Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Self indulgence

I’ve had too much time on my hands.

Add to that a return of ugly weather, throw in the lack of work and before I knew what was happening, I fell prey to inertia. That sorry state where lethargy takes over. And apathy roams freely. Where responsibilities are ignored (home, garden, animals) and where the good stuff gets forgotten (friends, family, following your bliss).

It’s a pitiful mode and it’s gotta go.

So now that I have ‘fessed up to being indolent, I can move on. It’s time to return to a place of gratitude -- the powerful state of grace that can transform the ordinary into the glorious.

I’m going to be a little self indulgent here. I need to refocus and it always helps me to be more efficient in my life if I write stuff down. I am by nature a “glass half empty” gal, so I need to work hard to reprogram my outlook.

Instead of making a roll call of the blessings in my life, I’m going to use photos to illustrate. Images will help me reinforce the bounty. I’ll stick to the highlights and not bog this blog with the minutiae

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. ~Gerald Good

To me nothing says abundance like gorgeous food. A vibrant farmer’s market. A fully stocked pantry. A home made meal shared with friends.

I had a co-worker who on returning from lunch with a friend complained that it had been “such a waste of time.” Not being with her friend, but the eating part. She viewed food as a boring necessity. I couldn’t help but think that was so sad. Great, simple, satisfying food ranks high on my list as one of the greatest pleasures in life.

This photo for me represents a double blessing. The food because it’s so colorful, and the location because it’s Italy (from my visit there in the 80s).

Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things. ~Horace

I have so many wonderful friends – with ages ranging from their 20s through their 80s. That range adds such richness to my life. I hope they know I am honored by their friendship.

Pictured is my friend, Diane, who was visiting from Chicago. I’ve always loved this photo because of the activity in the background and the umbrellas filling the frame. It’s taken at a pub in the The Hill section of St. Louis where you can enjoy the best meatball sandwich in town while you watch the crowds play bocce ball.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~ Marcel Proust

To know me is to know that animals are a big part of my life. I’ve been guardian to many and living with them has brought great joy. Since I’ve featured my dogs before, now it’s time to play homage to my feline companions, Vinny and Lola (formally known as Vicenzo and Lola Palooza).

When I turn in at night, they take that quiet time to romp around the house like they are still kittens. As I lay in the dark I can hear their little padded paws racing over the wood floors, first one, then the other, and I think it’s just one of the happiest sounds.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

I’ve been a gardener for about 15 years, and I’d be hard pressed to name anything else that gives me more pleasure. I read a quote once that said gardeners were eternal optimists. As a typically grumpy dirt turner, I liked that association. Ever since then I’ve referred to myself as a hopeful gardener.

Here is a corner of my current garden. The urban yard isn’t so big, but I cram a lot into it. Last year I had a bumper crop of apples, and for the first time, there was enough for the squirrels, the birds, me and a few neighbors.

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. ~Henry Ward Beecher

This photo always makes me smile. It’s an accidental double exposure – my mother and father playing pool at my birthday party, and my friend Renee, sunbathing in a kiddie swimming pool. Talk about serendipity.

To me it represents those spontaneous and odd moments that give our lives such texture. I appreciate the unfamiliar. The break from routine. I admire creativity and expression. I suppose that’s why I’ve become so addicted to reading other blogs. Thanks to all in the blogosphere who have expanded my horizons.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward

Well, okay. That was fun. Refreshing, actually. I’m starting to feel human again. Maybe a photo essay on what makes us grateful can become a new meme. I’d certainly love to see what happiness is coloring your world.

“If you build it, they will come.” At least I know I will. If you don’t see my comment on your post, send me an email (pyzahn at hotmail) and I’ll be sure to stop by.


Some Guy said...

Nice post. A meatball sandwich and bocce sounds like a great afternoon!

EB said...

This post is what blogs are for! I look forward to reading what you got done when you sloughed off the inertia - no matter what it is, big or small.

Lola said...

Great post, girl! Of course you feel better, you've just lined up the beauty and happiness of your life and shared it with us. That makes you generous too.
I'm curious about the meatball sandwich now...

Anonymous said...

That photo reminds me of the wonderful Italian Deli we went to on "The Hill". Such excitement in that place; I could tell I was among an informed crowd of foodies. This started me thinking about how people can get sanctimonious and a bit smug when talking about their favorite foods. In all honesty, we've become a bit obsessed with the concept of "the best".

Having said that, I have a "best" confession - I'm on search for the prima margarita in Chicago . I've put my lips to a hearty number of salted rims to date but I'm not even close to calling Bert Parks out of retirement (is he still alive?) to croon his signature tune. I don't know but maybe by the end of the summer I will have encountered "the best" -- or maybe just several close contenders?


Kathleen said...

I couldn't agree with you more about gratitude! It's totally trite, but I write 5 things each night for which I am grateful. Sometimes the list is this: (1) advil, (2) advil, (3), advil...you get the picture. Other times it is insanely long and way over the top. But it's the best way I've found to end my day and get a decent night's sleep.
Marvelous blog! Can't wait to read more, which I will do way into the nigh, no doubt, much to my husband's annoyance. Hey, at least one of us is happy!
Thank you for stopping by mine with such kind words.

Protege said...

What a truly beautiful post; I agree with you on ALL the accounts. Family, friends and the man I love, simple but delicious food, animals and gardening; these my favorite pleasures in life.;)) And so vital to my well being.

Love the double exposed photograph, don't they just become so very precious over the years?

Thank you for stopping by my place and leaving such a lovely comment.;))