Remembering a happy surprise

When I saw what this month’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) theme is, I knew I had to participate.

joy_nablopomo

Dec 2: Talk about a surprise that made you happy.

I’m going to reach way back for this one. All the way back to 7th grade.

It was my birthday, and I don’t recall what was planned for it with my parents. But I do clearly remember it was a school day, and I got called to the office.

The school secretary told me my parents had called and were on their way with some questions. I was so confused and admittedly worried. I remember quizzing her periodically as to what it could be about. I just could not figure out what on earth my parents could need.

After what felt like an hour (but what was actually probably less than 10 minutes), one of my classmates came and told me that they needed me back in class. I recall arguing with her a little that I couldn’t go, my parents were on the way! The school secretary told me to go ahead, she would come get me when they got there. Don’t worry.

I walked into the classroom to, “SURPRISE!!!!!!”

The room had been decorated and there was a cake and presents for my birthday. To this day I am still stunned by this… it still touches my heart deeply. That happened 21 years ago. (I would have been turning 13, I believe.) I don’t recall how I reacted now. I don’t recall what kind of cake it was or what kind of gifts I received. I don’t recall those little details…

But I do recall the joy and love I felt that day. I’ll remember it forever.

001: Happy Birthday

Bring yourself joy

When I saw what this month’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) theme is, I knew I had to participate.

joy_nablopomo

Dec 1: What do you do when you’re down to bring yourself a little joy?

Thankfully, I’m generally a happy person already, and I don’t let much get me down. But to bring myself a little joy, I…

  • Vent! Don’t bottle up what’s bothering me. Vent to my husband, my best friend, my Mom, coworkers or even just throw it on Twitter. Leaning on those around me is an awesome help. Get the negative out to let the joy back in!
  • Treat myself. I am not a retail therapy kind of girl. In fact shopping stresses me out and usually depresses me more because I spent hard-earned money. But I have zero problem grabbing a coffee at a coffee shop. Or maybe I paint my nails (even buying a new color to do so.) Grab dinner out with my husband or with “the girls.” I just do something that I might not normally do. (Okay so the coffee thing is borderline a daily occurrence. Don’t judge. Its my vice…)
  • Escape into the arts. Listen to music. Go take pictures. Dance. Art of any sort is a natural and total upper for me.

Those are just a few ways I make myself feel better when I am down… What’s yours?

I am thankful

I have been thinking about my next blog post for days, and those thoughts have been all over the board. Mostly, I’ve thought a lot about the events I watched unfold in Ferguson, and then about the events going on around the country. My heart and head have been heavy with those thoughts and feelings.

Yesterday, I was up early and headed to a photoshoot. A photoshoot in Printer’s Alley, and once again my heart was left feeling very heavy. I know my days down in that Alley that I love so much are numbered.

Printer's Alley Demo Plus

I got up today — Thanksgiving day — feeling very tired. I’m weary from being so busy. I’m weary from so many emotions lately.

So tonight, I am sitting in my house on my couch all alone.  How depressing on Thanksgiving, right? It’s not, actually. Because in this quiet and time to myself, I have taken stock of my life. And now I sit here and instead, my heart and soul are peaceful. They are thankful.

We all have a choice to focus on negative versus positive. We have a CHOICE. And I choose to be positive.

I am thankful…

… to have work to do. I am home instead of in Texas with my family because I have work this weekend. My husband is in Arkansas, because he has work to do. We are thankful to have work, even if it takes us away from each other and others on this holiday.

… for opportunities ahead. As the bar closing is coming up, I could focus on my sadness that my job as a bartender is ending as well. Instead, I’m focused on the hope and excitement of opportunities ahead. Dreams I have been dreaming are about to be chased full speed. It’s scary. It’s exciting.

… to have a roof over my head. Not just any roof, but my roof. One we own. Well, okay, we aren’t just renting we are buying. We have made our first mortgage payment already, and it just made the whole thing even more real. I had the option to go and spend this day with friends. I even made cookies yesterday to take to dinner. But I got up today and I was TIRED. And deep down, I wanted to enjoy my home, because, frankly, I won’t been here much the next month because it will be SO busy.

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… for food to eat. My husband and I had our “Thanksgiving” dinner last night when I made a pot roast and all the sides. We sat at our kitchen table, and looked around us. We have a refrigerator and pantry full of food. I packed my husband a big care package of goodies for his trip this weekend. I am thankful I COULD do that. So many wonder where their next meal will come from. I wonder what I’m going to make. I am thankful.

… for my husband, who is my best friend and partner in all things. He loves me for all I am, including my faults. He says they’re cute. Whatever. But he keeps me sane. He drive me crazy. I love him with all of my heart, and I am forever grateful for the crazy events in life that brought us together. I’m thankful for the life we’ve built and continue to build. Meant to be? No doubt in my mind that we were meant to find each other. And I am thankful that we did.

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… for my many families.

I couldn’t find a better way to say it. My family is an amazing family. So full of love and support for each other. I regularly marvel at how lucky I am to have such an amazing support system in my family. Thanks to them, I feel like I can never fail, but even if I do they’d be there to pick me back up, dust me off and put me right back in the game. As a bonus,  I have so many friends who are like family, and I love them dearly. My life is brighter thanks to them. How can you not feel thankful when you’re surrounded by so much love and so many positive souls?

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… for emergency personnel. I am thankful for police and fire fighters. I am thankful for state troopers and sheriff departments. They put their lives on the line every single day to protect complete strangers. I am thankful for EMTs, doctors and nurses who get up every day not knowing what they’re going to encounter when they walk into work. I am thankful that they are ALL on the job and are there to call on in a moment of need.

… for freedom and the men and women who ensure we have it. Our military faces things I couldn’t even begin to imagine. I think I can handle a lot, but I will be the first to say I am not cut out for the military. I am so thankful to those who can and who are willing to serve.

… to live in a democratic society (even when I might not agree with the direction we go in). I may often think our freedoms are being endangered as more and more laws are written, deciding what we can or can’t do. But I am so thankful I live in a country where I can vote and have my voice heard on how I feel about those laws and changes.

… I am thankful for my education. I love being an Aggie, and I am thankful I got to attend that amazing university. Almost every day I find myself drawing from my years at A&M. It shaped me more than anyone knows. I am watching our game, and I can’t say I don’t care if we win or not (because I do) but for me the emotions I feel right now aren’t about football. Instead I am simply reminded that a big part of my heart will forever be in Aggieland. And for that I am thankful.

Association of Former Students

… for my health. For all my sinus issues, dental issues, headaches, backaches, etc. I am overall a healthy person. Same for my husband. And there’s not a day that goes by that I am not thankful that we are overall healthy.

… for love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 13

… for God’s many gifts to us. From beautiful sunsets to birds in the sky.  For his unconditional love and forgiveness. For giving me a conscience and teaching me that pretty much all problems can ultimately be righted by applying the Golden Rule. For the times he’s told me “no” because its always been either “not right now” or “there’s something better on its way.”

I may be home alone on Thanksgiving, but my heart is so full. I am full of so much peace and joy…

God bless you all, and I know that I am thankful for YOU as well.

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The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…