Saturday, January 2, 2010

Endless Summer

"In the midst of winter, I found, within me, an endless summer." Albert Camus.

I have recently decided that seasons are as much a time of year as they are a frame of mind. I prefer summer and fall to winter (spring is the season that allows me to breathe a sigh of relief and know that hope is eternal) because both offer the sun's glow, warmth, fragrances, easy access to the outdoors.

While winter in Wisconsin can mean a continual struggle against cold, snow, winds, and ice, it is a person's outlook that can make or break a spirit. In years past I have struggled with the shorter days, the gloom of continually cloudy days, the ever present cold. But, I have now decided this winter is mine to embrace for whatever positives I may find in it.

The sun was shining today; snow sparkled, the sky was blue, and it is the beginning of a new year. Snow brings a newly cleansed landscape and a snowstorm brings the hope of a snow day. Gray clouds make a cup of hot coffee or tea taste even better. Winter is reading books, curling up under soft throws, lighting candles, and looking at photos. Snow and cold make an adventure out of going outside -- one can make that positive or negative but an adventure is still an adventure!

Winter should be a time of reflection and appreciation. I live in a warm home with running water and indoor plumbing; pioneers lived with neither. Medicines ward off winter illnesses so our children may survive into adulthood. Even in severe storms emergency services are available. If my furnace dies or electricity goes off I still will be more comfortable and have more options than those pioneers or those in third world countries today.

Winter is......accept the Zen-ness of it all, look for the brightness, and appreciate what we have....don't yearn for what isn't.

(I am playing with a new toy.....well, new to me. The sun in this post is a drawing I made in power point. Making it was easier than posting it on the blog....still not sure how I finally accomplished that but I'm hoping to play around with it all some more. Another plus of winter is I'm easily amused!)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye Zero Zero

Another decade come and gone. A decade of many changes.

Daughter graduates from high school, goes to college, graduates from college, enters grad school.
Son graduates from high school, enters college.
Divorce, loneliness, new relationship, happiness.
Move to Appleton, relief, comfort, zen-like knowing this is where I'm to be.

It isn't always major events, such as the above, that shape a life, but they are the most outwardly notable.

Over this past decade my belief that out of bad comes good has become even more firmly cemented. So has the knowledge that trusting my instincts is the best guidance for decision making.

I've learned that allowing myself to underachieve while still achieving works well --- type A personalities should give it a try. I am less stressed, no longer care about controlling a situation, don't want to be in charge. It has given me a brighter outlook on life and ability to enjoy most environments simply because I'm not in charge nor do I want to be.

I can accept aging. No, I'm not all that thrilled with jowly look on my face, the age spots that have finally appeared (but I don't regret any time spent in the sun!), or lessened metabolism. But, as this blog title states, every day above ground is a good day. There is a relief in accepting my body, it's working and non-working parts; accepting my essence rather than continually futzing, worrying, working on fighting, trying to improve, bemoaning what is me.

I will embrace this next decade. What better time to enjoy the here and now -- the moment, the experience, the simple sights, sounds, tastes. The beauty of aging and realizing that the decades ahead are limited is not worrying about the future but taking today for what it is.

My dears, Happy New Year, Happy New Decade, Happy Life!