Tag Archives: Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday

1. Signs of Spring. The birds are returning and things are starting to bloom and turn green. It’s a nice reminder that the earth goes on without us and that things are always changing, coming back around, starting again. Winter happens, but so does Spring, and even when things are bad there is also joy.

2. Good food is still being made and eaten. Feeding ourselves as well as we can and enjoying what we are eating is suddenly the biggest of luxuries, the most essential self-care.

3. Texting and video conferencing. It is always hard to be separated from people you love, but that’s especially true right now. I’m so grateful that my mom has a smartphone now and we can text whenever we want, that I can check in with her more regularly, that it doesn’t have to be something important or interesting enough to warrant an email or phone call.

4. “Yard time.” This is what Eric and I have been calling it when it’s nice enough to sit outside, soak up the sunshine and fresh air, which we try to do for some hours of the day when we can. It snowed yesterday, so at one point we just stood at the sliding glass door, looking outside, as it was too cold to go out. The forecast for the next few days is sunny and climbing to the 70s, so there will be yard time again soon.

5. Normal things in an abnormal time. “Before” when we were away from each other, we’d text selfies to each other, just to check in and say “hi.” We are still doing it, even though we are both home. The other day, Eric was in the backyard and I was inside on the couch, and we sent each other selfies, to remind ourselves we are still here.

5. Time alone. As much as I love my dogs and my person, I still need time alone. Ever since I retired from my job at CSU in May, I spend part of almost every afternoon in my bedroom in the dark. My nervous system was/is fried and needs the time to reset, restore, rest. This ritual has become even more important recently.

6. Morning walks. Getting outside, moving around in the world with my favorites.

7. My tiny family. I am so grateful we are together, safe and healthy. I’m also so glad that as much as we love each other, we also like each other’s company. It’s an added bonus that when you have to be around someone ALL THE TIME, you mostly enjoy it.

Bonus joy: curbside grocery pick-up, a big salad, apples, a glass of clean cold water, good TV (Unorthodox on Netflix was so good, and all of the seasons of House Hunters on Hulu are saving me when I can’t handle anything more serious), good podcasts, good music, good books, meditating and writing in the morning, cuddling with the dogs, naps, having lots of pajamas so I can put a clean pair on every once in awhile, being able to take yoga classes with Jamie and Aramati on Zoom, doing HIIT workouts with Eric, Eric being able to work from home, clean sheets, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep.


Gratitude Friday

1. You, kind and gentle reader. I wish I could give every single one of you a hug right now, sit down together with a cup of tea and ask you how you are doing, cook you a meal, go for a walk. Since I can’t, this will have to do, and this is such a blessing. May you be safe, may you be well, may you find some ease, and my you be happy.

2. Technology. I know that it gets us in trouble sometimes, fails us in some ways, presents us with new complications, can be frustrating, but I can’t even imagine what this moment in time would be like if I didn’t have such easy access to information, news, music, podcasts, TV, movies, books, video conferencing, YouTube workouts, recipes, online shopping (especially for groceries), virtual therapy, online hangouts with friends, email, texting with the people I love, this blog, Facebook and Instagram. And that doesn’t even include technologies like indoor plumbing, water treatment, electricity, etc.

3. Practice. Even on a regular day when there’s no immediate threat of any kind, I depend on practice to survive, to stay sane, and that is only more true now.

4. Daily workouts with Eric. This was us after our workout today, sweaty and happy, (I swear, Eric has pants on). We are both so much happier when we move, and without the gym and yoga studio, we’ve had to get creative. The schedule I’m trying right now is every other day, I walk dogs with Eric and we do yoga together, and on the opposite days, we do a HIIT workout from YouTube (we’ve been enjoying Body Coach TV) and I do some yoga on my own. It really helps with my state of mind. And to be clear, that’s just me, what I need, and in no way is intended to imply that anyone else has to use this time to move in any sort of way that doesn’t make them feel good, calm and safe. You do you!

5. Morning walks. I’m going more often now, and it feels so good to get outside. I’m grateful we are used to walking early, before anyone else is really out. With the time change, it’s still pretty dark, with the sun only starting to rise as we are on our way back home.

6. My tiny family. I am so so so lucky that I love them so much, that they are my favorite way to spend my time, that everyone so far is safe and well and happy.

