Today is a travel day, so here, have a photo of a cute little dog:
She took advantage of the chaos of moving to find a particularly comfortable place to sleep.
Today is a travel day, so here, have a photo of a cute little dog:
Spring is the traditional time to clean, of course, but this year I am cleaning in autumn. Not my house, although that could probably use it too, but a more general airing of my life. It feels like a nice time for it, with the new school year fully in swing and the weather turning cooler.
Some of my fall cleaning is about maintenance. I finally went in for a physical and got my flu shot. I procrastinated on this so long last year that it didn’t end up happening. I got my teeth cleaned. I finally got a hair cut. I’m planning to go buy new socks for the winter, and then remove all my old socks with holes in them from my drawer. (I expect there to be a not small number of those.)
A lot of my fall cleaning is about taking space. A friend of mine recently asked when the last time was that I felt stress-free, and I couldn’t think of an answer. I’d already been taking the time and space I needed to relax during the last few weeks, but this only increased my resolve.
It’s not that I am able to avoid all stress right now–I wish!–but now that I’m not being constantly bombarded with urgent matters, I can breathe and place some limitations on what stress I’m allowing into my life. A lot of that has more to do with my outlook and what I’m willing to emotionally take on than with anything happening outside of myself. And some of it has to do with observing my own experience and being okay with it instead of existing constantly under a harsh eye of judgment.
I am also on the look out for new perspective. Some of this comes from giving myself permission to take time to think through things. Some of this comes from discussing things with other people and listening to their thoughts. And some of this comes from being open to what is new and different.
And I am doing things that I find nurturing. This involves lots of Nala time and the occasional pumpkin spice chai. It involves giving and receiving support from friends and using this time to draw closer. It involves quiet time and honesty and toast and walks to soak up the sunshine. It involves sleeping late and soaking in the hot tub and paying attention to what sounds good in the moment.
Are you doing any fall cleaning this year? What does it mean to you?
I got the flu shot, and now I’m feeling pretty sick. So, instead of the post I was planning…
Here is a cat in a bag:
And here is a little dog who loves to be petted:
I’m going to go do nice, wholesome things like sleep and eat soup now.
Here, have some cuteness to brighten your day:
The headline sums it up nicely. I’ll be taking a break from the blog, social media, and email for the next few weeks. So do not fear when next Tuesday rolls around and there isn’t a new post; I’m doing fine, just taking some time off.
See you later in August!
For my American readers: Happy Fourth of July! For everyone else: Carry on!
How am I celebrating today? Well, I’m having some friends over to play a spirited indie RPG game called Spirit of the Century, in which I play an ace reporter/cat burglar (my character loves shiny things sooo much). Afterwards, we will grill some meats and non-meats on the barbecue, as is traditional. And we will try to comfort Nala if the fireworks get too loud.
Then on Friday, I’m off to Portland to attend the World Domination Summit, the brain child of blogger and travel hacker Chris Guillebeau. I am going to learn, be inspired, and meet people who are following their dreams. It should be quite a weekend.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
Guess what time it is? Birthday week! I’ve been spending the past week celebrating, and there will even more celebrating through the weekend. (Battlestar Galactica the board game! Fancy tea! And also frozen yogurt!) And today is my actual birthday, so I am spending time doing fun things…and also revising. Because revising seems to be a never-ending process in my life at the moment.
For the last couple of years on the blog, I’ve made a birthday post listing five happy things. But today I’d like to take a moment to think about one BIG happy thing: gratitude.
The reason thinking about five happy things every day is supposed to increase general happiness is that it helps us cultivate a sense of gratitude. This year has been a tough one for me, and what I’ve learned is that in the face of adversity, feeling gratitude is even more important. It’s so easy to get caught up in a tidal wave of difficult emotions, but being aware of all the positive parts of life helps keep things in balance. And because of the contrast, the good and the sweet and the special feel even stronger and more important than they normally do.
So today on my birthday, I am feeling gratitude and appreciation. There are so many wonderful people in my life, many of whom will be reading these words today, and my life is so much richer because of you. Whether I am learning from you or having fascinating conversations with you, having super fun times with you or offering and receiving support, you make a difference in my life. I only wish I could see those of you who don’t live close to me more than I do.
I have been lucky this past year in many ways. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time doing creative work that is important to me: revising The Academy of Forgetting (and revising some more), starting on the Space Novel, thinking of future story ideas. I’ve gotten to spend time in Seattle and New York and Boston, Chicago and Toronto and Detroit. I’ve reconnected with some people who matter to me, met some new people who have been fantastic, and deepened my existing friendships. I’ve been on the receiving end of a whole lot of generosity.
I live somewhere I feel comfortable and safe. My knees have been cooperating, and my allergies have improved. My friend Ferrett survived his triple bypass. I learned a lot about myself, and I’m on the path to creating the life I want. I have a little dog who brightens every single one of my days.
So here’s to another year! I know there will be challenges, but there will also be so much joy and gratitude that I get to be here experiencing life in all its glory.
What do you feel grateful for today? Let’s spread the happiness around.
As I write this, Nala is sitting right next to me keeping me company, as she usually does while I write blog posts on my laptop. Actually, in this case, she is sprawled upside down, limbs akimbo, the top of her head smushed up into the side of her bed so I can’t see her eyes, only her white ear and lots of paw.
Four years ago this month, I saw a photo of Nala on the Silicon Valley Humane Society’s website. She looked scruffy and scrawny, and I fell instantly in love.
When I met her, she wasn’t interested in me. She didn’t want to snuggle, and she seemed nervous around people. She was much more interested in exploring the shades covering the window. I put her on a 24-hour hold so I could sleep on such a major decision. But I went directly from the shelter to the pet store to get everything a little one-and-a-half-year dog could need.
When I first got her, I was really excited every time I was on my way home because I knew I’d be seeing her soon. I figured that eventually this feeling would fade. But four years later, it hasn’t changed a bit. Whether I’m coming home from an errand or a long trip, I always look forward to seeing her.
Things aren’t always easy. Nala has been suffering from increased separation anxiety the last few months, and I worry about her even while I’m trying to help her adjust. And Nala worries about me too sometimes, even while she’s licking my hands and staying close, doing her best to cheer me up. But we get through the hard times together.
Adopting Nala has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. She is my constant companion and my best doggie friend. The flow of unconditional love between us is one of the most beautiful parts of my life. She makes every day better with her presence.
I love my little dog.
I’d like to introduce you all to my new friend Chewie.
Today he was helping me in the kitchen. After Thanksgiving’s success, I made more cranberry sauce…
And he ate several of my cinnamon rolls. Luckily the pumpkin pie is still safe in the oven, baking.
Meanwhile, Nala was her normal clever self and stole her stocking from where it hung above the fireplace.
I was able to distract her with Chewie and get the stocking back. She’s finding his name misleading, because she thinks it means he’s another one of her chewtoys.
Chewie also makes strange Wookie noises that encourage Nala to bark. In a friendly way, of course.
We’re ready to celebrate Christmas. For all of you who are celebrating today, Merry Christmas! And for those of you who aren’t, I hope you’re having a fabulous day.
The days are growing longer once more, and today is a time I’m reminded of the human spirit. Each of us has so much potential and so much to offer the world. Here’s to another year of living large!
I’ll see you on Thursday!