Once again it is time to reflect on the moments of celebration from the past seven days. Today I am prepared as I’ve started jotting quick notes in a notebook. I must confess, I am not an intentional writer in a notebook. Hopefully this practice will help me to remember and notice more celebrations.
First: My father-in-law turned 84 on Monday. That in itself is a celebration, but the day before produced a celebration of its own. On Sunday my husband, Mike, was driving up to be with his father for his birthday. As he was moving down the interstate, he noticed a car with windows open (it was chilly out), so this alerted him to pay attention. Mike thought this was the driver’s way to wake himself up. He kept watching as the car moved from side to side. Finally the car veered off into the median and the jolt woke the driver who was able to control the car and bring it to a stop. Mike stopped to check and see if the man was okay. He was, but he was badly shaken by the near miss of an accident. He was a soldier headed back to Ft. Leonard Wood. I celebrate that no one was injured and that Mike was able to check on the soldier.
Second: The 84th birthday celebration was a success. The father and son spent a enjoyable day together which involved a movie, Thai food, and ice cream.
Third: I also celebrated a friend’s birthday this week. Dinner out with the girls to toast friendship and birthdays.
Fourth: The weather gets a shout out from me, because it did not interfere with my working this week. Although it was cold, there was no snow or ice to make driving hazardous.
Fifth: I celebrate my OLW (sweet). All of a sudden this word is present in conversations I’ve had this week. That has made me stop and jot notes related to its usage. It will be interesting see where and when this word pops up this year.
I’m looking forward to discovering more celebrations next week. Are you?
Somewhere in Wyoming, I was standing outside a truck stop waiting for my husband to return to the car. Casually my eyes drifted over the people moving about their business as I was soaking in the warmth of the sun and the luxury of standing for a few moments. I was enjoying this moment of solitude.
Suddenly I notice a woman with a cigarette making her way towards my area. Dismayed, I noticed there was a bench near by. Internally I rolled my eyes, willing her to move on and not interrupt my peace. She plopped herself down on the bench, looked straight at me and said, “I love your hair color. Is that natural?” I confirmed her suspicions that indeed it was natural. She continued chatting, telling me how her hair was gray but not like mine so she has to color it. Then she said something that made me laugh, “I’m going to be 58 this year, and you are much younger than me.”
My response was, “Thank you, but I am already 58, so I am not younger than you.”
She looked shocked. “I thought you were in your forties,” she replied.
I told her she made my day and that put a smile on my face for the rest of the afternoon. When my husband returned to the car, the lady had one more comment for him. “You have a beautiful wife.”
“I know,” he replied.
A few kind words changed my view of this woman. I want to remember that and be mindful of what I say. Perhaps I can make someone smile for an afternoon as they revisit something I’ve said to them.
It’s amazing to me to think about the power one little word has. One little word can dash your hopes and dreams or send you on a journey of a lifetime. Selecting one little word to live by throughout the year is a difficult task. I think of Mark Twain, he said ”The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug.” So I want to get it right, for me.
Last year balance was my word of choice. It helped me to keep my life in balance. So I want to continue that journey of staying in balance but add another dimension to it. I thought of several words, but they didn’t feel right. I read choices made by others last week and envied them that they were ready to start their year with a word firmly in place. I began thinking about the word several weeks ago but nothing spoke to me.
Suddenly a word came to mind, aware. I want to be more aware, more conscious of my world. Hmm, I just might have my word, I thought. I did a word map for aware and immediately I knew I found my word. It embraces aware, but it is more. It is mindful. I want to be mindful of my life. Writing helps me to be mindful of those small details that may pass by unnoticed and forgotten quickly.
Now that I had my word, I went looking for what others have said about mindful. Here are a few quotes that spoke to me:
When you are mindful, you remain in a state of alert attentiveness to the present moment. Instead of judging the things that are going on around you as “good” or “bad”, you simply accept them for what they. By not labeling or judging the events and circumstances taking place around you, you are freed from your normal tendency to react to them.
“When you are mindful, you get to choose how you react to life.”
“Mindfulness has never met a cognition it didn’t like.”
“In mindfulness, acceptance always comes first, change comes after.”
I will keep these thoughts in my mind as I journey into the new year.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein
With this quote in mind, I got up from my desk, put on my walking shoes, and stepped out into the sunshine for a l-o-n-g overdue walk. Of course it helped that the air outside was a balmy sixty degrees. Yes, sixty degrees can be balmy when you are at the end of January and the usual temperature is in the forties.
I hate to admit it but it’s been at least three months since I’ve taken a long walk. I do have valid excuses:
- I was busy preparing material for work.
- I didn’t have enough preparation time between days in schools.
- It was cold.
- It was rainy.
- It was really windy and cold.
- I was tired.
- It was too dark outside.
Today it wasn’t dark or rainy or cold, but it was a little windy. I do have to prepare for work, but when I considered my One Little Word (balance), I knew I had to move. This word has been riding on my shoulder whispering in my ear, “How balanced was your day?”
Okay, you are right, not everything is balanced but I did better today than yesterday. Each day there is a small shift in the way I live. Slowly, the new ways will replace the bad habits of past.
Today I walked. Tomorrow I plan to walk, and the next day and . . .
Now, I need to walk with a notebook. I see something and immediately start thinking how can I bring this to life with my words? Then when I get home, I sit ready to write and the words have evaporated. My purse notebook will now be in my pocket when I set out, perhaps these words will not disappear, but they will become the fodder for my next Slice of Life.
March is approaching, and I wonder will I have something to say every day? I better keep moving to keep my balance.
One Little Word has intrigued me for several years as I’ve read about the words chosen by those who post on TWT and how it affects their lives. I’ve mentally played with the idea, but never could think of a word that seemed just right. Besides, I thought, how would this fit into my life? Now that I have been blogging for almost a year (this is #78, I can’t believe this!), I can see how to use that word to guide some of my writing and perhaps even my life.
I decided that my life has felt out of balance this fall. Too much of this and not enough of that. So I will strive to find a balance in my life for the next twelve months. I’ve made a list of some areas that need balance.
Leisure – Work
Reading for pleasure – Reading for professional reasons (although this can be a pleasure)
Exercise – Lazing about (or working)
Healthy – Indulgent (translates to yum!)
Purchase – Save
Own (as in books) – Borrow (from the library)
Writing it down is the easy part. Now I must continue to hold this word in my life and live it. Each day I need to ask myself, “Are you living a balanced life?” It is up to me to be sure I can say, “Yes!”