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Thursday, January 16, 2014

finding the little joys

 I'll be honest ~ this new year hasn't started out so well. Due to privacy issues,
I can't say a lot, but suffice it to say, there's been a lot of worrying and anxiety
going on. I know that worrying doesn't get me anywhere and I try so many things
to let go of that worry and anxiety ~ including prayer ~ but, sometimes it just really
sucks me in. I know I'm not alone in this. Everyone has problems and worries.
Financial troubles, marital problems, illness (physical and mental), addictions,
 death, problems with kids, stressful jobs, lack of employment, cars breaking 
down...the list goes on and on.

I think one that that helps is looking for the little everyday joys in life. They are 
there if we really look. We all know about keeping a gratitude  journal, but I 
prefer to capture these little joys in images instead.

I was out with a friend yesterday (oh ~ that was definitely a mood lifter, too!) and
we stopped at Trader Joes. I love their $3.99 bouquet of flowers. I put them
on the kitchen table...


a few on a stool beside my desk...
 

the purple ones went in my bathroom...
 

and a few more went in the main bath.
 

 My favorite British print publications...


Coffee at an independent coffee shop...
 

The beautiful green eyes of my neighbor-friend's cat, Aura...
 

 Some of my houseplants in a sunbeam...


And, standing in awe of a beautiful winter sunset outside a bedroom window.


 What little things have brought you moments of joy lately?


39 comments:

  1. very pretty photos, Melanie. You sure did a lot with $4 of flowers.
    That cat does have beautiful eyes.
    I stay really busy with childcare and homekeeping but I am trying to do more handwork like sewing and crafting, I get a lot of satisfaction from making things and that is a good feeling.

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    1. I agree that handiwork is a wonderful feeling!

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  2. Melanie - your flowers are so cheerful and definitely a pick- me- up! I agree that there is so much going on in everyone's life. We just have to remember to look for those bright spots in our life and be grateful for them. I know that I have so much to be thankful for and just need to remind myself daily of how good the Lord is to me.

    Judy

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    1. I know you are going through some tremendous struggles too, Judy. You have a wonderful attitude.

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  3. These are all so pretty, Melanie...I'm sorry things have been stressful lately...you sound like you know how to make yourself feel better by concentrating on the beauty and good in life. XO

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  4. Wouldn't it be nice to have a switch to turn your worries off? I come from a family of anxious worriers and I see how paralyzing it can be. My mantra for the past few years has been, "Let it go." There are so many things I have no control of and I'm learning to take a deep breath and just let it go. I pick up a project that I'm working on and let myself get lost in the process and that helps for a bit. I hope things get better for you, and it sounds like you've got lots of supportive friends to help you out.

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    1. Thank you, Vickie - very wise advice!

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  5. I agree with you on the little things and I can see how all of these little moments made you smile! I have to work on that, I usually read to distract myself but at night, well you know, I'm an insomniac because I can't turn things off.

    Know that I'm praying for all of you and have you in my thoughts. These sort of things add up and then it's a big thing!!

    XO,
    Jane

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  6. I'm sorry you've been having a hard time. You're right, we all deal with it, but it's small comfort when you're really in it. I hope things start to look up soon. These are all wonderful happy things and I appreciate all of them myself. Reading this post helps me feel good too.

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  7. Yesterday's sunrise was awe-inspiring. I taught 2 year-old Silas how to give Eskimo kisses and he belly laughs every time. A seriously large stack of new-to-me cookbooks from the library, and a couple of re-reads as well. We are dealing with our feelings about a sad, frustrating, disappointing situation we can do nothing about, so I strive to find those sweet moments every day.
    That cat is seriously beautiful. Does Monkey know about her? LOL.

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    1. I'm glad you're striving to find sweet moments in the everyday, too. I haven't introduced Monkey to Aura yet, lol.

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  8. Hi sweet Melanie, thinking of you and supporting you in the only way I can...through friendship and love!

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  9. All beautiful pick-me-ups here! :0 ) That cat looks like one that my sister has...hers is a Norwegian something or other..I want to say forest cat but not sure. He's very big, with very long fur and his face is so like your friend's beautiful Aura!

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    1. Aura is part ragdoll kitty. She's so pretty, but I sure wouldn't want to maintain that long fur all the time!

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  10. Good for you. You've echoed a conversation Don and I had the other day. He said he admired the fact that I could find beauty in the everyday. I responded that blogging and having a camera have really helped me to see the beauty in little things and that it keeps me sane. Hang in there, my friend. I understand.

    xo
    Claudia

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    1. Thank you so much, Claudia. I think being creative - blogging, photography, writing, creating - go a long way in helping work through certain emotions.

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  11. My mother was a worrier, and I inherited it. It is a bad thing, it takes up so much time. You are so right in trying to find the joy in the everyday things. I love flowers, and birds, and I love to hear birds singing, the sound of a water fountain, the feel of sunshine on my face, the laughter of a child, the "give me a bone" look from my fur baby. Blogging has helped me also it get in touch with my creativity again. I wish you peace of mind and the ability to continue to find the joy in the little things in life - just like you have been doing.

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    1. Funny...my mother is a chronic worrier, too! Think she passed that along to me?! Thank you for your good wishes towards me, so much appreciated.

