on that one. But this morning when I called him, he said he didn't know what was wrong with the car and wasn't sure if he could look at it today. And even though I told him what I thought the problem was, he still wouldn't give me any idea about the price or whether he could fix it. My little voice told me I'd had my car towed to the wrong place. I won't be going back to him any more.

The issue with my car was related to the key so it occurred to me that maybe a locksmith could do the job. So I called one and, sure enough, it was something he could do. But I had to get the car to him which meant another tow. So, again, I called AAA and told them where to tow it to. But I still had the issue of how to get myself to where the car was. But the locksmith place was only about three miles from my house so I knew I could walk if I had to. So it was getting better!

As soon as I hung up the phone from AAA, I got a text message telling me the minutes on my prepaid cellphone had run out and I needed to reload. Grrrrr. I had no money in the account I usually use for that so I had to walk up to the drug store, only one mile away, and buy a reload card. While I was at the drug store, I was telling one of the employees there about my situation with my car. Well, turned out she was getting off work early and she offered to drive me over to where my car was. Whew! Thank God! Of course! :)

It seemed like everything was coming together, just as I knew it would. But there was still one issue that was unresolved. He had told me over the phone that the repair, if I was right about what was wrong, would be about $165. I only had $148. A tiny shortage but still. But even that worked itself out because I was NOT right about what was wrong and the repair ended up only costing $100!

I am now mobile again and I even had some money to buy some groceries for the weekend. I am totally amazed sometimes at how things fall into place when I get still and quiet and just have faith that it will work out. So to all those people who took part in helping me get through this little challenge with my car, I say thank you sooo much! And to that "somebody or something" that always seems to be watching over me, no words can express how thankful I am to know I'm taken care of. Oh, and sorry about being such a drama queen when I forget I'm taken care of. :)

I have in my wallet a tattered and worn old card that has printed on it the Prayer for Protection. I received it in the mail years ago when I requested prayer from Silent Unity and I have carried it with me ever since. It goes like this.

"The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
The presence of God watches over me;
Wherever I am, God is! "

Wherever I am, God is. And that's a very very good thing! Keep looking for the good!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Latest Angel

For months now, my business has been down and I've really struggled financially. The stress from that has triggered some depression and anxiety which has triggered more stress. And the cycle continues. I've been caught up in that cycle before and I'm ashamed to say that this time I was giving in to it. I felt very defeated and helpless. In addition to the financial issues, I had some personal issues that were weighing on me and I seriously felt like I was down for the count. I felt like I had lost my power.

As far as my income goes, the housecleaning business is a high demand business even during economic down times. So I can always find new customers and increase my income.....if I try. To get new business, I typically distribute fliers in the neighborhoods I like to work in. But my income has been so low that I haven't been able to afford to get any fliers printed up. I should have put out fliers when I didn't need any new business so that I'd have a waiting list of customers instead of a waiting list of bills to be paid. But I didn't.

Finally, it occurred to me that I had accumulated some points on my Wachovia Rewards program and might be able to redeem the points for a gift card at Staples and use that to get some fliers printed up. After checking my account, I saw that I had enough points to get a $25 card. I knew that wouldn't buy me too many fliers but it would buy SOME and if I just got even one job from those fliers then I'd have some money to print up some more fliers. So yesterday I went to Staples to get the fliers made.

The guy at the copy shop was not very friendly and moved in slow motion. I found myself getting annoyed with him because it was taking him so long to wait on me. We had to work out how many copies I could afford to get with my $25 and he was taking forever to figure it out. I wanted to get two fliers per sheet but the photo on my flier didn't look very good that way so he was trying to fix that for me. Finally he got it looking good enough, though not as good as I had hoped. I told him to go ahead and print them like that. I also asked for colored paper, which costs more and he had to cut the sheets in half since there were two fliers per sheet. That was another additional charge. I knew that from when I've had fliers printed up before. I told him to just print up as many fliers as he could for the $25 I had to spend. He said he'd do them while I waited and I went and walked around the store for a while.

