Take a Chance

When we have one of those inspired thoughts, you know the ones that come out of nowhere, we need to pay attention, but not overthink it. The mind is logical, and will do it’s best to talk us out of it. By not taking a chance, the once inspired thought turns into missed opportunity.

Our cat took a chance this morning by laying on my bed. He’s not allowed to do that, but I have to give him credit how it occurred. He slowly built up to the opportunity.

When we first got him, he never came into my room, but one day I walked by and saw him sitting in my window. I didn’t think much about it because he sits in every window. After a few minutes he hopped down and left the room.

One night my daughter and I were sitting in the middle of my bed watching a movie, and he jumped onto the bed, into her lap. We were surprised, but animals love to see what they can get away with. He was gently placed back on the floor. He still tries it, but receives the same end result.

A couple of weeks ago, I left my red blanket in the den and he laid on it. The blanket is usually on the foot of my bed, and after a washing it returned there. From laying on it while it was in the den, I guess he thinks it’s his.

He’s not allowed to lay on the bed, but he remembered laying on the blanket and decided to take a chance.

A Lightbulb Moment

I know you are thinking, “Barb’s going to share some profound wisdom with us here.” Unfortunately lovely, I’ve actually been wrestling with a lightbulb.

For longer than a moment. It’s been weeks.

Obviously, I don’t give up easily, but I learned something from this lightbulb. I’m really good with change, if it’s a change I decide to make. If the change is made for me, with no say so in the matter, that’s not so good.

I have lamps that use 3-way bulbs. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a lightbulb that has 3 different settings, and each setting has a level of light. I’ve loved these light bulbs all my life, but someone decided to make a change.

Photo by Federico Bottos on Unsplash

This is the LED version of the 3-way bulb.

Looks harmless enough, right? The original 3-way bulb would start out on a low setting. You turn the knob of the lamp, and it would get brighter. A third turn of the knob and it would be at it’s brightest light. It would start out low and gradually become brighter.

The LED version does the opposite. As soon as you turn on the lamp, the bulb starts out with the brightest setting.

Gives a whole new meaning to, ‘blinded by the light!’

With each click of the knob, the light grows dim.

My only consolation is at night while laying in bed reading, it’s kinda nice the light gets softer instead of brighter.

I’m proud of myself for not replacing it with a normal one, although there is one in the cabinet, just in case I snap. Enough time has passed now where it really doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve adapted to the change. Here’s to you darling, and may you have a lightbulb moment.

Working and Writing

I’ve heard you don’t have to be ‘in the mood’ to write. You can just sit down at any time and write, but I believe the mood will reflect in your writing.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not about finding time, because we all have the same amount of time. It’s sitting down everyday and writing until the words run out. Running out of words doesn’t come easy for me, but we are keenly aware of running out of time. It’s precious.

Saturday was cold and rainy, but I decided to accept it for what it was. I lit a candle, and turned on our heater that resembles a woodstove. My work got done, but with it being the Saturday after Thanksgiving it didn’t have the sense of urgency it has during the week.

Photo by Kam Pratt on Pexels.com

I do this quite often. Work a little while and then come over to WordPress and write. If I’m having a challenging day with work, WordPress tends to be my happy spot. Responding to your comments, or fixing a cup of tea and taking time out to read your Blogs are important to me.

I love to write, and when I spend time on the page, other areas of my life become better. When I don’t write, it feels like a part of me is missing.

I was overly focused on work, so my writing and Blog suffered. I knew there had to be a balance, so one day while working, I pulled up my Blog and started to write. I left two tabs open. One for work and one for writing and I’d go back and forth between the two. Writing brings joy that spills over into my work.

That’s how I found balance between working from home and writing. They became equally important.

Embrace the Unexpected

I cannot remember the last time I went Black Friday shopping, but I went this year. There was one store having a sale, and I wondered what it would be like to go shopping on Black Friday during a pandemic. It was nothing like I thought it would be.

I made a deal with God Thursday night before bed. I told Him, “If going to this store Friday morning would be a beautiful experience, then wake me up early.” I woke up at 3:00 am, smiled and said, “Not this early. Let’s shoot for 6.” The next time I woke up it was precisely 6:00 a.m.

By 7:00 a.m., I was out the door.

It was foggy, and there was no traffic. When I arrived at the store, there were hardly any cars in the parking lot. Slipping on my mask, I saw a huge sign sitting at the storefront that said, “No more than 35 people allowed inside.” So far, it was nothing like I expected.

