End of 2020

Finally! Its the end of this year. We will all be glad to see it go.

There are so many things that I could reflect on about this past year but I really want to try to focus on the positive. That’s not to say that I haven’t had really rough days like everyone else. I tend to feel things deeply and have had times of fears and tears. Yet there is always something positive. This year we just needed to look harder.

I worked on my novel steadily until just before Thanksgiving. That is a huge accomplishment for me and I’m very happy with the work I got done. I finished two complete drafts. Then in November I realized that I have a huge flaw in the story and need to fix it. With the holidays coming and after working on it nonstop for the year, I realized that for the first time since NaNoWriMo 2019 that I didn’t have the energy or the drive to work on it. I also felt that I’ve been looking at it so closely for so long that I didn’t have a good perspective on it anymore. So I’ve taken a break. Which has been a good thing because just last week I finally have an idea of how to fix the problem. I think I came up with this idea because even though I wasn’t physically writing, I was still mulling over the story. So now I’m debating about working on it or just giving it to beta readers and see what they have to say about it first and then dive in again. I’m leaning that way because I’m sure they will find things I don’t see and then I can tackle it all at once with renewed energy.

I discovered that working on this book has been a wonderful escape from the world this year and that has been a gift.

Surprisingly there have been some good things from this year.

-To know that I need to get outside and enjoy nature more. I got to do quite a bit of camping this year which was really a sanity saver for me. It was amazing to see how many people have discovered camping this year because it was one of the few things we can do safely. I have never seen the campgrounds as full as they were this year. And most of the places I went did a fantastic job of keeping people safe.

-This year gave us more time to focus on things that make us happy at home. For me that’s organizing more, digging out old hobbies and projects and working on them. Really focusing on my home.

-I discovered that there are good things about wearing masks; like you don’t need to worry about pimples, stray whiskers or food in your teeth.

-I have learned so many new programs and apps for both work and home. Who knew we would become such experts at video chatting with people? That we would need to think about things like lighting, sound and background noise. How cute has it been to see all the cats and dogs peeking at everyone? Or one of my favorites was the disembodied arm that appeared to float behind one person in their virtual background?

-I appreciate what is important to me more than ever, like family and friends, and to never take any of them for granted.

-To be caring and considerate to others because everyone has different comfort levels. And on top of that despite how much time we have been dealing with this virus, we still have good days and bad days which I for one, never expected to still be happening.

-To respect each other.

-To always be as kind as we can be.

Now that this year is at an end, I think we can all agree that it has been full of learning opportunities. I remember thinking before the year began how interesting it would be to live in the year 2020. 20/20 is perfect eyesight. I thought it would be a good year to focus on clarity. Who knew that we would be forced into seeing things we never wanted to see? But I think in many ways it’s been a year of clarity. As a world we have all learned to see many things clearly, whether we wanted to or not. But I also think it has been an amazing opportunity to look with open eyes at what is really important in our lives. Not just individually but as a world.

Hindsight is 20/20. Time will tell how true that is.

I wish you all a good 2021. I wish everyone good health, good family and friends. I wish continued growth and happiness for all of us.

Happy New Year!

Believe and Focus

2017. What a year!

I was really struggling in the last quarter of 2017. I’m usually a pretty positive person and for the short times when I’m not, I can pull myself out of it and move on. I wasn’t able to do that as well as usual. I had a sense of anxiety that didn’t seem to be caused by any one thing. That was unnerving. And scary. And for those of you who suffer from severe anxiety on a regular basis, I have a new respect for what you deal with on a regular basis. And I’m so glad there are a variety of treatments out there.

I knew that I needed to keep searching for a solution and an answer to why I was feeling this way. But the more I thought about it the more I worried and the worse it got. So I stopped questioning why I felt the way I did and shifted my focus. 

This all sounds very deep and wonderful but I’m also a bit stubborn so I sometimes overlook the obvious. After a week or so (maybe it was longer) I was in a store looking at Christmas ornaments and I found one that had the word ‘believe’ on it. I realized that I had been seeing or hearing the word ‘believe’ over and over again for weeks! I mean a lot. Like a ridiculous amount of times. I finally really saw it and knew that this was my sign, my word, and I was on the right track. I bought the ornament and hung it on the Christmas tree at eye level, (which is pretty low because I’m short) so I could see it as a positive affirmation every day.

Just focusing on that one word a few times a day made a difference.

For me, focusing on believing that things happen for a reason and that it will all work out was what I needed to get out of my funk. Mostly. It’s a daily practice. Sometimes it’s hour by hour or minute by minute. It depends on the day.

So that brought me to the word ‘focus’. Our thoughts are powerful so we need to focus on what we want in our lives and not all the craziness in the world around us. I know this sounds like a cliché but it’s true.

If I can focus on finding something beautiful, positive or inspiring every day it’s amazing how much better life is. It never fails. It isn’t easy, but it works.

Like what?

Like the miracle of the tiny Juncos that visit my feeder in this frigid weather. The fact that these tiny creatures can survive outside when the temperature has been in the teens during the day and in the single digits at night amazes me. 

Junco hanging on a windy, frigid day.

Or the soft touch of my cat’s paw resting on my arm at night. And that gentle look of contentment on her face.

Or the giggle of a toddler at work.

Or helping someone anytime and anywhere. It doesn’t have to be big. Just seeing someone smile or say thank you because of something I did is huge.

When I focus on these things then I can believe that there is good in this world and if we choose to focus on that instead of all the terrible things the media throws at us then I believe that 2018 will be a better year.

I wish everyone a positive 2018.

Happy New Year.

Winter: Enjoying It, Kind Of

Winter is probably my least favorite season of the year. I enjoy it more when I can stay home and don’t have to navigate the slippery roads. I don’t even mind shoveling that much when I can take my time and enjoy that special peaceful quiet that is part of a gentle snowfall or after a big snowstorm.

I am really trying to stay positive despite all the snow and ice we had in December.

Ice-covered

Ice-covered

 

And I’m still looking for the beauty despite the frigid cold we’ve had and lots more snow we’ve gotten this month.

Holly Berries

Holly Berries

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do find this icicle beautiful and amazing.

Cool curved icicle

Cool curved icicle

I wrote a poem about winter that I was going to post but it in rereading it just now, it’s very dark. Definitely not a happy poem.

A friend of mine wrote a great poem about winter that pretty accurately describes how I feel about it at this point. I just reread it on his blog and it still makes me laugh, so please visit here  to read it.

I also really enjoyed these photos from one of my favorite blogs. He managed to capture winter beauty as he always does. Please check out his blog too for a lift.

In the meantime, I am enjoying staying cozy inside. I’ve read a few really good books. I’m drinking a lot of green tea which is supposed to be healthy for you. And I am finally getting back to my writing which I have let sit idle for too long but sometimes I just have to do that. Don’t you?

What do you do to make winter more enjoyable?

Little Pleasures Page

I have Little Pleasures as a category when I like to write about the things that inspire me, make me smile or are just positive. There are so many quick little things that I decided to make a Page about it which is basically a list. I would love to see what Little Pleasures you find. Feel free to leave a comment and I can add it to the list or start a list of your own. When you look for them, you will find you are surrounded with wonderful things in your day. Enjoy!