Day 534

1. One of my friends posted on Facebook that she searched the internet for vegan recipes simply because she couldn’t imagine what people eat if they don’t consume meat or dairy.  One person replied, “You eat sadness and despair.”  I laughed out loud.  [The comment was made in good humor, and I took it as such.]  :)

2. Receiving free books from a very generous nonprofit organization.  I am deeply impressed by all that they do – and I continue to marvel that they always offer their resources with zero expectation of financial contribution or gain.  That is true social service.

3. Feeling as comfortable at my in-laws house as I do at my own parent’s home.  I adore that we all really are family – it means that our family never has to stop evolving and growing, and that we all have the opportunity to be supported and loved no matter what changes in the future.  What an amazing prospect!

family tree

Stef

Day 533

1. At the end of a new-to-me yoga class, I was approached by a regular attendee who asked, “Were you ever a professional gymnast?”  I smiled, laughed lightly, and answered, “Nope – it’s ‘just’ the yoga.”  But what a cool thing to be mistaken for!  And what a testament to yoga.  :)

2. As I put my shoes and jacket on after leaving the above mentioned yoga class, a different woman approached me and asked if I was new.  I responded yes, and the lady smiled, introduced herself, offered to answer any questions I might have, and commented that she hoped to see me next week.  

For a city where people are notorious for keeping close to their small circle(s) of well-established friends (read: not being overly welcoming to people they don’t know), to be greeted so warmly by a stranger was a fantastic change!     

3. Seeing a lovely piece of art in a mass retailer:

I love you

May we all remember this.  :)

Stef

Day 532

1. Watching Mr. Jojo give the biggest yawns his little puppy mouth can make.  SO cute!

2. Having a conversation with a colleague about our travels to distant lands.  How ridiculously lucky are we that we have opportunities to literally see the world?!

3. Stumbling across a great kitchen “hack”.  I love time savers (not to mention mess-avoiders!).

Stef

Day 531

1. Unexpectedly catching up with a friend that I haven’t seen for months and months.  It felt great to reconnect.

2. Receiving a postcard (advertisement) that read, “M * D Liquor Opening Soon.”  My shorthand for “Mom and Dad” is M & D – so when I saw this flyer my brain immediately interpreted it as “Mom and Dad Liquor Opening Soon.”  My mind then instantly presented this thought: “Wow – I bet family gatherings at that house are interesting.”  I crack myself up.  :)

3. Seeing a terrific caption to this awesome photo:

pothole repair truck

True.  And pretty darn funny.

Stef

Day 530

1. Bumping in to a fellow meditator in the parking ramp this morning.  A very unexpected – yet lovely – way to begin the work week.

2. Walking past a small film crew taping a scene (presumably for a TV show or movie) just across the hall from my office building.  It was interesting to see exactly how close the boom mike and camera men were to the actors – and how the actors had to totally ignore them.  This small snippet solidified for me how impressive good acting really is.

3. Driving past a beat-up pickup truck that had a bed loaded down with old-school stand-up-style video arcade games.  I spent many hours of my youth in front of games like those; good memories.  :)

Because I was driving, I had only one chance to attempt to capture an image of the video-game-laden pickup truck; I think I did pretty well, all things considered!  :)

Because I was driving, I had only one chance to attempt to capture an image of the video-game-laden pickup truck; I think I did pretty well, all things considered! :)

Stef

Day 529

1. Having many options for yoga classes (and experiences) in this city.  I am so lucky!  (And so grateful for all of the teachers who make this reality possible.  Thank you to all of them!)

2. Seeing the Pharrell “Happy” video for the first time ever.  (I know, I know, I’m behind the times.  Whatever – I kinda don’t care.)  :)  I absolutely LOVE the diversity of people represented in it!  Young and old, white and black and Asian and Latino, skinny and fat, professionals and students and unemployed, not-famous and famous – the variety of people (and experience) is awesome.  That makes me very happy! 

3. Learning about a 24-hour-long version of the “Happy” video – so no matter what time it is, a person can see a scene-appropriate version of happiness for their moment in the day (or night).  Very cool.