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  12. Dear Melanie, I am right there with you. I have some challenges. Some I write about and many I do not share. Some would just be too difficult for me. All is not sunshine, antiques, and gardening at Olive Out. I do love your attitude. It is the small everyday ordinary joys that help us hang on. Like my sweet puppy and kitty sitting here beside me. Your cat is beautiful. I think they lower my anxiety level thankfully. best, olive

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    1. I seriously doubt that any blogger's life is really what they write about - unless it's a personal blog. It's easy to hide behind the beautiful photos and lovely words. But it's good to know that when we do share little bits of our personal lives, that we have a community of wonderful, caring, supportive women (and sometimes men!) behind us.

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    2. PS ~ the beautiful cat is not mine. She belongs to my neighbor-friend. I had been cat-sitting for her while she was out of town.

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  13. I am sorry, Melanie, that you are feeling so anxious. I was reading Philippians 4:6-7 this morning. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

    I know it is easy to read these verses but it is hard to let go of the worry. You are doing a good job of looking for the blessings in your day. Thanking God for these blessings is the antidote to worry. Praying that things will brighten for you soon.

    Debbi

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    1. Thank you for reminding me of these verses, Debbi. Always good ones to keep in mind. I think I'm going to print out that first one and keep it on my refrigerator door.

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  14. Melanie,

    Whether it's your 'comfy house', or my 'poppy view', there are times when when worrying, stressing, or suffering, close the door to such havens, and we feel that we are only surrounded by desperation, and a loss of hope. KNOWING that everyone goes through such times, is freeing, as it makes us feel that we're not alone in our private predicaments. Please note, I don't necessarily mean that 'misery loves company', as I wouldn't wish others to be sad just because I am, but rather, being surrounded by friends or family when we're faced with challenges, emotional or physical, who love us, is more like a bonus. Pals who pop by to pick us up, both literally and figuratively, and get us out of the house, (to escape from our woe), to walk in the sunshine, (or even in the snow!), are my found, and forever appreciated, little joys! And that includes my blogger buddies, too! Blogging, taking photos of the beauty and wonder in my immediate surroundings, writing prose, poetry, and even commenting and connecting, on one anothers' posts, has truly been uplifting during this time of transition in my life, which translate into lots of changes, mixed emotions and uncertainty about the future.

    Your beautiful bouquet is a cheery presence in your home and those pretty feline eyes definitely explain the origins of Aura's name!

    Hope your WORLD brightens soon, but until then, know that you have friends all over IT, that wish you happiness and peace.

    xo
    Poppy

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    1. You truly have a beautiful way with words, Poppy. Thank you so much for cheering me up!

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  15. Hello Melanie,
    Years ago I was sitting near the window, overcome by loss and difficultly. Some little chickadees were in a pine tree searching for food and chatting away, and it occurred to me that they have everything they need. And then with thought, I discovered that I did too. We are provided for and loved through every difficulty.
    Most of the things that bring me joy are free. I love the sunrises and sunsets here - they turn the snow pink for a few minutes! I watch the clouds, and get a little kiss from Hubby.
    I hope you have a lovely day today, filled with the little things that bring you joy.
    Lin

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  16. I love these thoughts, Lin. Thank you so much. When you talk about the chickadees, it reminds me of the Bible verse in Matthew 6: "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

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  17. I'm sorry to read you've had troubles. I hope it's nothing too serious. My cat is sleeping on my lap while I type, the other is sleeping next to the radiator: that makes me happy!

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    1. Thank you so much, Magali. My cats always make me happy, too!

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  18. You're right, it does help to focus on bright spots around us when we're down. Sometimes that's hard to do when you're in the middle of real life challenges that seem out of our control. I trust the difficulties you're facing right now soon get resolved, Melanie. You were on my heart to pray for last Wednesday as I was driving to visit my Mom. Now I know why. I have a 2 1/2 hour drive to see her, and it's a wonderful alone time to pray for family, friends, and others brought to mind. God sees you and is working even when things seem out of control.
    Mary Alice

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    1. Oh my goodness, Mary Alice...I am so touched! That is amazing that you were thinking of me and praying for me and that maybe at the time, you didn't even know why. Brings tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for your words of comfort.

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  19. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "Life is a great bundle of little things".

    For me the "littles" are - a bicycle ride along the beach, my daughter dropping in for dinner, new flowers I will be planting today, and my new work space that allows me to be creative any time of day.

    And, I love flowers from Trader Joe's.

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    1. It is all these little things that make up our lives. Oliver Holmes got it right!

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  20. Melanie,
    I love the thought of putting your joys in pictures rather than a journal. Every now and then, I will do a post called "Just Because" that shows pictures that I take of interesting things I come across or just that speak to my heart. I think pictures are better than words sometimes as we can see the joy right in front of us and can appreciate it. Your yellow flowers are so pretty, and that cup of coffee sounds so good to me right now. Aura's cat eyes look so mysterious and pretty.

    I'm sorry you're going through something right now, and hope that it resolves in your favor soon.

    Love,
    ~Sheri

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    1. I'd tried the gratitude journal several times and it just didn't work for me. Each to their own, right? I think as long as we DO find the blessings and joys in every day - whichever way works for us - is our own personal journey. Thank you for your kind words.

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