Change Is Certain

The Husband is fond of saying that phrase - (change is certain) along with the qualifier "progress is not".  I've always thought I did ok with change even when it was difficult, challenging and unexpected.  I'm thinking as I get older I'm not quite so ok with it.  Oh, I know things have to change, and I try to roll with changes.  But it seems like at this stage in life the changes all loom so large: when The Husband should retire.  Will we be able to ever afford to retire? When should we downsize our housing situation?  Would we even be able to sell our house (the next door house has been on the market since spring - no luck)?

And underlying it all is the sense of uncertainty that so unnerves me.  Concern about our country and the economy.  Concern even about the direction our city is headed - I have absolutely zero faith and confidence in our city's government.

And on top of that, pretty soon it'll be time to shop for Christmas!!  Yikes, I'm so not ready for the hullabaloo.  Is it too much to just ask for a little peace and calm?  Is it too much to ask for smooth sailing, for things to fall into place, for no fuss of any kind, for people to be happy and content (and by people, I mean those that I love)?  For those same people to be treated with respect and kindness and decency?

Sigh.

So, the other morning I headed out on the trail.  I missed getting a picture of the first sign that said the trail was closed. The second one was like an afterthought - no cones or caution tape.  And yet, in spite of the huge gaps in pavement, I was passed by numerous bikers.  They must have gone around the gaps.  I'm glad they were mindful of them.

Decided on the spot to take my blood pressure at the grocery this afternoon.  Was pleasantly surprised.  I have blood pressure anxiety.  Both The Husband and I have appointments next month for our annual physical (thank heavens we still have insurance that pays for those) - the first ones with the new doctor.  I am already anxious about it.  Don't want any lectures about my blood pressure (I know it'll be high, that's a given) nor lectures about my refusal to take fosamax for my osteoporosis or about my higher-than-is-liked-though-not-that-bad cholesterol - nor really any lectures at all.  I just want him to look at the results of the blood tests, say I'm doing well for my age (considering) and send me on my way for another year.

I'm glad my blood pressure was in the normal range.  I'm saving that little slip of paper to show the doctor!

The Husband and I both need a bit of a getaway.  Just a little change of pace to de-stress.  We've even considered a last-minute dash to the beach.  I think he's holding out for another time (maybe even next year) when we can stay for two weeks instead of our usual one.  I did, after all, promise him that some day we'd take two weeks at the beach.  (What was I thinking?!?)

This afternoon I am so grateful for a day of cooler weather.  It's nice to not have the air conditioning running all the time.  I'm grateful for a comfy chair in my room that makes it pleasant to sit and chat. I'm grateful for: enough.

Never Again

So fun to see - I think I need another ride in one!
Started the day off with a haircut.  And a glimpse of the hot air balloon festival in Sandy.  We first spotted a balloon hovering in the sky then the tops of the balloons on the ground in the park a block or two east of us as we drove. By the time we were on our way home the fun was over, the streets jammed with people trying to make their way home or to work.  I did manage to get this shot - there are actually two balloons there.  But without parking (and there weren't really spaces to park) and walking nearer, this was the best I could do.  (I'm so glad the parks have lots of trees even when I'm trying to take a picture of something beyond the trees!)

I am surrounded by people smarter than me.  I know it. I don't think I try to pretend I'm smarter than I am.  But, something else I know.  I'm not stupid.  I've had this challenge most of my life - people think I need to be taught how to....well, how to pretty much everything.  From choosing the "proper" countertop to what to read, to how to use the notecards I received as a gift, how to decorate my home. The list is endless.

I try really hard to respond with patience and kindness.  I don't like conflict or confrontation.  Nor do I enjoy conversations with those who have all the answers. But sometimes it does get a bit old.

And I did something I swore to myself I'd never do. I'm mad at myself for doing it and have forbidden myself to ever do it again.  On my walk yesterday morning (it was a beautiful morning, perfect for a walk and the trail wasn't awfully busy - just like I like it) I pulled my phone out of my pocket and walked for some time, head down, absorbed in the news on my phone.  Now part of the whole "walking in the morning" experience is to enjoy the time.  To marvel at the sunrise beauty, to actually hear the birds, to stop and admire the blossoms along the way.  To just be. It's a mindful thing. And there I was, missing it all to catch up on the unimportant and not necessarily uplifting news headlines.  Well, never again.