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Stef

Day 528

1. Reading a beautifully eloquent description of a reason to/benefit of meditation: “Many of the most important thoughts are unintentional—they can be neither solicited nor cajoled but have a rhythm of their own, creeping up, arriving, and leaving when we least expect them. It is important to cultivate the lassitude of mind that clears a place for the arrival of what cannot be anticipated. Idleness allows time for the mind to wander to places never before imagined and to return transformed.”  ~Mark C. Taylor, via Tricycle Magazine

2. A friend commenting that I am one of the most grounded people he knows.  I can think of few sentiments that are more complimentary than this one.

3. Watching the puppy perform a cost/benefit analysis on the merits of eating poop versus not eating poop and getting a cookie instead.  It’s incredible to see his little mind at work (and awesome when he chooses the cookie over the poo!).  :)

The analytical puppy (Charley) is the one on the right [in green].  His brother (Jojo) is the one wearing the blue diaper.  They both crack me up.

The analytical puppy (Charley) is the one on the right [in green]. His brother (Jojo) is the one wearing the blue diaper. They both crack me up.

Stef

Day 527

1. Having my talents be recognized and appreciated.

2. Witnessing how a personal care aid (PCA) treated the hospice patient I visit.  The PCA was able to coax the patient to do things  she refused to do for her son – and the PCA did it with tenderness, kindness, and positivity.  The PCA may be a conventionally “uneducated” woman, but she knows a helluva lot more about life than most folks I know.

3. Receiving a wonderful birthday card from my parents.  Their words mean the world to me.

snoopy

Stef

Day 526

1. Receiving an abundance of birthday well-wishes today. I intentionally don’t share my birth date on my Facebook account, because I don’t want people to feel obligated to send me greetings.  So every person that reached out to me today knew it was my birthday by some other means, and chose to make effort to send me a kind word.  With every text, Facebook post, and email I received, I was reminded of how many caring people I have in my life.  I am surrounded by a small army of love – and I am tremendously grateful for every person who comprises that compassionate force.

2.  Receiving an abundance of birthday gifts today.  My sweetie gave me beautiful flowers, my sister sent me a massive fruit bouquet (that is both vegan and delicious!), my parents-in-law gave me an awesome vegan cookbook and very handy kitchen towels, my BIL sent a great card (signed by his two small kids, which is always super-cute), and a woman I worked with years ago sent me a lovely card (the fact that she 1. remembers my birthday every single year even though we worked together about a decade ago and 2. always sends a card that contains a joyful and totally-appropriate-for-me image and sentiment, never ceases to amaze, impress, and delight me).  

3. Being fully and completely at ease with my aging self.  In fact, not only do I feel totally at ease today, I feel wholly accepting of, and loving towards, myself (which is a HUGE freaking big deal, given my past self-thoughts).  I think this is the very best birthday gift I have ever received – and I am love, love, loving it!  Happy Birthday to me, indeed!!  :)

happy birthday to me

Stef

Day 525

1. Learning that this winter’s falcon sighting was no coincidence: the building management of the skyscraper I work in has a dedicated box just for these birds!  As was explained in an email to all of the building tenants, “As many of you know or may have noticed, the peregrine falcons are back and flying around the downtown skyscrapers. A pair of falcons will soon make our building their home in the ‘hackbox’ located on the 50th floor of the tower. We would like to share this miracle of nature with the greater population of the building and have set up a website for your viewing pleasure. Please visit www.thefalconsat33.com where you will be treated to two different camera views of the nesting box and the soon arriving peregrine falcons and baby falcons.”  How wild!  (Literally!)

2. Experiencing the first *real* spring day of the year.  (And the highest temperature since October 2013!)  Happy early birthday to me!

weather

3. Coming back to my desk from a meeting today, I saw this note taped to my computer:

birthday message

Seeing these well-wishes instantly made me smile – I am always so touched when people take time out of their day to share goodness with me.  May I never outgrow the genuine delight I feel when I am the recipient of kindness from others – no matter how “small” the kindness is.  (P.S. Kindness is never small.)  :)

Stef