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.

Clean Sheets

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that bring comfort and joy. Simple things like clean sheets on the bed.

The crisp, clean, soft feeling of sliding between sheets just put on the bed straight out of the dryer is a simple pleasure. It’s not one single thing about it, but lots of little things that we often can’t quantify.  That inability doesn’t make it any less special, enjoyable, or comforting.

It’s a common thing – not an everyday occurrence, but commonplace enough to be considered and everyday experience.  And yet, it’s special in it’s own way. That first night after putting new sheets on the bed, I always sleep better than the nights that follow. I wish I knew why.

Maybe, deep down, it reminds me of home and family, of an earlier time when I had fewer worries and responsibilities. I do know it helps reduce my stress and insomnia. Who would think something so simple and normal could make a sizable difference?

How do you sleep in clean sheets? What dreams do you dream?

Fire Gazing

We’ve had an usually cold winter so far here in Austin. It snowed twice in December – I can’t remember that happening since I moved here. Every couple of years we get a dusting of snow once during the winter. This year the last few days of 2017 saw a hard freeze that extended into the first week of 2018.

I’m not particularly fond of cold, though I do like seeing snow and participating in winter activities like skiing and ice skating. That’s one of the reasons I moved away from Nebraska and Kansas.

What I do like about cold weather is that it gives me a chance to use my fireplace. A couple of logs (even if they’re fake store bought fire logs) lasts all afternoon or evening. There’s something about gazing at a fire on the hearth.  It makes me content to just sit and let my mind wander. I might think about people I know and miss, or about story ideas. I might think about the future or the past. Or I might just let my mind relax and wander where it will.

In the midst of cold that freezes body, mind, and soul, watching a fire warms me, giving motion and impetus to thoughts, feelings, and motivations. There’s a visceral connection to  other people that goes all the way back to times when fire meant safety and food and comfort.

And sometimes the fire is simply beautiful, in and of itself.

What do you see in the flames?

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.

Longest Night, Shortest Day

It’s almost the winter solstice. Throughout history winter solstice has been a time when cultures celebrated the turning of the year and the return of the sun. It has been and still is a celebration of hope for the future.

I’m a night person. So I celebrate the longest night of the year. But I’m not a fan of cold weather so I also appreciate that the days get longer, and warmer, after the solstice. There’s  something to appreciate on both sides.

What do you think about the longest night of the year?

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.

Seeking Seekers

Are you seeking for something more? Something better? Some way to feel connected?

If you find the soul of something or someone, you will find the beauty, and love will follow.

Sometimes, finding the soul is hard, though.

In those times, look for the beauty or the love and follow them.

They will eventually lead you to the soul.

Will you seek with me?

Check out the “About” and “Who is” Pages for more information on what Find the Soul is all about.