Feel Good Friday

I believe in an attitude of gratitude.  It’s easy to see the bad stuff in life; heck, none of us even need to work at that one.  But what you see is magnified, and this includes both troubles and blessings.  Which do you want more of?

th-1Lessons in gratitude from the dog.  If you read none of the other links this week, click this one.

Therapy dog help keeps a child with autism safe.

Volunteers pick fruit for food pantry.

9 year old collects 401 pounds of food to give to food banks.

Family gets to listen to their son’s heart live on in a veteran’s chest.

We all get choices.  Either you’re part of the solution, or you’re part of the problem.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo credit: Doree Weller

Photo credit: Doree Weller

In my family, Thanksgiving has always been all about the food.  I love the filling, the sweet potatoes, the green bean casserole, and the dessert.  In recent years, I’ve started to reflect on why we celebrate Thanksgiving, and it boils down to gratitude.

I’m a big believer in having a gratitude practice, and studies back it up.  People suffering from depression and anxiety do see improvements by practicing gratitude daily.  The holidays are a great time to start a gratitude practice, as most of us tend to see family more often during the holidays, and we’re reminded of what we have to be grateful for.

For me, the things I’m grateful for don’t tend to change much, and that’s how you know they’re valuable.  I’m grateful for my wonderful family who loves and supports me.  I’m grateful for my husband, who encourages me and shows me the best parts of myself.  I’m grateful for my friends, especially those I consider family.  Without these wonderful friends, I wouldn’t be who I am.  I’m grateful for my dogs, who love me no matter what and provide constant reminders that they think I’m wonderful.  I’m grateful for books and the authors who wrote them, as they’ve introduced me to worlds I otherwise never would have explored.  I’m grateful that I have enough and some extra.  Having enough is a wonderful thing.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?  What are you grateful for?

Everything is new

Usually, Sunday is the start of my weekend, but because I started this new job last week, Sunday is the end of my weekend, like pretty much everyone else in the world.

I don’t like it.

I still have everything to do!  I took time off during my 4 day weekend and enjoyed myself… can you believe it?  I had Thanksgiving dinner, decorated for the holidays, and took one day to do pretty much nothing.  So today, I have to do everything!  I have to go grocery shopping :(, cook for the week, do my laundry, pay my bills, and go hiking.  I think it’s going to be a busy day.

I’m not a fan of new.  I like all my old friends and don’t feel the need to make new ones (unless I’m living somewhere new; then I make an effort).  I really didn’t want to take a new job.  I’m sort of dreading starting back and working the full week next week.  I just keep reminding myself that in a few weeks, it will be “old” and will be better.  But it’s hard.  I liked my old coworkers, my old office.  I liked my van and my clipboard.  I miss the TV guy and joking around with other teams.  In my new office, I have to speak in an indoor voice and make sure I don’t say anything that could be construed as sexual harassment.

So, today I do my housework, and tomorrow, I go back to the office.

How do you deal with new?

Gratitude Project

Tracy Arm, Alaska; Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Tracy Arm, Alaska; Photo Credit: Doree Weller

We all have a million things that we wish.  I wish I were thinner.  I wish I had more time.  I wish I could keep my house clean.  I try to focus on the positive rather than the negative, but it’s hard.  I thought that instead of privately trying to change my thinking, I’d put it out there for everyone to see and hopefully join in.

With November (aka Thanksgiving month) almost here, I wanted to try something new.  I’m undertaking a “gratitude project.”  In addition to my normal blogs, I’m going to post three positive things every day, and I challenge anyone interested to do the same.  I’m also doing this same thing on my personal Facebook page.  The challenge is to find three things to be grateful for every day.  These could be positive things that happened, a thank you to someone, something good about me, or just something that I’m grateful or happy for in general.  Repeats are allowed.  (I’m sure I’m going to be grateful for my dogs more than once in November.)

Anyone in?

Christmas already?!?

