Little Things for Which I am Thankful

I know this post usually comes out on a Friday, so please forgive me. I pretty much crashed on Thursday evening, early, and didn’t have a chance to get anything written on Friday. And then it was the weekend!

  1. I went to a really amazing wedding Saturday. I went by myself, and was a bit nervous about finding people to talk to. But I shouldn’t have worried as I was definitely not the only person there by myself. The mother of the bride tried to pair me up with a single guy (guess that is what I have in store for me now at these things) but um…yeah..no sparks whatsoever. Nice guy, but just not for me. And really, I’m so focused on making plans to move that I don’t even want to date anyway! Still…it is a bit hard to attend these things on your own and see all the other couples there. However, I have to admit, as I was looking at everyone smiling, and many dancing (I don’t dance standing up, only chair dancing for me, thanks!), I wondered to myself, if they were really that happy or were they just putting on a show? And I wondered, if I were still married today, would I be really happy or would I just be putting on a show?
  2. I’ve been running more lately and I feel a difference in my mental outlook on the days I do run. With working so many jobs lately, it’s been hard to motivate myself to get out there because I’m sometimes just so tired. But I’ve been rewarded with some really beautiful sunrises lately, and when I see that, I know I’m doing something right for me. Even if my entire day goes to crap after that run, I still have that beautiful memory of the sky and the reservoir or the river in my brain to fall back on.
  3. A good friend of mine, Kelvin, who writes the blog, Going Uncomplicated, wrote up a post last week titled When Sentimental is No Longer Sentimental and it just really got me going into one of those moods where I wanted to throw away or donate or sell a lot of stuff. So I started checking out which of my books Amazon would take for their trade-in store. I also found that Powell’s Books in Portland, OR, will also do some trade-ins with you as well, so I’m sending three books to them this week. They pay the postage, so it costs me nothing other than the packaging, and well, since I work in a library…trust me, finding boxes is not a problem for me!  I already feel lighter having cleared out one filing cabinet worth of stuff at home, and two recycle bins worth at work. Not to mention the amount of student loan documents I scanned earlier today and then shredded. If you ever want to sense something, shred some of your paper clutter. As it goes through the shredder, well, it’s a feeling of winning out over the paper. [Ok, at least that’s what I tell myself.  Don’t tell me if I’m wrong in doing this.]
  4. At the wedding I mentioned above, I was seated next to a girl and her boyfriend. Turns out, she had worked as a librarian in an academic setting up until about 5 years ago. She said that now she is a farmer (she manages an organic farm.)  She told me she basically up and moved from NJ to VT and started learning everything there was to know about farming. She said she lived very minimally at first as she only earned about $10/hour. I felt like “yes, she’s been seated near me for a reason, and it’s to remind me that it is possible! You can leave a job that everyone thinks you should do to do something that makes you happy.” So I asked her for advice on how to deal with people who mean well but are very fearful for you, that it might not work out, because I do get that a lot. I try to not let their insecurities add to my own  but it can be difficult. As this other girl, Sarah, said to me, “a lot of people like security and want or need things to be safe.” So true.
  5. Coffee. Working all these early am morning shifts at the gym, let’s just say the gym would never open without my having two cups before I leave the house. Enough said.
  6. I think the scooter not working out was supposed to happen. I’ve changed my mind about what kind of RV I am now looking for because of it. (More of that in a later post, but let’s just say I am back on the minimalizing train and it feels great!) I’m just thankful I can look at it that way. A few years ago, my mindset would have just kept obsessing about it, and not in a good way. And true, I did at first, but not so much anymore. 🙂
  7. As I was leaving for work today, I saw that my bike chain had come off the gears. I have no idea why, because it was fine last night when I came home from my full-time job (we work occasional weekend shifts during the school year.)  Being an idiot, and it being 5:15 or so, I started to freak out, and finally gave up, running inside to put away my bike and then try to hail a cab. Something told me yesterday to keep the cash in my wallet that I had taken out for the wedding but hadn’t spent, and thankfully I had it in my wallet to pay the cabbie. Only got here two minutes late today, and the people who were here early know I’m always on time to open the gym, and were very understanding. Maybe my still having all my reflective gear on that I wear to ride the bike told them that it really was an honest reason as to why I was late? 🙂
  8. We’ve been blessed with summer-like weather here in Boston the past few days. I’m so not complaining!

