Pause, Breathe, and Take Stock: 2017-41

Sometimes a whole week goes by and I wonder what happened to the time.  What did I do with my time this week?  Did anything slip through the cracks?  Is everything on my calendar?  Did I send October birthday cards?  Did I buy those for November?  CoCo’s osteomyelitis bloomed again. I have nodules on my thyroid.

At the same time, the national and world news seems to have me in it clutches.  I’m constantly checking to see what’s breaking now. The biggest tragedy is replaced by a bigger one.  Leaders dance around each other like roosters in a cock-fight.  What now? Rand Paul got tackled by his neighbor and has five broken ribs? Kevin Spacey is accused of child abuse? CNN reports that a Good Samaritan shot the perpetrator of a crime?

Where are we going?

Okay.[tweetthis] Stop. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Remember, there are a lot of good things happening in my life.[/tweetthis]

[icon name=”leaf” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] I had a wonderful lunch with my friend Ronne.  She’s the author of Another Way Home.  I love getting together with her.  She is so kind and thoughtful.  Plus, she always makes me think, and thinking is what I like to do most.  This visit she told me about her trip to Japan. “So many people who look so much alike.  The same color and textured hair, the same color eyes,” she said.  “Think how that might change how we look at the world.” Here we are at one of her favorite places, Bridgeport Cafe.  It adjoins an art gallery filled with hopeful paintings.

[icon name=”leaf” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Uber drivers that got me to Ronne and back to Ogilvie Metra stations so I could get home to Loved-One.

[icon name=”leaf” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] A new Dr. Bones, fresh out of school who referred CoCo to a specialist I will refer to as Dr. Super-Bones.  Dr. Bones conferenced me in while Love-One and CoCo sat in his office.  An superb explaination of the situation and why he recommended Dr. Sup-Bones was just what I needed.  Keep your fingers crossed for us.  I think we’re looking forward to another long haul.

[icon name=”leaf” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] NaNoWriMo and my half-hour commitment to write every day.  Also Anne Lamott and her Bird by Bird book is reminding me that first drafts are crappy.  I’m forging ahead with the adventures of Ellie and Dallas and Nate, getting the story line down, the chapters drafted and trying not to get hung up on the details I’ll need to address before I “open the door,” as Stephen King reminds me in On Writing.  

[icon name=”leaf” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Emil Parkarklis and his iPhone photography school. Here’s my latest lesson on taking reflection photography. It’s just a photo inside the shuttle bus I sometimes take to the Metra Station, when I’m not on the “L”. To find out more, search for iPhone Photography School on Facebook or go to Emil’s website:

[icon name=”leaf” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Salon Cora and some purple “peek-a-boos” in my hair.  I have the women at work to thank for the idea. Miss K and Miss E confirmed purple, not blue.

[icon name=”leaf” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] An upcoming flute trio, “Two Grandmas and a Little Lady.  We’re practicing.  Rhythm challenges us.

[icon name=”leaf” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Group texts with my siblings and sharing news.  I’m not a big fan of group texts, but so many of my family members dropped out of our Facebook Group.  So, I’m thankful that we are communicating another way.

[icon name=”leaf” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Amtrak taking me to see Mom later this week. I can finish my newspaper articles as I travel.  I have the interviews done, the photos taken and I’m ready to roll.

[icon name=”leaf” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] A sweet visit to a 1858 homestead restored and staffed with people recreating the people and activities. I especially liked the retired surveyor who showed us how it was done back then.  The old-time tools were amazingly accurate, sometimes within an inch of today GPS.

This is such a good exercise for me.  Once I get started thinking about all the good things, little and big, in my life, the bad seems to melt away.  Of course that doesn’t really happened. The bad is still here, and we still have to work together against it.  But pausing to remember the joyful replenishes me.  What about you?