When I went back to the copy shop, the guy seemed to be ignoring me and was waiting on everyone else instead of me. Again I got annoyed with him but didn't say anything. Boy was I glad I didn't open my stupid mouth and make a fool of myself. After all the other customers were gone and the manager was not around, the guy leaned over to me and, in a quiet voice, said "Today is my last day on the job here so I made you 500 copies for the price of 250." And he put his finger to his mouth to say "Shhh". Well, you better believe I shhhhh'ed!!!  I thanked him very  much and took my fliers and left. When I got to the car, I looked at the receipt and saw that he also didn't charge me for cutting the sheets or for the colored paper. I ended up with 1000 fliers for $25! Once I get them distributed, I will probably get all the customers I need to fill my calendar back up and get my income where it needs to be!

I was kind of uncomfortable with this copy shop guy at first because of his physical appearance and because he never once looked up at me and was so slow moving and unfriendly and never smiled a single time. But what he did for me will make a tremendous difference in my life in the way of helping me get control of my finances and in giving me back my power that I felt I had lost. So he's on my angel list now and, once again, I've learned that angels don't usually have blond hair and wings. Some of them have ear gages and big sideburns. And I've learned that you never know what kind of heart a person has inside them regardless of how they look or act on the outside.

I doubt if that guy realized how much he helped me and he probably didn't think one bit more about me after I left the store. So I think another thing I've learned is that we never really know how our actions affect others and how we might be making a big difference in someone's life without even realizing it. And that's a good thing. I found some good! :D

Monday, August 8, 2011

Finding Good in the Sad Stuff

This morning I had to have my cat, Hailey, put to sleep after a long illness. I thought I would be relieved after she was gone. Hailey and I had a love/hate relationship. I adopted Hailey after seeing her at the SPCA where I was doing some volunteer work. She was there for months and months and never got adopted. Whenever I would see her, she'd be sitting over in a corner by herself not socializing with the other cats or with any of the people. She just seemed to want to be alone. She was fat, had no tail and wasn't very pretty. And wasn't very friendly. She wasn't really mean, except when you had to give her a pill or trim her nails or bathe her. Then she was mean. But the rest of the time, she just stayed to herself. She never would let me hold her much or even pet her really. When I first brought her home, I hoped that being in a home instead of a shelter would bring her out and she'd become a loving cat. But that was not to be. All she seemed to want to do was eat and be left alone. After a while, I gave up trying to get her to be affectionate and just accepted her like she was.

In recent weeks, as Hailey got sicker, she was more willing to let me pet her and sometimes hold her. Maybe she just let me hold her because she was too tired to squirm out of my arms. Today as I sat in the vets office waiting for them to come in and put Hailey to sleep, I held Hailey really tight and she laid her head on my shoulder. And I cried and cried and cried. And I talked to her and told her I loved her and I realized that it was probably the first time I had ever told her that. She just wouldn't let me love her until right in the end.

I believe that everything that comes into our lives is there to teach us something. That includes our pets. And I think that Hailey came to teach me that I need to let people love me and I need to try harder to love them. Hailey rejected me all those years I had her and it was hurtful to me sometimes. After a while I just tuned her out. I fed her and gave her a home but didn't try to really be involved with her because she made it clear she didn't want that. Turns out she was nothing more than a mirror of me. I cry my guts out sometimes because I'm so lonely. People just don't want to include me in their lives. But maybe that's because I am sending out messages that I don't want to be bothered. So people don't bother me. And I'm by myself all the time. And my heart hurts a lot. I want to try to be more open to people now and let people care about me and I want to try to care more about them instead of always isolating myself from the rest of the world.

I miss Hailey more than I thought I would. She had become a part of my life more than I realized. But she is in a better place now and I'm very grateful for what she helped me to see about myself. In the midst of the sad stuff of losing a pet, I found some good.

Rest in peace sweet girl. Thank you for all you taught me. I love you.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Letting the Good In

It's been several months since I wrote in my blog. There have been gaps in my writings before and it's always because I get lazy and stop trying to look for good in life. I get tired of the "theme". I get bored. I get frustrated when things don't come together for me like I want them to and when I want them to. I let myself slip into a negative frame of mind and my life becomes frustrating and mundane. I lose the enchantment and the fascination with the world around me that is evident from my previous writings. But eventually I come back and I start practicing my "look for the good" philosophy again.

One of the areas of my life where I have struggled the most is the area of self-esteem. I often think to myself that there's nobody in my life that appreciates me or "gets" me or values me at all. But then, when someone does come into my life who shows me some appreciation, I don't believe it's real. I assume they're just being polite or just patronizing me for whatever reason.

