Category Archives: Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

1. We did a thing. After a brief moment spent considering putting solar panels on our house, and with all the incentives and rebates available right now, it was too good to pass up: an all electric, 2019 Nissan Leaf. I am grateful that we can buy a whole new car without much hassle, that we have excellent credit and the necessary funds and privilege up the wazoo. I’m glad that so many things came together to make this an easy choice that just so happens to be good for the environment too.

2. Allowing myself the support I need. I had weaned myself off CBD, which I was taking for work stress, since I wasn’t working anymore. Turns out work was distracting me from a bunch of ongoing anxiety triggers and until I am more healed from my burnout and more settled into this new phase of my life, I actually need even more support than ever dealing with hsp, anxiety, and c-ptsd (which as a tag team trigger some pretty serious depression). Trying these new gummies cause even though Charlotte’s Web costs more, their products are such high quality they are my go-to when I try anything new.

3. Practice. I know for a lot of people the work, the journey, the path is primarily external – about getting somewhere, making a change that can be seen, going a way that can be tracked, offering something tangible. If you look at me and try to see some evidence of a shift, right now it would be hard to find because it’s mostly internal, happening in a landscape only I can see. I can’t offer you any proof of anything. You are just going to have to trust me. Thank goodness for practice, for the support I get from writing and meditation and yoga and dog(s).

4. Kitchen counter love notes. I can always count on Eric to be there for me. He’s my soft place to land, the one who can make me laugh no matter what is happening, the dude who gets up early to feed and walk the dogs so I can get another hour of sleep.

5. My tiny family. Along with Eric, Sam and Ringo are such a comfort and good company, provide so much joy and the occasional comedic relief.

Bonus joy: sometimes skipping the walk and yoga and the gym so I can stay home in the morning and putter around, good TV (they just added a bunch of new episodes of Call the Midwife on Netflix and the second season of I’m Sorry was just as funny as the first), good books (still working my way through all of Maya Angelou’s autobiographies and finishing up Tea and Cake with Demons: A Buddhist Guide to Feeling Worthy by Adreanna Limbach), having all the laundry done and put away, bran muffins with dried raspberries, fresh raspberries (I had forgotten how yummy they are!), sunny but cooler days, wearing a sweatshirt and socks, feeling stronger, reading, taking naps, cooking, libraries and librarians.


Gratitude Friday

1. Fall. The actual first day of fall is a little over a week away and we still have days in the forecast calling for the upper 80s, but yesterday I wore long sleeves, long pants, and socks all day, and this morning when we woke up it was 51 degrees outside, The chrysanthemums and clematis are blooming and our tomatoes are finally producing, so I’m calling it early — it’s fall!

2. Cooking. I am really enjoying doing more cooking, trying new recipes, eating good food.

3. Flowers in the bathroom. Eric brought me home flowers this week. I haven’t had flowers all summer, except for my peonies and a bouquet from Chloe’. They changed the farmer’s market hours to later which kept me from getting there all summer, and after two gnat infestations the end of last summer and the beginning of this one, I was wary because flowers just feed the gnats, ensure they keep producing future generations. I missed the flowers.

4. Ringo. Since I’ve been home more, he’s been so sweet to me. Since he’s getting older, he’s getting easier to live with and easier to love. Had to sneak this next picture through a dirty window so I wouldn’t wake him up. This kind of peace was a long time coming and hard won. Used to be this boy had to be constantly entertained and monitored, especially in the backyard. He got into stuff, ate things he shouldn’t, dug holes, and barked. Now, with six years old just a few months away, he can take himself out and lounge in the sun, with only the occasional bark or roll in a dead worm, and I don’t have to worry he’s out there killing himself.

5. Sam. I was so stressed out about him last week — he slipped and fell in the kitchen twice and threw up his dinner one night. He’s almost ten years old, as old as any of our dogs have ever been, and the awareness that he’s going to die is always right there. He was the dog that took me the longest to bond with, he felt more like Eric’s dog for the first few years and I was just missing my Obi and Dexter, but now he’s my sweet shadow and when he goes I’m really going to miss him.

5. Eric. All the things he does to take care of our tiny family, laughing with him, how he appreciates the things I do, how committed he is to his colleagues and students, his kitchen counter love notes (see a whole collection of them on Instagram).

