thankfulness/M

English: Bar Harbor, Maine.

magical moments/English: Bar Harbor, Maine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thankfulness/M/magical moments

Math, men, manners, magical moments, marriage, meals, meadows, moderation, mothers,   music.

Boy, there are a lot of words that begin with “M”.  I’m thankful for math because I like things to add up. I’m definitely thankful for men.  I’m thankful for manners especially in a world where it seems in short supply.  I’m thankful for my marriage and the institution as a whole.  I’m thankful for meals, meadows, mothers, and music.

But today I’m thankful for magical moments because they’re few and far between. I’ve been lucky.  I can immediately think of two.

My husband traveled a lot for a number of years and I was fortunate to tag along a few times due to his seemingly infinite frequent flyer miles. One such trip was to Bar Harbor, Maine. We walked around the town, browsing in the shops.  We stopped for lunch. The weather was perfection. We heard music coming from somewhere so we followed the sound. We ended up at the harbor. We sat down on the grass, munching some goodies and enjoying the free concert. There were a few small boats in the water.  Suddenly a fog enveloped us. We could barely see even a few feet ahead of us. We lingered because we were enjoying the music. It was soft and kind of haunting. Beautifully eerie.

The fog started to clear. As we looked out over the bay it was as if a curtain was being drawn back ever so slowly and what emerged was nothing short of magical. As the fog slowly lifted shapes, barely discernible, came into  view. It was the “tall” sail ships you see in the movies sometimes. All this time the music was playing and just as the fog completely lifted and the music reached its crescendo they all came into view, gliding across the water, sails billowing softly. One followed another until they were lined up across the bay. It couldn’t have been better orchestrated had it been a movie. It was surreal. No one moved, no one talked. We were all spellbound.  I will never forget it.  

magical moments

The next magical scene was in Amsterdam. It was my first trip to the Netherlands and I was looking forward to seeing all the tulips and flowers as it was early spring. However, we landed in Amsterdam during a very rare snowstorm.  There hadn’t been one in over forty years and never in the spring.  We sat on the tarmac for quite awhile as the runway was icy.  Finally, we departed the plane and headed into town via taxi. It was late and so I didn’t see too much. I was aware of the snow on the ground and was more concerned that I didn’t have any warm clothes.

We checked into our hotel (the weirdest hotel room I’ve ever been in, but it was right on a canal so that made it perfect). Even though we were exhausted, we were also hungry so we decide to brave the weather and find a restaurant.  We put on as many clothes as we could and headed out to find a restaurant.  We followed the narrow brick roads winding between the old, tall, lopsided buildings.  

We turned a corner and what I saw was as if I had stepped back in time. For a moment I thought we had. Bike riders were everywhere even though the snow was fairly deep and heavy. Even though it was Amsterdam and biking is the normal mode of transportation, who expects people to bike in deep snow? How is it even possible?

But what made it magical was how the riders were dressed. Fur hats, long wool coats, colorful scarves, leather boots. Many of the female riders wore dresses. No jeans, no Nordic wear, ski hats or ski coats. I thought I’d stepped into a Hans Christian Anderson book. I didn’t see one person, riding or not, that wasn’t addressed in vintage-type clothing. The scene had a soft, hazy glow interrupted only by the huge lazy flakes dusting the riders. Once again, we were spellbound and speechless. We looked at each other as if to say, is any of this real?

When we got back to our strange hotel room (it was strange because it had a sloped ceiling leading down to the windows and in order to see outside we had to sit on the floor) we stayed in the dark and stared out the window. It was breathtaking. The snow, The canal. The barges. We felt as if we’d traveled back in time. 

I hope I’ve even come close to describing these two experiences. My husband and I still get all breathless when we think about them. There have been others but these two immediately came to mind. I wish this for all of you. Magical moments.    

 

Laziness is not an option

Polski: Świąteczne lenistwo...

