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Gratitude Friday

1. Rest. I have been making sure I honor this need, especially now. And any time that little voice starts harping about how I’m being lazy, that I need to get up and accomplish something, I remind myself what a hard year its been, in so many ways, and remind myself of that quote from Banksy, “If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit,” or what Andrea Gibson said, “Years ago, inspired by a conversation with my therapist, I started calling my most depressed times—hibernations. It helped me reframe my very low days as days that might refuel and nurture me. It also eased shame’s grip on my thoughts about what I was or wasn’t doing. “

2. Happy Anniversary, Ringo! I made this picture this morning, a play on the “How it started. How it’s going.” memes. On this day, seven years ago, we brought Ringo home. I am more grateful for him today than ever. I have to keep reminding myself that other people have just one dog and it’s not weird, so it’s okay for now and until we are ready for another to have just him, knowing that Ringo is never “just” anything.

3. Comfort, in all its various forms.

Enchiladas

4. Morning walks. The snow over the weekend melted and refroze so the trails closest to the river were frozen over like ice skating rinks so we had to stay on the paved trail, but if we hadn’t we would have missed the flock of wild turkeys taking advantage of the seed that had fallen on the ground under someone’s bird feeders.

5. My tiny family. Eric started to go back to his office to work some of the time this week, and while I miss him, it’s nice to feel like things are sort of “normal.” He stayed home yesterday but was on Zoom meetings ALL DAY (started at 7:30 am and went until 7 pm with just a few breaks), and Ringo didn’t love that even though I convinced him to take a nap with me and he seemed to like that.

Bonus joy: Wild Writing with Laurie and my sangha of writers, writing and hanging out with Mikalina, texting with my mom and brother and Chloe’, seeing people’s pets and kids on Zoom, birds, sunshine, honey, hot coffee, tiny marshmallows, books, podcasts, TV, movies, music, naps, sitting in the sauna with Eric, making each other laugh, soft fresh white bread, laundry, being retired, that spot in the corner of our new couch, my infrared heating pad, snow, the river, being able to see the foothills of the Rocky Mountains from where I’m sitting right now, mail, down pillows and blankets, reading in bed while Eric and Ringo sleep.

Gratitude Friday

1. Christmas season. We put our tree up. We had to put it in a different spot because of the new layout of our living room — Sam’s couch is in the spot where we used to put the tree. I got out ALL the things I have for Christmas and decorated. I got a poinsettia to have on my “desk” (i.e. the dining room table). I’ve been meditating in front of our lit up tree in the morning and putting tiny marshmallows in my coffee, and today it’s snowing! The slowed down, lit up mood of this season is typically lovely, and this year seems essential.

2. Practice. Still keeping me here, saving me, allowing space for all the hard things while allowing room also for the joy.

3. Shopping and giving online. Yes there are all kinds of things about online commerce that are problematic, but this year it made my holiday gift giving so much less risky, allowing me to shop from home and ship directly (while others put themselves at risk so I could stay home). I’m also glad that I can safely and easily send money online to food banks, as well as other people and places who need extra support right now.

4. Good food. For me, this is the season of soup, good bread and biscuits, clementines, honey roasted peanuts, roasted sweet potatoes, and pie.

5. Morning walks. We’ve been leaving a bit later so we’d still see the sun rise. The sky in Colorado is especially beautiful in the winter.

6. My tiny family. Right now it feels okay to just have one dog, just Ringo (who isn’t “just” anything). The season is making me miss Sam — his 11th birthday was/would have been yesterday and he won’t be with us for Christmas — and that doesn’t really leave room for a “new to us” dog. I am really really looking forward to Eric getting some time off work for the holidays, to get to spend more time together, for him to get to rest, take it easy for a bit.