Order

“Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.” ~Pearl Buck, Simple Abundance

After working to establish an early morning routine, I have one that works.

Okay, maybe I’m being a tad bit optimistic.

It’s worked for over a week–including the weekends. For me, that’s a monumental event because nothing has ever invaded the sacred time of the weekend.

I treasure my early morning time–fresh hot coffee, my teachers, and me. I am surprised at how often the authors compliment each other.

I’ve become acutely aware of how I feel after the mornings I’ve started calling my sacred moments.

I am less scattered and more focused.

I am less anxious and more tolerant.

I am less critical and more patient.

I am less afraid and more confident.

“Many women today feel a sadness we cannot name. Though we accomplish much of what we set out to do, we sense that something is missing our lives and–fruitlessly–search ‘out there’ for the answers. What’s often wrong is that we are disconnected from an authentic sense of self.” ~Emily Hancock, Simple Abundance

God has also mixed in a little bit of synchronicity.

Out of nowhere my cousin sent a message telling me she had also started reading Simple Abundance.

Quotes, like those included in my story today, speak so strongly to me, often addressing things/tasks I’ve just completed.

Today’s reading began with the quote I used in my introduction coming after I’d spent the past few days cleaning and organizing my work spaces.

Coincidence?

No.

These are signs I’m on course and I’m not alone in my latest quest.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  ~Melody Beattie, Simple Abundance

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thanks to my sister, Susan M. Rogers, for allowing me to use her sunset picture for today’s story. I love you.

Epiphanies

“It’s very simple. As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.” 

Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

It’s been an interesting week, working to establish a daily self care routine.

The days have been full of those little tasks we all do as we begin the new year. As I updated my calendar I noticed names and dates on last year’s calendar.

My eyes filled with tears and my chest tightened.

Thumbing through the weeks of 2019, I realized I’d made different appointments for our dogs, Duffy and Ruby, not knowing these would be their last. Such a small task was so eye and heart opening for me.

It was a swift reality check and a harsh reminder of how precious life is.

This morning, if you’ve joined me in reading, Simple Abundance, you read about the play Our Town. When I was much younger, I had to read this play for one of my English courses. At the time I thought it was such a waste of my time. After reading the quotes Sarah Ban Breathnach chose, I think I may need to revisit this play.

For me, these two paragraphs were very powerful and caught me completely off guard.

“In Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town a deeply poignant scene takes place in a grave yard. Ghosts comfort the young heroine, who has recently died in childbirth. Emily, still longing for the life she has just left, wishes to revisit one ordinary, “unimportant” day in her life. When she gets her wish, she realizes how much the living take for granted. 

Eventually her visit is too much for her to bear. “I didn’t realize,” she confesses mournfully, “all that was going on and we never noticed…Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover’s Corners…Mama and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking…and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths…and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize  you.” 

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

“It always comes down to just two choices. Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons

 

 

Awareness Meets Self

“What if you spent some alone time every morning? Call it prayer. Call it planning. Call it centering. I call it a powerful way to begin the day.” 

Steve Goodier

I’ve become aware I’ve missed my early morning hours.

It was those predawn moments when I’d write my gratitudes, read, and reach out to loved ones.

My soul needs me to find that time.

I’ve prepared by bringing out my journal and making my first reading selections for 2020. My year of awareness taught me unless I have everything in place, I will lose precious time making minute decisions.

Tomorrow will be the beginning of putting self care first.

I like it.

“Self-love is not the process of ignoring things, paying attention to fewer flaws or forcing yourself to look away from the parts of you that you perceive as ugly or unwanted. Self-love is the process of expanding your awareness, of seeing those flaws and imperfections alongside the incredible potential of the universe flowing within you, alongside the eternal truth of life flowing within your veins in each second, alongside the flickers of creativity and opportunity present within each moment of your existence. Like this, the imperfections persist, but only as lovable quirks, like a bad doorknob on the front door of a cottage in paradise, like a few thorns on a beautiful rose, like a cloud in a sunset. Like this, what was once unwanted becomes essential, memorable, humbling.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

2020

“Maybe sometimes we should just sit, and in the sitting understand that life speaks in stillness and therefore on occasion we would be wise to join it there.” 

Craig D. Lounsbrough

I’ve stepped away from my desk these past few weeks.

Part of this time was filled with year end appointments and procedures. It surprised me how each event took its toll, both mentally and physically. The time remaining I declared  “my time.”

I rested, read, and began the search for my word for 2020.

