Fun with hubby

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For Father’s Day I gave my hubby tickets to a comedy club. Well, we just saw the act and had a great time. Even though he’s under the weather a bit with a cold we headed out to a club nearby and had a lot of laughs. I don’t know what was more fun – the chat on the way there, the chat waiting for food, laughing at the comedian, or the talk on the way home. Altogether a fun evening.

I’m grateful for the means to be able to head off to a comedy club, pay the $1000 dollar repair bill on a car, and dream about a new deck. We are so blessed that we are able to take care of the things we have AND have a little fun too.

I’m grateful for the time we had with our boat Mariah (said with a long I sound – as in ” they call the wind Mariah”). Even more grateful that she’s going to go to someone who can restore her to good health and have fun sailing on her. Lots of good times on that boat. Someday I’ll have to write down all I can remember of the “wreck of the Mariah” story which is so much more than the actual wreak of Mariah. Wish I’d written it down 25 years ago when it happened.

I saw this post on Facebook “Find someone who will: never get tired of kissing you everyday. Hugs you when you’re jealous. Understandingly keep silent when you are mad. Squeeze your hand when you’re not in the mood. Plan and imagine the future with you in it and when you find that someone… Never let go.” I’m so grateful to have a hubby who does all those things – maybe not all the time, but so much of the time. After all, who can always be understandingly silent when I’m mad? But I can be mad, because I know it doesn’t jeopardize there being kisses and hugs and a squeeze of the hand. Especially when I’m scared. I can count on him to be there.

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Exercise is its own reward

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While I’m trying to lose weight and look better for my daughter’s wedding in September I have discovered the joy of exercise. It isn’t that I like to get up and sweat on the exercise bike at 5 in the morning. Even watching Mad Men as a distraction/reward isn’t enough. Thinking of the long term goal got me started, but now, after completing my 3rd week I find that I like how I feel the rest of the day. Not only that, I’m generally in a better mood, handle the stress of my new job with greater grace, and sleep like a baby. I LOVE the result. Now, if only the weight will fall off – but I think the intake of calories has to be focused on too. Since I’m now hooked on my 30 minutes of cardio I’m adding journaling my points or calories.

This happiness blog was to experiment with Shawn Achor’s statements of the happiness advantage – how we can shape our focus and use the way our brain works to our advantage. And, how being happy turns on all the brain so you are the best you – smart, creative, patient. But training our brains to search for the positive is what this blog was about – but there is more. He says record something good that happened to you in the last 24 hours (allows you to relive and generates all the same hormones and chemicals that the good experience released the first time). Meditate. Exercise. Do a random act of kindness. And record 3 specific things you are grateful for – everyday. So I’ve taken another step in his recipe.

I’m so grateful for my exercise buddy who lives a continent away. I would never dream of having to tell Connie I didn’t follow the plan. So even though she’s not here with me, she holds me accountable and it is working! She’s exercising too!

I’m grateful for Facebook – yes, that one comes up again. It is on FB that I’ve shared the small steps and that also puts some pressure on keeping me going. I don’t want my friends to find out I gave up! It is exciting to me that my best friend from high school has been inspired and has completed her first week!

And of course, I am so grateful for all of my friends on facebook and around me who are sharing this journey with me. They have all been so supportive with cheering on 1 day and then 2. Then it was a week – and now it is 3! You have to do the small numbers to get to the big ones!

I don’t know where I’ll end up in September – maybe you’ll follow along and help encourage me. No matter what, I’m loving the results that turn out to have nothing to do with weight. I’ll continue the exercise and shaping my brain to find good things that happen every day. Meditation will be added soon – and I always try to do some act of kindness every day. So there’s only a little more to add… I’m ready for the adventure!

The long pause…

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It has been awhile since my last post. I was finding it challenging to find things to post, which probably meant I should have tried harder. Then again, as a friend told me this week, activities have a time. Well, her words were better and more profound. They allowed that actions and activities have a time and place.