Then this morning I read an article by a woman who chose to use her smartphone as just a phone for a week.  She was kinda-sorta-maybe successful at her attempt. I'm not fully immersed in my phone like she was, but seriously.  I could have managed 90 minutes without checking the news.  I can be a tad grumpy about those who can't sit through a 2 hour movie without texting multiple times through it. And there I was - maybe not disturbing those around me, but disrupting my own pleasure in the morning.  Not going to do that again.

And today I'm finding some gratitude.  I love when I can find things that provide the motivation to recognize the goodness in this world.  I'm grateful that The Husband treats me like a partner rather than someone to be bossed around.  So very grateful for our marriage and the fulfillment it brings. I'm grateful for kind souls - for those who are kind to my loved ones.  For those tender mercies that sometimes come so very unexpectedly but whose value is still nearly immeasurable. I'm grateful I can recognize that I don't necessarily need to follow the instructions of others, only the gospel teachings of our Heavenly Father.

Yes, It's Wednesday

Woke up to clouds and cool.  Made for a lovely walk.  Yesterday morning was the morning after the storm, I had to take this picture (which could never do justice) of the cloudy moon, it was so beautiful out.

This woman is killing it, too.
And though I was accosted on the trail by a woman furious that I had the temerity to walk on the left-hand side of the trail (I love to walk next to the stream and watch the ducks in the water) rather than the customary (and truly, it is only custom - not by rule or by law, but by tradition) right hand side,  I refused to let her screeching (and spitting in my face while doing it) ruin my mood.  If I hadn't had my head down, being involved in texting with The Husband I would have gone around her like I have done every other time.  Makes me sad that something so immaterial provoked such anger.  I'm more fond of anger free interactions.

Yesterday's moon-set
This morning, I even walked across the street to take a picture of this flower (hibiscus maybe?).  The bush was so pretty with the pink and red blossoms large enough to span my hand.

A neighbor of ours is out of town.  Before she left she insisted that I agree to go over and harvest the tomatoes and any zucchini/squash while they're away.  She really didn't want any produce to go to waste.  After reluctantly agreeing (I'm a tad uncomfortable going in someone's yard when they're not home) I knew I had to follow through.  We've been enjoying fresh from the garden tomatoes all week. That right there is a taste of heaven.

The other day I decided to switch things up a bit.  Years ago we bought a chair to put in the basement next to the bookshelves for reading. I've never spent much time there, it's too far from The Husband and I dislike stairs. So I decided that rather than letting that wonderful chair sit unused, I'd bring it up to my sewing room. It necessitated a bit of shuffling around (and even more tidying up) but I love it. The chair takes up much more room than the wood rocker that previously graced this room so things feel different.  And I'm happy for that.  Sometimes you just need a change - even the smallest of changes can rejuvenate. I did take a picture, but I can only get part of the room so it isn't really worth sharing.
YUM!

I'm grateful today for prayer.  I love that I can spend my morning walks praying to Heavenly Father and counting on Him hearing me. I'm grateful that there are rare times when I am able to stifle the impulse to strike back at someone, like I did this morning.  It would've ruined my supplication to Heavenly Father if I'd been hateful and angry in the middle of my prayer.  I'm grateful for repentance and for forgiveness, I've come to view these both as divine qualities. I'm grateful for the beauty of flowers, for summer rain storms and for comfy chairs.

Something New

I wear a little FitBit.  The Husband's employer has a program where the employee and spouse can earn credits for the steps taken over the course of the fiscal year, which ended July 31. Last year I earned 300 credits which translated to $300.  I bought a couple little luxuries that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

This year, the program was amended - making it a bit more challenging to reach the final milestone of 300 credits.  I was only a couple thousand credits short (probably could have made it if I walked on Saturdays and Sundays).  It's really nice that I get some kind of "payback" for all the walking I do.

Still, $200 was a nice physical reward for the walking that I do - which I do for my peace of mind. I turned that $200 into this cute little watch.

I have numerous watches.  Maybe even lots of watches.  And at least 1/2 (likely actually more than that) are sitting unused because the batteries are dead and I hate to spend $5-$10 dollars for new batteries, so I only ever replace the batteries in the ones I really really really like to wear.

I decided to do something different and got a solar powered watch! This one has been on the windowsill most of the afternoon and according to the booklet should be fully charged. This evening The Husband will shorten the band and it'll be on my wrist.  How fun to have something new!