Sunday, April 11, 2010
Ah! A week-end in Heaven! Maybe it wasn't really heaven, but it certainly felt like it to me!
Friends had invited me to Sedona for the week-end and early Saturday morning I drove up. Even the drive up was pleasant and enjoyable; yellow flowers raised their heads in mass profusion on both sides of the highway as I was leaving the Phoenix area. As I progressed further into the desert, I saw a landscape of verdant cacti, shrubs and other growth, nothing like the dry barren landscape of summer travel. We have had more rain this year than we normally get and the lush foliage of the plants along the highway gave testimony of what a little rain can do. Time slipped away quickly as I listened to my favorite radio station and sped along at the 75 mph speed limit for that stretch of my journey.
As I exited the highway nearly one hundred miles from my home, I decided to check and see exactly what their house number was. Do I ever forget things like that? haha you bet I do! My host-to-be had his usual trick up his sleeve as he asked me "Are you coming 'today' -- I thought it was Thursday you were coming." But that was OK, it just nudged my memory a bit as I remembered his teasing little remarks that were a trademark of his personality.
Finally, after many new "turnabouts" newly added through the Village of Oak Creek, I entered the town of Sedona and carefully made my way through the throngs of tourists, already busily licking ice cream cones and shopping. The streets were all familiar as I lived within a half mile of their home at an earlier time of my life. With the familiarity came the tugging of memories at my heart as thoughts of my dearly departed husband crowded their way into my brain, and other memories of the happy times we had spent in the company of this couple. Now I was to see them again, after an absence of nearly 3 years!
Like all friends after a long absence we laughed, hugged and all talked at once. I had brought home grown oranges and grapefruit and at the last minute had a little gift wrapped and brought along as I realized her birthday would be this coming Thursday! It's funny you can feel immediately at home with some people and it's as though you had just seen them yesterday -- the time gap just disappears and you are all chattering and catching up. Unfortunately as we enter our 70's and 80's there is also the discussion of who has died -- so many! And even more disturbing is that some of them were even younger than me! A sure way to feel your mortality.
A glass of wine, a light lunch -- all displayed with the appeal and precision of a professional cook, we glanced at the clock and decided on a quick nap, and then taking our time to get ready for Mass that evening. My friend was to be the lector that evening, a duty I had participated in often during my many years of living in Sedona. Same priest, same church, all with poignant memories of their own. In fact, at one time I even worked at that very church.
I was shown to my room, and that confirmed my idea that indeed I had stepped into some heavenly realm right here on earth. Cool white, lush extravagant lace trimming up the top sheet as well as the pillow shams made the bed look like an oasis you'd want to curl up in and never again get out of bed. Red rocks greeted my view from two large sliding doors in the corner of the room, leading out onto my own private patio, complete with comfy chairs and a little table, inviting that morning coffee, perhaps shared with a chipmonk or rabbit. I walked into the lush bathroom and found a soft robe hanging on it's padded hanger, just waiting for that late night coffee I was sure we would share.
Services were wonderful, with a special announcement by Father JC as he spied me sitting next to Valda in the front row! "Eve! How good to see you here! Have you moved back to Sedona?" Of course I had to say "no" but now, anyone who knew me at all, knew I was there in the front row of the church. Many hello's were to follow as friends passed by after receiving communion.
And now it was time for dinner. The three of us met at a favorite restaurant and enjoyed a long, celebratory dinner! Toasts were made, stories galore and a good sense of well-being prevaded the entire evening. I ordered a very healthy dinner of grilled trout, but my indulgent friends thought nothing of leading me astray with their demand of getting a "dessert to go." Coffee, conversation and a little something sweet was how they put it. I'm not ashamed at all that I went along with the idea, even to the point of ordering a favorite; pecan pie.
I slept like a very tired, satisfied little girl that night. My dreams were a series of pleasant thoughts that rambled through the night as a separate little medley that kept tune to all the wonderful, spoiled feelings of living a life of luxury that I seemed to be experiencing this week-end. When I finally awoke the next a.m. at the indulgent hour of 8:30, I realized I was well rested, felt exceptionally good and really didn't care if my weight was up a pound or not. It was one of the very nicest week-ends I can remember having in a long, long time.
