Want What You Already Have

Sometimes weeks just aren’t wonderful. Don’t get me wrong…I’m sure wonder is still out there for the discovering, but sometimes I’m just not able to see it. Between a funeral, an unfortunate incident at work, setbacks in getting my book out, and just the general ennui that comes from working everyday and spending way too much time behind the wheel of a car in this city, this week has been decidedly lackluster.

I certainly haven’t had much time to explore the action I suggested this week for creating a space to wonder in. I had grand plans to make a cozy reading nook tailored for comfier family storytimes, as well as filling the shelves in our “office” (a corner of our bedroom) at my son’s level with things he could create with (in contrast with the disorganized and downright dangerous mess that’s there now, from which I am constantly having to distract him). I did get a beanbag from someone on craigslist, which turned out to be ginormous and takes up half our living room instead of being the small son-sized nook cushion I imagined. Besides making our living room look like a college dorm room, it is quite cozy. And Little Man (I should now call him Mr. Busy) and I have been having a great time rearranging the couch cushions into an obstacle course of sorts. He’s not into forts yet, but just wants to climb, climb, climb. Up and down and over and under, simply re-creating our couch has created hours of wonder for him. I bet he couldn’t be more excited if we bought an actual jungle gym.

If it were only that simple for me. I think a huge part of my discontent at the moment is thinking “if only”. If only I didn’t have to work so hard right now, if only I had the amazing dream house one of my clients has, if only I was published, if only I was more put-together/beautiful/organized/talented like some of my friends who seem to have it all figured out, blah blah blah…snap out of it! I am enough. I have all that I need. And more than I’d ever imagined I could have. It is enough. I don’t need a jungle gym, I have couch cushions. Some people don’t even have a couch. None of that really matters. My son would be happy if he just had a stick from the ground to play with. If he didn’t have a stick, he’d still have me. And I would have him. And I won’t forever, as the funeral reminded me.

So, the action I’m challenging myself with the rest of this week, or at least right this minute, is to wonder at all that I already have. Mainly, love in abundance. Hallelujah.

That said, I would love to hear if you have been able to create wondrous spaces this week. Just try not to make me jealous.

This is Mr. Busy hiding in one of our couch cushion/blanket forts while I loudly look for him. I love that he still thinks if he can’t see me, I can’t see him. Even if he’s giggling.

Some wonderful things:

Wonders Out of This World

Beauty is a Rare Thing by Ian Johnson


A Season of Gratitude

It’s a little early for Thanksgiving, but I’m feeling grateful. And since these grateful moments often flit away in the face of fear and doubts and worries, I am challenging myself to spend more time in gratitude this season. Instead of dwelling on the dread of winter, sadness for all the pain in the world (both actual and potential), and wanting more than I have, I will be here. Now. In the present. And grateful for all the goodness in my life.

I’m grateful for big general things like food, shelter, health, friends, family, love, living in a country where I am not oppressed, etc.  It’s easy to take these things for granted and find myself complaining about things that just don’t matter. To combat this negativity, I will try to draw my attention to all the specific things I am grateful for as I go about my days. Here’s a short list of what I’m thankful for today:

-Amazing California sunshine before sweater and scarf wearing weather hits.

-A sweet sweet husband who makes sure I’m fed. If left to my own devices I would subsist on frozen Trader Joe’s food, but instead I have a man on a crockpot kick who just made me a hearty autumn butternut squash stew.

-The satiny succulent stomach skin of my beautiful baby boy. And his chubby little feet. And his smile. Ok, the whole dang baby.

-Living in a city where I can take dogs to the beach and run in the sand with a backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge. Gorgeous.

-I have running water in my house unlike a staggering number of people in the world, and can take a nice, hot shower whenever I want to (or whenever aforementioned baby will allow it, and he’s finally sleeping, so off I go!)

What are you grateful for today?