Thursday, June 10, 2021

Delight in the Moment: Focus on the Positive

Wow - it's been over a month since I've published here. I've been beating myself up about neglecting this blog again, but some sad, happy, and time-consuming events sidelined my writing.

Here's some of what's been going on:

  • Our 18-year-old kitty became very ill and required quite a bit of care and attention in his last days. Grief over the loss of him has been real and catches me at unexpected moments. 
Kitty sleeping on a towel, wearing a diaper

  • My son graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. Fortunately, we were all fully vaccinated and COVID restrictions had eased up, so my husband, daughter, and I (with our dog!) drove to Oregon. We spent the weekend of my son's virtual commencement ceremony celebrating graduation with him and a few of his friends and their parents.
German Shepherd running on a sandy beach

  • Our "6-week" home renovation project (now in its 8th month) finally finished up enough that, upon returning from Oregon, we were able to move our belongings back upstairs. I'm enjoying having a kitchen to cook in once again!

  • The third week of May, Mother Nature gifted us with somewhere between a foot and 18 inches of snow. After a few days, it all melted and temperatures warmed up. Suddenly all the outdoor spring/summer tasks were screaming for attention! 
A snowy scene, dated May 21st.

A blow to my self-esteem

For Mother's Day, my husband gave me the book The Woman With the Blue Star, by Pam Jenoff. She also wrote The Lost Girls of Paris, which he knew I enjoyed. I learned from her author bio on the book cover that, despite being a mother of three children and a law professor, she still has managed to publish eleven novels, including several best sellers. 

This was a bit of a blow to my ego – if she could manage all that, why do I let life events prevent me from writing and spending time at my computer?

A poetry prompt made me feel better

I'm always vowing to set up and adhere to better writing routines, but I came across a poetry prompt that gave me a bit of a different perspective. It reminded me of the value of delighting in the current moment. Instead of just berating ourselves for what we haven't done, it is important to celebrate our accomplishments. 

I wrote a few lines that describe my experience at the time when I read the prompt:

Delight in the Moment  

For the first time in a few days, the breeze is chill.
I’m warmed by a cup of coffee and sunbeams from the east.
I watch my dog as she stares up the hill,
ears at attention, her eyes riveted on a bunny.
A word from me holds her in place
but she does not break her focus.

Her thoughts are only of the rabbit.
Her ball and her bone both are momentarily abandoned and forgotten.
I wonder if I should adopt this habit,
of simply concentrating on only one thing until it is complete.
Once the bunny moves on, it will be forgotten and
the dog will entertain herself a different way.

Prior to this moment, I was in a fret.
I’m overwhelmed by all I need to accomplish and my long to-do list.
I’m frustrated by self-expectations recently not met,
but I try to remind myself of all I have been doing.
Can I exchange my disappointment and my angst
for my dog’s single-minded attentiveness?

I contemplate the promise of the rising sun.
I resolve to adjust my mindset and give myself the grace I would give others.
Rather than worry about all that’s left undone,
I will enjoy and celebrate every achievement of the day.
My dog as my mentor, I will try to remember to 
embrace the present and delight in the moment.

A dog with a focused look and ears at attention.

Focus on the positive

I hope that if you (like me) have been irritated with yourself for anything you have not accomplished, my attempt at free-form poetry will remind you to celebrate your achievements and delight in the present.

Happy summer everyone!