Of course, at that hour it still had several hours to go, amongst them homemade waffles with strawberries and whipped cream! I didn't leave when I had planned but that's another nice thing about being with friends -- it teaches you that you have the ability of changing your plans a bit and not feeling the least bit guilty.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Whether you run in circles all day, or if you move about efficiently and get it all done, when the end of the day comes we all stop and go to bed. Do you lay in bed and worry about the things you didn't get done? Or breath a sigh of relief over all those things you did accomplish?
A week from now, will it really matter if you got it done on Monday or Friday? Well, except for your Federal Income Tax, of course, there is a deadline for that! But for many of the every day, minute little details that we worry about, what does it really matter? I firmly believe if you feel like taking a nap -- then DO IT.
And if you truly hunger for that dish of ice cream, then HAVE IT (just make sure you think about portion control). In the long run, the little things really don't matter an iota. So starting today -- take time to smell the roses. That means do take that nap when you need/want one! Do take the time to sit and read for an hour or so, just to relax! Do make a little change in your schedule and meet a friend for lunch!
The older you get the more you regret the things you didn't do. So starting right now, start doing some of those things you want to do. If the floor doesn't get scrubbed, or you don't change the sheets today -- does it really matter?
May your life be filled with the pleasant scent of roses!
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
I was talking to a friend the other day about how he felt when he lost his wife to cancer. He had been very depressed and had decided to join a therapy group who had all been through much the same experience as him. As the session drew to a close the person heading up the group said he had an exercise for each and every person. When they went home that night he wanted each of them to remove all their clothing, then stand in front of a full-length mirror.
"Take a good look at your body," he told the group; then make a list of everything you don't like.
The next evening the group assembled again, each person holding a little list in their hand. I asked my friend what his list had contained. He said that first of all at 182 pounds, and he is 5'7" he wanted to lose a bunch of weight, secondly his hair had fallen out on the top of his head due to stress as she was going through her illness -- and he disliked that also. And the third thing he didn't like was his glasses that he had worn since he was young.
OK, many of the people had similar items on their list, I'm sure. So the next step was decided what to do about it, and how to go about doing it. My friend is a very good swimmer and enjoys it, so he began swimming laps. The first time he tried it he could not make it from one end to the other. But he had a high degree of determination, and he wanted to reach his goal. Little by little he improved. For his second problem, he contacted a local business who transplants hairs from another area of your head onto the bald spot -- expensive but effective. And he also had Lasik surgery on his eyes so he could do away with his glasses. He is a striking individual today, and looks years younger than his calendar years!
So when you look in the mirror, study that reflection and figure out how you want to improve it to make it what you want. Next write the goals down and make note of how to achieve them. You can accomplish almost anything. It might help to take a picture of the NOW person and post it on the refrigerator (after all, that's where the food is) and in a month take another, and keep doing it, same type of clothing each time, and see how your progress is doing.
With motivation like that I'll bet you'll be seeing the image you want before you know it. And pick a certain day to take the photo so it's always exactly a month in between. When you're done you can make a collage out of it. It can be like a brag book for YOU!
Sunday, April 04, 2010
We all have a bit of optimism in us, and unfortunately a bit of pessimism too! But the best way to look at things as you go through your day is to tell yourself things could always be worse -- and be thankful for what they are!
You wake up and it's kind of cloudy -- OK, that's good cause it could be raining!
You find out you're out of your favorite cereal -- that's OK, make oatmeal!
You can't find the black slacks you wanted to wear, but so what? You've got about 10 other pairs of slacks to choose from, you're lucky!
You're running 10 minutes late for an appointment. You're starting to get irritated. You can arrive at the appointment irritated and short tempered, or... you can turn on the radio, enjoy the music and arrive in a good mood -- apologize for being late, and then let it go!
You broke your fingernail -- it's not earth shattering! What if you had fallen and broken a hip or an arm?
Each and every day we find situations that we don't like; but if you think about them they could be worse -- way worse! So relax, enjoy the good life that you have and be thankful that things are as good as they are. For every little thing that goes wrong, there are many things that are going right, if you'll only open your eyes and see them!
Hugs! Have a nice day!
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