My word was actually pretty obvious once I was still and listened. My word is “self.”

I wasn’t comfortable with this word, questioning and feeling it was a very selfish word choice. After a lot of internal debating, I realized the source of all the questions and creating such uneasiness.It should not have surprised me–I’d been listening to all those old critical voices and judges I spent most of my life believing.

As I became aware (my 2019 word) where the uncertainty came from, I knew I’d found the best word for me.

As I began the second day of the new year, I knew I was ready to sit, write, and share.

“You don’t need to wait for someone else to notice your talents before nourishing them. You don’t need others to accept you to feel accepted. You don’t need to wait. You can begin, at any moment, to work on noticing, nourishing, and accepting yourself. You can work on being a better friend to your reflection. You can start listening to yourself like you wish other people would. You can become curious about who you are. You can begin to learn the language of your mind and body so that you can decode it, understand it, speak it. You can work on understanding yourself instead of always trying to make yourself into someone else.” 

Vironika Tugaleva, The Art of Talking to Yourself

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Simple Things

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.” 

Bob Hope

A week from today is Christmas Eve.

I’ve been working on Christmas cards for some time now. It’s taking me a while because I’m doing them very differently this year.

The idea has been brewing over this past year as I browsed my way through many estate sales. Every sale had a collection of unclaimed family pictures. To see the different family celebrations recorded and stacked in boxes broke my heart over and over again.

After the first few sales, I realized I had my own stack of pictures sitting in albums in my office closet. I knew odds were high they’d stay in that very spot until Michael and I made our next move or–God forbid– have our own estate sale.

Going through pictures for my stories sparked the idea to make my own cards. Each individual card would be personalized to feature photos of the person the card will be sent to or spotlight an event they’d remember.

It has been a time consuming project. Most of the photos take me down a road filled with memories. The surprising thing about this project is I know these old pictures filed away in a dark closet will be on their way to bring a smiles to my loved ones. Even though we are miles apart, I know we will be walking down memory road together.

So simple…

“Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.” 

Eric Severeid

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

The Religion of Kindness

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” 

Dalai Lama XIV

Michael and I have spent a lot of time these past few weeks in waiting rooms.

Our waits have yielded good results and we are thankful.

I don’t think everyone in those places we shared experienced the same good results. Many of the most senior patients seemed to be waiting alone or with an aide after being dropped off by an agency bus. Each little person seemed alone and sad–which made me sad as well. How did our society get so busy we’ve forgotten our elders?

I had time to study some of those faces. Their expressions have stayed with me this week. I couldn’t help wondering how they’re doing. At the end of the day, did they have loved ones to talk with about the tests, the results, the future, and their fears?

These experiences and memories were good reminders for me to be kind.

My heart asks you to be the same.

The Test

Oh, yes, I’ve reached those golden days

You hear so much about;

I don’t feel any older yet, 

But will one day, no doubt. 

The sky is still a lovely blue, 

The rose is just as sweet. 

Each day is like another chance

To make my life complete. 

Sure, there’s hardship, sorrow and pain,

Who thought there wouldn’t be? 

But now I know it’s just a test

To find the worth in me. 

~Betty Irean Loeb

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Thank you, Michael Hibdon, for sending me pictures of our lovely pansies and violas. I was so proud of you yesterday as you helped the little elderly people who waited with us in clinic. God bless you. I love you. 

Timeless Gifts

“I was discovering that the most precious gift someone can give us is time, because what gives time its value is death.” 

Ingrid Betancourt, Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle

My first Christmas present arrived yesterday.

I debated about one minute before opening it.

Inside I found three perfect gifts–a heart rock, a handmade Christmas ornament, and a candle.

What made them so special?

The time invested by my friend who sent them my way.

The ornament took Mary a lot of time to make. I knew she was probably thinking of some of our escapades while she stitched away. The heart rock was a gift of happenstance–found on a hike with her grandson, Sam. This special rock told me she’d thought of me throughout her day. The candle is a gift of a candle is always special because I love the warmth and light they represent to me.

The most precious gift of all? The gift of life-long friendships.

Thank you, Mary. I love you.

IMG_1943

Thank you, God, for the gift of friends.

To be known, and yet loved is a blessing.

Thank you for all those who see me, 

Who seek to understand, support and nurture me.

I am forever grateful to be able to come just as I am, in every season

To walk in intimacy and love with others.

This is the richest blessing, the greatest gift and the beautiful legacy of your walk and life amongst us.

Thank you so much for all my friends and loved ones. 