So many wonderful things have happened in these first months of the year. Recently my daughter was graduated from college and having her home has been wonderful. She’s been inspirational in getting me to do what I’ve been thinking about for some time – exercise! I appreciate her push, her support, and her fine example.

Today I joined two friends for dinner. We had a wonderful time. We met at a park by the water and walked to a place for dinner. There we sat outside and enjoyed a truly lovely evening. The weather is perfect, the food was good, and the company top notch. Then we strolled back to the park and sat on a bench and watched boats come and go, dogs walk by, a violinist play, and a parade of people that got us talking. It felt like Friday – but I still have a fun day tomorrow at work, so no wishing a day away!

It is great to have friends that it doesn’t matter how long it has been since you last saw one another, you just pick up from where you left off. That’s the way this is. They teased me in my wanting to give the violinist some tips. I heard about some challenges with family and we laughed together over trying to get a decent picture to post on Facebook. I’m truly blessed with people in my life.

I’m grateful for the perspective I’ve been able to gain in self awareness and significance. So many things I stress over are just a wrinkle in work and not something worth that kind of energy. The long pause was needed and I’m grateful for it.

I’m grateful for exercise bike and Netflix that make it possible for me to get up a little after 5 and do something that is good for me. And that I can do it just for me.

I’m also grateful the the piles of stuff that sit in my living room. It means I have a dear daughter close at hand who is searching as many new college grads – for that job. I’m so impressed with her industry in that search. I know God told me last fall to stop my worrying, He has a plan for her. It is exciting to be on near sideline watching that plan unfold.

This blog was intended to attempt to do follow the ideas laid out in “The Happiness Advantage.” I will try again. I’ve now added exercise to the program – I still need meditation Well, one thing at a time.

Cruisin’

We took a family cruise for my sister’s wedding, so please excuse my absence recently. So many great times and memories to recount. I am sitting in the airport with my parents as we wait to be able to check luggage on our respective flights home.

i am so grateful for the time together. The time to be with each sibling and parents and the chance to just hang around together. 

I am also grateful for the wonderful husband I have who is busy chasing down donuts and drinks for us as we wait.

it was wonderful to see my niece and get to hear how archeology is treating her in her ‘big kid’ job. So full of vibrance and life!

At breakfast yesterday we were joined by my niece and her friend. We got to hear about jobs and futures, the consideration of grad school, and what comes next. Also about the recent adventure to Myan ruins at a porto of call. So full of energy and excitement. So fun to hear the possibilities in front of them. We all have possibilities in front of us. It is fun to think about. Make plans. As I age I find I am enjoying hearing about the adventures and dreams of the young ones around us. I don’t know if this is a step toward the limiting options that come as our age or just a step in growing up. My parents have demonstrated to me that all things are possible just to keep giving it a shot. They are so dear. I will enjoy this time with them now.

Hope you find what you are looking for and find a dream, large or small, to get you to your tomorrows.

Renewal

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I have been working very long hours and come home and just collapse. I pick up my knitting and still fall asleep. What amazes me is I head in the next day, ready to work and go for a long time again. There is something about the people I’m working with that just keep it moving along. They are productive; they work hard. They are helpful and are always willing to take a minute to teach or help. I am so grateful for this atmosphere! They renew me.

I’m grateful for my hubby having a spring break – dinner is ready when I get home. It renews me.

I’m grateful facebook – yes, facebook. I’m surprised at how my friends connect and what what they post. It makes me laugh and renews me.

In the last 24 hours I got to have dinner with my husband and oldest daughter. She had been to the command center which is working the emergency in Washington. It isn’t far from her work and she got to see a command center in action. I know she was itching to dig in and help. It is what she was built for. Seeing her enthusiasm and hearing the challenges in her work, it was refreshing. It renews me.

Catch up

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I have no excuse for not blogging. I guess I didn’t want to reveal I was out of town, but that was just for a weekend to attend a lovely choir concert and magnificent recital at WSU.