Anyway, I hope that all of your Mondays have started out much less eventfully than mine…if you’ve liked this post, please hit like or subscribe!

16 thoughts on “Little Things for Which I am Thankful

  1. Interesting take on the wedding . . . In my first (26 year) marriage there were extreme factors that lead me to divorce. Much of the last several years I was married I was terribly unhappy and simply existing.

    In my second marriage ( 10 + years together, 6 + married) life is vastly different. I chose a partner consciously. I chose not to have a physical relationship until we had a full commitment and worked through lots of questions and conversations before I was willing to commit. My now husband was completely supportive of my choice.

    Most relationships that I know of begin with sex. Within the first few dates couples have already hopped in bed. Once you’ve crossed that line you no longer lead with your brain. You are in a whole other realm. When I counsel frustrated single friends about this they nod in agreement and then turn around and hop right back into the next person’s bed. My husband says he would have waited a long time for us to consummate our relationship because he fell in love with who I was as a person. I’m his third marriage. In the past he’s jumped head-long into relationship not considering the future or true compatibility for life.

    I’m not saying that holding off having sex is the be-all-end-all in relationship stability and lasting love but it’s a huge start and it will certainly weed out people that are short-termers.

    It’s been nearly 11 years and we are still very much happy in love. We’re not the giddy couple we were in the first two years but we still have those times. We work on our marriage. We don’t take one another for granted and we hold to agreements. Everyone has a formula for love and finding out what that is and being willing to keep those things in place helps to keep love fresh and alive. All that said, there are many people who shouldn’t marry. Living single, like being married, has it’s pros and cons. That’s life. Thankfully in our society we’re learning to appreciate all forms of relationships including the choice to remain single. Life is good.

    BTW, I have to comment about the sentimental items we hang on to . . . my mom is a the stage in her life where she’s wanting to give us sentimental objects or to mark them (she uses a wood burning tool). I’ve freed her up and told her that I’m continually simplifying life and wanting less, not more, including sentimental objects. Photographs are my downfall but with digital I can even keep that to a minimum. It’s very freeing to let go of sentimental objects. Now if I could only let go of my son’s first pair of red tennis shoes or his tiny pair of hand-painted moccasins or . . .

    • It is SUPER freeing to get rid of the sentimental objects! There are a few things I have that I’m holding onto, I know, because they were my grandmothers. I have a feeling I will be getting rid of some of them before I move into my tiny home, in whatever form it takes.

      You bring up some very good points, Darris, as always. And yes, I am very glad that it’s acceptable these days to be my age and be single.

  2. Hi Terri:

    Our family attending a wedding. My 3 year old daughter enjoyed the whole thing…the dresses, flower girls, decorations and so on.

    You ask a good question, Are the people happy? Were they putting on a show? I’m sure some people did enjoy themselves and were happy. Worst case scenario, hope the bride and groom did lol

    On the other hand, maybe most were putting on a mask. At these types of events we tend to wear masks and act like we are ok. I’ve done it. No one wants to appear like a looser or unsuccessful. Right? It’s sad.

    Beachmama makes a great point as well. Most relationships begin wrong and creates problem long-term issues.

    Thanks for the plug of my blog!

    Glad you are running more. It’s so beautiful during this time of the year. Love to be outside.

    Like always, thanks for your post. Always a reminder to be grateful for the little things.

    Have a wonderful week!

    • I can honestly say the bride and groom were definitely having a good time. They are both older – he’s around 46/47? And she is around 43/44? and they’ve been together a long time. Already have a house together, so instead of going on a honeymoon, they’re doing a staycation, going to museums, etc., playing tourist within their own town. Pretty smart if you ask me!

      And me too re the running. Ran this morning in heavy humidity – the kind I will probably get in WA, where there is mist hanging in the air. Definitely meditative! And I can’t believe it but some of the leaves have already turned….where did the summer go?

  3. I think the wedding guest were happy. There was free booze to be had =)

    Sounds like the gnomes paid you a visit and messed with your bike chain. Too bad because usually they are helpful and fix things or find things during the night. When you have lost something and months later you find it again, its the work of the gnomes.

