Over the Thanksgiving holiday we went to the mountains. On Thursday we went in search of waterfalls and found several that were very beautiful. Although this wasn't the prettiest waterfall we have ever seen, it was very interesting because cars can drive underneath the falls. It was fun to watch everyone as they took pictures of their car under the water or as they drove through. The name of the waterfall was Bridal Veil Falls which is located in North Carolina. This was a different type of Thanksgiving for us but one that we enjoyed very much.
Today I am attempting to import pictures. For everyone that knows how to do this it is very simple but for me it is a big step in a new direction. I realize that the picture is very simple but that is OK I did it.
Trying new things can be hard when they are out of our comfort zone but the important thing is that we try. What is so simple for one person can be quite challenging for another but the important thing is that we encourage each other to grow. I am going to leave this up as a reminder to myself of how far my blogging skills need to go but also so that I can look back on this day and be able to say, "Wow, look what I have accomplished. since then" That will be fun.
This is the first time in awhile that I have been posting just to post not to comment on a chapter in the book The Joy Diet. I enjoyed reading the book and especially connecting to the other bloggers who had joined the group. Although I learned a lot from the book I learned just as much if not more from the other bloggers.
One of the things that I have thought alot about since the book is the importance of doing small but nice things for myself each day. Taking that moment to breath or stretch, listening to music that gives me energy or calms me down, having coffee with a friend are all things that I have done in the past but I have not really taken the time to appreciate how much they mean to me.
It doesn't have to be something big or expensive to make us feel special, it just has to be something nice that we do for ourself and then really notice how it makes us feel. If we feel happy, or content, or engergized, or peaceful then it is something we should notice, appreciate and work into our life as often as possible. I would love to hear what simple things other people do to make their lives just a little more special each day.
This week's chapter, Feasting, wrapped a beautiful bow around the book for me. It took all of the elements and tied them together in a way that made sense. I am not sure I will do all of the things that Martha asked us to do each day but I do know that I will begin and end each day noting and celebrating all of the things I have to be thankful for. I do not want to be like the man who could not be happy with what he had until he lost it. I have so much to be grateful for and I am going to celebrate those things each day.
For the past two days we have been feasting on nature. I have seen beautiful scenery and waterfalls. Each view seemed more special and spectacular than the one before. Although each scene was truly special, I believe that what once would have been nice became extraordinary this week because I took the time to notice what was in front of me and celebrate it. It has been so much fun and something I want to continue to do.
I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to comment on my blog. It has made the journey very special for me since this is the first time I have been part of a group like this. I thank you for your comments and your support and I hope that we will continue to meet through wonderful experiences like this in the future. I am going to try to change and improve my blog so I hope you will visit often.
There is nothing better than meeting people that you instantly connect with. I remember as a teenager talking to friends for hours on the phone about anything and everything. I still love to talk to family and friends about what is important to me and to them. We don't always agree but we do listen to each other and try to understand the other person's point of view.
Communication is very important to me. I believe we need to talk openly and honestly if there is to be any type of real relationship. I know we can't connect with everyone we meet on the same level but we can connect in some way. Everyone has something to offer and if we take the time to ask questions and to listen to the answers we can always learn something new. I am not sure if we need communication in order to connect or connection in order to communicate. I do know that they are both very important to have with the people in your life.
This is part two of my post on laughter from Martha Beck's book Joy Diet. In part one I told how I wrote a story in my Tuesday night writing class that people enjoyed and even laughed at parts of it. I have been encouraged to share my story on my blog and so I am going to step out again and attempt to post the story. As I learn more about how to control my blog (instead of it controlling me) I will be able to put things in the order I want. I haven't given the story a title yet but the prompt was," As she left the beauty parlor her hair began to turn blue" and from that came the following story:
It was Leigh's monthly date at the beauty parlor. She loved to go talk to Janice who had been doing her hair for the past twenty years. Janice knew just how she liked her hair - not too long, not too short. It was a style that needed no special care and one that no one ever noticed. That was Ok with Leigh she liked watching people not having people watch her.
When Leigh got to Janice's station she was there waiting for her but so was Janice's daughter Stella who had just graduated from beauty school. Stella's hair was Ok but the ring in her nose and the stud on her tongue was a little disturbing. But what was more disturbing was that Leigh was to be Stella's first client. It was a present that Janice decided to give Leigh for being such a loyal customer for the past twenty years. Not being a person who made a fuss Leigh agreed. She knew Janice would be there to watch over Stella's shoulder and everything would be Ok. That was until Leigh saw Janice put on her coat and promise to be back before the appointment was over.
Stella assured Leigh that all she needed to do was to sit back and relax. That she would take great care of her and just like Nick Arasi on What Not to Wear she preferred that Leigh not look at herself until everything was over. At this point Leigh was too scared to say anything so she just nodded and said a quick little prayer asking God to watch over her.
After what seemed forever Stella was ready to let Leigh see herself. During the past ninety minutes Leigh had heard alot of whispers, a few giggles, and one or two "oh mys" but she was sure that they must be talking about someone else.
Leigh could hear the excitement in Stella's voice as she began to count to three as she twirled the chair to face the mirror. When Leigh looked at herself she was stunned. The person who looked back at her was the girl who somehow had been misplaced twenty years ago. She was the one who had black hair and bright orange bangs straight from the peroxide bottle. She was young and fun loving and it was so good to see her again.
When Leigh was making her appointment for next week with Stella (why wait a month to feel this good) she turned to thank Stella for all that she had done. As she turned she noticed Stella's spiked heels, cool jeans, and one shoulder top. "Hey, Stella," she called "Would you like to go shopping on Saturday?"
Last week I realized something very important about myself. For a very long time the fun side of my personality has been missing. I have always been considered a serious person and I accepted that role in life. But in thinking about alot of things, I realized that as a child, particularly a teenager, I used to laugh and do crazy things all of the time. But once I officially became an adult this part of my personality vanished. My friends are also pretty serious so we spend a lot of time being serious. But this week I decided that I wanted to find the fun, joyful part of me again. I also accepted that I am the only one who can bring her back. So Tuesday night I took a big risk for me. At my writing class, I chose the topic that could lead to a funny story. It was fun to write and it was fun to share with the class. I was really astounded when they laughed at several spots and clapped when I finished. I don't think that you will find me on stage at any comedy clubs anytime soon but I do know that I enjoyed sharing this part of my personality with my writing class. It took courage to dip my big toe in the water but it was definitely worth the risk. I have promised myself that from now on I am going to seek out fun and laughter. I am really excited about seeing where this new attitude can take me.
I guess I have been very lucky. I always enjoyed the career I chose. At the time I became a teacher it was the career most girls chose but it really was the career I wanted to have. I never thought of it as a game or as play but I did have a lot of fun and always loved the kids I taught and the teachers I worked with. Once I became an administrator the rules of the game changed a little but I still felt I was making a difference in the lives of the people I interacted with each day.
So retirement hasn't been all that much fun for me. I miss too much of what I was doing. I realize that the days I work as a consultant are really fun for me and so I have begun looking at the big picture and taking steps to begin a new business in the field I enjoy. I believe that this chapter of The Joy Diet will help me stay focused on the goals I am setting for myself and I plan to follow Martha's advice to think creatively and risk boldly. Right now that sounds like a great game to play!
PS I want to thank all of the people who left such nice comments last week. For whatever reason that chapter was more difficult for me and your comments helped alot.