So, before I head to bed I thought I’d write – and as I sat down I found the blog I forgot to post . That is why you see two with today’s date. So, essentially 12 days since my last post, ta daaaa!

I have definitely found it difficult to keep my inbox clean. I am keeping it small but not empty. It has been a very challenging week + with some very long hours and still, not empty. But not blogging…maybe that’s why happiness has been sporadic.

Today I picked up my dress for my sister’s wedding. It looks good on. I was very happy with how it fits and I’m excited for my sister. I have no idea what else to pack, but I am excited to have this to look forward to. Ah, but this is about reliving a positive moment. I called yesterday to see if the dress had come in – and they said yes. So today, when I went to try it on I was calm and upbeat as they had trouble finding it.

Then, I stepped into the dressing room and couldn’t get it to unzip all the way. No worries, it slipped up over me and I was able to easily finish the zip. Yeah! This was a really exciting moment because I liked that it zipped easily and I knew it would be a relief to my sister that I have it now. One more thing she can cross off her worry list. And that I had my daughter with me who helped me select which dress was even better. We even looked at mother-of-the-bride dresses for later this year.

I got a manicure and pedicure while spending time with my daughter and got my hair cut. I have been completely pampered today. The chair at the nail salon had the massage package! I could still use some work on my shoulders.

I also got to have dinner with both daughters and my son-in-law (to be). It was fun listening to the young people share stories. More fun that I missed some of what they said, because that became ridiculous and made us all laugh.

I’m looking forward to my new ukulele case to arrive. I’m confused by the tracking information from FedEx which says the package weighs 11 lbs when the case is only 1.5 lbs. I sure hope the right thing is coming! My new little Lanikai soprano ukulele needs a travel case!

I’m grateful that I could splurge on myself and get a little uke for traveling.

I’m grateful to have had that special time with my daughters today. A sort of late birthday dinner. Yes, it was missing my husband, but it was still very nice.

I’m glad to head to bed actually tired. Maybe I can actually sleep tonight and get a good start on that inbox tomorrow! After all, I took a day off, it ought to be overflowing!

I’ll catch you up tomorrow. Hope you are doing well and I would appreciate your input and encouragement to keep this going.

the late post

Today I finally ran errands! I got a lot of things off my list except making my hair appointment! Oh my, I’ll just have to make it through until the 18th, because that is the first I could get another appointment. That’s okay because I kind of like the length right now, so letting it grow out will be perfect. It also sets me up better for the wedding in early April.

I still need to log in tonight and do one more email, but it is great to be free of work until Monday – a little vacation for a long weekend. I can’t wait to see my baby at WSU and hear her sing. Seeing my Father-in-law is awesome as well. We’ll have some fun.

Every day I feel a little more aware of my what is in my job. I feel like I don’t know what I should do and then I find out no one else does either. We’ve not done this in a long time, so I”m making it up as we go. I am so grateful for the capable people I work with. They know their parts well and are able to adapt well

Where is my head?

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I know I blogged yesterday but I don’t see the posting. That means it is sitting on my home computer waiting for me to hit the “publish” button. Crazy – this is the second time I’ve done that. Today I’m have my mini with me and am blogging as I have a moment while my Kindle charges.

Today is a vacation day and it started with stress. But now all stress, or most, has left me and I’m ready to enjoy my day. I’m ready to make some great memories with family and friends as we begin to gather for a big event. The senior recital of our vocal performance major. As I’ve said before, I love to hear her sing. This event will be all about her and singing.

Part of my stress was about thinking I had lost my husband’s passport. He handed me the stack of documents when we passed through the Canadian border in February, returning from our ski trip. I thought I put his passport in the wallet I keep mine in, but today I was searching for it and couldn’t find it. That kind of thing really gets under my skin and I find it very hard to let go of. I can clearly remember debating where to put it and deciding my wallet – and that it was kind of a clumsy fit. Lo and behold, as I was in my travel wallet for another reason today I realized I had this card stuck in the card slots in an odd way. It had a sleeve …what is that? Oh, he had used his little passport card not his actual passport – and that is what was in the wallet. It all became clear in my memory.Ii let him know I found it, and even more, I secured it better and can now let that worry pass.

