Monthly Archives: April 2016

Gratitude Friday


1. Trees. I have lots of favorites. The ones above are a stand of Narrowleaf Cottonwoods at the edge of McMurry Ponds. There are four trees just in our neighborhood that are my favorites — a Redbud around the corner that is so bright it looks fluorescent when it blooms, two Maples that stand together in a tiny front yard on opposite sides of a sidewalk leading to the the front door, and one that I’m not sure of the variety but the way its branches curl and reach out over the street cause me to stop and look up almost every time I walk past.

Another one of my favorite trees

Another one of my favorite trees

2. The morning walks. The moon was still out the other morning and I saw an owl flying across a field, then we startled a heron by the river, and both days we saw the herd of White-tailed deer who take their morning walk about the same time, along almost the same route as we do.

3. Friday, and this list. Seriously, today I could have called it “Tude Friday” because I am feeling pissy today, have a bad attitude. The sky was gray all day yesterday and the weather forecast is for at least three more days of the same — the guy on the radio this morning said, “great weather, if you’re a duck.” And I’m tired, and cranky about having to work so hard all the time but still feeling like I never get anything done. But it’s Friday, and writing this list reminds me that there are good things, things to be grateful for.


4. My tiny family. I love my stupid dogs, too much, more than is probably healthy, but they make me so happy, and sometimes so stressed out. That’s where Eric comes in — he helps calm them down, calm me down.

My secret shortcut to my CSU office

My secret shortcut to my CSU office, much better than having to walk past the construction site for the new stadium

5. Being good to each other. I noticed this so many times this week, the ways that we help each other, encourage each other, make each other laugh. It feels just as awesome to be the one offering it as it does to be the one getting the good — win/win.

Bonus joy: payday, having a massage be the only thing on my schedule this weekend, my new car, flowers in the bathroom, my favorite towels, the promise of pie, texting with Eric, good books, good tv, roasted vegetables, naps, sleeping in, good feedback on my work, the camera on my new cellphone, knowing that this too shall pass.


Three Truths and One Wish

My new favorite mug (check out Emily's website, she has some really great stuff)

My new favorite mug (check out Emily’s website, she has some really great stuff)

1. Truth: I can’t figure out the formula to make it all work. I never manage to accomplish everything I want to, or even need to. If I’m able to get up early, meditate, do my writing practice, walk the dogs, shower, eat breakfast, and get to work at a reasonable time, I probably didn’t floss my teeth and skipped the gym and didn’t make a lunch and arrive at my office to begin a long day of a whole list of other things I won’t get done, to add to the running list that keeps getting longer of all the things I need to do that I just can’t seem to find the energy or time for — make a vet appointment for the dogs, follow up on that question I have about my insurance, mail those books and such that have sat unwrapped in a box on the floor by my desk for months, meet with that person about my 401k, read the book for book club, balance the checkbook, schedule some maintenance on the car, get the snow tires taken off, weed the flower beds, go to a yoga class I’m not teaching, etc. I’ve tried to apply various techniques — spend less time on social media, watch less TV, get up earlier, choose three things to prioritize and make sure those get my attention before anything else — but it never seems to work. There’s still too much that needs done and not enough energy or time.

2. Truth: Instead of feeling like I’ve accomplished anything, I feel like I’m failing. It doesn’t matter what I actually get done, what I really contribute or what value I add, I can’t escape the underlying anxiety that there are other things falling apart while my attention is elsewhere. Sure I was able to keep those four plates spinning, but the other three smashed on the ground in the meantime. And in that moment of stunned awareness, in that pause of grief over my failure to do it all, one of the remaining four plates stopped spinning and crashed to the ground. Maybe I should switch to paper plates?

3. Truth: Deep down, I know that the cake is a lie. “The Cake is a Lie” is a catchphrase popularized by the game Portal, and is often used to convey the message that a promised gift is being used to motivate without any intent of delivering. I know the promise that if you just get organized, just get your shit together, you can have a happy, healthy life in which you are well-fed, rested, satisfied, content, a life in which the laundry is all done (folded and put away), you have time to cook healthy delicious food and make it to the gym and socialize with friends and do all the various maintenance required of your life, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada — is a lie. We have set the bar way too high — and yet, I keep trying.

One wish: May we, for just one moment, even just one breath, soften, relax, lower the bar, let go, and not feel guilty about it. May we forgive ourselves for not being able to live up to an impossible set of standards. May we find space in our days, rest in our nights.