  4. Hi Terri, Speaking of the “sentimentality” of things. Any good ideas on what to do with photo albums? I’ve got a 2′ x 4′ plastic tub of pictures that will take up too much room in an RV.
    Looks like you experienced “synchronicity” with the organic farm girl. She gave you some good advice when you needed it. How cool is that??
    Also as Kelvin said, I do think people put on masks a lot. It’s particularly prevalent on the internet also where everyone (well probably not everyone) puts on a show to expand their popularity. It’s rare to find someone genuine.
    Nice post Terri, glad you’re alive and well.
    P.S. Scooter sell yet??

    • Ugh, I wish the scooter was sold. Count them, absolutely NO bites on it whatsoever. So…pictures. I have a tub too of photos. I have taken them all out of their photo album holders. Now I need to go through the photos, and if I see, oh, I don’t know, 40 pics of Monument Valley from several years ago, I’m going to pick out, at most, the best 5? of a certain shot, and those will be scanned. I’m planning on buying a digital photo frame to put them on. They were taken at the time when digital cameras didn’t yet exist, so you took four million shots of the same thing, in case anything happened to your film and they didn’t come out. Remember those days?

      • I haven’t even thought about what to do with old photos yet. Scanning on a flatbed will take an eternity. Scanning services cost an arm and a leg. A dedicated photo scanner with automatic feed would be nice but they look pricey.

        I might lay out the photos on the floor and run a video camera over them. The ones in an album can be recorded by propping up the camera and turning the pages in front of it. The quality will not be the best but you should still be able to make out with is in the photo. The more important photos could be scanned normally.

      • That’s interesting, the video camera idea. I guess the question will always remain – will the technology that we save it in today be something that we can use in the future? I have one of those wand, hand-held scanners. Got it last year off of Amazon but so far, haven’t really had a chance to use it!

      • That is a good question in regards to archival for the future. Many of the laptops today do not ship with a DVD slot. Saving photos and video onto archival grade DVDs might be problematic. Placing it into the cloud is a gamble as they can fold at any time. USB hard drive should a safe bet. USB looks to still have legs in the future.

        I’m currently working on saving all of my DVD movies onto a hard drive. I don’t want to carry the disc around. Music CDs have long been gone.

        Make sure you keep the software for the scanner and have a backup of it. Its always problematic if you don’t have the software for them as they include bundled programs that cost money.

      • Oh god no, I’ve not had CDs for music in a long time. I don’t even have a laptop or anything that would work with a CD rom. Working in a library, I’m somewhat alert to the changes in technology. We’ve gone to buying things that are more online, but it’s kind of scary. How is the stuff backed up? What if the company goes under? Do we keep losing data year after year as they might change what our subscription covers? Just some of the questions we always deal with…

  5. I will never know if those dancing couples are truly happy, or even if their definition of happy would match mine. So I always believe that they are. I choose to see happiness and know that it is always possible. Pollyanna? Maybe, but I am a very happy person 🙂
    Oh lordy I have taken a lot of pictures over the years! Like you, I took multiple shots of the same thing – and KEPT them all? What was I thinking? So 4000 photos got down to 1000 just tossing the duplicates, the blurries, the ones of people I don’t know…..half of the remainders went to family members. Whew! Those were just the loose pics in boxes and bins. I intended to pull all the photos out of the albums and scan them as well, but have changed my mind for now. We have three small trunks that will store at my son’s and they fit in there fine. The last loose copies will get scanned before we leave (I got a Groupon for a scanning service so I don’t have to do it).
    Continue to be grateful – having control of your own happiness is something that not everyone has 🙂

    • I think if I need to, I could leave stuff with my mom, but I really want to downsize as much as possible. I might keep my tax files with her. I think I will start going through the pictures this weekend – that will make me feel a lot better. Right now, it’s all about progress and getting rid of more and more and more. And I think the way you look at the folks at the weddings is a good one. I think because this was the first wedding I’ve gone to on my own, where I only really knew the bride and groom, I looked at it from a different perspective than I would when surrounded by friends.

      Writing this post every week reminds me to be grateful so it helps me too. Some weeks it seems like there isn’t much to list, but if I think about it long enough, there is.

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