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Archive for March, 2016

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.  (Eckhart Tolle)

Sure I can take one thing at a time, I tell myself as I grab a breakfast bar to save time, then open the dishwasher to unload it. Uh, maybe not. Nothing like rewashing dishes because they have peanut-butter residue on them.

I’m trying to decide how Terry as overwhelmed-monkey-in-the-middle-of-chaos could have been averted yesterday…by multitasking on my own time today. Okay, from the top. Take one thing at a time, and acknowledge the goodness in each moment. As that moment occurs.

I try to plan for every contingency—in advance. Something like directing raindrops into rain barrels. Without overflow. Or flooding. No real-life messiness anywhere.

Simultaneous requests will probably not go away. Some folk may need to wait. Some tasks, too. Do I need breakfast first or should I return plates and silverware to their designated homes within my home? Either way I drop things if I move too quickly.

Right now I’m glad my grandchildren enjoy being with Grandma and Grandpa. My son has taken over plans for a family birthday party. I turn seventy soon. A friend offered to take me shopping for a much-needed bathing suit, although she can’t do it today. My suit has faded and thinned. If it could talk it would beg to be euthanized. I find a replacement. It won’t last forever either. Nothing does.

Humor and gratitude: a winning combination. My health is improving. And I decide not to take it for granted anymore. This day is a gift, a syncopated, less-than-choreographed, clumsy dance.

But each minor imperfection doesn’t matter.

Life is innately good.

Dance even if there is no music

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Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. (Lorraine Hansberry)

Think. Not over-think, worry’s first cousin.

I’m on my way to an exercise class. The class is my chance to kick, run, jump into a V-step or Charleston left, then right—all in my own clumsy timing. I’m definitely back-row inept. So what if the person in front of me is five foot eleven and I need higher heels to hit the five-foot mark. At least I won’t confuse anyone behind me.

Traffic is light for a Friday morning. I sit, drive, and take in the moment as my ’97 Toyota follows the familiar route.

The sky is blue, clear. And I breathe in and out slowly with the hope that my spirit can find similar clarity. A bird crosses the road. Too low. It almost hits my windshield. I’m reminded of the sparrow that lay dead in our driveway yesterday. I’ve seen too much loss lately. Large and small. I realize I can’t discover the beauty of each moment when I’m running on high speed in multiple directions.

My unwritten chore list is long. Again. I am hosting a friend’s birthday party this weekend. My office is also my grandchildren’s play area. The carpet is filled with tiny pieces of paper, remnants of kid art, what my mother called snibbles. Actually, I never heard the word anywhere else. So I asked my brother Bill if he knew anything about the word.

He speaks fluent German, and years ago, before we both had kids, he beat me at Scrabble. Regularly. I saved the score sheets and averaged the points. He was three points a word more proficient. But did he gloat? Heavens, no. We played cooperative games to see how many points we could gather together. Well over 700. That board grew with diverse, well-connected words and designs. Now Bill works to recognize people, not politics. The people of Palestine. Persons. Individuals. Not a lumped nameless mass.

This is where my thinking leads me now: I am proud of my younger brother.

He found snibbles in the Urban Dictionary. My bro, both intelligent and resourceful. And the sunshine outside seeps inside me just a little bit more.

In the meantime, daffodils are beginning to bloom. Grass pushes up green blades from thawed earth. The goldfinch has started to display his warm-weather feathers.

Beginnings. Each moment. As I sit. In the car. Or on the porch. As I stand. In the line at the grocery. Waiting. Anywhere. During celebrations and during painful times. Think, Terry, with expectant awareness. And live in the now. The naysayers will come. Ready to criticize another for hair or skin color, race, intelligence, or immigrant status. Ready to separate us from them, to say one group is more human than another.

But, you can’t be knocked over by hate, Terry, because you are caught off-guard in your own trivial considerations. One more time. Catch the beauty. Know it is real. Gain strength. Opinions change. Truth does not. Think. Think. Think…

bluebird and rainbow

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Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like. (Lemony Snicket)

Something peculiar has been happening with my computer. Definitely malicious and now repaired—costly, but repaired. Now, my iPad refuses to interact with our Internet system. My husband’s  relatively new computer doesn’t want to have anything to do with it either. He is on the phone now trying to connect. Nothing.

I have three kids at the house. All three of them—and my husband—are trying to connect with me. Something like sharing one Cheerio among four people.  My stress level escalates. I am not winning the serenity award.

Moreover, it is my oldest granddaughter’s birthday today, March 11. She is twelve-years old. This is not how I planned to celebrate the beginning of her last year before she becomes a teenager.

However, since I need to find the jewel in this situation, I realize she is the gift. While I run like water overflowing the sink, she keeps her cousin Ella occupied and out of Grandpa’s way. She dresses her young cousin for the birthday party. She makes me proud of her.

Kate is a rare and beautiful girl. She lacks the self-centeredness most teens and preteens develop because they don’t know who they are yet. She and another child have dreams that are filled with integrity. They want to establish a foundation for the homeless.

I’d like to say that my oldest granddaughter’s example has completely pulled me out of my funk. It hasn’t. Yet. The electronic world and I have bonded. It’s the tool I use to communicate beautiful truths when ugliness wants to take over the world.

But utopia hasn’t arrived yet. The restaurant I visit serves unexpected problems as well as Play-Doh cakes made by four to six-year-old cooks, and the lids to the colored clay often get lost long enough for the clay to dry out.

In the meantime, I have a brand new twelve-year-old granddaughter named Kate to keep me somewhat on track. And I am most grateful. Happy birthday, beautiful!

perfect moments PIQ

 

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The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings. (Kakuzo Okakaura) 

Today could be declared Murphy’s Law day because what didn’t go wrong at least turned sideways. The details would take up too much space to list. Almost anyone living in the real world can give personal examples with little thought.

Readjustments take more flexibility than my agenda allows.

I finally get a chance to write—for what I think will be an hour—when I’m needed somewhere else. No question about it.

“I really hate to bother you,” my needy friend says.

My answer comes with a sigh, but not much thought. “I left a funeral no more than seven hours ago. Two women I know lost husbands this week. What am I giving up?” The answer is rhetorical because I don’t want to admit how much I cherish my precious, guarded quiet time. I think I can get through this.

And I do. My creative inspiration before the interruption lay somewhere between pause and stutter anyway. Most of my work this evening returned into the backspace key. I have already forgotten the erased words, and it is probably better that way. Like every writer, my work doesn’t fall onto the page the way the credits appear after a movie—in quick, neat-flowing lines.

Toys lay scattered on the floor of the room where I type. Another chore on the endless list. And then, I notice a block of Legos and remember my middle granddaughter’s building project. At first she wanted to make a building, with symmetrical sections and colors that match. Windows, or at least open spaces. Decorative pieces in fun places. A roof, all one color. But we didn’t have enough orange pieces to cover the top—not without a wrecking crew and a plan to make something smaller.

Eventually my granddaughter did start over. She designed a cake. She accepted the fact that our building supplies are scarce, and created an imperfectly colored celebration. A happy birthday for her sister turning twelve next week and a blessing for me today.

I can’t expect more from each day than what is. But often, each moment is enough—more than enough.

Miss Rebe’s art

Lego cake

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