I Wish You a Merry Christmas (Yes, You)

 

Yes You

 

Not sure what your day looks like, but I do hope it’s joyful. Maybe you’ll have yourself some laughs. Maybe some good times. Maybe some peace.

 

No matter where you are, I hope this day of yours is worth living. I hope mine is, too.

With Bells On

 

With Bells On

 

The season continues, as do I. To boost my own spirits, I’ve attached some bells to my old (old) army boots. The jingle-jangle of each step brings joy to my soul.

 

There’s no tree at our house this year. About the only things signifying the holidays are the cards on the mantel. Those and the array of colorful cans from the Beer Advent Calendar. Just last night I pointed out to Mister how the mantel area has become quite the mix of sophistication, quirk and frat house. Some things just leave a gal shaking her head.

 

Anyhoo – if you see me out in the world over the next couple of weeks, keep an ear open. I may very well have shown up with bells on. I do love to jingle-jangle.

Today

 

 

Sometimes, for no reason at all, I become depressed. That depression can be debilitating or merely annoying. It can break me in body and spirit, or it can challenge me to break it. Sometimes, for no reason at all, I’m filled with joy. That joy can be the kind that’s bubbly and giggly. Or it can simply be quiet and smiley. The latter is the type of joy that struck me yesterday and it was lovely.

 

If I wanted to decipher my happiness, I could point to avoiding the news as a source. Or maybe the long walk from yesterday morning. The nachos I had for lunch could deserve some of the credit. But I’m not in the deciphering mood. I am merely content. Content to go about my business. Content to handle life, at least for today. And because I know how good the joyful moments are, I’m grateful.

 

Sometimes, for no reason at all, I become depressed. Thankfully, today is not one of those days.

I Feel Good

 

 

Yesterday I woke with a smile. There in the dark, completely content to face a Monday, I felt good. And I said as much, right out loud. Only I didn’t say it. I sang it.

 

There’s this musician dude, Freebo, and he’s got a song called “Sometimes It’s For Nothin’.” A lot of folks refer to the song as “I Feel Good” because those words are repeatedly repeated in the chorus. Anyone who’s ever seen Freebo live will tell you how infectious this song can be. The whole audience gets to wailing along with him, and I swear. By the time that song is over, you do feel good.

 

Freebo is a sweet guy and though our paths have not crossed for quite a while, I do think of him fondly from time to time. And almost always, those thoughts are triggered by the lyrics “I feel good.” Yesterday morning was lovely. And I did feel good.

 

I also sent peaceful thoughts to Freebo. I send good thoughts to various people all the time. Sometimes those notions are in the form of prayer. Sometimes not. When I imagine folks receiving my good intentions, I picture them smiling. I don’t insert myself into the scene, though, as there’s no need for friends and loved ones to credit me in any way, shape or form. I don’t need to be part of their joy or happiness. That’s theirs. My only hope in focusing on the well-being of another is that they actually connect with themselves and revel in that moment. Just seeing that in my mind causes me to smile. And maybe that’s the point of well-wishing. Maybe sending kind thoughts to another actually increases kindness within the sender. And if my kindness for myself flares, mightn’t I be more likely to spread that around as I go about my day? And isn’t it possible that I might make someone else’s day, if only in passing? It’s lovely to imagine life that way.

 

So yes. I felt good yesterday. And while Freebo wasn’t the cause of my feelings, his music certainly did reflect my morning joy. I’d say that was plenty good reason to send Freebo excellent vibes. Hope he felt them.

Monday, Monday

 

 

A week ago, I started Monday with a carryover of Sunday’s blues. It wasn’t the best.

 

But today is a new Monday, a new week. And I feel new as well. I didn’t do anything extraordinary over the weekend. It was what some might call boring. I stayed home all weekend, spent time with Mister (who had a summer cold), watched the wrap-up of the Rio Olympics games and chilled. And it couldn’t have been lovelier.