After I published my book, "Looking For The Good", which is basically a hard copy of this blog, I had a number of people treat me like I was some kind of guru. I even had one person ask me to "autograph" her copy of my book!!! Autograph???? I really hated the attention and I hated being put up on a pedestal. It was lonely up there and I felt very separate from the very people I was trying to reach with my writings. I'm just an ordinary person! It says so right on the back cover of my book! My only reason for putting the book together was to try to help other "ordinary" people to see that they can find happiness even in their "ordinary" lives. There was a certain amount of "celebrity" status that the book brought to me and I hated every bit of it! I hated the praise I got from people. I just couldn't accept it. I didn't think the book was that big of a deal. I knew of a lot of mistakes in it. I couldn't even see the good in my own book or in myself. It was horribly uncomfortable for me and I was very relieved when all the hooplah died down.

It reminds me of another experience I had years ago when I was active in Toastmasters. In Toastmasters, each speech you give is connected to a particular lesson. That night, I had given a speech that required the use of props. I always tried to make my speeches funny and lighthearted. Sometimes people use Toastmasters meetings to practice being "minister" wannabes and their talks can be really heavy and serious. I always liked to lighten things up. My speech for the night was about how bad my cooking was. I still remember the props I used. I had a rubber chicken that I marked up with a black magic marker and I held it up and called it "Blackened Chicken". LOL! Anyway, after the speech was over and I turned the platform back over to the Toastmaster and headed back to my seat, there was the obligatory applause that you always get after a speech. But after that died down, a second round of enthusiastic applause started and everyone was smiling and looking at me. It was a moment when I knew I had been really really good. I was blown away. It was exciting! But on the way home, something happened inside me.

After the meeting, I had several people come up and shake my hand and tell me I should be a professional public speaker. I just laughed it off and said I was glad they enjoyed my speech. Then, as I drove home, these voices in my head started talking to me. " Who do you think you are?" they said. "You made such a fool of yourself showing off in front of those people pretending to be something you're not!" By the time I got home, I was in tears and was embarrassed about the speech. I'm not sure if I ever went back to another Toastmasters meeting again after that. Just like with my book, I just couldn't handle the praise. I couldn't handle being loved. So I pushed it away. I pushed away the very thing that I so longed for; being appreciated and valued.

Yesterday, yet another experience spoke to me. A young girl I know who recently had her best friend die in a boating accident told me that my book is really helping her get through it. She said that when she gets down about things, she pulls out my book and reads some and it makes her feel better. That scared the crap out of me and I quickly changed the subject and then said I had to leave. Again, I couldn't let it in. I couldn't accept the very thing we all need, which is validation.

I wish I could close this post by saying that I have learned to allow love, acceptance and approval into my life but I truly have not. And the longer I go without it, the more painful it is. I'm not even sure if this post even belongs on a blog about looking for the good in life. But it's what I felt the need to write about today. I guess I need to look for the good in myself and allow others to see good in me too. And if someone does try to love me, I hope I can allow them to and not get scared and push them away.

I think that the only way we can have good in our lives is if we let it in. So lets look for the good and then allow it in.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Today me and Bossy went hiking at yet another section of the Mountains to Sea trail at Falls Lake. As always, we had an awesome time! We hiked for about an hour and then found a great spot with a view of the lake and sat down and ate some lunch and rested a while. Then we hiked back to the car and drove down to the little swim beach. I took off my $120 hiking boots and me and Bossy went wading in the water. It wasn't cold like I thought it would be. In fact, it felt really great! Back up on the sand, Bossy decided it was time to rest again. So he flopped down in the sand and laid down. I sat down beside him and soon he was snoring away. So I decided to lay down in the sand too! It was so wonderful to feel the sun shining on my face and my feet in the sand.

After Bossy's nap, we got in the car and came home and I uploaded the photos I took into my computer. While I was doing that, I saw all the other photos I've taken when I've gone hiking or just looking around for something good to take pictures of. (There's that looking for the good thing again!) I noticed that I'm getting quite a collection of pictures and quite a string of wonderful experiences.

It made me think about a string of pearls. When we buy a pearl necklace, it seems like we're buying one thing. But really, we're buying a whole bunch of very beautiful LITTLE things all strung together. I think that's what life is! A bunch of little things strung together.

