Gratitude, Happiness, Life Lessons, Sunrise

FINDING CONTENTMENT

HappinessProject_RightColumn

One of the books I read this year was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. This bestseller has been around since 2009, so you may be way ahead of me.

Although I’d read her column in a woman’s magazine, I’d never felt the need to delve into the book–that is, until someone I love confided he was working on being happier.

As sometimes happens, shortly after that conversation, I saw Gretchen’s book, thought of him, and bought it. Not wanting to send him something I hadn’t read, I plunged in.

And guess what?

I saw myself.

76cc3-img_1347Like the author, I have a good life: a fine husband, children, grandchildren, and friends. I have enough disposable income to buy a pair of shoes that strike my fancy or to splurge on a surprise for someone else.

However, as I read, I realized that in spite of this, I wasn’t as happy and content as I wanted to be.

So I slowed down and pondered the research Gretchen had done and the way she applied it to her life.

And I tried some of it myself.

Consequently, I’m more aware of what brings joy to my life, and I’m happier when I take time to savor little surprise such as:

  • Finch eggs nestled in the center of a fern

Fern2

  • A fragrance-filled breeze leading me to new gardenia blooms at the end of my porch Gardenia2
  • the warmth and whir of a relaxed kitty snoozing in my lap.

I’m more content when I recognize and acknowledge other peoples’ kindnesses like:

  • The friend who called me every day when I was going through a rough stretch
  • Text messages and calls from my children and grandchildren
  • Terry’s willingness to eat out without a fuss when I’ve had a busy day or just don’t want to cook
  • Other writers who share their knowledge, read my blog, and encourage me

I feel more fulfilled when I

  • Make time to write
  • Check on that person who’s struggling with a problem
  • Exchange a daily list of things for which I’m grateful with my gratitude partner
  • Interact with readers like you.

I could go on, but you get the drift.

I’m happier because I’ve been taking the time to notice and acknowledge the blessings in my life.

There will be more to come. And I’ll probably share them here.

What makes you happiest?

 

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Lamentations 2:22-23 NLB

Happiness, Life Lessons

Question of the Day

It’s been a while since I posted. I took a little time off to take care of family, rest and recharge. But I’m ready to reengage and share some things that have been on my mind. I hope you’ll check in with me in the days ahead.

Today, I’m introducing a new weekly feature: Question of the Day. It’s just what it sounds like–a question that I hope you’ll mull over as you go about your day. 

I ran into this guy at the Navarre Beach Flea Market this summer. I think he might be the cartoon character, the Tasmanian Devil. Remember him?

He may remind you of someone you know. Or if you’re like me, yourself some days.


Hey! You talking’ to me?

What would your day look like if you looked for the best in everyone you met?

Isn’t that what we want from those we encounter?
Just asking.

Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes in all things, endures all things
I Cor. 13:7

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge. 2015. All rights reserved

Comfort, Favorite Things, Happiness, Life Challenges

SAVORING LIFE

I shared these thoughts last week on a friend’s blog. Just thought I’d put it up here in case you missed it. Have a wonderful weekend!
 

Chocolate has always been my comfort food of choice. Back when Hershey’s candy bars came in five rows of double squares, I’d buy a bar and eat it at my desk.  The very act of sliding off the brown wrapper and opening the foil packet became a soothing ritual. (Must have been all that serotonin.) Anyway, I’d eat it—one square at a time, while I worked.

The problem was that sometimes because I was preoccupied with a project, I’d reach for another bite of candy only to find an empty wrapper. I’d think, “Where’d it go. I couldn’t have eaten all that.” But I had. It was gone, which meant I’d munched my way through the entire 200+ calories without truly enjoying every bite. That’s a real bummer when you need to count calories.

chocolate_11
 

 I get a similar feeling when I look back on this year. In January, I unwrapped 2013 with great expectations. While I’ve enjoyed much of it, I feel like I’m down to the last two squares, and asking myself what happened to the rest. How can it already be November? I know where September went and the first part of October—I traveled a lot. But I was home a couple of weeks before Halloween, and it still sneaked up on me. Now we’re burning weeks in November with Thanksgiving fast approaching.

I’ve become aware of my advancing years, so I’m more conscious of the need to make the most of my time. That’s complicated because I want to cram too much into each day, each week, each month. But when I’m too busy, I get distracted, rushed, stressed and sometimes find myself just going through the motions in much the same way I mindlessly gobbled up that chocolate.

So I’m changing my ways. Even though there are many good things, I’m trying to choose what’s best for me for this time. When my calendar starts filling up, I’m beginning to say, “Thank you, but I can’t do that.”  It’s difficult because I like people and saying yes too often is a weakness of mine.

            Cresent Hotel

But I’ve been practicing. Instead of going away for two weeks to write as planned, I’m enjoying three days away and seeing friends I love in the process. Most of our time is devoted to writing; however, we’re not slaves to a schedule either. Today, I’ve taken a couple of walks to enjoy the glorious fall foliage, dined with friends and still had time to work on several writing projects.  I can honestly say I did exactly what I wanted to do.

Dove candyIn just a minute, I’m going to partake of my latest indulgence—Dark Dove Chocolate. Just one. While I do nothing else except savor its bold, smooth flavor.

If you were here, I’d give you one, too. I brought a whole bag. 

 
     
Do you have any secrets for managing your busy schedule when things get hectic?