 

One gift of age, for me, is recognizing who I truly am and honoring her. I don’t always succeed on those fronts, but when I do, I experience true happiness, right down to my core. Those moments are beautiful and I love them. Not to imply that I’m completely content in life, because that isn’t true. I still want to scale mountains and achieve personal goals. It’s just that I’m not unhappy in the meantime. And I attribute my relative joy in life to knowing myself. It has made a tremendous difference for me, and I kind of feel like I’ve only just begun. Considering I could be dreading my age and all it entails, I feel pretty darned grateful for being so positive and smiley about the whole scene.

 

So here’s to Monday and this blank canvas of a week. I can see a few hills before me. Mountains, maybe. No time like the present to start climbing…

Monday, Monday

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I had a swell weekend. There was entertainment and food and laughter and imbibing and pool-time and well… It was just grand.

 

On Sunday evening, Mister said something about how easy it is to forget the satisfaction and joy to be found in living a simple day. Sunday was simple. And it was lovely. Mister was right. It is far too easy to forget life’s simple pleasures. And yet, if we let them, those pleasures show themselves and remind us of joy. Lucky for us, this weekend served us well. All the way around.

 

Here’s hoping we remember how good life can be. How good it is. How much there is that’s worthy of gratitude. Even in this crazy world.

Listen To Your Heart

 

 

Yesterday, while I was still trying to sort out my feelings about the loss of the genius that was Prince, I found myself cycling through some not-great memories. I don’t know why. I can only guess it was because I was in a not-great emotional place. And believe me – I want to move on. It would be good for my life if I moved on. But sometimes grief grabs hold. And I think this will pass when it’s ready.

 

Anyhoo – one odd memory popped up and really caused me to think. It was many years ago, and I was waiting in a lobby for a job interview. The interviewer – who would be my boss – was late returning from lunch. I didn’t hold that against her or anything, I just sat quietly, biding my time. The interviewer wasn’t a complete stranger, by the way. I had met her a few times, and though we weren’t friends or anything, she was familiar. After quite a while of waiting, she entered the lobby, looked over at me and said, “Oh! You’re here!” She then walked over to where I sat and – I swear to God – she dragged one of her shoes across the top of one of my very white shoes, leaving a large, noticeable scuff mark. “There. That’s better. Your shoes were entirely too clean,” she said in a sober tone. She then turned and walked toward her office, saying, “Follow me.” I was in shock, but I did as I was told.

 

In that moment, before following the interviewer into her office, my gut was screaming for my attention, trying to get me to run away as fast as I could. Everything in me suggested this was not going to be a good fit. That I simply could not mesh with someone who would behave as she just had. But I needed the job. So I followed through and went to work for her. And though I wouldn’t call her a bad person, I can’t say she was very organized or that she provided necessary training. While I worked for her, I struggled to figure out most of the basic functions of her office – on my own. And every single day I spent there was awkward. By the time I left, I was so relieved.

 

After stumbling down that portion of Memory Lane, I thought about a few other instances when I didn’t listen to my gut, nor to my heart. And how each time I failed to honor my greater truth, I eventually faced ugliness of some sort. I don’t know why, when I’ve been given the gift of intuition, I’ve chosen to ignore that guidance. But I have. And I’m thinking that maybe it’s time to stop that behavior. Maybe it’s time to trust myself, at least a little bit. I mean really – how much time is left?

 

I’m hoping to ease out of the darkness soon. To switch my focus from life’s absurd brevity to life’s ridiculous joy. It’s all there, you know. Two sides of a coin. Time for a toss, I think. I call heads…

Feeling Lucky

 

 

Yesterday I was feeling my age. My joints were aching and I was sluggish. It didn’t occur to me to think I was coming down with anything, because I felt great. Other than the aches and whatnot, that is. So I thought walking might help. Dork that I am, I set off on an 8-mile journey, not considering something shorter. Know what happened? That’s right. I only made it a few miles before my body rebelled and said no mas. So I headed back home.

 

And then Mister sent me a link to a story about an old gal who’s traveling the States instead of undergoing typical treatments for cancer. Digging into that story led me to a piece about Dr.Bill Thomas and the remarkable work he’s doing for and with the aged. Reading about Miss Norma and Dr. Thomas lifted my spirits quite a bit.