Polski: Świąteczne lenistwo… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Laptops, large, little, laughter, loud, love, later, laziness, learning, libraries, less, life, light, limits, lines,, logic, loyal,

 So many choices. Love would be an easy pick, way too easy. I love libraries and learning. I like to laugh. Less is more. I like the fact that there are limits. I am a very logical thinker. I like little things.

But I’m settling on laziness. The reason is paradoxical. It’s not because I have much experience with laziness. That’s precisely the point. I wish I were-lazier I mean.

It’s the week-end and as the bedroom lit up with sunshine, I thought, “Hey, why don’t I put my coffee in a thermos and bring it up to the bedroom, look at some magazines, drink my coffee and start the day slowly”? Of course, that didn’t happen.  I started thinking about all the projects I had on my list that had to be crossed off by the end of the day. After all, lists are what keep me going. Oops, maybe I should change course because “lists” starts with “L”. I’ll stick with laziness for now.

I have friends who tell me that every once in awhile they keep their pajamas on the whole day and just indulge themselves. I never have. I do remember a day about six months ago that I woke up not feeling good, feeling crummy in fact.  The weather was gloomy and nothing was too pressing so I gathered together my favorite junk food, decided to catch up on an entire TV series and pretty much blew away most of the day. I totally indulged myself. But I was sick. That doesn’t count, does it?

The truth is I do not like lazy people. Never have. Lazy people take advantage of other’s industriousness. Lazy people complain when they don’t have what other’s have even though their own laziness is the cause. There are no lazy people within my circle of friends. (There is one or two among my circle of relatives, however.)  

I haven’t mentioned depression during this month of thankfulness. Of course you wouldn’t expect me to, would you? Actually, I’ve learned that depression can be a gift if it changes us for the better.  There is a connection between laziness and chaos. Stay with me here.  Laziness can lead to chaos and chaos is an absolute no-no if you struggle with depression. Therapists and experts are pretty much in agreement here. 

But even with the above being true, there are times we would all do better if we lightened up and took a day off. Life doesn’t always have to be a to do list.  Some days we absolutely should choose laziness. It’s good to give ourselves a break.  So today I’m thankful for the few days when I choose laziness. I’ll pick a day after the Holidays because I have way too much to do:

Paint the doorway white (Renovation still in progress)

Paint the banister black, leave post white. (Saw it on Pinterest. The letter “P” is going to be so-o-o-easy.)

Unload some more boxes (William Morris, a famous interior designer, said “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.)

Laundry (Lots of painting clothes)

Make a list for Christmas shopping (I don’t even want to think about it.)

Finish a sweater I’m knitting (just realized I read the directions for the front rather than the back and so the back is about three inches too short.)

Pay some bills (If I can find them)

Visit my mom (Not a problem)

Make a grocery list for Thanksgiving (Plans still unsettled, but we need leftovers so cooking no matter where we go.)

Vacuum (Dust still settling from having our floors refinished)

A day of laziness is looking better and better!

 

 

thankfulness/K

Kissing Black-tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys lud...

Kissing Black-tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Français : Chiens de prairie à queue noire (Cynomys ludovicianus) se faisant la bise. 日本語: キスしてるオグロプレーリードッグ (Cynomys ludovicianus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kindness, kissing, knitting, knowledge, knees. I like knitting. It’s very therapeutic. I like knowing things. I like kissing. I’m very fond of my knees. But I’m going to focus on kindness mostly because it seems to be in shorter and shorter supply anymore.

People just don’t seem as kind as they used to be. I wonder, did we become less kind before or after reality shows where people do nothing but scream at each other? It’s like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. It would seem to me that TV producers wouldn’t produce a show they weren’t sure would have a following. Or did our lack of kindness find its birth in what has become nastier and nastier politics? Or maybe it began with twenty-four seven cable news shows that dump so much information on us; we suffer from knowing too much about too many things. We don’t know what to with all these facts so we get cranky. I really don’t know. I just know I wish I lived in a kinder world.

