Category Archives: Gratitude Friday

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.


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.


Gratitude Friday

I can’t believe we got them to sit still and look in the general direction of the camera

1. Merry everything, happy always. We had a lovely, quiet and calm celebration, opened presents, cooked and shared and ate lots of good food, listened to Christmas music, took naps, and watched “Elf.”

2. I’m retired. On our walk this morning, I felt that familiar post-Christmas anxiety, that sinking feeling, the awareness that no matter how rested or good I was feeling, I was going to have to go back to work and that was going to ruin it. Then I remembered I’m retired and never have to go back.

3. The best Christmas present I can’t even tell you about. A dear friend recently got something they’ve wanted for such a long time. When I found out and tried to tell Eric, I burst into tears but was laughing at the same time. He said he’s never seen someone do that before, and it’s never happened to me, that particular mix of grief over everything they’ve been through, joy about what’s possible, and relief that the long dark night of waiting just might be over.

4. Eric is really good at gift giving. There were two giant boxes under the tree and he told me even if I guessed a million guesses, I’d never figure it out. He was right, two brass herons for my garden. He also buys me at least a few gifts just because he knows they’ll make me laugh.

5. My tiny family. My favorites.

Bonus joy: texting with my brother, cute pictures of his tiny family, talking to my mom on the phone, hanging out with Chloe’ and Mikalina, breakfast with Carrie, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna with Eric, naps, clean sheets, Christmas dinner leftovers for days, the new pen Eric bought me, good TV (Season 3 of Better Things is streaming on Hulu, and I accidentally started watching season one and it was so good I decided to rewatch the first two seasons before starting the new one), Amazon gift cards so I can load up my Kindle with more books, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep, therapy, my new favorite super soft pj pants that are my self-employed introverted hsp uniform, yoga, meditation, writing, morning walks with Eric and the dogs.

Gratitude Friday

Merry everything, happy always

1. Winter holiday season. This year it’s been especially lovely for me. In years past, I spent the weeks before scrambling to get CSU work finished before heading out for a 4-6 day writing and meditation retreat and scrambling either just before I left or just after I got back to get presents bought, wrapped, and shipped, and even with all that effort, usually because of the dates of the retreat, I’d miss being home for Eric’s birthday. This year NONE of that happened. I wasn’t working, I didn’t go on retreat, and I had all the presents bought, wrapped and shipped by Eric’s birthday, which we celebrated together. Then I found myself with a whole week left to enjoy the anticipation of the big holiday without any of the stress and speed. I could get used to this.

2. Holiday traditions with Eric. We got a tree again this year, only our 3rd or 4th one, and last night we went to a holiday themed show at the Lincoln Center, a venue only 10 minutes away from our house. I was way into Mannheim Steamroller in high school. That said, Eric and I went to their Christmas show last night, and it was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever experienced. Like at one point I leaned over and said to Eric, “if I were high right now, I’d be so freaked out.” It was like a Christmas rave. The light show and supplemental video was bonkers (at one point in the show, a song ended and the entire audience was so distracted by the accompanying video, no one clapped), and even though it was a Christmas themed concert, the arrangements were so fantastic, I didn’t even recognize most of it. Good show, just bonkers. We’ve been watching holiday themed TV at night and listening to Christmas music. We’ll go out for Chinese food at our favorite restaurant on Christmas eve. I went to the grocery store today to get most of what we need for Christmas dinner before things get too busy, and even though I forgot my list at home and Eric was napping so couldn’t text me a picture of it, I got everything but two items.

3. Flowers in the bathroom, holiday themed.

4. Teaching holiday themed yoga. My Tuesday class was one of the last ones most of my regular class would be at, so we had some fun renaming poses (downward dog became “downward reindeer”) and making up some moves (“snow angels” and “dancing reindeer”), listening to Christmas music, and sharing gifts. It was fun.

There’s a container of cheddar biscuits on the counter and they are trying convince me they are “for dogs”

5. My tiny family. They are the best.

This little dude turned 52 this week. This is him in a suit his mom made for him, and it’s one of my favorite pictures.

Bonus joy: hanging out with Mikalina, writing with Carrie, talking to my mom, running into friends I haven’t seen in a while, grocery shopping (I know, I’m weird like that), having all the laundry done even if it’s not quite put away, the twinkle of Christmas lights in the dark, texting with my brother, finding a present the two year old liked, good TV (even if it’s sort of dumb, or maybe especially if it’s sort of dumb because sometimes that’s all you can handle and exactly what you want), good books (I’m finishing The Night Circus), impeachment (even though I don’t actually want him removed because Pence is just as bad just more sneaky about it, and I’m not feeling hopeful he won’t get reelected, but at least there has finally been some shred of consequence for his actions), a good Pilates class, the pool and sauna finally reopening, a massage, a big salad, good bread.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks, and the various shades and colors of the Colorado sky. We’ve had to stick to the main roads because there are still patches of ice and snow from our big snow a few weeks ago, and it’s now back to being dark our whole walk, the sun only beginning to rise once we reach home. We haven’t seen much wildlife and it’s been so quiet.