Amen.   ~Author Unknown~

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Preparing

“One of the few times in a man’s life when he is not full of shit!!

The morning of a colonoscopy. Enough said!” 

Jim Lawrence

Another benefit of getting older is the opportunity to prepare for a colonoscopy.

Since this is not my first experience, I’ve devised little tricks to make this day go a little smoother–no pun intended.

This morning I entertained Micheal by asking him the riddles I found my popsicle sticks. Who knew? Made me think of those summer days when my sisters and I would set on our front steps, eating as fast as we could so we didn’t get drips on our summer shirts. We didn’t have the riddles, though.

My afternoon schedule is much less entertaining.

Just a few minutes ago I refilled my wine glass from the gallon of liquid I get to enjoy and complete over the next 4.5 hours.  The clock is winding down much faster than my wine glass.

I’ve had a  lot of experience watching the level of liquid in my wine glass. It’s puzzling to me why the level is so slow in responding to the huge sips I’m taking in order to complete my task by 6 p.m.

I’m pretty sure if this glass was filled with a nice Merlot I’d be well into my second bottle by now.

This particular conundrum may call for more research.

I think I’ll be ready by Saturday.

“All worries are less with wine.” 

Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

 

 

A Remembering Time

“The people you love become ghosts inside of you, and like this you keep them alive.” 

Rob Montgomery

I sigh as I begin to write today.

This time of year there are always many people meandering through my mind.

Time has not dulled the loss very much. I miss them.

This Thanksgiving I had the idea to light a large votive candle for all those people I missed. As the flame flickered, I visualized each person, thanking them for being in my life.

As the flame burned throughout the day, I felt the presence of those I’d pictured in my mind earlier. The warm light from the candle eased its way into those empty places in my heart, leaving me feeling comforted and very loved.

Thank you, God.

“Mrs. Casey, do you love Christmas? 

Well you know, she answered reflectively, Christmas can be a sad time for people too. It’s a remembering time for us older ones. We remember the people who are gone.

Oh, I never thought of that, I told her in surprise.

Well that’s youth for you, she said; you don’t start to look back over your shoulder until there is something to look back at, and around Christmas I tend to think of the Christmases past and the people gone with them.” 

Alice Taylor, An Irish Country Christmas

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thanksgiving Eve

God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.” ~ Izaak Walton

It’s been a busy few weeks here in Hibdonville. Doctor appointments and procedures all need to be scheduled before the end of the year. I’m thinking it’s a good thing I’m retired so I have time to do all I need in order to stay healthy.

As a result, time has certainly gotten away from me. I’m finding it impossible it is the day before Thanksgiving–Thanksgiving Eve.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.

As a kid it was the start of the Christmas countdown–excitement grew daily. As an adult working healthcare worker it meant a day off work–unless it was your holiday. Today, as a woman closer now to seventy than sixty, it means I find myself looking back a little more often than looking forward.

Retirement’s given me time to see those unanswered prayers over the years were actually blessings shrouded in what appeared to be denial and disappointment. All my life experiences have given me the gift of empathy enabling me to better understand the challenges facing family and friends.

All this was going through my mind today as I drove home from shopping. I found myself feeling such gratitude for my life and all the people who have been such important parts of it.  It took me a few seconds to realize the song playing on the radio was Tim McGraw’s song, Humble and Kind. I’m not sure I’ve ever really listened to the words before today.

I’m sharing just in case you haven’t either.

“Humble And Kind”

You know there’s a light that glows by the front door

Don’t forget the key’s under the mat

When childhood stars shine

Always stay humble and kind

Go to church ’cause your mamma says to

Visit grandpa every chance that you can

It won’t be wasted time

Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”

Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie

I know you got mountains to climb

But always stay humble and kind

When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you

When the work you put in is realized

Let yourself feel the pride

But always stay humble and kind

Don’t expect a free ride from no one

Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why

Bitterness keeps you from flyin’

Always stay humble and kind

Know the difference between sleeping with someone

And sleeping with someone you love

“I love you” ain’t no pick-up line

So always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”

Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie

I know you got mountains to climb

But always stay humble and kind

When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you

When the work you put in is realized

Let yourself feel the pride

But always stay humble and kind

When it’s hot, eat a root beer popsicle

Shut off the AC and roll the windows down

Let that summer sun shine

Always stay humble and kind

Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you

When you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around

And help the next one in line

Always stay humble and kind ~ Lori McKenna

I am…

B..simply being. 

~Peace~