Category Archives: Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday

1. Love. All the kinds, all the variations and varieties. And I get that Valentine’s Day is a fake holiday meant to sell candy and flowers and jewelry, but it’s is also a reminder, an opportunity, and who couldn’t use a little extra love?

2. The first signs of Spring. We’ve been getting a little snow here every three or four days, but Eric bought me daffodils so I know in about another month, we’ll be shifting seasons. I’m so happy to have the reminder.

3. Comedy. Last week I watched Maria Bamford’s new special, and yesterday I watched The Spy Who Dumped Me, which I kind of expected to be dumb but it was so good, and then last night, I went to see Chris Fairbanks with Chloe’ and Ralf. Almost nothing makes me feel better than a good laugh.

4. Good food. Apple pie and bran muffins with dried raspberries and donut holes and fresh pineapple, for example.

5. My tiny family. Even though my week’s don’t really work that way anymore, I still look forward to the weekends because that means Eric will be home and we get to hang out more. Last night, when I got ready to leave, Ringo was following me around and seemed kind of sad that I was going. Being home more often has really helped to bond him more to me, even though he still thinks Eric is the best thing ever and way more fun than me. Sam went to the vet this week and did really good, was so sweet, and according to his bloodwork and exam is doing really good. He’s now officially the oldest dog we’ve ever had.

Bonus joy: how the text reminders that I have a massage scheduled are automated but end by saying “woo hoo!”, breakfast for dinner, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep, therapy, blogging, writing, meditating, yoga, morning walks, hanging out with Mikalina, a concert with Carrie, texting and the way you can send a message so quick and easy, catching and being able to fix something before it gets worse, “singing” with Ringo (we howl together and I can’t wait to see my next door neighbor for tea next week and ask if she ever hears us), cuddling with Sam in the morning (it’s the only time he lets me), getting all the laundry done before 10 am, getting new reusable bags to use at the grocery store (now if I can only manage to remember to bring them with me into the store), grocery shopping, a fresh loaf of bread baked with roasted garlic, a big glass of clean cold water, clean pjs, warm socks.

 

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Yesterday was so cold, only 6 degrees out, but that also meant instead of walking through our neighborhood, where not everyone had shoveled the sidewalks and there was ice and that’s not good for Sam because the two times he’s hurt himself it was slipping in the snow or on the ice, we drove to the park and walked on the trail by the river, (which the city is really good about keeping clear of ice and snow without using a bunch of salt, which is bad for the dogs’ feet). I hadn’t been able to do that for a few months and was so happy to see it, hear it.

2. Permission to turn down the volume. I don’t want to say too much about this because I think there’s a whole blog post there I might write later, but the short version is that there is so much suffering in the world right now and I’ve allowed it to get too close, to fill me up, and that’s not helpful to anyone, and when I get overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a break. Sometimes that looks like having donut holes with your coffee.

3. Winter. We are getting more snow this week. To be honest, other than the gray skies and no garden and sometimes treacherous conditions for walking and driving, I prefer the fall and winter in Colorado over spring and summer. And yet, before the first snow came this week, we had a few days in the 60s, and that did have me longing for warmer weather and green.

What a difference a day can make

4. Practice. I’ve been writing a bit more about this lately, as I’m working on a book and a class about cultivating practice: what is it, how do you start and sustain it, what are the benefits and contraindications, etc.

5. Good food. Whenever Eric posts pictures of what he cooks on his Facebook page, people gush about how amazing it is, how amazing he is, so after he posted a picture of the tiny pies he made this week, I had to counter with a picture of the biscuits I made, just in case people might start thinking he’s the only one who cooks yummy stuff.

6. My tiny family. Sam is so sweet and I love that he’s in such good shape, as he is now officially the oldest dog we’ve ever had and he seems like he’s got another couple of good years left in him yet. Ringo seems to really like having me at home more during the day, is much more likely to look to me for attention even when Eric is home too. And Eric, well he’s my favorite person on the planet.