The view from our front porch

2. We got our Christmas tree! We’ve only had one for the past three or four years after years without. The state of the world made us long for more light, more joy during this season and now it’s one of my favorite things all year. It only fell over twice before we finally got it settled.

3. Practice. Keeping me sane for over a decade.

The shrine on my writing desk where I sit and write morning pages every day

4. Celebrating the season with friends. We went to a fun party where, among other things, we decorated gingerbread houses. This coming week I get to teach a Christmas themed yoga class (it’s the last one before Christmas where everyone will be there, so we are celebrating a week early) and give out goodie bags.

5. My tiny family. They are my favorites. Eric is officially on vacation now, Sam had a bit of a setback but he seems to be feeling better, and Ringo continues to be the family jester. The dogs also got a bath this past week. When humans take a shower, it only involves at most a towel or two, a washcloth, maybe a hand towel, and a set of clean clothes. When (my) dogs take a bath, it involves washing not just the dogs, but 29 towels, two bath mats, all the blankets on the living room couches and chairs, as well as blankets on four different beds, and depending on how long since the last bath, maybe collars and harnesses too. It’s a lot of work, but totally worth it.

Post bath handsome

Bonus joy: good books (I just got done reading The Water Dancer), good TV (the third season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is streaming on Netflix), good movies (I watched Marriage Story, phew…), good podcasts (Mary Lambert and her partner started a new one that’s really good, The Manic Episodes), [seriously, there is WAY too much good content, which is double the trouble when you are a content creator, as in it limits the time you spend creating and is more competition for what you create], trying new classes at the gym and loving them, honoring my own truth when it would be really easy not to, writing with Carrie and Mikalina and Chloe’, knowing I just don’t have to, feeling a bit more energetic and inspired, other people’s honesty when you really need the truth, Strawberry Santa Hats, mixing hot cocoa with marshmallows in my coffee (so far the experiment is working, I am only drinking a cup every other day and that feels workable), reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep next to me, how much more Ringo wants to get on the couch and cuddle with me now that I’m home more often, how I can always depend on Sam to take a shower or nap with me (he keeps me company while I’m in the shower, doesn’t actually get in with me), having all the laundry done and put away, our heavier down blanket on the bed now that it’s colder, clean sheets, cooking new recipes, eating tried and true recipes, my new favorite owl pajama pants, laughing.

Something Good

Sunrise over the river

Sunrise over the river, image by Eric

1. 4 Things We Learned About Stress Relief in 2019 to Take Into the New Year.

2. The Mindful Kitchen: Recipes and Inspiration to Savor Each Moment and Every Bite, a Lion’s Roar special edition.

3. Ethical Conduct Is the Essence of Dharma Practice from Lion’s Roar. “The Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron outline three levels of Buddhist ethical codes, how we can follow them, and what it looks like when we miss the mark.”

4. Awakening Fueled by Rage from Lion’s Roar. “As a dharma teacher, says Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, she’s told she shouldn’t feel or express rage. She disagrees and reveals how rage can be ‘life-giving and illuminating’ and help ‘fuel a transformation toward awakening.'”

5. Lydia Davis: Ten of My Recommendations for Good Writing Habits. “Advice for Writers on Editing, Revising, and Taking Notes.”

6. Austin Kleon’s Interview with Crazy Good Turns (podcast).

7. Dealing with Family and Friend Body-Shaming. Also from Dances with Fat, TikTok Thinks That Fatphobia Can Be Solved With More Fatphobia.

8. Review Your Year & Set Intentions for 2020 on Zen Habits.

9. Why We Need Satisfaction to Feel Healthy Around Food. “When you don’t take into account our needs for pleasure and satisfaction in eating, it’s actually a form of deprivation. And we all know what happens when we tell ourselves that we can’t have something.”

10. Lost dog surprises her boy at school and his reaction is priceless. I’m not crying, you’re crying! *sob*

11. Colorado Business Owner Learns How Real Boycotts Are After His Kaepernick Boycott Forces Him To Close Shop. “Perhaps there are more…Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” the businessman said. Maybe we don’t just support Colin Kaepernick, but we agree with his protest: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

12. Kindergartner Invites His Entire Class to His Adoption Hearing on The New York Times. “Nearly two dozen kindergartners gave testimonials in a Michigan courtroom about how much they loved the soon-to-be-adopted boy.”