Bonus joy: Glazed lemon zucchini bread, zucchini gratin, grilled cheese, breakfast for dinner, leftovers, clean sheets on the bed, all the laundry done and put away, excellent credit, money in savings, a whole day with no plans, good movies (the new Mindy Kaling one on Amazon Prime, Late Night, was really good), good TV (I’ve been watching a lot of tiny house shows lately), good books (I’m finally reading the rest of Maya Angelou’s autobiographies), hanging out with Mikalina and Chloe’ (having friends who make you laugh, but also who you can cry with and say “I love you” and fully trust with your truth is a big deal), morning walks, teaching yoga, writing, naps.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. This morning on his walk with the dogs, Eric saw some of this year’s baby deer playing in the sprinklers at the park.

2. End of summer harvest. It’s zucchini, tomato, peach, and watermelon season right now. Yum. I made more zucchini bread, and this time I remembered the toasted walnuts.

3. Practice. While I was meditating this morning, Sam got up on the futon behind me and took a nap. I feel so much more relaxed with him there.

4. Being able to rest, do what I want. I am still amazed how much recovery is necessary, how lucky I am to be able to read a book or take a long nap or try a new recipe, until I remind myself I’ve been going nonstop for the past 40 years.

5. My tiny family. Last on the list, but not least.

His legs are SO long

Bonus joy: being able to say “no” to something that doesn’t feel quite right, getting all the laundry done and put away, clean beds for the dogs, that Ringo is finally grown up enough to just hang out most of the day instead of needing to be entertained constantly, hanging out with Mikalina, good movies (we watched Arctic last night), good TV (I needed something easy, so I started watching Jane the Virgin), reading in bed at night while my three boys sleep, cooler weather, pay day, aqua aerobics, yoga, Pilates, the house smelling like something yummy after I’ve cooked.



Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. We are back on a regular, “back to school” schedule now, with the sky dark enough that I have to wear a headlamp to start. Still too many mosquitoes to get back close to the river, but that should happen in just a few more weeks.

2. Cooking. I love the process (when I have the time and energy) and having lots of leftovers to choose from. The zucchini bread I made last week, both “regular” and lemon (pictured), didn’t last very long.

My yoga props for when I teach

3. Practice, both teaching and doing.

4. Being content with not going back to work at CSU. It was move in day yesterday for the students who live in dorms, and the traffic was crazy. I told Eric last night that even though I’m not exactly sure what my “new life” will look like yet, I am completely sure that leaving CSU was the right choice.

5. My tiny family. They are my favorite.

Bonus joy: writing with Mikalina and Chloe’, cooler weather, aqua aerobics (especially after the pool was closed for close to two weeks!), sitting in the sauna, hanging out with Eric, reading, watching good TV, napping, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and walnuts, writing, getting ideas for things I want to work on but knowing I don’t have to do them right away, “winning” in my Life class again because I worked so hard (although I’m not really competing with anyone but myself).

I was an animal

Gratitude Friday

1. I’m still here. I’m finding my groove during this “back to school” season, the first one in 20+ years I haven’t also been going back to school. I had a moment yesterday afternoon where I felt really lonely, but that had more to do with Eric having been gone for things three days and nights in a row. I subbed a yoga class that morning and two of the women came up afterwards and told me how much they enjoyed when I taught. I explained that I’d been given the opportunity to take over that class in the fall, but I wasn’t ready to add any other classes to my schedule just yet. I’m taking my time right now, allowing myself to go slow, to contemplate and rest. For the first time in a really long time, I’m not in a hurry, not rushing into the next thing. I don’t want to be distracted or busy. I want to really understand, on a deep level, the next right thing for me. I want to, for once, honor my energy level, my intuition, my needs and my longings. I’m not used to this, putting myself first, but I’d like to get really good at it.

2. Morning walks. This morning, we saw some things we don’t normally notice: a mama deer and her baby (still had spots), a tiny tiny toad crossing the trail, and a little brown field mouse. We tried walking along the river for a bit, but there are still WAY too many mosquitoes.

3. Recognizing that I haven’t just sat on my butt all summer. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I set the bar pretty high for myself. This summer, I had a huge to-do list of all the things I was going to accomplish. Then I realized how tired and burnt out I was and decided to honor that instead. That left me feeling like I haven’t really done much of anything, but the other day when I was putting away laundry, I realized I’d completely cleaned and reorganized my room, closets and dressers, the bathroom, and my practice room, and also made a start on my office and the garage. We also planted a bunch of new stuff in our garden, I’ve been cooking and reading a lot, and I’ve watched an awful lot of really good TV. I’ve practiced almost every day and have been teaching and have spent a ton of time at the gym, taking classes and such.