Bonus joy: Getting all the laundry done, candy, big fat fluffy snowflakes, warm cheesy biscuits, toast with butter and marionberry jam, sitting under my heating pad and favorite blanket on the couch, reading, listening to podcasts, a warm shower, making Eric laugh, cancelled plans, the ink refills for my new pen being back in stock, soft pajamas, taking off my bra, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep, baby animals.

 

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. We are upping Sam’s distance, which meant flipping the walk this morning, going backwards, which always feels so strange after days and days of the same route. I still haven’t been to the river in weeks and I miss it.

2. Another Lincoln Center date with Eric. I didn’t really know anything about the musical we were seeing, and it was one of those that (at least for me) didn’t really hold up, meaning “back in the day” it was meant to be a romantic story (I think), but it didn’t seem romantic to me at all, most likely because the way we (or rather I) view love between a man and woman now is different (as in women have choices, their own desires and goals that don’t need to be secondary to marriage or a man). The choreography and dancing, however, were gorgeous.

3. “Joy is my choreographer.” The new Maria Bamford comedy special, Weakness is the Brand, is out and I watched it the other day — SO GOOD. She’s just so awesome and weird.

4. We got our new rugs put down. I really like them, and they are a nice backdrop for super cute pictures of the dogs.

5. My tiny family. There’s nothing I love more than hanging out with them at home — cooking, napping, watching TV.

“Can we haz some pizza?”

Picture #1: Wow, Jill’s dogs really love her.

Picture #2: Nah, my dogs just really love cheesy snacks.

Bonus joy: Good TV (I’m finishing up Ghost Bride on Netflix, and even though it is SO different from the story in the book, it was really good), pay day, hanging out with Mikalina, tickets for an Andrea Gibson show, teaching yoga, clean pjs, a warm shower, sitting on my new couch under my heating pad and a blanket, therapy, writing, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Because Sam is on restriction, only going 1.5 miles in the morning, we’ve been walking more around our neighborhood and not so much by the river, so I haven’t been taking many pictures. The one above is of my favorite tree in our neighborhood, at the end of our block just across the road from a large field that is used as an unofficial dog park by the people who live nearby and someday could have an apartment complex built on it. I love the shape of the tree, and how it reaches out over the street. I’m not sure what kind it is, always think to get online and try to find out but then forget by the time we get back home, (okay, I just looked it up and I’m almost positive it’s a Honey Locust).

2. Lincoln Center shows with Eric. We get a package every year of tickets to five different shows. Usually there are at least three we for sure want to see, and then we pick two that are more random. Last week we saw The Choir of Man (it was really good, although I could have done without so much audience interaction) and this weekend we’ll see An American in Paris. Eric always takes a selfie of us with the program to text to our friend Jeff, to prove that we actually sometimes leave the house at night. My favorite thing about the Lincoln Center as a venue is it’s only six minutes from our house, so if the show is over at 9 pm, we are in our car at 9:03 and home by 9:08.

Me, sitting on my new couch under my infrared heating pad and favorite blanket, with a rainbow at my feet

3. Honoring my limits. My habit over the years has been to push myself too hard, go go go until I collapse and have to stop completely and rest until I can get back to it. I’m not good at pacing myself. Before I start teaching a bunch more classes, I’m trying to learn what my limits are and honor my true energetic levels as well as my requirements for rest.

4. Good TV. I am not watching as much as I was when I first stopped working, but I still watch a fair amount. I just finished Frankie and Grace and Sex Education, and I’m trying to finish reading The Ghost Bride because they just released it on Netflix and I noticed today that the first episode of the new season of Shrill is up. All my “regular” shows are back in action too: The Good Place, Superstore, Grey’s Anatomy, Will & Grace, The Conners, Blackish, Grownish. There’s always plenty of International House Hunters and Tiny House Nation too. I also want to watch Troop Zero and the Downton Abbey movie on Amazon when I get some time.