If we took that pearl necklace and went outside and cut the string and let all the pearls loose into a sandbox, we might not even be able to see the pearls! But they're there! And if we look through the sand, we'll find them. I think life has a lot of sand and that's OK. But there's pearls in there too! And if we'll just look for them, we will find them and then, after a while, we can string them all together to make one beautiful necklace, one beautiful life. But if we go around complaining about the sand, we won't even notice the beautiful little pearls. And if we go around waiting for something big to happen in our lives, we won't notice the little successes and blessings we get that, when strung can finish this sentence. :)

I'm going to try harder to look for and appreciate all the wonderful little experiences I have in my daily life so I can string them all together and make a wonderful life out of them. And a wonderful life is a good thing! Look for the good! :)

Here's some pics from today's hike! I even recruited somebody to take a pic of me and Bossy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Even a gray day can be a great day!

As far as the weather is concerned, I have to say that my least favorite kind of day is a cold, gray, rainy day like today. I think most people just feel really down on days like that. I know I do. Unless I choose not to. Today I chose not to. But not until later in the day. Does that make sense? LOL!

Last night I got woke up from a deep sleep by the sound of something trying to scratch it's way into my apartment through the heater vent. When the sound first woke me up, my first thought was that my cat was getting into trouble again.  But she was curled up on the couch sound asleep. So I walked around the apartment trying to find where the sound came from. As soon as I got to the heater vent in my bedroom, the sound stopped. I had finally found the culprit. I really didn't know what to do but I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to go back to sleep. So I did!

But when I woke back up this morning, after having my night's sleep interrupted I was, to put it lightly, a little grumpy! :) I got up and put on my dog walking clothes and took Bossy outside. It was cold, gray and raining. And I have a little bit of a cold so I felt a little puny. The day wasn't looking good at all! I just wanted to call the day off and crawl back in bed. But duty called and I knew I had to get myself out the door.

The first stop I had to make was the Walmart pharmacy to pick up the antibiotic my doctor had prescribed. I tried to pick it up yesterday but it was $77 and I didn't have that much money. I asked them if they could find a lower priced drug that would be the same and they said they'd try. I knew I was going to make some more money in the afternoon yesterday so I told them I'd come back. So my grumpy self drove over there in the pouring rain and went inside to see what they found. Much to my surprise, when the cashier rung up my new prescription, she said it was $4!!!! I was shocked and confused. I asked her if she was sure that was right. After talking to two different pharmacists, I was assured that the $4 prescription was indeed from the same family as the $77 one and would probably be just as effective. Woo hoo!!!! Maybe it wasn't such a bad day after all!!! On my way across the parking lot, I heard the familiar screech of seagulls and looked up to see them perched on the street lamp. It made me feel like I was at the beach. That made me smile. Things were looking up!

Next stop was lunch! Today was junk food day for me so I stopped at McDonalds and got my usual. While sitting in my car eating lunch, I kept seeing a little bluebird flitting around in the tree in front of my car. Then there were several more. Bluebirds are my favorite birds, I think. I had never even seen one in person until I lived on the farm. I've loved them ever since. So it made me feel happy to watch them playing in the trees in front of me.  Soon there were also cardinals and robins. And then there were little finches with yellow on their backs. One of the little finches hopped so close to my car I could see his little eyes blinking. It seemed like today the birds were deliberately entertaining me! How wonderful!

After lunch, I went and cleaned one of the houses I had on my schedule for today. But I rescheduled the other one for Monday and came home because I wasn't feeling well. But, even though I was feeling sick and it was a rainy crappy day, I still had a light, happy feeling in my heart.  As I travelled through my day, I admit I tended to slip back into my grumpy state of mind I started out in. But I was aware that I could choose to be grumpy about the weather or I could chose to be happy about the beautiful birds I saw and the money I saved on the meds. It's always a choice to find something good. I'm gonna keep looking for good stuff!!!!

PS There was another good thing that happened today. I discovered that my tomato seeds I planted last weekend have started to sprout! Yipeee! I love to see things grow and I love to eat homegrown tomatoes! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Good In Shutting My Big Mouth!

Since the mid 80s, I have been keeping a personal journal where I write about what's going on in my life or what I've got on my mind at the time. One of the greatest benefits of journaling is that I can read back and see patterns. Recently, I have been having a lot of fun putting together a little book of my blog posts and poems. I also have spent some time reading my old journals. Seeing the contrast between my journals from the past and my "Look For The Good" blog posts of today has really helped me to see how far I've come over the years. Things are so different for me now, just in the last year or so. And I think I know why. Here's what I think I've learned.

