Gratitude Week 2018

I’ll be posting just once as we begin our week together.  I’m sending out Gratitude Notes each day and I’ll be posting daily on Instagram, but, here, I’ll post just once.  I encourage you to leave comments and/or links to your own blog posts and/or links to Flickr shots or share on Instagram with #GratitudeWeek2018 on any day of the week! If you share your thoughts and links, we can visit and share your gratitudes with you. xo

There are many, many things to put on a gratitude list.  I find myself, as I sit to write this, wondering where to begin.  And when I find myself wondering such a thing, I know that I need to begin with right now, then flow from there.  And so here I go…

 

For the wind that gusts outside.  For the rustling leaves.  For it being just warm enough to crack the windows so that I can hear the leaves.  For the birch trees, whose leaves are the ones falling and rustling.  For trees and sky and earth.

 

For the freshly-mopped hardwood floor and the way the late afternoon sun makes it glow.  For the pup who’s stretched out upon the floor.  For the comfy couch on which I’ll sit later this evening, and for the people I love who will sit close by.  For the roof over our heads.  For the flannel sheets on our beds.  For comfort and softness and warmth.

 

For my desk where I sit to write this.  For my cameras close by.  For my journals and notebooks, filled.  For my planner, nearly filled as we move toward the close of this calendar year. For pens and pencils and erasers. For memory and dreams and love.

 

For the avocado I ate earlier.  For the glasses of clean, fresh water I’ve drunk all day.  For the comforting dinner we’ll eat in a bit.  For the time to prepare meals and tuck in a little love. For nourishment and contentment and convenience.

 

For the luxury to share in a space like this, with people like you.  For the privilege of living in a country filled with freedoms.  For the relative ease in which I live my life, knowing this isn’t the case for everyone.  For hope and tenderness and understanding.

 

For the things I’ve listed here.  For all the things (and people) not mentioned, but resting in my heart.  For all of that and them and more.

 

Sending so much love today and this week, m

And you?  What are the gratitudes in your heart right now?

 

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Here’s how you can play along with Gratitude Week:

  1. Share your gratitudes with #GratitudeWeek2018 on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment below and/or link to your own blog post. You can share in this post any or all days.
  3. Send me an email…I love them, I read them, I respond to them.
  4. Reflect privately at home.

Sharing Here and Sharing There

We begin Gratitude Week on Monday and, if you haven’t signed up to receive Gratitude Notes yet, there’s still time.  I’ll be sending out a welcome note on Sunday; we officially begin on Monday. Click here to sign up for the (free) Gratitude Notes.

 

On Monday, I’ll be sharing a gratitude post here and I invite you to use that post as a touchpoint throughout next week.  Share your own gratitudes in the comments section, as well as links to blog posts you might be sharing on your own blogs.  Visit one day, or every day.  I look forward to exploring gratitude with you.

 

In the meantime, I’m pleased to be sharing a photo essay with the wonderful folks at Holstee this month. So instead of reading more here today, I invite you to click over there.

 

I hope you enjoy that read, and I’ll see you back here on Monday…

 

In gratitude for you and
Sending a little love your way, m

 

P.S.  If you like photography and quotes, Barbara and I have a new pairing today.  Have a peek here.

 

 

 

 

 

You Can’t Plan ‘Now’…But You Can Do It

Often, during the week, I think of things I want to write about in this space.  Then, when the time comes to sit and write, I’m blank.  And I know…keep a notebook handy, jot the ideas down. Sometimes I do, but mostly not. This space (and much of my work) has become a reflection of right now, so that I find it hard to plan ahead.  I read articles and see downloadable schedules for mapping out blog posts.  It just doesn’t seem to work for me.  While there are certain pieces I can write ahead of time, mostly what I want to share here comes from whatever I’m doing or feeling or thinking now (or at least close to now).

 

It’s hard to plan now.

 

I find some comfort in that…in not being able to plan now. So why try?  Why force it?  This isn’t to say we can’t prepare for things and set ourselves up for success (I use that term loosely).  It isn’t to say we shouldn’t pack thoughtfully for a trip or map things out in a planner or keep an eye on the weather forecast.  Of course, planning has its place.  I, personally, love when things are mapped out and predictable.

 

Yet there is freedom in relinquishing a tight hold.  There is peace in releasing expectations for how we want everything (and everyone) to be. We cannot stay on top of every little thing; we cannot control every little thing (anything)….and, really, that’s exhausting.  Though we can be responsible and prepared, at a certain point, things will be as they will be.

 

Jumping from planning blog posts (or not planning, as the case may be) to not trying to control all facets of life is a pretty big leap.  But I trust that you’ll take my point.  There are times for planning and structuring.  And there are times (so many times) for going with the flow and simply being.

 

I don’t have answers to many of the questions flitting through my head.  But I do know one answer (if you can call it that), for me, is to take responsibility for tasks I know need doing (be it writing an e-course or scrubbing the toilet or making mac-n-cheese yet again) as well as to step back (or to the side) from time to time. It’s okay to let life happen.  Do what needs doing.  I’m not suggesting you shirk responsibilities.  But after your work is done (whatever that work may be), take your foot off the gas pedal.  Coast a little.  Breathe, deeply and slowly.

