Thursday, November 30, 2017

Gratitude Lists...

Here is another post I started a few days ago...

All month, friends have been posting their daily gratitude lists. I didn't feel like it. Not because I'm not thankful, but because it felt redundant to me. Of course I'm thankful for my husband, my sons, my home, my life, and it probably does bear repeating and voicing at least once a year, so I can't really explain my hesitance. Maybe I just like bucking the trend. Perhaps I have a streak of stubbornness which resists conforming. Perhaps.

I am thankful for many seemingly unimportant things. I was just reading, Gratitude is Saving Me, by Nanea Hoffman. I follow her Sweatpants and Coffee page on Facebook. It's uplifting. In this article, she writes about what she is grateful for.

"I've always loved walking the beach and looking for smooth bits of glass and interesting shells amid the decaying seaweed and washed-up trash. This is like that. I still do it, almost every day. I comb through the dreck of my day and pick out the shiny bits. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's not." ~Nanea Hoffman

My list of little, somewhat weird, things I am grateful, my "shiny bits" goes something like this:

  • It's looking in the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tart box, finding it empty, then discovering the one I'd wrapped back up and tucked up on top of the bread box a couple days before, because eating two seemed overindulgent. (Just happened this morning. Joy!)
  • The feel of a leaf or pine needles on a tree.
  • Discovering a long, forgotten letter inside a favorite book.
  • Re-watching The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and remembering what being a child was like, the happy parts. Which also brings back memories of when my boys were little and their world was filled with imagination and wonder.
  • Rocks, all kinds. Big, small, rough, smooth. 
  • Ribbon, lace, buttons. Pretty little treasures.
  • Board games and board game pieces, like the Monopoly race car, dog, and thimble. The Clue wrench and knife, and remembering how my Barbie really loved the candlestick! Chess pieces! Checkers! Dominoes! Dice! Scrabble!
  • The feel and smell of books.
  • Bookmarks.
  • Coffee, with a touch of half and half, on a cold morning.
  • The way the sunlight peeks in through the blinds.
  • Opening boxes of stored autumn and Christmas decorations.
  • The sound of rain.
  • The first snowfall.
These are just a few of my little delights. May you each find the little joys to be grateful for on otherwise average days.

© 30Nov2017 ajjahner

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

On Writing, Failing, and Pressing On...

I originally wrote the following on November 3rd. I thought I'd published it, but found it among my drafts this morning, so here it is... While reading posts on Facebook this week, I noticed a cousin had posted about writing her book. I started to write a comment in response to her about her plans, but found I was making it all about me and my writing. Funny how that happens. 

Instead, I decided to share some thoughts about my writing here. I started my first book when my oldest son was a toddler, with my mom cheering me on. I got stuck and never finished it. Maybe it's an unfinished jewel or maybe it's just nonsense. Next, I started the second book idea. Then the third. I decided instead to write a series of short stories, some from my imagination and some from my memories. I wrote those. I wrote some poetry. I started yet another book. You see where this is going... Yep, no where. 

I think a combination of factors plays into my failure as a writer. I'm hyper critical of my own writing. I lack motivation and discipline. I get distracted by everything and by nothing at all. Anyway, after reading her post, I felt inspired to revisit some of my abandoned projects. I decided to start by taking a look at my most recent book. It took almost an hour to find it on my computer. I'd given it a ridiculous name. While looking for it, I found some of those short stories and decided to polish a couple of them up.

Time has a way of giving a new perspective. I found I still loved some of the stories. They just needed some tweaks here and there, which I did a bit of. Everything holding me back can be worked on and overcome. It's just a matter of making up my mind to do it. A new day, a new start, and a renewed inspiration for an old love... writing.
© 29Nov2017 ajjahner

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Birthday and A Retreat...

Today I celebrated another birthday. This one caught me by surprise. It was emotional, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's just the realization time is rushing by, and I haven't achieved many of my life goals. Perhaps I was just missing the big birthday gatherings of my younger days. Whatever it was, I felt the need to take some alone time, to retreat for a while. I turned off the computer and phones. I sat for a long while, meditating and remembering, then chose a movie I'd been wanting to watch, made myself cozy on the sofa with pillows and blanket, and settled in to watch. It was so nice. Some days you just need a brief escape from the world.

When my husband got off work, he picked up Chinese food for us. We watched a show we both enjoyed. He gave me my birthday gifts and then baked a gooseberry pie, one of my favorites, while I watched Project Runway. He even put up with my commentary on the fashions! It was a lovely day!