I went to the sale for their candles being buy 3, get 3 free. At first I thought, what a deal, but not really. They used to have a sale every month where their candles were half price. I would normally just buy a couple, but the black Friday sale insured me walking out of the store with six!

When the sales clerk handed me the bag full of candles, I was a little bit embarrassed by it size. It was enormous!

What we expect and what God has in store are different sizes. I catch myself not thinking big enough because it’s comfortable walking through the store with a small bag. We need to get good at carrying the enormous bag.

That’s the size of His plans for us if we embrace the unexpected. Hope my neighbors like candles.

Be the Reason

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a pillow and wanted it, but didn’t buy it. I was shopping with a friend, and told myself I didn’t need one more pillow. It wasn’t a need, but a want from years ago, regarding a similar pillow.

When I first saw the pillow it was sitting on the floor with some other sale items. The sales lady picked it up admiring it’s cuteness and announced, “It’s on sale for 30% off!”

Oh the temptation of it all! I knew the brand and it wasn’t cheap. It was the same brand as the framed note I shared in when grey turns to blue. I left the store without it, but the pillow stayed on my mind. A couple of days later, I called the store, but the pillow was nowhere to be found.

I wasn’t discouraged. When something like this happens, I just see it as the timing being off. It didn’t stop me from walking into the store to look at candles a few days after the call. I didn’t see a candle that I had to have, so I strolled around the shoppe. There was a wall with pillows on display, and looking up at the wall I saw the pillow.

The pillow that had been 30% off was on display, and not on sale anymore. I wished everyone a good day, and left the shoppe. I found it interesting and saw it as a chance for someone to do the right thing, but would they?

On the way home, my phone rang.

It was a clerk from the store asking if anyone ever found the pillow for me. She had come across my note and wanted to ask. I told her no one had located it, but I saw it today. It was on the wall display with the other pillows.

She was flabbergasted, and apologized profusely. I smiled and told her it was no bother. She said, “Maybe it will be on sale again after Christmas.” I said, “Maybe it will.” We hung up and the conversation was over, so I thought.

An hour later, my phone rang again.

It was the same lady I had spoken with previously. She said the store manager would like for me to have the pillow, and would sell it to me for 50% off! I told her I’d be right there.

Hello Darling Pillow

When I walked into the store, the manager saw me and said, “You could have just told me the situation.”

I thanked her for providing excellent customer service, but she knew I was waiting to see how it would end, and was happy she did the next right thing.

The title to this post has been sitting in drafts for a while. I’ve been waiting for something like this to unfold to use it. There is still goodness in people. We may not see it as often as we like, but that’s when we have the opportunity to be the reason.

Dusting My Soul

I noticed the piano sitting away from the wall more than it used to. It’s out on the floor. It used to be pressed up against the wall out of the way, with the music stand folded down. It was a piece of furniture dusted off every week.

I took piano lessons as a child, but didn’t like being made to do something. I’m still that way, but a couple of weekends ago, as my daughter was leaving the house, she looked at me and said, “Do something special for yourself.” The Rolodex in my mind started flipping through images, but came up empty on something specific.

I’ve created the kind of life where I enjoy everything I do, but what about something for my soul besides writing. Playing piano was a part of my childhood that feels incomplete. My neighbor offered piano lessons a while ago, so I walked inside and sent her a message.

I asked if the offer still stands, and if she’d be willing to give me lessons. She said yes, and we chose a day and time to begin. When I asked whose house she wanted you use, she chose mine and referred to it as a calm getaway.

The piano doesn’t need dusting as often, now that it’s being used. Everyday I sit down to practice, and run my hand across the keys I feel the progress dusting my soul.

When Grey Turns to Blue

Refining what we have. Paying attention to what’s in front of us and making small adjustments toward better.

I painted a wall, and it wasn’t even a large wall, but it is the first wall you see when you walk in the front door. The paint job has always bothered me. Before we moved in, someone touched up the walls, and used a shiny finish paint, instead of flat. It’s the same color as the wall, just a different finish, so the touch up was noticeable.

Before

Walking by the wall this morning, I’m really glad I only painted the one wall and not half the house. The early morning light made the grey look blue.

The framed note you see hanging on the wall is my newest addition of reminders. I walk by it 100 times a day, and each time I glance at it to remind myself of what’s here.