 

It’s hard to plan now.  And you know what?  It’s not really necessary.  What is necessary is living your now. Being in it while it’s happening. Easier said than done, I know. But possible.  Doable.

 

So do the doable.  Do your now.  Right now.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

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It’s almost time for Gratitude Week!  Did you sign up yet for this FREE offering?
My heart to yours…click below.

 

 

 

 

 

Things That Are Supporting Me

A few things that have supported me this week…

 

:: lots of walks…the crisp, autumn air (finally!)…the leaves, the breeze

:: meditation

:: lighting candles…at my desk, during meals

:: soup…I am craving soups of all kinds

:: a good, long chat with a good friend…(and we had soup)

:: my daughter made me a ‘Creative Flow’ potion

:: getting to bed on time

:: writing in the morning

:: clipping the hydrangea and bringing it indoors

:: making lemon pancakes for the kids…because making something they love makes me happy

:: sweet potatoes…I’ve been on a bit of a kick

:: a new knitting project

 

What about you?  What felt good for you this week, or lately?
I’d love suggestions for ways we can all support ourselves…

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

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Have you signed up for Gratitude Week?  I’m eager to share my Gratitude Notes with you.
Click the banner below to sign up.  (psst!  It’s FREE)

:: Dear Thursday ::

Dear Thursday,

 

Thank you for beginning with tea.  Thank you for the words I got down, even though they frustrated me and I finished the writing session feeling not satisfied but antsy and disheartened.  Thank you for the cinnamon rolls I shared with the kids.  Thank you for a bottle of fresh milk to replace the sour one. Thank you for leftover udon soup. Thank you for the difficult book I’m reading with my daughter which is creating opportunity for important discussions. Thank you for the man who teaches my son guitar and the woman who teaches my daughter violin.  Thank you for the cookbook I love and the fact that I’ve been able to renew it twice now at the library.  Thank you for the pork ragu which cooked slowly in the oven. Thank you for the afternoon rain which calmed my antsy state.  Thank you for the flickering candle and the twinkle lights on the deck out back.  Thank you for the rumbling thunder late in the day. Thank you for my family (nuclear and of origin and the friend one grown over the years).  Thank you for being exactly what you were, even though you felt hard and a little bit off.  I didn’t like the first half of you, but there was a reconciliation, a shift, an embrace.  So thank you, Thursday…thank you for being exactly what you were.

 

 

What was your Thursday like?  Share in the comments below, or jot down your memories in a journal or notebook.  Sometimes it’s nice to look back as we begin to move forward.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

P.S. Links above are not affiliate.  I’m just sharing because they’re books I like, and you might too.

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I hope you’re planning to join us for Gratitude Week.  Click banner below…

I Have No Words

Here’s the thing.  I’ve written and rewritten (and rewritten) a post to share today, and nothing feels satisfying or appropriate.

 

There’s the skein of gorgeous alpaca yarn you see above. Grey and soft, so soft.

 

But there’s also the unsettling craziness of our US government.  Abuses of power, dishonesty, sexual misconduct, general immorality.  Everybody talking, but not everybody listening.

 

How can I talk to you about that beautiful yarn?  I just can’t.  Believe me, I tried.

 

So I’m popping in today with a public service announcement for those of you living in the United States.  Your voice matters.  If you live in the United States, make sure you’re registered to vote and please vote on November 6th (there’s still time to register in most, if not all, states…go here).  If you live outside the United States, your voice matters too in your country.

 

We are all equal.  Let’s treat one another as such.  No matter the gender, the color, the ethnicity, the sexual orientation.  Each of us is equal and deserving of respect.

 

Wherever you live:   Pay attentionListen.  Be involved, as you’re able.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

Touching Real

I like my lists; you know I do.

 

I’ve had some long to-do lists lately…most written in my planner but some flitting about my head.  This past week has been good for getting things done.  Sometimes things just click, you know what I mean?  Sometimes all the procrastinating shifts into productivity.  Man, that feels good.

 

Earlier this week, I crossed a huge item off my list.  I won’t mention what the thing was, not from coyness, but because I’m not ready to share just now.  The point, anyway, is not what I did…the point is that I did.

 

Don’t think.  Act.  We can always revise and revisit once we’ve acted.  But we can accomplish nothing until we act.
~Steven Pressfield~

 

As soon as I did what needed doing (which, true story, has been on my to-do list since late July) (yep, I’m solid in the procrastination department), I texted a dear friend.  I was so pleased in the doing and I knew she understood how hard it had been for me.  I told her that the job was complete; I also told her I had butterflies in my belly and tears in my eyes.

 

This is what she texted back to me:

Congrats!!!
And those feelings are what happens when you touch your own “real”. Congrats on that too.

 

I read her words and the mistiness in my eyes became full tears on my cheeks.  I cried only for a few seconds.  The tears were release; the tears were recognition.

 

I felt connected to something deep inside and, I dare say, I felt connected to something bigger than myself. I don’t want to put words or names to any of it.  I just want to tell you, and I want to remember.

