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.

Protect Your Sobriety

Every morning I open my eyes, my first thought and words spoken are, “Thank you God for waking me up sober.”

I’ve been thinking about sobriety, which is normal for me this time of year. On November 10th, I’ll be 22 years sober. There’s a twinge of embarrassment when I say that to someone newly sober. They usually ask, “How’d you do it Barb?” I respond with, “With God one day at a time.”

When I was newly sober, my then husband flew me to Canada with him for business. We were to meet his clients at a French restaurant for dinner. I recall walking into our private dining room and seeing the table set with what seemed like a million wine glasses. I was 2 weeks sober.

Photo by Fabio Sangregorio on Unsplash

It broke my heart to take a seat at that table.

My then husband didn’t understand the alcoholic. He thought maybe I’d have a glass of wine and be a part of the evening’s festivities, but when the waiter came to my glass with the bottle, I laid my hand over the top so he wouldn’t pour. He felt my trepidation and took the glass away.

Then I just got angry. Being the lady I am, I sat quietly at the table holding my composure, but wanted to scream. That was the last time I sat at a table like that.

Back then, I looked at drinking as something I couldn’t have and it felt like I was missing out. What I didn’t realize it was actually the beginning of a whole new life.

Almost 22 years later, I’m still thinking about sobriety. It’s not that I can’t drink. I could and the life I have today would quickly dissipate. I’m not willing to let that go. When it comes to one more day sober, here’s your permission slip to choose your table wisely, and protect your sobriety.

The Easy Road

Another one of my new favorite things is how our cat drinks water. He just started doing this and it’s looks so difficult, but he does live in this house and we don’t do things the easy way.

Our big dog, Denver, has two metal bowls in a stand so they’re off the ground. You probably know the feeding stands I’m referring to. There’s one for water and one for food, side by side, but less than 10 inches off the ground.

Our munchkin cat, Chombus, waits until Denver has emptied his food bowl which I believe is very considerate, and climbs into the empty food bowl. Then he reaches over to the water bowl next to it and drinks water.

So his rear end is sitting in the empty food bowl, while is head is in the water bowl. Why doesn’t he just stand in front of the water bowl and drink? I guess that’s too easy.

Our cat has a good life, so maybe this is his way of challenging himself. Any worthwhile goal doesn’t come easy, but the path that will challenge us the most is never crowded. Let’s hope they’re practicing social distancing on the easy road.

Embrace the Cold

My daughter and I went for a walk this morning. It was chilly outside, but not cold. In previous years, I’ve hibernated in winter and the cold was not my friend. It’s time to face the cold and make a space for change.

Embrace change by making a space, keeping an open mind and leaning into uncertainty with willingness to change. In Texas, cold weather is not a long season. I look at it as being temporary because it will change come March.

Even as magical as I believe my life is, there’s nothing I can do to halt the change, so I have a choice. I can either whine or complain about it, which I have done in previous years, or embrace it. I don’t whine or complain very well.

Warm and cozy feels good, but personal growth occurs outside of warm and cozy. I’ve been walking consistently and was gifted with a pair of running shoes for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Will they sit in the box till Spring?

Nope. Not this year.

Photo by Domen Mirtiu010d Dolenec on Pexels.com

The best way I have found to take away something’s power, is to stop giving it any attention.

Cold weather is not a valid reason to keep me from walking and learning to run. I know how to bundle up, and fashion doesn’t rate very high for me when it comes to warmth. There was no one on the street this morning, so who’s going to notice, but maybe someone will.

Maybe it’s what someone else needs to see because this has been the year of staying indoors. If so, I hope they are inspired to accept this change in season. This change will change, so for now I choose to embrace the cold.

Protect Your Happy

Sitting in the corner of the room at my desk, I raised my weary head and asked, “Is it time for chocolate cold brew yet?” She said, “Heck yeah!”, and disappeared into the kitchen. My attitude was instantly uplifted.

Stumptowm Chocolate Cold Brew

This new email platform for work is eating my breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you know what? I’m gonna win.

There’s no other option for me personally.