 

And then I started working on some promo for an upcoming event with author Mollie Gregory. And the simple act of cobbling together words on a page – words about this woman’s fabulous work – brought a smile to my face. And I felt a bit lighter.

 

And then I got a few emails from friends and they were all reflecting on Joy. Before I knew it, I was on my feet, nearly in a jig.

 

And then I resumed work on the fireplace wall. (This got put on the back burner while I tended other duties.) I was doing a bit of sanding and knocking-down of the texture, getting it ready for priming. I forgot to wear a mask, but I still had a great time and I found myself thinking this little project might turn out okay.

 

And then I forgot about my aching joints. And I forgot I had been feeling low. And I forgot to judge myself for not walking as far as I’d hoped. And I forgot to be tired. And I forgot I’d gotten a tetanus shot the day before and that I was probably having a reaction to the chemicals (aches and such).

 

And then I truly felt my age. And I was happy. The end.

Creative Forces

 

“Joy is the sweet voice, joy the luminous cloud.
  We in ourselves rejoice!
And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,
  All melodies the echoes of that voice,
All colours a suffusion from that light.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772 – 1834)

 

 

 

Recently I was privileged to have a sit-down with a few creative forces: Kathrin Shorr, Sarah Sample and Mai Bloomfield. (Tim Burlingame was there, too, representing the testosterone side of things and his presence was greatly appreciated.) We had gathered for an all-too-short visit while Sarah Sample was in town. Her sister, the fabulous Kate Graves, had initiated the gathering and was unable to join us. As much as her absence saddened me, I felt she was there in spirit, and we all spoke lovingly of her.

 

I met all these folks many years ago along the musical trail. We’ve all gone about the living of our lives and somehow we still know each other. Kathrin Shorr and Tim Burlingame are the forces that make up Sweet Talk Radio. Sarah Sample is an award-winning solo artist. Mai Bloomfield does it all. She’s a solo artist, a member of Raining Jane and last year she wrapped a world tour with Jason Mraz. And did I mention all these friends have families and lives and commitments and lives and things that pop up and lives and all the other stuff that goes along with being human? Well they do. Just like you. Just like me.

 

Anyhoo – at some point our conversation turned to Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. I’ve shared my feelings about this book here, and it was lovely to be able to talk about it with friends. But more than that, it was so good to discuss the book with people who strive to live creatively. And to hear not only what resonated with this person or that, but to hear what each person hopes to do going forward. To hear someone say how much they want to create for the sheer joy of the process. To hear someone say how much they want to feel joy – period.

 

Joy is too often overlooked. I know life is a drag sometimes and all, but damn. If there’s no joy once in a while, what propels us to keep going? How do we convince ourselves to smile here and there if we don’t actually feel it in our souls? And how on earth do we expect to receive that smile, that joy, from others, if we can’t manifest it within ourselves?

 

Unfortunately, I don’t have any tried and true answers on the joy front. But I can tell you this: Joy is no stranger in my life. Maybe that’s because I make a practice of being grateful. Maybe it’s because I live my life as a creative person and find fulfillment in that process. Maybe it’s because I am deeply loved. Maybe it’s because I’m a simpleton. Your guess is as good as mine.

 

Then again, maybe my current joy is due to having spent a recent afternoon in a sunny garden with creative forces. Maybe it was the tea. Maybe it was the company. Might have been the banana bread. Whatever the reason, I very much hope this month is joy-filled. And that creativity abounds. Perhaps a little magic will be sprinkled here and there as well.

 

For all of us.

 

Jolly Good Show

 

 

I am in recovery mode today. Recovering from copious amounts of food. Recovering from laughter. Recovering from sending my most excellent vibes to the Denver Broncos. And what joy! They won the Super Bowl!

 

So today I’ll tidy from yesterday’s jolly good show, get to some work that slipped by me over the weekend and maybe go on a salad binge. Chicken wings are good and all, but a gal needs some fiber, yo. And carrots don’t count.

 

I’ll catch you up tomorrow, on all the fab moments from the weekend. Sure do hope yours was grand. I can’t even believe how much I enjoyed mine.