Being Happy Now

aug sunrise

When I was in graduate school my friend, Dave, kept harassing me about whether or not I had started my thesis. He said I needed to start on it and get it finished so I could have a break at the end of the next semester. I told him I would start on it at some point, I just hadn’t yet. The truth was I could enjoy my summer or work on my thesis. We were in a tough program. Quite frankly, it was harder than I had imagined. I was in my twenties, divorced, and a single mom. I was ready to relax and spend time with my daughter. I was also teaching a summer class. I decided to enjoy myself and work on my thesis once school started up again.

Dave wanted to work upfront and enjoy himself later. I wanted to enjoy myself in the moment and do my work later. It worked out well for both of us. The important thing for me was learning to live in the moment. I couldn’t afford to spend my time that summer worrying about the work I would have to do when the semester started. If I was going to spend my time worrying, I might as well spend my time working. It was a valuable lesson.

Now skip ahead 20 years. (It’s very hard for me to believe that I have been out of graduate school for 20 years.) Every day I am doing my best to choose to be happy now – to be happy in the present moment. I decided I would write a book/journal chronicling 365 days of my life. I would write every day. I would say what I was happy about. I would do my best to be happy in all the moments that would allow for it.

I started at the end of 2015 and I now have over 350 pages written. That’s wild! There are days I don’t want to write, but I made a commitment, so I do it. Not every day is perfect or happy, but there is always good to be found every day if we are receptive.

I hope this Sunday (or whenever you read this post) finds you realizing moments in which you feel happy. Take note. You will probably find yourself looking for more positive things in your life.

Have a wonderful, fun-filled, happy, and peaceful week!

The Quest For Perfection……Or Not (Gardening Without Rules)

spring flowers

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m in my forties, and there is something about being in one’s forties that allows space for freedom; or if life has just taught me to not hold on so tightly. I don’t worry about things that I used to.

In the past I would save every tag that came with a plant. I would even mark where the plant was placed in the yard. I would also question if I knew enough about flowers, plants, and trees. Did I know enough about design and where to place things?

I can honestly say that I never needed the tags I saved, and I eventually threw them away and stopped collecting new ones. I don’t worry about what I don’t know. I get ideas, I run them by the manager at a local greenhouse, and I just plant what I plant and hope it works out.

last year pot

I love this method!! It works for me. Life has enough stress at times. I don’t need to create any for myself where it doesn’t need to be.

I have the same philosophy with all my pots. I may have the same flowers in them from year to year but probably not. It’s more likely that  I will just see something I like and put it in for that year and see how it goes. Don’t get me wrong, I do read the labels and try to put plants in shade or sun according to the directions.

flowers by driveway

I love plants and flowers. They bring me joy. I have always marveled that there is something in this world that requires so little and provides so much happiness. I am honestly happy when I see a new bloom anywhere in my yard. I always try to take the time to smell it or just look at it for a moment and be thankful. I am grateful that the original owners of our house planted roses and flowers that are still doing well today.

 

blooming flowerIt’s Sunday. The kids are back in school, and I am back working on a class I’m creating for the college I teach for. Fall is around the corner. Life is good.

Have a wonderful week.

 

Taos, Baby!

Taos is beautiful, soulful, and inspiring.

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We were fortunate to be able to spend a few days in Taos, New Mexico last week. I had never been before, but felt like it was somewhere I would enjoy visiting. I sure did! It was awesome.

Taos is a town of about 6,000 people. It didn’t take long for us to get our bearings, and that was nice. Taos is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  There is a subtle beauty and soulful feeling all around. According to Taos.org, “Home to the country’s oldest pueblo community, newest national monument, and highest peak in New Mexico. Not to mention some of the best hiking, snow sports, art, and cultural events in the state and out-of-this-world vistas.”

Everywhere we went there was art: the hotel, restaurants, shops, galleries, even a little ice cream place on the way to Taos Ski Valley. It was wonderful. I saw more beautiful paintings and prints than I have all year. Honestly, I was so inspired by all the art I started thinking I would take up painting. Mind you, I have no materials and don’t know how to paint. That’s how inspirational it was. I was in heaven.

We ate a ton of Mexican food. It’s was definitely authentic. Everywhere we went they asked if we wanted red or green sauce. I wanted to say white, but felt like maybe that wasn’t an option (it is in Kansas:))

Here are a few pictures of the highlights of our trip.

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This is Williams Lake! So serene and beautiful.  I had read quite a few reviews regarding the hike and how to get here. Like everything in life, the reviews were quite subjective. One writer said it was easy and took about 45 minutes to hike the Williams Lake Trail, one writer said it took them 90 minutes, and one said it was so difficult they turned around and didn’t finish it.

It’s about 2 miles up to this point. It was hard and took us an hour. It was worth it!

 

 

hiking taos

 

I had to say a few little prayers and take some little breaks to catch my breath, but I made it!

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The Taos Plaza is the heart of the town and is located in the center of the historic district. We spent a day there walking and taking in all the shops and galleries.

taos plaza

 

In a lot of the shops and galleries there were prints of artists’ work. We picked up several prints.

taos print

 

On the way to the Williams Lake Trail we drove through Arroyo Seco. It was like a small village. There we found Scott Carlson Pottery. He had all kinds of neat pottery and had a sign that said to choose what pieces you want and leave your money in a locked container. Just put your sticker on the outside of the box. We couldn’t believe it. It was so neat and made me realize there are people who have not lost their faith in humanity. We bought a bowl.

taos bowl

 

It was a wonderful trip, and if you get the chance to go, go.

Have a wonderful week!!

 

For You

yellow rose 2

Happy Sunday! A few days ago I was out in the yard when I walked by this beautiful rose. I immediately bent down to take in its fragrance. It smelled so sweet and just as good as any perfume I have ever smelled before.  I ran into the house to grab my camera so I could take a picture and share it with you.

I also have a couple of sites to share with you that I hope you enjoy.

I found a website called Eat Yourself Skinny. It’s great! There are recipes for breakfast, dinner, snacks, beverages, etc. She has gluten free, paleo, vegetarian, clean eating and dairy free. This week I tried Baked Chicken Fajita Roll-Ups. Yum!

I have been practicing yoga everyday and I recently got an article published titled 8 Benefits of Doing Yoga Everyday. I think it turned out well. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you give yoga a try.

We still have a little time left this summer for travel. I found this fun quiz and I wanted to share it with you. What Style of Travel Best Matches Your Personality?

I know I have mentioned this before, but I think it might be worthwhile to share again how to handle all those numerous photos we have on our phones. On the first of every month I look at the previous month’s photos and delete any that aren’t good or that I don’t feel the need to keep. Then, I use the Walgreens app on my phone and simply click the photos I want and upload them. They are usually ready in an hour. It’s so easy. I don’t have to plug my phone into a computer and I can do it anywhere. I usually search online for coupons to use before I order. I have albums at home so when I pick up the pictures I can place them in the waiting album. It’s a relief to have it done.

I hope this week is a very good week for you. I hope you stop and smell the roses every chance you get! Life is good.