In Between

Tea Time

Tea Time (Photo credit: Maia C)

This is my newspaper column for the week:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lie our growth and our freedom.” ~ Victor Frankl

It is in that space, the one between something happening to us and taking action that we live and breathe and make choices. And it is those choices that form our lives. Yes, I am getting a bit philosophical here, or pseudo-philosophical as the only letters behind my name declare me as someone who is supposed to have read all of Shakespeare’s plays (hard to take part in a comparative studies class of Shakespeare if you have not read all of his works ~ I learned this the hard way). I am also supposed to be able to take a theory and turn it into something practical–and, oh yeah, back in the day, I could dolly a mean television camera.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. While we are trying to make the hard choices, the right choices, and live our life the best way we know how—a little respite from all the serious stuff is sorely needed. Today, while reading some posts from my blog friends (no they are not my imaginary friends—there are living breathing people I have just not met in person) I came across a list of “Ten Things That Might Improve Your Day” by a Scottish woman {tearoomdelights} who writes primarily about tea, but also about life.  Curious? Well, I am going to satisfy that curiosity right now. She had an explanatory paragraph to elucidate each of her thoughts, but I will take her headings and provide you with a few of my own scattered notions.

Ten Things That Might Improve Your Day:

1. a nice hot beverage—of course her first choice was tea, but I am a fan of hot chocolate when I need my day improved.

2. a fresh pair of socks – now I have to share a few of her thoughts on this one as I thought they were first, unusual; and second, ingenious. She says that putting on a new pair of socks halfway through the day will refresh you, and if you do not have another pair of clean socks, then take off the ones you are wearing, shake them out, and put them back on.

3. a small nap – we have all read that successful people take 20 minute naps in the afternoon. Sounds like a good excuse to me.

 4. a wee read – told you she was Scottish. This one appealed to me in particular. A wee read can take you out of this world into another one for a few moments—a good way to improve you day.

5. a bit of fresh air – we all know this one, but how many of us embark on a little journey outside for some bird song and a little breeze?

6. a hot water bottle – perhaps this can be used in Scotland year round—but this would be the ticket here for three-quarters of the year. Soothing.

7. a bit of comedy – there is a reason I am addicted to some sitcoms. Some are clever, slice of life, and need I say it—funny.

8. a moment of peace—this one is self-explanatory and oh so necessary.

9. a thoughtful gesture – think of someone besides yourself and make them happy; improve their day (okay this was really her thought—but it needed no tweaking).

And finally, one I find a little abstract but her reasoning behind it is solid:

10. A blob of sun cream or to Canadianize it: sunscreen. She says that putting on sun cream makes her feel like she is on vacation even when she is not. Can’t argue with that for improving my state of mind.

My number 11 would be pumpkins—I just love them—they seem friendly, and make me happy. I do not know why. They just do. I bought a magazine yesterday that had pumpkins and squash and all manner of autumn things on the cover—taking me on a trip to my favourite season while we are still enmeshed in summer. I am not wishing the summer away though—there are still lots of things to enjoy in the month of August, like the harvest of ripe tomatoes in our little backyard garden plot; being able to just leave the house without sweaters and hats and coats and boots and mittens; outdoor picnics; and walking barefoot in the sand ~ just to name a few. Happy August—take a few minutes to enjoy it!

What would your number 11 be?

a summer frame of mind

Summer Shoes

Summer Shoes (Photo credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis)

A good part of the first half of this year I spent looking for and at times finding my bliss. The second half of 2013 is going to be used to put that bliss to work. It will be a challenge.  All kinds of things enter into the mix—but I hope in the end I will come up with a lovely batter and not a lumpy mess.

Join me in my journey to add some lovely moments to days that will have some ugly elements; days when a little poetry will be needed to fight off the drama; days when a little Mike’s hard lemonade relaxes the stresses.

July and August, in all their glory, hot and humid at times, breezy and warm at others, lay before us. It is the height of summer and this year I am going to enjoy the two months I most dread. While others glory in the heat, I am a temperate kind of girl—but I am going to embrace my younger self and enjoy what summer has to offer.  The calendar is filled with barbeques, little weekend getaways, and perhaps a trip to Ottawa and the Kingston area to see my sister and brother. I am not sure what the summer will bring—but I have my sunscreen and shorts on—so I am ready.

Like many of you, just because it is summer—it does not mean we do not have a lot of work to do. I am more determined than ever to find a balance. Sometimes I get in a holiday frame of mind and find that work just does not fit into the equation—but I am going to work it into the sum total of a successful summer.

What are your summer plans? How do you get your vacation frame of mind under control to get your work done?

Published in: on July 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm  Comments (36)  
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Comforts ~ Day 13 Or What Is the Rush? ~

August 20 National Day 2012

August 20 National Day 2012 (Photo credit: HatM)

I don’t know about you, but I am getting tired of people telling me to live in the now, enjoy the present, don’t look back, don’t look too far ahead…you know the drill. But, what I am not sick of is the fact that they have a point.

It is August, it is still summer, yet our minds are jetting off to school, and thinking about Thanksgiving (after all in Canada it is in October, and early this year even for us) and Halloween. I am surprised the Christmas hullabaloo hasn’t started yet. It is only August 25th, people!  Let’s slow down, roll the clock back to today’s date and simmer down.

I have a friend who tried to buy some lawn chairs the other day and was told at the hardware store that they are now putting their winter stuff out. It is August for goodness sake—and in this area we could have warm weather for at least two more months. Last Thanksgiving I remember cooking a turkey on a day that reached temps in the 80’s (or high 20’s for those of us in Canada who think in Celsius—I still have to convert.)

Today I am going to be grateful for

1. The fact that we really have almost a month of summer left. It does not stop at Labour Day. Now summer is not my favourite time of year, and I admit I have been trying to rush summer along to get to my favourite season, but for now, I am going to stop, and live here, today, in August.

2. Not having to don a coat and mittens and boots to go out the door. Just put on a pair of flip flops and go!

3.  The fact that my AC has frozen up. This gives me even more of a chance to bask in this lovely season of summer.  (I am ironically grateful for this.)

So, what was this post about? Live in the now, enjoy the present, don’t look back, and don’t look too far ahead. (Here I am, being ironic again!)

Published in: on August 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm  Comments (42)  
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Comforts ~ Post 1

August

August (Photo credit: randihausken)

For a myriad of reasons I have been in a funk lately, so in order to climb out of the abyss I am taking a page (or should I say post) out of another blogger’s notebook. I am going to start posting three things a day that I am grateful for or that give me comfort. Maybe this will turn things around, or at least make me realize that life is not rife with strife.

Grateful according to the thesaurus embedded mysteriously in my laptop has numerous synonyms: thankful, appreciative, glad, satisfying, gratifying, pleasant, pleasing and comforting. I am going to use all these renditions, but particularly the comfort aspect in my next eighteen posts, which should take me to the end of August. This is my new mini-challenge ~ wish me luck.

Things that comfort me:

1. The fresh unopened magazine waiting on my bedside table for me to relish before I go to sleep tonight.

2. That first taste of the chili that is bubbling on my stovetop right now—it hints of my favourite season to come: fall.

3. Savouring the last couple of weeks my youngest son will be at home before he goes back to college at the end of the month.

August full moon

August full moon (Photo credit: Stelios Kiousis)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(thank you to mybeautifulthings.wordpress.com for the idea – I will only be borrowing if for a few weeks)

Published in: on August 13, 2012 at 12:26 am  Comments (69)  
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