A world where, even if we disagree with a person’s lifestyle, we are still kind to them. Where children aren’t bullied because they’re different. Where we give people some room for error. Where we’re respectful of those whose age is nowhere near ours, realizing most of us have something valuable to offer.

The holidays are fast approaching. We’ll hear stories about people buying coffee at Starbucks for those in line behind them.  We’ll hear a lot about generosity. There will be those wonderful syrupy Hallmark commercials which, as redundant as they are, make me tear up every time. As sappy as they are I prefer those to watching people yell at each other. I wish I knew why we seem to be kinder at this time of year but I’m sad to say I don’t have a clue. I guess the logical answer is that we’re just feeling more generous but why then are the holidays considered the most stressful time of the year?  

Maybe we’re working a little harder at being nice because we’re frantically trying to get it all done and we instinctively know “playing nice” keeps us calm.  It’s an unconscious message we send ourselves so we don’t implode.  I know that I work harder during the holidays because I see too many others that don’t and I don’t want to be a participant in that. I know the clerk behind the counter is as tired and frustrated as I am so I give her some slack. When someone cuts in front of me in line (which I don’t tolerate any other time of the year) I just let it go. Or maybe we’re trying kinder simply because we think that’s what expected of us during the Holidays. Maybe it’s those sappy Hallmark commercials that make us believe we’re all living in a schmaltzy movie.   

 I don’t think I care what the reason is for the extra kindness at this time of year; I just wish it were always that way. Kindness has a snow ball effect.  The more it rolls the more snow it gathers. I think I’ll go out and build a snowman.

Why women love their jeans

jeans watch pocket

 

Is there a woman alive who doesn’t love her jeans? 

I know why I love mine.

They hold me in. They lift me up. They make me look ten pounds lighter. I can wear them for three or four days before they start to lose their shape. 

They look great dressed up or dressed down. With heels, with flats, and best with boots up to my knees.

They eliminate the need for lots of different pants because unless it’s a formal occasion, they work everywhere.

Oops, not everywhere. 

Europe doesn’t have the same love affair with jeans. I’m always careful to judiciously wear them when I travel abroad. (Same with aerobic shoes.)

However, I have a bone to pick with the proponents of short-zippered jeans that show your “crack” when you bend over. We make fun of plumbers for the very same exposure. Why is it any different for women?  Are our “cracks” any more attractive? 

I don’t think so.

Here’s the thing about jeans. Jeans should fit. If jeans fit correctly there aren’t any unattractive rolls hanging over the waist but they’re not baggy either.

All women, regardless of their size, look better in clothes that fit. And as far as the infamous “mom” jeans-what’s the big deal? Maybe some women prefer comfort over fashion. Isn’t that o.k.?

Besides, in light of all the problems in this world (hunger, homelessness, war, violence) aren’t there more important issues we should be concerned with than what type of jeans a women wears?

Honestly, I’m much more appalled when I see too much flesh exposed, rather than too little. 

Now that the weather is getting cooler, I’ve hauled out my jeans and sweaters.

How about you? Are you as nuts about your jeans as I am?

 

thankfulness/I

ignorance is bliss

 

Thankfulness/I

Identity, ideals, ice, ignorance, illogical, illusion, imagination, impatience, imperfect, impossible, individual, infinity, information, integrity

Today I’m grateful for ignorance. Yep. Ignorance. Sometimes it’s just good to not know some things.  Sometimes I choose ignorance.

I choose not to know what celebrities are doing, who they’re dating or divorcing, what rehab they’re going through. I choose to remain ignorant of the supposed hot scenes between the covers of “Fifty Shades of Gray”. I choose to not know what it feels like to be intoxicated or on drugs. I choose to be ignorant about why certain people don’t get along. I choose to be ignorant about a number of things.

I think that’s because I’m tired of drama. There’s just too much of it anyway. So the more I remain ignorant the less the drama. The more you know the more there is to get you upset. The more you know the more likely you will be drawn into a situation you’d just as soon avoid.

So today, I’m thankful to be ignorant.

 

 

 

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