Bonus joy: fresh fruits and vegetables which seem so precious right now, sitting out on the patio in the sun, the sound of the birds in the morning, our irises and tulips and daffodils starting to come up, everything getting green, the people I know who’ve been sick getting better, hanging out with Chloe’ and Mikalina, texting with my brother and mom, pick up groceries (we wanted to try delivery but that service is overwhelmed), buying seeds for our garden (we are planting ALL THE THINGS this year), clean water, how well Sam did at his physical therapy appointment without me (they came out and got him out of the car, physical distancing from the humans to keep the vets and techs safe, doubly important to me because they not only take care of my dogs but they are my yoga students and I love them so much, want them all to be safe and well), that I live in a state where our leadership is being so careful, finally having a year where we’ll get a refund on our taxes (all due to the electric car we bought, the refund for which will pay off our other car), sunshine, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep, napping with Sam, Ringo getting the zoomies in the backyard, a kitchen counter love note from Eric even though neither one of us are leaving the house much right now, all the plants that Eric had to bring home from his office, (I’d wanted more plants, just not like this).

Gratitude Friday

1. Spring. For us here in Colorado, the first day of spring meant a snow storm. The day before, however, was sunny and warm-ish, so I sat out on the patio soaking it in, knowing what was coming.

My shirt says “all this is temporary” — which is the good news and the bad.

2. Good food. Resources are limited at the store because people are still panic buying, but Eric made English Muffin Bread and I have jam my aunt sent me and I was thinking how lucky we are that we know how to cook our own food because I suspect there are a lot of people out there right now struggling because they don’t know how to cook.

3. If I have to be on lockdown, I’m sure glad it’s with this guy. Seriously, I know there are many people right now who are alone or stuck in a situation with a difficult person or complicated relationship, and I’m so lucky that the person I’m “stuck” with is the person I prefer spending all my time with anyway. He struggled a little yesterday trying to get a situation set up at home that would allow him to work the way he’s used to, but he figured it out.

Eric trying to use my laptop and not having much success. Ringo of course was in heaven.

4. Practice. Especially now, this has been the anchor I’ve needed. I posted on Instagram this morning that I was thinking I should apologize, for my stillness, for my quiet, for my distance. I’ll be helpful, have something to offer at some point, but right now I’m still trying to process my own shock, confusion, and fear. And yet, that IS an offering, isn’t it? Me, over here making my best effort to be sane, to cultivate wisdom and compassion, doing so out of love – for me, for you, for all of it.

5. My tiny family. The dogs love that we are both home more often now. They have, however, yet to work out how to get enough napping done during the day with us here as a distraction. I am super grateful that for now they are healthy and well, and I hope we can all stay that way for a bit longer.

Bonus joy: that even with a global pandemic we can still go outside and walk around in the world, living in a state that is taking this very seriously and taking appropriate precautions, the way the earth is showing us it can heal itself if we just slow down, my mom finally getting a smartphone (even though she hasn’t figured out how to text yet, she will, and then we’ll be texting!), texting with my brother and neighbor, the internet which allows me to watch TV and hang out with friends and stay informed and in general not feel so isolated, my health, seeing one of my yoga students yesterday even if it was from a distance and only for a moment, grocery store workers and everyone else responsible for us having access to food and toilet paper, all the healthcare workers and first responders risking their own health to care for us, good books, good podcasts, good TV, TV and movies on demand, a working fridge, clean water, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep.


Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. We went by the river and around the ponds this week, but because of the time change, it was too dark to take any pictures. I keep my headlamp on the whole time, and the sun is only just coming up as we are almost home. Sam is back up to being able to walk four miles in the morning and that makes me so happy.

2. Sam came to live with us 10 years ago this week. We had planned on going to Lifeline Puppy Rescue over the weekend to get a new dog, the same place we got Obi and Dexter, but I was home sick midweek and looking on Craigslist, where I saw a listing for Sam from the woman fostering him and his brother for another local rescue. I emailed Eric and we agreed I’d email the foster mom. As soon as she emailed back, I knew we’d found our new puppy, and Dexter agreed, so we brought him home. They guessed he was about 12 weeks old, but he was probably closer to 8 or 9 and looked like a baby bear.

3. Spring is coming. It seems appropriate that I took this picture of the first crocuses in the dark, using the light of my headlamp. Things are getting so weird, but the birds have returned and flowers are blooming. Life is like that — tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal. Wash your hands and keep your heart open.

4. Practice. More than ever, it’s helping to keep me strong, stable, and sane.

5. My tiny family. There’s no one I’d rather be “stuck at home” with, and I’m so thankful that dogs and seemingly children won’t be seriously impacted by COVID-19.

Bonus joy: a safe and comfortable home to hunker down in, the rational and reasonable approach Colorado is taking to this pandemic, the ability to stay home for long stretches of time, the resources that make staying home for long stretches of time workable, that if/when we do get sick there won’t be much I need to cancel, the internet, good books, good podcasts, good TV, limes, clementines, sweet potatoes, a big glass of cold clean water, getting all the laundry done before lunchtime, hanging out on Zoom with friends, all those working so hard to keep people safe and healthy.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. On one this week the sky really lit up, and on another we walked through the snow by the river.

