Coffee Tea or Juice 

I don’t know about anyone else but I need something to help me get my day started.

For me, that something is usually coffee. It’s not the caffeine.  It’s the routine of making the coffee and taking a few minutes to just sit down and relax for a few minutes before starting the day.

For some of my friends, it’s coffee. For others, it’s tea. And for a few it’s something else entirely… milk, juice, etc.

What it is doesn’t matter. The beauty is that the ritual, along with the drink, gives us a chance to ease into the day at least a little bit.

New Year – Fresh Start

Last week I posted about where I fell short and the lessons I learned in 2017. And I said I had some plans in mind to improve things.

So what’s the plan for 2018? It’s pretty simple really. 

  1. Plan to post once a week. It’s possible I’ll post more often but I’m only committing to one post a week. Guest posts could increase the frequency as well.
  2. Pre-plan the posts each quarter. I created drafts for each weekly post between now and the end of March. Right now they’re just titles and maybe a few words to point me in the right direction. If time gets tight I won’t have to wrack my brain to come up with an idea for that week’s post.
  3. Scheduled time each week for writing my blog posts here and on my other sites. Some weeks I may pre-write several posts. Other weeks I may just be writing the next post. Bit the plan is to write several posts ahead of time so that I don’t get into a time crunch.

Really you can do a fresh start or jump start on a project at anytime. But I like using the start of the new year to do it. It feels shiny and new. And to me that’s a beautiful thing.

2017 Year End Review

2017 started out with good intentions.  I’d planned to post here a couple of times a week. And I didn’t start off too badly.

Then life kind of went crazy and I all but forgot about this site. That wasn’t just bad for the site…. it was bad for me too. I wasn’t looking for the good and the beauty in things.

It took until the last month of the year, but I’m back on track. And I’ve learned a few lessons along the way. I’m already figuring out how to apply those lessons to keep from repeating the mistakes of 2017.

Everyone makes mistakes. The beauty is that it’s okay to not be perfect, as long as you try to fix your errors and not repeat them.

Here’s to the end of 2017 – and here’s to being better in 2018.

Digital Friends

One of the things we often take for granted, though we use it every day, is social media. I don’t use it as much as some, but more than many. There are times when I ask myself why.

I didn’t grow up with social media. Even AOL and Yahoo didn’t become a thing until after I was out of college. Staying in touch with friends who moved away required a long distance phone call or letter sent through the post office.

I lost touch with a lot of friends. Either they moved or I did. I’m terrible about calling or writing – and many of them were too.  Did I regret loosing touch? Yes, but getting back in touch was difficult – until social media came into it’s own.

In the past fifteen years, I’ve not only reconnected with old friends, but made new ones. Old or new, I’ve only seen a few of them in person, or talked to them on the phone. Most of my friends I keep in touch with digitally.  And it means a great deal to me to be able to touch bases with them and know what’s going on in their lives.

Every so often I have to stop and just think and appreciate how far things have come. And how technology connects people as much as it divides them.

So, to all my friends, digital and otherwise – Thank you. I appreciate you. You are beautiful, loved, and a part of my soul.

Turning a Schedule Upside Down

When something turns your schedule upside down, it’s easy to see the difficulties and obstacles that result.  Often it’s hard to see the silver lining of such a shake up.

But a drastic shake up like a major change in your daily schedule can be a chance for a fresh start. It’s a chance to evaluate how you’re spending your hours and redirect your attention and efforts. You might start something new or return to something that got lost in the daily grind despite your best intentions.

How do I know? Look how long it’s been between the last post and this one. This site had slid down my priority list – and then my work shift switched from days to swing and I rediscovered a few projects that were languishing on my To-Do list.

Now I have the opportunity to renew my intentions, to reset the direction of my efforts and how I spend my time, to create new habits to help me accomplish those intentions and succeed in those efforts.

Do you need as big a change in your schedule to do this? No – even a small change is an opportunity. The question is whether or not we recognize it and take advantage of the possibilities.

The Little Things

Sometimes the little, everyday, things turn out to be much bigger than they seem.

There were a lot of things today that I could have focused on, most of them positive. None of them felt quite right. So I took some time to think about it, to try to figure out what was sitting in the back of my mind.

Listening to some of my favorite music on the drive home pointed me in the right direction. What solidified the thoughts in my mind though was reading some posts and responses online.

I realized how rarely I think about things like seeing, hearing, walking, and talking. They’re everyday activities that most of us just do, without ever really thinking about it. How incredible is it that we can do these things so casually? How beautiful is it that our bodies are designed to work this way?

Take a few seconds today, tomorrow, or next week to just appreciate the things you can do every day without ever actively thinking about them.

Sunstorms

Getting drenched on the way to your car can dampen your mood quickly. 

The contradiction of sun and steady rain at the same time can raise it right back up.

I grew up calling it a sunstorm when the clouds parted but we still got sprinkled on. It was never much of a storm, really. Not like yesterday.

I was driving in clear, soft sunlight, not too bright or glaring. My windshield wipers cleared the front window of a steady, if not heavy, rainfall.

It struck me just how beautiful and rare the combination was. And despite the rush hour traffic and earlier drenching, I made a point to appreciate it. It was a beauty I could have easily ignored.

I’m glad I didn’t. 

What’s beautiful in your world today?