When I looked back at my journals, I was struck by the repetitiveness of what I wrote. Year after year after year I wrote about the same things over and over and over. The same PROBLEMS! I even made the comment frequently that I always seem to have the same problems. I recognized this pattern and it makes perfect sense to me now why my life was so miserable like it was.

*The more I talked or thought about my problems, the bigger they seemed.
*The bigger they seemed, the more I worried about them.
*The more I worried about them, the more mentally tense I got.
*When I was mentally tense, my body responded by tensing up.
*The more tense my body was, the tighter my muscles got.
*Tight muscles are prone to injury.
*The tighter my muscles got, the more pain I felt in my body.
*That added ANOTHER problem! Body pain.
*The more I talked about the body pain, the worse it got.

And the cycle started again!!!!  And I stayed on that cycle, sadly, for about two decades of my life. For two decades, I lived in misery both physically and mentally all because I wouldn't stop running my big stupid mouth about my perceived problems. All because I wasn't looking for the good. Now that I look for the good and try to talk about good stuff and think about good stuff and I try to laugh and giggle and be silly, guess what???? Very little body pain! Very few problems. Life is good because I shut my trap! And a good life is a good thing!  I'm gonna keep looking for the good!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Finding Good in Imperfection

When I was living on the farm, I spent many hours sitting on the side porch gazing out over the beautiful landscape that surrounded me. And there was this one tree way across the yard that was "perfectly" shaped except for one branch that sprawled out awkwardly from the rest of the tree. When I first moved out there, that tree bugged the crap out of me. Whenever I would see it, I would fantasize about taking a chainsaw to it and cutting off that wayward branch. But as time went by, I relaxed and began to see things from a very different perspective. I noticed that, in nature, things aren't perfectly symmetrical or lined up just so. Nature is free and spontaneous! Sometimes plants grow sideways or one side gets bigger than the other. Sometimes flowers bloom pink when all the rest of them were white! Sometimes the deer munch on the apple tree and there are no low branches left.

Life is not perfect. People are not perfect. Who decides what's perfect anyway? What's perfect for one person is totally wrong for someone else. There is no such thing as perfection. That's one of the things that makes this Universe so interesting. Imperfection. After livng on that farm for a while, I came to really treasure the beauty of imperfection. It was very freeing to realize I didn't have to color within the lines, that I was beautiful just the way I was and that "imperfection" is another word for unique. How grateful I am that everything is not perfect. Because that would mean that everything would be the same. We live in a world of never ending posibilities, which could also be called imperfection. Imperfection is very very good! :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The good in doing nothing!

I was born and raised in the city. Lived in the city all my life until I got to live on the farm for a couple years. I remember when I was little and our family would take a trip out of town, we'd drive down a lot of country roads and we'd see people sitting on their front porch doing absolutely nothing, just watching cars go by. I can remember hearing my parents talking about those lazy country people. Later in life, I married a man who always had to be busy. He had to be making "productive use" of his time. You'd never catch him just sitting around doing nothing. He thought of that as a good thing and so did I, I guess. I certainly didn't want to be lazy!

Well, when I moved out to the country in 2007, I would see people sitting on their porch and I would think to myself that I didn't want to be like them. There was too much that needed to be done to be just sitting around. I just didn't "get" why they did that.

The side of the farmhouse I lived in had a long porch that stretched the entire length of the house and on that porch, my landlord left a rocking chair and a little wooden table.  When I first moved out there, I'd go sit in the rocking chair and read or work on whatever project I had going on. I'd sit there and rock and rock and it was nice. But a little at a time, I started rocking slower. Then, after a while, I didn't rock at all. And eventually, I didn't take anything out onto the porch to read or work on.

Finally, I got it! It took me a while but eventually I realized that sometimes the most productive thing you can do with your time is.....nothing! I learned the fine art of doing nothing and I learned the value of being still and quiet. It's in that still, quiet state that I found healing and peace. I cried a lot of tears out there on that old porch and let go of a lot of anger and fear. And I didn't do it by "doing". I did it by "being"! I heard once that we are human beings not human doings. Finally that made sense.

So now I have no problem whatsoever sitting and being still and quiet and giving my mind and body time to rest and rejuvinate. And I find that when I regularly take time to just "be",  then I'm more productive when it's time for me to "do". And that's a good thing! Keep looking for the good.