Six years ago, when Ringo Blue was still a baby and Samson still liked to play

5. My tiny family. I’ve started to notice Ringo giving me way more attention and seeking out my attention more than before I was home so much during the day. Sam has always adored me, followed me everywhere, and that hasn’t changed. I think that pets are essential for any introverted hsp, but even more so for one that doesn’t have a “real” job and spends most of their time at home and has anxiety issues, (although sometimes they are the source of anxiety).

Each boy on his own couch

Someone is shedding…

He still prefers this couch even though he’s really too tall for it. His fur was warm from the sun, so I get it.

Me watching a police bust go down in front of our house (a car pulled over that had at least four stolen backpacks inside) while the dogs wait quietly. Some day I’ll repaint those circles of drywall from when we got our house insulated…

Bonus joy: writing with Carrie, hanging out with Mikalina, writing in the morning while I drink my cocoa coffee, sleeping in, taking naps, good books, good podcasts (I had an ocular migraine the other day and couldn’t watch TV or read, so I laid in a dark room and caught up on podcasts), moving my body, a big glass of cold clean water, sunshine, clean pjs, getting all the laundry done, our new rugs for the kitchen and dining room, watching Father Brown with Eric, my infrared heating pad, sitting in the sauna after aqua aerobics.

Gratitude Friday

Image by Eric

1. The Colorado sky. Today, sadly, it’s mostly gray. We are due a big windstorm later in the day, so hopefully that will clear out the crud.

2. Doing fun stuff with people I love. Lunch and a movie with Chelsey and Jon, dinner and a movie with Chloe’ and Claudia, breakfast with Carrie, a yoga class with Abrona, aqua aerobics and a chat with Janice, sitting in the sauna with Eric, watching “Father Brown” with Eric, laughing with Eric, walking and napping with the dogs, yoga with my Red Sage class, a fitness class with Paige and Beth, random texting with my brother.

3. Practice and therapy and moving my body and napping and eating what I want and napping and reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep. These are some of the things keeping me from giving up this week. I just reread this and realized I said “napping” twice, but since that is pretty accurate, I’m going to leave it like that.

4. Kindness and support from other people, even if we’ve never met IRL. I posted something on Instagram about having an autoimmune disorder and burnout and was immediately offered so much goodness by people, some of them who I’ve never even met in real life. It can sometimes seem like social media and the internet are a container for the worst of humanity, but it also holds the best of what we are.

5. My tiny family. The real reason we got a whole new sectional is so Eric can stretch his legs out all the way when he takes a nap, and he took full advantage of it before he had to go back to work this week. Sam is still doing better after tweaking his back, but we did have to put him back on a small dose of pain meds to give him a bit more time to heal. I’m so grateful for all the support for him we have access to living here in Fort Collins. This week six years ago we brought Ringo the dingo home. He was so cute and tiny and gray, but clearly part wolverine.

Bonus joy: Clementines, good books (I just finished Where the Crawdads Sing and started The Ghost Bride), good TV (a new season of Catfish), good music, good podcasts, getting the laundry done and put away a day early, the few days I had this week without any anxiety, a long nap when you are really tired, toast with marionberry jam, sleeping in, writing in the morning while drinking a cocoa coffee, blue sky, the softest pajamas, laughing with Eric.

 

Gratitude Friday

Image by Eric

1. The Colorado sky. I love it so much because it’s blue so much of the time, but in the winter it is especially magical.

2. I’m still here. For real, this week was HARD. A dear friend got awful news, Sam hurt his back worse than we thought, Eric’s mom ended up in the hospital, and we dealt with a few other things I won’t talk about here, (don’t worry, Mom, I’ll email you all about it later today). Thank goodness for my tiny family, my friends, joyful movement, good books, good food, sleep, practice, and therapy. Also, clean water and biscuits & jam.

