Joy Ride

I have to tell everyone . . . I have had a hard couple of weeks and the stress has been wrecking havoc on my digestive system and my sleep cycle. It was so bad at the end of last week that Friday night when I was driving home from work, all I wanted to do was come home and go to bed pulling the covers over my head. I did get home and managed to eek out some interest in a movie but sure enough, I just wanted to go to bed. Once in bed I decided that I wasn’t getting out of it in the morning unless I had to. Luckily the next morning brought a brighter perspective.

When I woke up, I laid in bed thinking about things and decided that staying home was only going to make it worse, so the best thing for me was to get out of bed and get out of the house. For a long time now, I have been keeping a list of places and things that I want to see when I have a moment (which seems to be never). I decided that today was the day I was going to accomplish the list.

I got up, got ready, quickly ate breakfast and then sat down to the computer to map my route. It ended up being a VERY big circle of stops all over the Portland metro area. I left at 11 am and actually wasn’t able to complete my list because places where closed or it was dark.

I had the best day ever!! I have now learned the real meaning behind the term “joy ride”. Just being outside in the sun, enjoy the beauty of fall, mingling with others, brought a huge smile to my face. I was reminded that yes, life is difficult and completely sucks at times and yes, you can have those moments where it is okay to draw the covers over your head but going forward in gratitude for what you have, what you see, where you live, and those you love, really can bring a smile to your face and your heart.

As we go into November, I pray that everyone will try to have an “attitude of gratitude”. A little bit of it goes a long way and once you have it, pass it along to others in the form of service. We will look back at those moments with love and happiness and will be able to make it through all the dark stormy days of our lives.

If anyone wants to see my crazy drive–here it is!

Grateful for Life

I hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday and I hope it was spent among family and friends. My mother sent me an email a couple of weeks ago and shared with me a fun article she had read in the newspaper. It was a list of the Top Ten Thanksgiving Day songs compiled by the Daily Herald. You can access the article here.

That made me think about the songs I associate with the holiday or songs that make me feel more gratitude in my life. Below are 5 songs from my list.

  1. Sly & The Family Stone: Thank You
  2. Bill Withers: Lean On Me
  3. Louis Armstrong: What a Wonderful World
  4. American Authors: Best Day of My Life
  5. Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers: Accentuate the Positive

Thankful Heart

With so many changes happening in our world today; I find myself constantly reflecting on the things that remain constant in my life. While I am excited for my future, I also see how my past has shaped me and I am reminded that I have much to be grateful for. I have shared many places that I have been and places I would like to go but as I write this month’s traveling post I find myself sharing the one place that I always want to be . . . home.

My home has moved locations many times throughout my life. My home has been in rainy places, snowy places and sunny places. It has been by the beach, by the mountains and in the valley. It has been big and small, multi-storied and single, large yard and no yard, driveway and parking space. In all of those things I find no ultimate definition of my home because I believe your home is what you make of it.

My home will always have food on the table for anyone that passes by. There will always be pictures on the wall and good music to listen to. There will always be a place to rest your head but most importantly there will always be love when you walk through the door.

I am grateful I have been entrusted with so much and I hope every day of my life, I am able to give back; to pay it forward. See your life with a thankful heart and you too will see all the beauty and good that is in the world.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!


The Transition

It has been a whirlwind summer. Did anyone else feel like that? Time passes by quicker than I could have ever imagined. One minute I am prepping for my friend to come and stay with me for a couple of months and the next thing I know, I am putting her on a plane bound for her next adventure. After the airport, I found myself at the grocery store picking up a few items and when I walked in I was assaulted by Halloween greeting cards and candy. Is it really that time of year again? While I am a HUGE lover of all things fall and Halloween—I have to wonder how I missed the steps between 1 and 100.

The only thing I can compare it to is an accident I had a couple of years ago. I remember everyone asking me if I was alright and mentally I thought I was responding to their questions only to realize that I was in shock and it took a moment or two for my brain to fully process what was happening. That is how I feel about moving from summer into fall this year. I am going to need a moment to process . . .

As I process, I thought it best to write down the top 5 things I want to accomplish this fall before it escapes me and becomes winter. What are your plans as we transition the seasons?

  1. Purge old clothes: For some reason, during the summer months, it is acceptable to get by with ratty t-shirts, shorts, shoes and everything else in between but we all know they are just going to sit at the bottom of drawer for the next 6 months and when we pull them out at the beginning of spring we will realize we don’t want to wear them, leave them in the drawer and go purchase new items to replace them. Break the cycle!
  2. Deep clean the house: I know this is a typical spring thing to do but I like to do it twice a year (it makes it easier to accomplish). I get everywhere and clean out everything and somehow it makes the winter rest more enjoyable. Not to mention it readies my house for all of the holiday parties and visitors.
  3. Party planning: For those that know me, parties are my thing. I love celebrating with the people I love and making people smile and the holidays present the perfect backdrop for parties. While I won’t have the time to plan my larger parties; I do hope to plan multiple smaller parties. I want to do a harvest party, Halloween party, and a thankful party (since I will be gone for Thanksgiving). Planning will now need to ensue.
  4. New kitchen skills: I am looking forward to a season of warm soup and crusty bread. While I do have skill in the kitchen; I want to hone and get better. I have so many soups that I need to try making and I have actually never made crusty bread so I am looking forward to learning that new skill.
  5. Gratitude reflection: Nearing the end of another year makes me want to take stock of all the blessings that are in my life. I want the people in my life to know how grateful I am for each and every one of them. I want to personally reflect on all the things that I own and are able to do and devise a process for the rest of the year and for the next that will adequately express my gratitude. I want a conscious thankful heart each time I walk in my door or jump in my car. I want to show love more readily and more often. In short, I just want to be a better person/steward to all the people/things that touch my life.