There’s a lot of grey in the world today, but we hold the paintbrush and can paint our little corner of the world any color we choose. If your world is looking grey, my hope for you today is just like this wall, your grey turns to blue.

After

Bowl of Scraps

There’s a lady who sells these handmade bowls at a farmer’s market I attend on the weekends. They are made from strips of fabric she refers to as scraps. Her display has so many colors and designs it’s difficult to choose, but if that’s my toughest decision of the day, life is good.

She wraps clothes line wiring with strips of fabric and sews them together to make the bowl. Allow me show you how simply beautiful scraps woven together can be.

Yesterday, I was on my Team Call through Fearless Warrior and told them I’ve decided to leave the Fearless Warrior Community. It was a solid investment of money and time well spent, but the heart knows when it’s time to move on. We’ve been meeting every week for several months and feel woven together, similar to this bowl.

We are all different ages with different ideas and beliefs and we live in various parts of the world, but we have a common bond. A mutual love and respect for one another. I have found similar souls here in WordPress. My Fearless Team has decided to continue meeting at least once a month outside the community to continue encouraging one another down life’s path.

When we stand alone we might feel like one strip of fabric, but together we can be woven with love into something meaningful and purposeful. Just like this bowl of scraps.

Moments in Waiting

This week, I meditated in the parking lot of our Vet’s office. It was an unconventional space, but it was a moment.

Our cat needed a checkup, so I loaded him up and drove to the Vet. As I pulled into the parking lot, there were signs hanging in front of the parking spaces, and I chose the one that said, ‘Cats’. A Red SUV pulled into the space next to me with a dog, a toddler, a baby and a cell phone on speaker. The nurse came out and retrieved our cat.

I sat patiently in my truck and tried to read, but my Kindle was acting up and I chastised myself for not bringing a real book. Technology has added to our lives, but it can take away moments. I’m really passionate about how we spend more time staring at our phones, than our loved ones faces. I was a prisoner to my phone, but not anymore.

There was a lot of activity in the SUV beside me. The toddler was jumping around, climbing all over the place like he was trapped. The sun was slowly setting and the parking lot was almost empty, so I paused to smile at the little boy and moved my truck to the empty part of the lot. If you’re not happy where you are, then move.

I parked my truck, got out and walked to the back. Dropped the tailgate and sat down Yogi style. I told myself, “Take a deep inhalation Barb and just breathe.”

The Red SUV drove by and took note. Did it look like I was sitting on the back end of a truck mediating? Sure it did!

I didn’t have my headphones with me so anyone standing in the parking lot could hear the meditation as well. Across from where I was parked, a woman got out of her car, ripped off her mask, took a deep breath and stretched before reluctantly getting back into her car. My phone rang and paused the meditation. It was the Vet letting me know our cat was ready to leave.

As I was loading kitty back up, I noticed the Red SUV was back, but it was a different scene.

The lady driving it had opened the back of her SUV, and was having a quiet moment talking with her toddler. She was making the most out of waiting, and I was pleased she had found a moment. Instead of filling that space of time, allow it to open up to you. There are moments in waiting.

Moments of Gratitude

There’s something about November that brings gratitude to the forefront. I saw a post written my Michelle GD and signed up for her Gratitude notes. This morning, I found myself looking forward to her email of ‘Day Two’.

Michelle and I have similar philosophies. It’s the little things in life that I’m grateful for the most. In yesterday’s gratitude notes, she asked that we make note of what we see that we’re grateful for, so I took a few pictures.

I bribed myself to go for a walk.

Actually, I thought of it as a reward. I made a Chemex and let it sit telling myself it would still be hot and ready to enjoy on my return. On my way out the door, I snapped this pic of the steam rolling off. It’s a thing of beauty.

Chemex Coffemaker with Bluebottle Coffee

When it was time for brunch, I grabbed Leo.

My daughter brought him home because we use fresh herbs to cook with, and Leo makes chopping herbs fun. He’s our pretty, yet highly functional find. It’s celebratory when it’s pretty and practical. Sometimes it’s just pretty.

She found him on the clearance rack.

BergHOFF Leo Herb Cutter Set

While in the kitchen I glanced at the front door standing open. I told my daughter we need to petition fresh Christmas Trees being available for purchase November 1st. If they were, our tree would already be up and decorated. We love Christmas decor!

We have balls!

Scrolling through my camera roll this morning, it resembles gratitude notes. That’s what a photo is for me. Moments of gratitude.