Friday, November 4, 2011

Missing the sun

Flashback Friday:  My grandma, on the left, with her friend, sometime in the 1940s I assume.

A picture of sunbathing is so NOT appropriate on a cold and rainy day such as today.... but there you have it. Not that I'm dreading the winter. On the contrary, since discovering boots and leggings, I very much enjoy the colder months.  Not to mention the steaming hot beverages, stuffed squashes, homemade breads/cookies, Christmas movies and fuzzy blankets that abound during this season... fall/winter is glorious, really.
What I fear, however, is this:
Of course, I will never look this badass.  More like a soggy Basset Hound.  Yes, friends, I have this irrational fear of running in the rain.  I have never done it, and though everyone tells me how wonderful it is, how liberating, etc. etc.... no, thank you.  I know it's mental:  I do not like being cold, I hate wet feet, I'm afraid of slipping in a puddle or falling into mud and having to sludge my way home like some mythical dirt creature, scaring children and elderly dog-walkers along the way.

But it has to happen some time.  I'm aware that training in all conditions is vital because, as evidenced by this year's LA Marathon, it's very possible that race day will come with stormy weather.  Someday, I'll have to do it, especially on a rainy Sunday morning when I have to run with the group and can't hide behind the treadmill.  And I hope it's as exhilarating an experience as everyone says it is.  Sigh.

Today, though, is all about turning on the oven, piling up the blankets... and maybe doing some furniture shopping!
Exercise in Gratitude
Day 2: I am grateful for the salad bar in the cafe at work. Seriously. Eating gluten-free drastically limits my options for healthful eating out, and those options I do have are super expensive. Today, for under $4, I got an enormous salad with onions, mushrooms, beets, carrots, eggs, cheese, broccoli, tomatoes, roasted squash, sunflower seeds, and basalmic vinegar. So many nutrients. My body thanks me.
Day 3: Today I am grateful for learning. For a world full of information and experience, and my brain's ability to take it in, process and make sense of it all. Learning is not always a comfortable or pleasant experience, but the ability to learn from my mistakes and successes makes me a better person every day.
Day 4:  I'm grateful for Fridays.  The pace slows, and we all work a little happier in the shadow of the weekend  :)
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ever thankful - an exercise in gratitude

"Thanksgiving should serve as a reminder, not an exception.  What if gratitude could become our default?  There is nothing as potent as gratitude when it comes to quelling a longing, calming restlessness, quieting anxious thoughts, filling emptiness, overcoming doubt, or celebrating abundance.  It is a force we can tap into at will, once with the ability to change our perspective and fuel our potential." - Kristin Armstrong

I've been thinking a lot lately about gratitude, happiness, and how I can more fully appreciate my life and the people around me.  I've always had a tendency to be anxious and a bit neurotic, but I've found that in the last couple years these feelings have ruled my life more than they should.  And that is ridiculous.  Gratitude is a choice, and rather than always focusing on what I don't have or what I can't control, there is no reason I can't take a step back, breathe deeply, and embrace life - the good and the not-so-good.  Because, who am I kidding?  My life is wonderful, full of love and potential and awareness and excitement.  I just need to choose to look at it that way, and I can't help but be filled to the brim with thankfulness.

That's why I'm challenging myself, for the 30 days of November, to list one thing every day that I'm grateful for.  I'll be doing this daily on my Facebook account, but will occasionally (at least once a week) compile my responses here also.  By the end of the month, I will have a catalog of all the things, large and small, that infuse this life of mine with so much joy every day.

Exercise in gratitude, Day 1
Today I'm grateful for my life. I could have been anyone, born anywhere, at any time, but I wasn't. I am me, here, today, and it is my personal belief that this life is the only one I will experience - so I'd better be thankful, and not waste a second of it.
So tell me.... what are YOU thankful for?