Saturday, January 17, 2015

Things that matter

I miss my blog. I miss writing for fun. I'm still "working to live," but sometimes, I admit, I get caught up in the excitement and passion of my career and find myself "living to work." No one does this to me. I do it to myself.

Well, it's not just work. It's also home. We recently undertook a major house remodel and addition. Things still haven't totally settled on that, so it feels like any spare time I find should be used to get things back in order. It can be challenging when I would just like to sit down with a good book, but I remember that there are still things to do to get the "new house" back in order.

So writing my blog has unfortunately taken a back seat to the rest of my life. But I do believe I'll get back to my writing. For now, though, I have the most important priorities straight.

I'm making the right decisions on things that matter. Even when I don't address all these equally, I always have a road map for what I want to work on and that's a good start in my book.

What matters to me right now?

Grandchildren. Three of them under two. They are just so sweet and will be young for only so long. Every chance I get I enjoy them. And I am happy for more time with them. It's true what is said. Being a grandparent is an awesome experience. Being their Grammy is very special to me. These kiddies matter.

Family. It's amazing to watch my children grow and become both babies and dogs. They have all grown to be such interesting adults, doing interesting things, making their own lovely homes with wonderful spouses, and living their lives. It's so rewarding to see them become who they were meant to be. They are all unique. They delight me and surprise me, and yet they are so familiar. We  have history. They are my children and they matter. It's still a miracle to me that they came from me and...

Hubby. We've been best friends forever. We've grown up together and co-created this wild and crazy life. It works for us. Sometimes we drive each other batty--especially when we had to live in very confined quarters all summer long during the remodel--but we are surviving this sweet adventure of life together. And that's what counts. One of my favorite things is to watch him care for and love our grandchildren. This reminds me what a good dad he was and is. Selfless and caring. He makes a great Pop Pop. And the kiddies love him. That matters to me.

Friends. We don't choose our families, but we do our friends. Friends we share our lives and families with and those memories bind our spirits. When we go way back, "Remember When" becomes one of the best party games I know. I love my friends and they mean the world to me. I hope we spend more and more time together. I look forward to growing old with them. Friends matter.

Book club. We're just starting this neighborhood club with a bunch of great women and I'm committed because it's something I've always wanted to do. Talking about good books with good people is a great way to spend time. Books offer a glimpse of experiences, points in time, and places we've never been. Books take us out of our comfort zone and make us think. Book club is where I want to be. I deserve to carve out this time for me to read and socialize. Reading and book club matter.

Food. Food is life. And I like good, real food. I'm so interested in the world's food system, how we digressed from eating whole foods, and what we can do to get back to our healthier roots. I'm a proponent of sustainable agriculture. I vote with my dollars for a better world and purchase organic foods to show that I don't believe it's acceptable to spray our crops, farmland, and those who grow food for us with poisons. We are what we eat. Healthy food matters.

Lake through the trees from the trail

Nature. I love a good walk in the woods. Even in the rain. There's something about the outdoors that sustains and energizes me. Even though it can at times be tiring or quite a challenge, I love to get out there every chance I can. I'm always thinking about the next opportunity. Until then, I look up at the sky and clouds frequently. I notice trees and how they adapt and bend to find the light. I breathe fresh air as I walk to my next meeting or appointment. And I take long moments here and there to look at flowers and animals in my path, stand quietly by water to reflect on what's important, and snap a picture that can help me remember later when I'm inside how much I love this beautiful Earth and how lucky I am to live here. I truly believe nature heals. It matters.

Walking. When I'm not on the trail, I'm jonesing for a walk in the neighborhood. Any chance I can get out, I'm there. I love a good walk when I'm all by myself and I can look up to the blues of the sky and hear the birds and crickets chirp, the wind whistling through the trees, and my inner voice talking to help me work through my thoughts and feelings. I enjoy a walk when all the neighbors come out of their homes one by one to enjoy a beautiful day and we exchange greetings. I love a nice walk with my hubby to share some time and chat about everything going on. I'll take a long walk in the rain, carrying my full backpack, thinking about my goals and training for my next adventure with my tried-and-true hiking pal. Hiking and walking sustain me. They matter.

Mindfulness. Now more than ever I aspire to a mindful life. I'm not that good at this yet, but that's why it's called a practice. I still many times let myself get in my own way. My mind is willing and thinking good thoughts, but I am human and still learning. Since I won't be done until I am done, mindfulness is something to work on every day. Meditation is one practice that centers me. Sitting still for twenty minutes sometimes is harder than it could seem. Again, I need to practice, since it's time well spent. Meditation settles my spirit. It helps me find who I am and contributes to who I want to be. Yoga is another practice that makes me feel happy, calm, strong, and nimble--all good things. I don't practice as much as I'd like, so I want to work on this because it matters.

Last, but not least,

Spiritual health. There's so much to learn and so many connections to make in this universe. I want to absorb like a sponge through my own personal journey. I appreciate the company of simpatico souls and pondering how we are all unique, yet in so many ways the same. I want to consider all that was, is, or can be, weaving my thoughts and beliefs together like a tapestry, but never finishing, so I can continue to explore all possible designs. I didn't know this as well before--when I didn't  know--but I am spiritual. Learning from and observing all our world's spiritual leaders matters to me. No one of us is any more important than the other, but when I keep my eyes and ears open, I am excited to learn from those who are clearly enlightened. They pave the way with their words of simple loving-kindness. They make me want to work really hard to be the best I can be. I am very aware and comfortable that my spiritual journey matters to me.

So, yes, I didn't know I had a list of ten things that matter to me right now until I sat down to write a bit. I always have lots to work on, to attend to these things that matter to me. I am more comfortable in my skin now than I ever have been and I believe that wisdom comes with age, when we just don't care as much if someone thinks we're different or strange. When I struggle, I look inside and think about what I know to be true to get myself back on the path I want to be.

I know I'll get there. Because these things matter.

What matters to you? I'd love to hear.

Until next time, yours in minding what matters...Therese

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