 

Those tears.
That “real”.

 

It happens in the doing.
Keep doing, my friends. Keep doing.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

***
I’d love if you signed up for my Monthly Notes (heartfelt notes from me to you)…

 

 

 

:: Noticing the Moments ::

Taking some time to reflect upon my week…

::  watching the autumn sedum begin to color…each day the pinks get a tiny bit deeper…these sedum are an autumnal marker for me…they feel like an old friend

::  finally finishing an essay that I started months (months!) ago and submitting it for online publication…I’ll let you know if it’s accpeted

::  waking earlier than usual the other morning so that I could write (more) thoughts in my journal and sip (more) tea from my mug…the house was dark, outside was dark…it was quiet and peaceful and just what I needed

::  enjoying this cookbook, Small Victories…a dear friend recommended it (thanks, P), and I was thrilled that my library had a copy available…I’ve tried three things (all good) and have bookmarked more…my friend and I agree that she’s the kind of chef/cookbook author who empowers you, who kind of demystifies things and nudges you to go forth and experiment…yes, enjoying it very much

::  our dishwasher not working…me going through the manual and looking for helpful advice on You Tube…me jiggling a few things…our dishwasher now working (me feeling super handy)

::  climbing into bed the past couple nights with another book from the library (thank you, library) (and thank you, P)…Tell Me More…it is touching my heart

::  clipping a few zinnias for the kitchen windowsill…I heart zinnias

 

How has your week been?  What have you noticed, felt, experienced?  I’d love to hear.
Tell me and us below.  Or write your own blog post and link back.
And if you play on Instagram, come visit me @michelle_gd and use the tag #tinytinymoments

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

P.S.  No affiliate links here…just linking for ease, and because they’re things I’m enjoying.

There’s Something About September

I know I’m not the only one who feels like September is a fresh start.  For me, it’s almost more of a reset for me than January.  Maybe it’s the hint of fall in the morning air (though not the past two weeks) (it’s been crazy hot).  Maybe it’s the new notebooks and pens and textbooks for the kids.  Maybe it’s the slightly crazed feeling I have right now as I write everyone’s new schedules into my planner and try to make sure everyone is getting to the right place at the right time on the right day.

 

Overall, there’s just a feeling of things fresh and new. I love turning the page of the refrigerator calendar every month (that newness and its clean slate) but I especially love turning it to September.  I know that autumn is coming soon and, after autumn, there will be winter.  And if you know me, you know I love autumn.  And you know I love winter.

 

The hours of daylight get shorter and I love that (so much). I know most people don’t feel the same (don’t hold it against me; let’s still be friends).  For me, things just feel quieter and softer.  Moving into the colder months seems to reflect my introverted nature, I suppose.  What can I say?  It suits me.

 

Whatever your inclination, I hope the beginning of this month finds you well.  I hope you’ve enjoyed your summer months (if you’re in the southern hemisphere, I hope you’ve enjoyed your winter months).  I hope you’re feeling ready for the freshness of a new month, for the freshness of a new season.  I hope you’re feeling ready for the freshness of this day.

 

This day.  This month. This season.  This you.

 

Because we change right along with each passing day, each passing month, each passing season.  I feel so much grace in this.

 

Fresh starts wherever we turn.  We can allow ourselves that grace…to begin again…yes?

 

Oh yes, please.  I feel the need to begin again.  To recommit to my writing, for real.  To recommit to my photography, for real.  To recommit to my heart and the stories tucked inside, for real.

 

As you step into September (as you step into today), will you welcome in this grace?
Will you allow yourself the space to begin again?
Let’s do this together.

 

sending a little love your way, m

 

 

***

 

Sometimes {and a hiatus}

Sometimes.

 

Sometimes I want to cry because I am sad or overwhelmed.
Sometimes I want to cry because I feel completely connected to All.

 

Sometimes I want to eat vegetables and fruits.
Sometimes I want to eat freshly baked cookies and sourdough bread.

 

Sometimes I want to have long and deep and meaningful conversations.
Sometimes I want to sit in silence.

 

Sometimes I want to climb a mountain.
Sometimes I want to climb into bed and read a good book.

 

Sometimes I want to play a game or watch a movie.
Sometimes I want to sit on my front porch.

 

Sometimes I want to hear the ideas of others.
Sometimes I want to hear the ideas that live inside me.

 

Sometimes I want to travel the world.
Sometimes I want to stay home.

 

Sometimes I want to write a lot of books.
Sometimes I want to hide under the covers.

 

Sometimes I want to hug everyone I see.
Sometimes I want to be invisible.

 

Sometimes I want to ask questions.
Sometimes I want to share what I know.

 

Sometimes I want it to be tomorrow.
Sometimes I want it to be exactly whatever time it is.

 

Sometimes.

 

And you…what do you sometimes want??

always the love, m

 

***

I’ll be signing off so that I can spend some time, unplugged, with myself and my family. Enjoy the rest of July and have a really good August.  I’ll see you in a few weeks, okay?

And if you want to share your “Sometimes”, I’ll be checking in for a few days yet.  So share away…I’d love to hear.