toast to joy

To practice positivity in each day I've taken to writing joy lists. These lists I learned from a book I recently read about appreciative living, where you are asked to look for three things (people, places, items) and focus on each item through the process of meditation and positive focus. Because my mind tends to drift in the presence of silence, I decided to take it to another level by expanding on my decisions through writing. By reflecting on the items as I wrote, at the end of each day, I found I was thinking ahead into the following day, anticipating the next installment of what I would come to discover. It's kind of interesting the things you find along the way.

Like toast for example. I do love toast, but for reasons I hadn't considered until I thought more into it. What is it about toast that increases my joy? For the more obvious reasons, I have always enjoyed toast for the convenience it provides me on days/nights when I'm not in the mood to make something that requires effort and/or mind power. As I continued to write about what I love so much about toast -which felt kind of silly at first- it began to illustrate something more than I expected; change.

As I've gravitated to the more "grown up" varieties like whole grain, flax or dark rye with a spackling of raspberry jam or simple butter and honey, I begin to snicker at the days when this sort of idea would have resulted in a wrinkled nose or a quick grab for a bag of fluffy white bread with a stubborn "no" to the idea of trying something new and unfamiliar. Never in my life would I have thought that something so insignificant as a piece of toast would illustrate to me the stages of growth and transformation.

As I closed my journal with a gratified feeling for writing over a page and a half about the joys that a piece of toast has provided me, it made me look forward to finding more of these sorts of items which we often take for granted. With each day comes a new discovery and a piece to the jigsaw puzzle of who I am internally. If you're ever stuck in a rut, I highly recommend a little list of joy, just three little things that come to mind. You might be surprised by the things you find.


blue bin tim

In the- always random- world of Tim, I have to wonder what he's trying to tell me.

Don't forget to recycle your cats.


focus ahead

I decided to cut out my last post, as it sounded a little too negative for my liking, though I know when I wrote it my intention was in humor. The incentive was more to put out all of my frustrations in order to let it go and move on from the situation, finding a way to make light of it all because, really, it's never the end of the world though it can sometimes feel like it is when you're in the wrong moment.

What I'm experiencing right now in my life is a transitional phase of sorts into a more positive line of thinking. One that allows me to forgive myself more easily and let go of the things that I'd typically harbor to make myself feel low for later. I was my greatest worst enemy and lately I've been noticing a change in my actions where I've become more forgiving, open and honest with my emotions.

In order to maintain focus on killing old habits, I simply need to continue to surround myself with positive reminders that there is a lot to love and appreciate in this world. As tiresome and trying as personal maintenance can prove to be on the more challenging days it's okay to just let it out and let it back in to gain focus on something more enlightening.

Like a home made egg (mc)muffin sandwich. Life is good.

sunshiney day

Oh the difference a sunny day can make, as we tied back the curtains and let the warm spill in through the windows. Days like this can do so much for the soul. As I say after moments of harbored frustration; let it out and let it in. What a great day.


2 years?!

I can't decide if I want to say already? or only? because it has all been a bit of a blur since we got the house. I remember the day we waited for the call to see if we got it and how dizzying it was to find out that we actually had. To see it become familiar and become the definition of home, to me is a great feeling.

The memories that we've created, the ones yet to come, it really is amazing to stand back and look at how far we've come and where we have yet to go. I hung this photo in my drawing room because it provides me with a joy that I cannot even begin to describe.

Home sweet home. Happy House-iversary.


self support

At times I can get a bit dramatic by over thinking certain situations, allowing them to get out of hand as I let them fester. Certainly a part of this behavior also comes from my passive nature of just going with the flow, where often times it's easy for people to take advantage if I'm not too careful. As I learn to gain a better perspective on who I am as a person, I'm learning to let things go while facing them in the process, which in the end leaves me feeling lighter in the shoulders, well rested and more determined than I have in a long time. Every situation is what we make of it, and because I refuse to let negativity push me back down, I'm keeping my cool and giving myself space to regain focus and take control over the situation. It's very rewarding.

The situation that has me bothered actually has to do with getting my driver's license. Yes, I'm 29 years old and haven't bothered to do much about it until now. Age doesn't matter, nor do my reasons for having waited so long to do something about it. It's what I chose for the time being, and it took a lot of personal growth to see when I was ready to do something about it. My disappointment however lies in a funny state, where I feel like the old habits are being tested in a sense. Like how difficult it has been to get to the last stages of my driving lessons. We've been doing this now since September of last year! Normally it would be me backing out of it and avoiding the conflict of frustration, but instead I can only continue to exercise my patience and keep that focus on what my original incentive was when I first started my classes. The key to my independence.

Tracing my steps to find that I've been taking these lessons since the summer, has me wondering why it is that we're still going, in January. To be honest, after having bitten my tongue through the process of dealing with canceled classes, excuses, time delays, unanswered phone calls (for over a month) and cut time from the in-car class time -on my instructor's half- it was almost a little too easy for me to plummet back into my old frame of thinking, which was "what's the point?" Getting out of that zone was very difficult, as the whole incentive of the classes were to leave me feeling confident about driving, and letting go of what I had only ever been so afraid of. Normally I'd throw up my hands and give up out of frustration, but after having done so much work and never mind the patience it has taken to drag this on for 4-5 long months, I said to myself that I refuse to just go with what is being dealt. In other words, I'm not going to deal with other peoples' garbage if I don't have to.

The hardest part of the process is that along the way I've heard a number of people say to me "don't be surprised if you fail" *who says that? And really, do you need to say that to someone who has struggled with those words long enough as it is? To let that go completely took a lot of energy, and instead of focus on it and let that idea win, even if it was intended to be hurtful or not, I'm doing what I can to hand that comment back and keep it where it belongs. No one needs to say that. It's not supportive, and it's certinaly not mine. It's hurtful, but I must let it go in order to maintain that focus in the forward direction. It only helps maintain the old patterns that I've been trying to break. Change comes with letting go and moving forward.

To watch myself push past the frustrations and the direct/indirect put downs, like rescheduling my test for a later date, getting that practice time that I am owed, demanding a little bit of slack in the situation by giving me the time that should have been given months ago, is a great example of the growth I've experienced within myself. I'm becoming my own person, and though it's intimidating at times, I'm learning to enjoy it as it unfolds in front of me. For any of you who struggle with bouts of anxiety or lacking any sort of self belief, it's all about making your own decisions where you choose to focus your energy and prove to yourself that life can change. If anyone wants to put you down or make things difficult for you, that's their problem. Treat it as luggage and hand it back. I've got better things to do with my time. This is a year of change. You can do it, and so can I.


bubble wrap moments

The theme of this year, I have decided, is to practice appreciation as much as possible. When it comes to taking each day for what it's worth I choose to look for the little things that bring a smile to my face and surround myself with those elements as much as I may need them as a reminder as to what it is that provides me with happiness.

Like how much I simply love watching Tim and his bubble wrap. He loves it, and is on it the instant I lay out his sheet on the floor while I work. He twists and turns, runs in and out of the room sporadically, which can often leave me watching him out of the pure entertainment of his joy. Sometimes it really is the simple things that keep us going around here. I wish you many bubble wrap moments in the new year.