Here's the farmhouse and the porch where I got back in touch with myself. I just sat there and my self just showed up! Cool, huh?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Finding Good When We're Looking for A Different Good

Since I rearranged my bedroom, I've had a little problem. I no longer had a lamp right next to the bed so I can turn it off when I lay down at night. I had to turn the lamp off from across the room and then get into bed in the dark. But I feel more comfortable being able to turn the light on and off from bed...for whatever reason. So I decided I'd get myself one of those extension cord thingys they make with the switch on it. You plug the lamp into the cord and the cord into the wall. Then the other end of the cord has a dimmer switch where you turn the lamp off and on from across the room. I stopped by the hardware store but they didn't have one. Next stop was going to be Lowes but I just hadn't made it over there yet.

Well, a couple days ago I was rooting around in my utility room looking for something and I saw a cord with a strange end. I pulled the cord out of the bag and lo and behold!!! It was one of those dimmer switch thingys!!! I remembered later that I had bought it for another lamp I used to have in the farmhouse.  I had forgotten all about having it. I went straight inside with it and fixed up my lamp so I can now turn it off and on from bed.  Woo hoo! I'm happy!

But being the philosopher that I am, I couldn't just leave it at that. When I thought about how I found that cord among some other things that I already had, my mind expanded the idea to life. It seems to me that I've always had everything I needed. Sometimes I didn't know where it was or where it would come from. But it always came. I think it was there all the time and all I had to do was look for it. And sometimes we find what we need when we're looking for something else. But if we pay good attention, we might find what we're looking for and something else good too!!! How cool is that??? 

Life can be kind of like a great treasure hunt if we let it be. There's so much great stuff out there in the Universe just waiting for us to grab it and enjoy it. I think life's all about joy. And about fun. And about love. And about good. Keep looking for the good.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Enjoy the good...while it's there

Sometimes when I write in this blog, it's because I've been successful at something or have made an observation I think others might benefit from. Other times, it's because I've screwed up and learned from it. This post is the latter.

One area where I'm really good at screwing up is the area of enjoying what is good in my life while it's still there to enjoy. We live in a Universe that is constantly swirling and shifting and changing. Nothing is permanent in the Universe. Everything will end. Some things are short lived, others are more enduring. But to everything there is a season.

My mother would have been 84 in a few weeks if she was still here. I guess I thought Moma would always be here. She always had been. And everybody in our family lives to their early 80s. Surely Moma would too. It's a tradition, you know? But Moma broke the tradition. She left us at the young age of 74. And boy have I realized what I jerk I was with her. I have regrets. My mother was a very kind and caring person and she wanted nothing more than to love me. But I wasn't capable of receiving or returning that love. I am now but Moma is gone, at least in the physical sense. Moma's love still lives in me and I will always have that. But I hope the next time someone comes into my life who wants to love me, I will be able to handle it better.

I believe that once you really love someone, you always love them even if the relationship ends or one of you leaves the physical world. And we leave a part of ourselves with everyone whose path we cross. I want to leave a good part of myself. So I'm trying to focus on the good so that good is what expands in me and in my life. And I'm practicing enjoying what's good in my life right now while it's here! Don't put off joy! It's here right now, look for it, embrace it...while you can! Keep looking for the good! :)

Here is my favorite photo of my pretty little red headed mother. She was about 60ish there. Wish I was more like her.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Good We Already Have

If the way it works is that what we appreciate the most, or think about the most, expands in our lives, then it makes sense to me that we could start by appreciating and thinking about the good we already have in our lives, no matter how small that may be. If we think about the good that's already in our lives and then it gets bigger and we end up with more good then, over time, our lives would be really full of good stuff. But, honestly, it's not my natural tendency to do that. I will admit that I sometimes don't appreciate what I already have.

One area where I have REALLY not appreciated what I already have is my home. I've lived in this little two room apartment for about 18 months and had done nothing but bitch about it ever since I moved in. I bitched about how small it is. I bitched about the noise from the traffic outside. I bitched about the school buses waking me up at 5 am. I bitched and complained for 18 months and all I could think about was wanting to move back out to the country.