I “won” in one of my fitness classes for keeping up the pace and working really hard.

4. Getting clear about what I want to do. I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about how exactly I want to spend my time and energy, and even though I thought I already knew, I’ve gotten a lot clearer about it in the past few weeks.

5. My tiny family. Eric did the Tough Mudder last weekend and had a lot of fun. Sam continues to do really well after his back injury over a year ago and is a world champion nap buddy. Ringo can be so hard, needs so much, and I love him so much, am so happy he’ll probably be around at least another 10 years.

Bonus joy: doing box handstands in yoga, finding a Dave Matthews themed yoga mix to play for my small class (the two people there that day REALLY love Dave Matthews), working out really hard in my fitness class, subbing for two of my favorite yoga classes, sleeping in, taking naps, watching good TV, sitting in the sun in the backyard and lounging with the dogs, losing track of what day it is, cooking, reading in bed at night while the boys are asleep, grocery shopping, texting with my next door neighbor during a really unusual power outage and remembering I have really really good neighbors, helping Chloe’ clean, writing and giggling and crying with Chloe’ and Mikalina, the moments when I feel like everything is going to be okay.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. We walked the dogs at CSU this past Sunday morning. This is the view from my old office, from the outside looking in. I expected to be just a little freaked out at this point that I didn’t have a job to go back to in another week, but I was wrong. I’m content, happy with my choice, looking forward to what comes next — and SO happy I’m not going back there, doing that again.

2. Practice. Yoga, meditation, writing, and dog. Practice can sometimes feel like a contradiction. The intention is to become comfortable with discomfort, to accept that the ground is always shifting, and yet what practice offers is something like stable ground, a strong foundation, a soft place to land. Ultimately one has to be able to hold space for conflicting truths, both/and.

3. Writing, and the good books other people write. The love I have for these two things, the obsession, feels part of my DNA, something you couldn’t take from me no matter what or how hard you tried.

4. Our garden. The new flowers we planted attracted so many bees, moths, butterflies, and grasshoppers. We are also finally getting some tomatoes and a bunch of cucumbers — which is why I’m making these sesame cucumber noodles for dinner tonight.

5. My tiny family. Sam and Ringo like to “help” me cook.

Bonus joy: fresh peaches, zucchini quesadillas with grilled onions, writing with Mikalina, good TV, good movies, good podcasts, aqua aerobics, Pilates, sitting in the sauna, the fitness class I’m taking (and the fact that I can keep up with the 20-year-olds), yoga, clean sheets, getting all the laundry done, sourdough toast with marionberry jam, vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and walnuts, watching dumb TV with Eric, the way we laugh at the same dumb things.



Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. While Eric is still on vacation, we get to go all together, and that’s my favorite.


2. My “other” family. I was in Oregon last week visiting them – my parents, my brother and his two girls and one of their girls, and some aunts and uncles. It’s always good to see them, and then it’s always good to get back home to my own bed and my tiny family.

Mom and Dad. With them, I am simultaneously 51 and 12 years old, and they are both still younger than me and getting older.

Baby Lia (who’s almost not a baby anymore) and her grandpa, my big brother. She doesn’t like to eat bananas so much as she likes to peel them and throw the peel in the trash.

3. Our garden. We are currently getting tons of zucchini and cucumbers, but our tomatoes still aren’t ripe and our basil didn’t do too well this year. We went to a big plant sale and did some more work putting more flowers in the ground, to feed the bees and butterflies and keep down the weeds. Our goal is to eventually have plants everywhere with some paths winding through.

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

Golden Raintree, which the bees love

4. My tiny family. They are my favorite.

5. Sweet things, in particular peach pie made by Eric on the grill and Mikalina and home sweet home.

Bonus joy: a safe and relatively easy trip, hanging out at Mikalina’s house and writing with her today, teaching yoga, long naps, good books, good TV, seeing Andrea Gibson with Carrie and getting to hang out with Beka and Tracy too, getting all the laundry done and bills paid and clean sheets on the bed, not having to go back to work in another two weeks, aqua aerobics, hanging out in the sauna with the good people, the little old lady who waved at us as she drove by on our walk this morning, the way Sam follows me around everywhere, the way Ringo only cuddles with me and not Eric, cooking good food, new recipes, a/c.