Sunday, November 16, 2014

10 things I take for granted

With Thanksgiving approaching all too fast, I've been hearing and thinking a lot about being grateful for (a, b, c,  d).   That's fine and wonderful,  and there is a ton I'm thankful for ( and so on, and so on).  But, it occurred to me, how much I am not thankful for because I take things for granted. I am so used to certain amazing things in my life, I don't even notice them.  So, I thought it would be a fantastic exercise to write a post about this.

The tricky thing with writing about taking things for granted is figuring out what these "things" are.  Since, you know, I take them for granted.  So, I decided to sit down, look around and write down ten more-or-less random things that I don't usually think about but which I can't imagine (or would rather not to) do without.

Here is my list of 10.

1.  Curly hair
2.  Loving and forgiving parents
3.  Access to healthy food and clean water.
4.  Toilet paper, paper towels, disposable plastic baggies.
5.  Ability to walk, drive and bike
6.  Convenient gadgets to baby-proof the house.
7.  Indoor plumbing!
8.  Google and PubMed (search and access to scientific literature)
9.  Public libraries!
10.  Garbage and recycling collection.

What about you - what are 10 things you take for granted?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Indulge and Pamper

I like to pamper and indulge myself.  A long luxurious shower (I like it hot!).  Drinking coffee first thing in the morning...  in peace and quiet... alone... while enjoying the beautiful view from the window. Drinking hot chocolate and reading a book.  Sitting next to the fireplace and letting my thoughts drift freely.  Going for a walk with my youngest in the stroller.  Taking a nap with one of the kids cuddled up next to me.  Thinking.  Reading.  Sleeping in.

All of these are simple things and fairly accessible... so what makes them so...  deliciously decadent?  Lets analyze the nature of an indulgence!

A few requirements have to be met.

It has to be a treat - not something to be taken for granted.
It has to carry  a special meaning.
It has to be enjoyable.
It has to be something that's not necessary for survival.
It has to be something we permit ourselves to do - even though there are 101 things that are waiting to be done.

Have you noticed my #1?  A shower...ahhh, the beauty of it.  Does it seem too mundane?  My husband teases me about the half hour long shower and the nearly scalding water.  He takes it for granted: hot water coming out of the shower head above you.   He never had to heat a pot of water on a gas range in the kitchen, then carry it to the bathroom,  then get washed (using water sparingly) in a hurry - or the water would get cold.  He never had to use one hand to rinse the soap (German shampoo, considered to be the best thing under the sun, used in tiny quantities to make it stretch), while pouring water from a pitcher.  Oh my, those memories of washing my hair in a plastic tub...  how I hated it...

I suppose, once the kids are older I might go to a spa.  I have tried it once before - and it was a thoroughly uncomfortable experience.  I felt absolutely clueless and out of place.   Like I accidentally stepped into someone else's life. So...  Maybe not.  After all, I'm not looking to splurge,  just to indulge.

So what do you like to indulge in?  And why?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Gifts of in-between moments

I'm learning how to take advantage of the "in-betweens".  The little bits of time while waiting for something... the school bus, the water to boil - that sort of thing.  Those few minutes here and there that often go unnoticed and unaccounted for.  The difficult thing is, the exact length of time is usually unpredictable - the school bus might be early or late.  At the same time, the informality of these bits of time can be a powerful thing.  Last Thursday, my son and I talked a bit about mean kids and why they are like that. His bus was running late, and the subject just popped up.  I find this subject rather difficult and awkward - I never know what's the right thing to say. But during those extra minutes, I didn't stress about the perfect parenting...  we just talked, while waiting for the bus.

In these little tidbits of time I find myself scribbling on random pieces of paper, looking through the newspaper, making daily list of chores for the kids...  

Here are a few more micro-tasks that come to mind:
  • Ask kids what they think about xyz
  • Play with kids
  • Mini-cleanup
  • Send quick emails or texts
  • Take a couple of pictures
  • Look through Science or Nature headlines
  • Look around and enjoy the current season
  • Pull weeds

Maybe best of all, these in-betweens can be for daydreaming... ahh, the joys of daydreaming!  

These little moments, they are like gifts - often unexpected and can be very pleasant.

What do you do while waiting for the bus?