Happy New Year to everyone, I hope your year has started off well. And thank you to those who wished me well after I wrote about not feeling at my best.  I am feeling better now, although I would prefer to hibernate this time of year, if I had the opportunity. I am glad I don’t get sick that often.

Small laptop/table computer

I’ve enjoyed a short break from work and a chance to reflect on the last year. Part of my reflections include thoughts about simple things I like to do.  One thing I’ve started doing is having a cup of tea and sitting out on our porch in the morning on the weekends. Normally my time would be spent on thinking about something or worse, worrying about something.  What I try to do now is to just sit and be in the moment while not thinking about my normal concerns about work, home and other things.  I sip my tea, feel the sun on my face, watching and listening as I sit. On some mornings I will hear the local hawks sounding off as they circle around the area. Other days I will hear hummingbirds squeaking as they dart past, chasing off intruders into their domain. There are human noises, such as the cars driving on our street or a neighbor using tools or a chainsaw. There isn’t a perfect quiet but it is a relaxed quiet when compared to the sounds I might hear in a city.

Jewelry box in black and white

Some mornings, not often, I can hear the boughs of the pine tree whispering as a breeze flows through from the ocean on it’s way to the mountains and the desert. On chilly days I like to sit and the warmth of the boards beneath my feet and the cup of tea I hold in my hands. As the seasons change I see the plants change, more green with more rain, the bright colors of flowers as they show off for the bees and humming birds. I see the same trees, hills and houses but things change and I take some time to notice and appreciate the changes.

Frying pan with spatula

I’ve been so busy for many years with trying to get to the next thing, not always enjoying what I’ve completed and worried that I’m not working hard enough on my next project. I haven’t stopped to wonder if I always need to be moving forward. Then, when things aren’t working out well, I think about the past, mourning that I didn’t enjoy  activities that have passed by. I’ve become aware that maybe I should enjoy what I’m doing and where I’m at instead of looking for satisfaction in some fuzzy future. A novel idea, once I realized it, yet it has had the power to change how I view other areas of my life.

Statue of angel at night with Christmas Lights

I’m exploring things that I haven’t done in years, such as watercolor painting, sketching, knitting, geocaching, and other activities. I’m also trying new things, like calligraphy and allowing myself to do things imperfectly. I don’t always find it easy to enjoy these simple moments, but I keep reminding myself that it takes time to change habits I have built up over time.
Going back to that moment on the porch, where I sit with a cup of tea, I find I’m enjoying these quiet times where I focus on being instead of doing. The world continues moving forward, so I am glad to have a break to spend time with myself.

Pictures by J.T. Harpster