A million little pieces

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My friend Rana started doing this on her blog years ago, and it has become a tradition for me. 2013 will be my 12th year of blogging.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I started a new job at the library. I tried sushi and liked it. I rescued a black shih-tzu from the pound, for my mom.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for 2014?
For 2014, as for every year: Practice non-attachment.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friends Don and Andrew welcomed a daughter into their family.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My great-great aunt died in April. My father-in-law died in June. Other friends and dear ones crossed over through the year.

5. What countries did you visit?
Stayed in the United States. Visited Milwaukee and Chicago, two of my favorite places.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 which you lacked in 2013?
Difficult to say.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched in your memory, and why?
The day my father-in-law died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Rescuing Abbie from the dog pound.

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Celebrate

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Time flies when you are having fun. So I’m told.

I am finding the balance in my life that now includes a job at the library, a job I really enjoy. It’s been good for me, a reminder to simply focus on what I’m doing at the moment, rather than worry about all the other things that need done and distract myself from the task at hand. In some ways, it’s a kind of meditation for the multi-tasker, to focus on one thing at a time.

There have been several moments that caught me by surprise recently, moments when I was simply focusing on one thing, when I realized I was feeling happy. After this past year grieving the loss of my father and my grandmother, my first instinct was to feel guilty for feeling happy. I know that’s not rational – but it wasn’t a rational thought. I know they would both want me to be happy and enjoy my life. That’s all we ever want for our precious ones, the ones we love.

Spring has finally shown itself. Today’s temperature was on the warm side – when I came in from planting seeds in my garden this afternoon at 1:00 pm, the outside thermometer said 77.5 degrees F. It was good to be outside in the sunshine and breeze, clearing out some of the debris from my flower beds and garden, while the puppies wandered around the yard and lounged in the grass. They are my gardening buddies, always ready and willing to go outside with me, keeping me company while I work.

I know, I know… I intended to work on the first draft of my book on Saturday, but got distracted by washing my hardwood floors, now that mud season seems to have ended. I took my time, moved furniture and did a thorough job. It took nearly three hours. It felt good to put the rooms back together, knowing the floors were clean and everything dusted.

I intended to work on my book on Monday, but ended up doing the bookkeeping for the independent bookstore. After another trip to the store to pick up more documents, I finally had everything I needed to complete March’s entries into Quickbooks. I was able to finish it before I had to go to work.

I intended to work on my book today, but when I saw how beautiful it was outside, I knew I needed to get my garden therapy for the week. It’s supposed to get cool and rain later in the week, so I will work on my book on those days.

What a busy time here at Chez Shameless. Both daughters were home for spring break. We found eldest daughter’s wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses. I paid the deposit on the wedding venue. Yes, we are still about a year from the day, but these things take time, and it’s good to get things crossed off the list.

The political season is upon us, so I’ve been busy attending fundraisers for local candidates. The primary election is less than a month away. It’s not a full countywide primary this time, but there are still twenty-six precincts that have a ballot to vote. I still have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to be at the office to officially open the polls at 6:30 am.

Soon, the girls will be moving home for the summer. The house will be full with love and laughter. And lots more laundry.

Eldest daughter’s fiancé doesn’t care for cake, so when we celebrated his birthday this past weekend while visiting my mom, we put twenty candles in a pumpkin donut and sang happy birthday to him. It was a great day!

I saw this quote on facebook this week. It is a perfect way to end this post.

“Bodhicitta is available in moments of caring for things, when we clean our glasses or brush our hair. It’s available in moments of appreciation, when we notice the blue sky or pause and listen to the rain. It is available in moments of gratitude, when we recall a kindness or recognize another person’s courage. It is available in music and dance, in art, and in poetry. Whenever we let go of holding on to ourselves, and look at the world around us, whenever we connect with sorrow, whenever we connect with joy, whenever we drop our resentment and complaint, in those moments bodhicitta is here.”

~Ani Pema Chödrön

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