13. Maybe it’s time to consider that Peloton is trolling us all with its advertising. In related news, Ryan Reynolds Perfectly Trolls the Peloton Holiday Commercial in His New Aviation Gin Ad.

14. ‘I Got Tired of Hunting Black and Hispanic People’ on The New York Times. “Multiple police officers in Brooklyn say they were told by a commander that white and Asian people should be left alone.”

15. George Zimmerman SUES Trayvon Martin’s family and Florida prosecutors for $100MILLION, claiming they engineered false evidence in his homicide trial for shooting dead the unarmed black teen in 2012. “The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, is also named as a defendant. He is accused of defamation and attempting to ‘deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other legal rights’. Crump responded to the lawsuit on behalf of himself and Martin’s parents in a statement Wednesday. ‘This plaintiff continues to display a callous disregard for everyone but himself, revictimizing individuals whose lives were shattered by his own misguided actions,’ he said. ‘He would have us believe that he is the innocent victim of a deep conspiracy, despite the complete lack of any credible evidence to support his outlandish claims. This tale defies all logic, and it’s time to close the door on these baseless imaginings.'” In related news, Trayvon Martin’s Family Responds to George Zimmerman’s $100 Million Lawsuit.

16. Homeowner Leaves Snacks For Amazon Delivery Guy And His Reaction Is Too Pure. His happy dance at the end of the video is one of my favorite things right now.

17. Migrant Teen Lay for Hours in His Cell Before He Was Found Dead on The New York Times. “A video shows the boy in severe distress. He was discovered by his cellmate, not immigration officials, as they originally claimed.”

18. This year’s best Christmas commercial, from Hafod Hardware. (video)

19. How cuts to food stamp program could increase ‘poor outcomes’ for the food insecure.

20. “No Choice But To Act”—Pelosi Calls For Articles Of Impeachment Against Donald Trump.

21. Aidy Bryant Goes on Path to Self-Discovery in ‘Shrill’ Season 2 Trailer.

22. #ExpressiveWriting Prompts to Use If You’ve Been Accused of #WhiteFragility #SpiritualBypass or #WhitePrivilege. I’ve shared this before, but it’s always worth a reshare.

23. 11-Year-Old Who Looks Up To Misty Copeland Is The New York City Ballet’s First-Ever Black Nutcracker Lead.

24. Dementia in Senior Dogs.

25. Support Maggie’s 200 Hour YTT Fundraiser.

26. Launching the Bhumisparsha Sangha fundraiser.

27. Border Patrol threw away migrants’ belongings. A janitor saved and photographed them.

28. NPR’s Favorite Books of 2019.

29. How To Leave Toxic Diet Culture Behind And Pursue Actual Health with Ragen Chastain. (podcast)

30. Body Kindness Podcast. “I believe we all have an enormous power to change diet culture – one voice at a time. In this podcast I talk to people from all walks of life about their journey to a better wellbeing. From food to family to sex, you never know what will come up in an episode.”

31. Toward an Applicable Theory of Just Not. “The power that so many of us have to change the deeply fucked systems we’re part of by abstaining from them — a more active and dangerous prospect than the language makes it sound — is immense, and it is terrifying. It is harder to do than is possible to explicate here; it is the most honest work there is.”

32. Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. He Had One Question. on The New York Times. “Was she the reason he was alive today?”

33. My So-Karen Life on The New York Times. “I know Karens are hard. As a member of Gen X, I grew up surrounded by them.”

34. Instagram is broken. It also broke us. “Influencers and regular users are reckoning with what Instagram has done to them. Now Instagram wants us to love it again.”

35. Why White-Collar Workers Spend All Day at the Office. “The web may be our garden of boundless leisure, but it is also a global workplace without limits. And in the open office of the internet, more Americans are not only engaged in overwork but also convinced that it is necessary to love their labor, above all else.”

36. The False Promise of Morning Routines. “Why everyone’s mornings seem more productive than yours.”

37. Home For Christmas | Official Trailer | Netflix. (video) I finished watching this last night, and except for a bit of a letdown in the final moments, it was SO good. It reminded me a bit of Rita and Hjørdis, which you can also stream on Netflix and were also SO good.

38. Writing doesn’t always have to be exciting. Ordinary is good too. fro Melissa Toler.

39. When I Discovered My Town Is Where Immigrant Families Are Separated. “A Texas journalist’s investigation revealed the worst and best of America—including the Angry Tías from the community who are providing help.”

40. The Stunning Astronomical Beadwork of Native Artist Margaret Nazon.

41. Maureen Corrigan’s Favorite Books Of 2019: Here Are 10 Unputdownable Reads.

42. Hiking Wheelchair Opens Up Outdoor Lifestyle To People With Serious Disabilities.