Why I take responsibilitiy for everything and feel like it is my falut when things go wrong I don’t know. It is clear through my past I have tried to be perfect. For some reason I feel like I have let someone down if I’m not. Well, note to self, I’m not perfect and last time I looked, no one expected me to be. How much this has kept me from trying! Here’s to letting go of perfection or even the persuit of perfection. And to the start of pursuing relationship and memories/activities.

I hope you find a similar direction. I’m grateful to have this blog that I can put it out there and hopefully get some encouragement on this transformation – it won’t be simple.

I’m grateful for the wits to write and to feel and be me.

i’m grateful for things to look forward to like a family cruise and a couple of weddings. May your life be as richly blessed.

How good an empty inbox feels

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I never would have believed that a clean inbox at work would give me a feeling of control. I was overwhelmed with the volume of mail I was getting there for awhile and just thought I would never be able to keep it all straight. I had been holding mail in my inbox because I couldn’t decide what to do with it. How to organize myself in this new job. Well, let me tell you, that isn’t a good way to manage it!

So, I ate the elephant a bite at a time. I took the mail from December and January and just stuffed it into another folder. I figure either it is dealt with or more information or questions was in the newer mail. Then I began with my newest mail and read from the bottom to the top of it – and then I sorted by subject and moved the whole lot to the archive folder. Anything that required action had the latest item put in the follow up folder and space put on the calendar to deal with it.

In this way, I was able to empty my inbox by Thursday – after about a week and a half of effort. Now my incoming mail is sorted by subject. I have little over a page to review at a time and it is a piece of cake to deal with and go forward. I will be digging out of the follow up folder – but that is a better place to have it – besides, I put time on the calendar to deal with it.

I have a short vacation coming up this week – we’ll see what I think of this system come Monday morning! I’m excited. I feel like I’ve done something and like I’m up to date on what is happening in the world around me.

I’ve skipped a few days but I didn’t forget to be grateful. I’m so grateful for a hubby who will bring me things when I’m covered in yarn and trying to get the mess cleaned up.

I’m grateful for interesting shows like “House of Cards” that we could just snuggle up and watch together all weekend.

And I’m grateful for the eraser on my pencil. It allows me to not be perfect – and those who know me understand the challenge of that.

Leader of the band

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Although I didn’t skype with my brother tonight, I did play my ukulele. My brother introduced me to the uke in 2011 and I finally bought one while in Hawaii at the end of the year. In 2012 we skyped almost every week and played. He taught me a lot. Best of all, we started chatting about work and life. He introduced me to blogging and to WordPress.

Tonight was our usual skype night, but since he got his last promotion and I made this job change it has been more like once a month we connect. Just the same, we’re working on some songs to have fun with together on a family cruise. Since our sister is getting married, we’ve picked out a couple of songs to match that theme. I decided tonight to find some Fogelberg songs I like. I’ve spent an hour or two in front of the computer to read the tabulature, with my ipod open to my uke chord finder app. It’s been a blast and my fingers have great blisters.

Now you might not think blisters are great. Well, I don’t either because it means I haven’t been practicing enough to have callouses. But on the bright side, every time I feel that little twinge as I type tomorrow I’ll be pulled back to this evening of enjoying my ukulele and the songs I found. I can’t wait to play “Leader of the Band” with my Dad around. He’s been my leader of the band since I first heard the song.

I’m grateful for my beautiful uke and the peace that I found tonight in playing.

I’m most grateful to my parents who gave me piano and violin lessons. I’m sure there are other things they could have done with that money. It is really wonderful to sit at my piano and play and let the cares of the day go away.

I’m grateful for some solitude to enjoy myself with my instruments. Even an extrovert needs some alone time.