2. Good food. I’ve been avoiding campus or campus events and even most campus people cause it feels too soon, too tender, but this week I took myself to lunch at one of my old favorite work lunch spots right across the street from CSU.

3. Good content. I finished Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives and Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, both really helpful. I also finished watching Gentefied on Netflix, which was really good too, (although just dramatic enough I could only watch one episode a day).

4. Good friends. People I can trust, who make me laugh.

5. My tiny family. My favorites. Eric is such a good husband, offers me so much support and loves me so much, and I love that Ringo gets I’m also his person now that I’m home more often, and even though Sam triggered my anxiety last night waking up choke coughing, he eased it later when he got in bed and spooned with me.

Bonus joy: aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna, yoga, meditation, this mantra, taco bean salad, fresh lemonade, tulips, bird song in the morning, a good therapist, Girl Scout Thin Mints, canceled plans, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep, TV shows that are easy to watch (like HGTV’s House Hunters), coupons, grocery shopping, my new pen, clean soft pajamas, cooking with Eric, sunshine.

Gratitude Friday

1. The last bit of winter. I think I’ve mentioned it: as much as I love my garden and all the green and sun of spring and summer, living in Colorado I actually prefer the weather in fall and winter. We’ve been getting snow pretty regularly this month, but I can hear the birds singing in the morning and it is getting light much earlier, so spring is close. I’m savoring this last bit of cold and snow.

2. Good food. I made this Sweet Potato Salad with Pepita Dressing from Smitten Kitchen (my favorite recipe site) this week, added in some spinach because I had some that was wilting and needed to be used, and it was SO good. Pretty much anything with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, and spinach is going to be something I like, and the lime really made this salad. I love trying new recipes, especially when they turn out well and are something I want to eat again.

3. Teaching yoga. This week in my regular class, I talked about “completing the stress cycle.” This is the time of year when people are getting sick and feeling fatigued by the dark and cold, and I had one person with a knee injury and another with a hurt back. I was also pretty sore from doing 120+ push ups in a fitness class the day before and extra tired from a people-y week, so teaching was a challenge, but also the best medicine.

4. Good TV. I watched The Stranger and Safe on Netflix this week. They are both based on books by the same author, murder mysteries with lots of interpersonal drama and intrigue, and even though it seems like those things would be triggering for someone with anxiety issues, they are weirdly calming in small doses. I’m also rewatching The Office, one of the only comedies that seems to stand the test of time, and there’s always House Hunters to round it out. I’m also reading some good books and listening to a bunch of good podcasts and good music. There seriously isn’t enough time to consume all the worthy content, let alone create some.

5. My tiny family. Last night while I was watching TV, Ringo got in my lap, and seriously there is nothing better than a warm cuddly dog on a cold night. Sam does his cuddle shift in the morning, in the hour or so before the alarm goes off.

Sam grows his own socks in the winter

Bonus joy: pay day, Girl Scout Thin Mints, napping, clean pjs, clean sheets, a warm cup of cocoa coffee while I write in the morning, writing with Carrie, hanging out with Mikalina, aqua aerobics, morning walks with the dogs, blue sky, good neighbors, my tiny house, sitting in the sauna with Eric, texting, therapy, grocery shopping.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Yesterday was only six degrees and it had snowed late the night before, so we drove to the park to walk by the river, (the city is better about getting the trail cleared than our neighbors are about clearing their sidewalks). Sure it was foggy and cold, but it was so pretty.

There are two deer out in that field

Ringo had frosty whiskers

2. Going to a show with Eric. It was the last one we have tickets to this season at the Lincoln Center. I’m so glad he likes to go to shows, everything from a musical to comedy.

3. Our new living room. The carpet and sectional and bookshelves and plant Eric bought me make it all so cozy.

4. Honoring what I need. This week it meant a few new books, cancelling some plans, eating whatever I wanted, watching dumb TV, and taking long naps.

5. My tiny family. They are my favorite.

Bonus joy: sitting in the sauna on a really cold day, a warm shower, clean pjs, reading in bed at night while Eric and the dogs sleep, drinking cocoa coffee while writing in the morning, sitting under my infrared heating pad, how when I back into the parking spot at the park the sidewalk is tall enough that Sam hardly has to jump to get into the back of the car, teaching yoga, writing with Carrie, how good walking in the pool feels when my knee is sore, cute pictures of my grand niece that remind me how cute her mama was when she was little, laughing in the car with Eric way harder than we’d laughed inside at the comedy show, the new griddle he ordered, cooking dinner with him, a big glass of cold clean water, letting go a little.