I don’t even think about defeat, or worry that it’s too much to absorb and learn. Every hour or so, I leave my corner and walk around the house to clear my mind and refocus. Sometimes I read something positive to reinforce my outlook. It’s important what you take in because that is what you’re going to hand out to people around you.

I posted this meme on Facebook this week and it had mixed views. Some have been taking in sadness for so long, it’s rubbed off on them and become a part of who they are.

You have to be careful with sad if you want to remain happy. I’ve followed some pretty sad Bloggers in the past, and I had to unfollow them. I can make a note of their Blogsite to check on them down the road, but I cannot read sad throughout the day and remain true to who I am. Barb is happy and wants to stay that way.

There was a saying used years ago that stuck with me. “Fake it till you make it.” No matter how I was feeling, if someone asked, “How are you?”, I’d respond, “I’m doing great!” It took years of saying ‘great’, to actually believe life is great, but every time I said it out loud, it became more ingrained until it became my first choice.

I respond in the same manner today, but I usually receive a skeptical look, or that ‘you must be crazy’ look. It’s like it’s unusual to be in a good place. If they continue to prod deeper about my upbeat attitude, I confuse them even more when I say, “Because, I’m happy.”

A friend once told me, “It’s okay to grieve and you’ll feel sad, but don’t unpack your bag and set up camp.”

Once you find your happy be willing to fiercely protect it from outside influences. Sad can overtake happy, quickly and easily. Protect your happy.

A Faithful Following

I read a post in my Reader this morning by Mama’s Empty Nest. She doesn’t know this, but she inspires me. She’s been Blogging for 10 years, but doesn’t have a huge amount of followers. (2,000ish) To me, that’s inspiring.

I’ve been Blogging for 6 years, but didn’t get serious about it until 2019. That was the year my views doubled. Today, it’s not about the likes, even though they are nice to see, it’s about the reader. It took years to come to that realization and some days I still struggle with it.

I was thinking of the Fearless Warrior program I joined in July. I’m already fearless because of my trust in God. I trust Him with my life, and He instilled a warrior in me, but there’s one thing in this life I won’t fight. Algorithms.

If you love your Blog, the best thing to do is suit up and show up and give God something to use. Mama’s Empty Nest inspires me by just showing up. She enjoys the simplicity in life and we share the same big God.

Think of your Blog as your own corner of the world.

Once you publish a post, you may see the same readers give you likes and the same writers make comments, but my darling…that is called a faithful following.

Thank you for suiting up and showing up. ~ Barb

In An Instant

As I mentioned in a previous post, my daughter met up with a friend she doesn’t get to see very often. They met on the college campus last year, and the friend moved away to attend another campus. The best thing to come out of college, in my opinion, has been meeting this friend.

They stayed out late shooting pool, so her friend came home with her and crashed here. The following morning, her friend woke up and walked through the house looking for coffee. There’s no automatic brew here my love.

But I can make you a cup of coffee that’s memorable. I stood with her at the coffee bar and went through the choices. Chemex, a vessel of coffee, the French press, or a pour over. She was intrigued by the pour over and asked, “What’s a pour over?” This made my heart sing.

Bluebottle Coffee Dripper

I have a confession to make. I’d become really slack recently about taking the time to make a Chemex, or pour over for myself in the morning. I’d walk by the coffee bar, over to the tea cart and turn on the electric kettle for a cup of instant coffee. Within minutes I was sipping on a cup of rehydrated beans, sort of, and not enjoying it.

That’s just not me. I don’t do anything in an instant.

This morning I stood at the coffee bar, remembering the fascination of the friend and treated myself in the same manner as I treated her. “What’s your pleasure Barb?”

The Chemex is what I made for myself.

Photo by Purple Smith on Pexels.com

I remember the friend sitting at our kitchen table sipping the cup of coffee made by hand. The look on her face after each sip was like she had never experienced coffee like that before. I told her, “That will get you going”, and she responded with excitement, “What are we doing today?!”

Yesterday my daughter told me something her friend said about that morning at our table. She said, “Sunday morning was one the most beautiful morning’s I’ve ever had.” Those words were music to my ears and yet it also confirmed:

Beautiful moments aren’t made in an instant.