But in my effort to look for the good in my life, I have FINALLY come to appreciate this apartment. It's funny, once I stopped bitching, I noticed a whole lot of potential the apartment had that I couldn't see before when I was looking through discontented eyes. A negative mindset can really make you blind to the good stuff you already have in your life.

I've gained 25 pounds since I moved into this place and I've been saying it was because I didn't have room to exercise. That was one excuse anyway. And the way I had things arranged, I really DIDN'T have room to exercise inside. And the traffic noise made it unpleasant to walk outside. So I just quit exercising. But last week I started trying to find a way to make room to exercise and all it took was to turn my bed around in a different direction! That opened up a nice area to do my workout videos in. And I also found a weight bench that can be folded up and stored under the bed! So, after 18 months of stressing and straining and bitching and moaning and feeling sorry for myself, I now see that I could have made room for exercise all along. I was just too busy complaining and being negative to be able to see it. A simple turn of the bed!

Another thing I missed about my old place was my office. I had a big executive desk and I loved sitting at my desk looking out over the rest of the house. But when I moved here, I had to get rid of my big desk and I ended up with a small students desk I picked up at the Goodwill Store. I had it crammed in a corner facing the wall. When I sat at my computer, I felt couped up and boxed in. Again, all it took was to turn it around the other way and now when I sit here at my computer, I look out over the rest of the room, not at the wall. I no longer feel boxed in or crowded. I feel like I have an office again.

So, with a change of attitude, I was able to convert a cramped bedroom into a bedroom/workout room/office all in one! And it took maybe 30 minutes to move the furniture around!!! So simple! And I could have done it 18 months ago and had a much better life than I've had as far as this apartment goes. So from now on, I WILL look for the good that I already have. And then maybe I'll have more and more good to appreciate. And that's a good thing! Look for the good!!! :)Click "comments" below if you've got anything to say! :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Live and Let Live

Today is the first day of a brand new year! We have a whole new calendar to fill up with wonderful activities and experiences! I personally plan to make this the best year of my life. I intend to have more fun and more new experiences this year than ever. And I plan to laugh more and have more fun and get into just as much trouble as possible. (Fun trouble, of course!) So today I decided to get started right away. I decided that me and Bossy would go hiking since the weather was nice.

I love hiking in the woods because I love nature and I love getting away from the city and from people. But once in a while, there are humans on my hiking trail! I don't like it when they're there but it is, after all, a public trail. So I have to let them stay. Today Bossy and I were enjoying the beauty and the peacefulness of the woods and the lake when suddenly I started hearing loud talking and laughing. I knew we weren't alone any more. The closer the big mouths got to us, the more annoying their loud talking became. Do those people have a hearing problem or something? Why are they talking so damn loud? I wanted to shoosh them but I didn't. Soon enough they were gone and me and Bossy had the woods to ourselves again.

Sometimes when I'm out hiking, I see people jogging throught the woods or I see people walking with headphones on or talking on their cell phone. And I can't help but think to myself that those people are missing so much. The woods are so beautiful. That lake is breathtaking, the wildlife, the whole environment is something I really want to absorb and become one with when I'm out there. I go hiking to get away from cell phones and noise and loud music and being in a hurry. I sometimes even feel sorry for those people who, to me, seem totally oblivious to the beauty they're missing out on because they're not fully present.

But today I thought of a different perspective. When I hike with my dog, I am having a wonderful, wonderful experience. But those people who were talking so loud and laughing as they hiked probably were too!!! They're just having a different experience than what I'm having. They're having the experience THEY came there to have. They're enjoying each other's company. They're laughing with each other and connecting with each other. And they're getting exericse as well. That's what THEY came to the trail for. And I realized....that's OK. And I thought to myself how wonderful it is that the planet we live on is so accommodating to all of us and all our different desires and needs. And it also occurred to me that even I have a different experience every time I go hiking, even though I often hike the very same trail.

It's been said that you can never step into the same river twice. That's because the river is always swirling and shifting and changing. My hiking trails are like that too. In fact, the whole planet, the whole universe is like that. OK, I'll say it, LIFE is like that! And so I finally am OK with those humans being on my trail. And I'm OK with them having a different experience on my trail than I'm having. And I appreciate how that we're all unique individuals having our own special unique life that only we can live. So I will live and let live, as the song goes. And that's good! Look for the good! :)

Here's a slide show of my hiking trip today. First of many for 2011. Your coments are welcome. Click the word comment below. I'd love to hear from ya!