3. I finally finished my Curvy Yoga teacher certification. I got sidetracked finishing my 500 hour certification, quitting my job of 19 years, and coping with burnout, but I finished. Now I’ve moved on to getting some of the foundations for my new “business” set up, (I don’t know why, but to say I have a “business” sounds too weird, so I have to put it in quotes).

4. We got new furniture! You might not understand what a big deal this is. We’ve never had furniture that was new and matched or was any kind of intentional design. We still live like we are college roommates renting an apartment rather than a 26 year married pair of 52 year old home owners. We bought new rugs (so Sam won’t slip on the hardwoods and if he lies on the floor, he’ll be on something softer), a mini sectional, and new bookshelves this week. We are also going to get a console table to put our TV on. I hadn’t realized until we got it all set up how much I needed a fresh start, how much I’d appreciate the comfort and beauty. Of course, we ultimately ended up keeping one of our old sofas and a “vintage” mustard yellow velour recliner we inherited from Eric’s parents (they bought it new probably over 50 years ago) that Ringo loves, but it all works in the way we need it to work. Now if we can just keep Ringo from doing too much Parkour on and off the new couch. And also, WHY so MANY pillows?! Who uses all those?

5. My tiny family. The keep me sane and safe, and they make me laugh.

Seriously though: why must he insist on trying so hard to wreck himself?

He likes coffee

“Helping” me make biscuits, or rather waiting for me to drop some butter

Bonus joy: a warm shower, clean pjs, pjs that are decent enough I can wear them out of the house as pants, tea with Chloe’, hanging out with Mikalina, writing in the morning with a hot cup of cocoa coffee (half cocoa with marshmallows, half coffee), sitting in the sauna with Eric, clean sheets, a book so good you try really hard to stay awake so you can keep reading, good TV, clementines, going to the movies and getting popcorn, clarity about what I need, being able to afford new furniture, our “old” furniture becoming someone else’s “new” furniture, other people’s dogs, yoga taught by good teachers using props and good cuing, new to me music, good podcasts, baking, getting all the laundry done and put away, my new pen, being retired.

Gratitude Friday

1. Happy New Year! All our Christmas presents got put away or put to use, and our tree came down and got recycled yesterday. I miss the lights, but the herons will stay inside in the corner by the front window at least until the snow melts.

2. Morning walks. I missed all of them this week. I was subbing some yoga classes and the first part of the week was super cold and Sam’s restricted to just short walks again as he tweaked his back on the ice, but Eric takes lovely pictures so I feel like I was there.

3. Expecting bad news but it turning out okay. It puts everything into perspective when you are expecting the worst and that doesn’t happen. It makes all the other stuff you were worried about before seem like not such a big deal. Also, therapy helps.

4. Practice. Yoga, writing, meditation, and dog. These all help too, (see #3).

5. My tiny family. Sam tweaked his back again on the ice, so he’s been getting lots of special attention, (the above picture is Eric using the cold laser on him). It’s trash day today because of the holiday, and both boys are at the window telling off the trash collectors right now. It’s super cute because sometimes they start off barking and then switch to singing and howling, which Sam isn’t very good at but that makes it even cuter. I’m happy to have another week to spend with Eric before he goes back to work.

IMG_20200102_143457_836

Bonus joy: our new ice cream maker from Eric’s mom and dad, hanging out with Mikalina, going to lunch and a movie with Chelsey and Jon (and the movie being good), good TV, good movies, good books (lots of new ones as Christmas gifts I can’t wait to read), making a full page “2020 vision” to-do list and crossing off four things the very first day, updating my resume and realizing I have been working hard and accomplishing a lot, long naps, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep, subbing a yoga class and seeing students I haven’t seen in awhile, Sarah’s New Year’s Day yoga mandala class on a day when I really really really needed it, realizing my car will be paid off in another year, the new rugs we ordered (we finally have a dog old enough that we can legitimately worry about him slipping and falling), getting in the pool and sauna at the gym, sunshine, leftover sweet potato and black bean quesadillas, clementines.