Yes, I am aware that it isn’t actually Christmas.  And while I love the Christmas season, I’m one of those people who believe that the Christmas season should not officially begin until after Thanksgiving.   I like my holidays one at a time, thank you!  On Halloween night, I stopped at Wal-mart and saw the Halloween display torn down and Christmas already up.  How can it feel like Christmas when the season “started” a month ago already?  In Arizona, it’s still 80-plus degrees, but instead of being able to find yard and lawn stuff in the garden center, I find giant light up Santas, Christmas trees, and giant candy canes for my snow-less yard.

I want to get into the Christmas spirit, but it’s hard for me to do when I’m still wearing shorts.  Of course, it’s also hard for me to get into the spirit when I’m being inundated with Christmas before I even eat my Thanksgiving sides.  The season is being shoved down my throat, and it makes me want to say “Bah, Humbug!”

Of course, I have started some of my Christmas shopping.  That’s different!  I don’t want to spend all that money at the last minute and rush around to do shopping!  I didn’t go shopping on Black Friday.  No deal is worth risking being trampled for.  Besides, I do about 90% of my shopping (other than for groceries) online.

So… it’s just after Thanksgiving now, and my local shopping mall is blaring Christmas music on the outdoor speakers.  Merry Christmas?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

I *try* not to complain.  Some people take the attitude that things can always be worse, and I suppose that’s usually true.  But that’s not why I try not to complain.  For me, it’s more about this: I only have one life to live.  It’s mine.  I can’t control everything in it, nor would I want to.  I actually try to embrace the chaos.  But the fact is that whatever hand I’ve been dealt, it’s mine, and it’s no use to complain about the cards.  Sometimes it feels good for a minute, but it doesn’t change the cards and just delays the inevitable… whatever play I end up making with them.

I really believe that attitude is everything and that most of us make our own luck.  I try to send positive out into the universe, and hope that I’ll get mostly positive in return.  We all have personal tragedies… unfortunately none of us can get through life without them.  People die… loved ones get sick… we ourselves get sick… there’s loss and pain… And none of us can escape those things.  So why not be happy/ grateful/ content with what I have today, knowing that tomorrow it could be different?

I remember with love the ones I’ve lost… my friend John… Jamie… my grandmothers… my grandfathers… my mother and father in law… my grandparents in law… pets…  I miss them, and am even more grateful for those I still have.  Yes, I get mad at those I love.  I’m only human.  But I try to remember what they bring to my life (other than aggravation).  Love, laughter, friendship, a shoulder to cry on.

I know this is a photo challenge, but I felt thoughtful and wanted to share.  So… in pictures…

Family and friends…

Discovering exercise I actually love… hiking!

Quiet time…


Good health…

What Happened to Holidays?

Okay, I’m venting.  I know I’m venting, but I’m going to do it anyway.

Some stores are starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day.  Yes, that’s right, on the Thanksgiving holiday.

Apparently, they’re doing this because of public demand.  In this economically hard time, stores are trying to give people what they want, and they’ve found that about a third of consumers want to start shopping after Thanksgiving dinner is done.  What happened to watching football together, or just spending the day with family?  What about the retail workers who might not want to work on Thanksgiving, and are now forced to because in this economy, most of them are just thankful that they have a job?

I’m seeing a theme here.  A few weeks ago, I posted about Occupy Wall Street, a movement against corporate greed.  Now, I get that companies are just doing what consumers want them to, and that’s capitalism.  I don’t have a problem with that, per se.  I have a problem with the fact that workers are not given a choice as to whether or not they can work on a national holiday.  Aren’t we supposed to have holidays off?  Isn’t that what makes them holidays?

I’m curious where everyone else stands on this issue.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I work on Thanksgiving.  I work in mobile crisis, and I’m considered emergency services.  But I knew that when I signed on for the job, and if I really wanted to take off, there are others who would cover my shift.  You see, I have a choice if I want to work or not.

Many others don’t.

Here’s a link to the article that got me to thinking about this.