Earlier today I posted on FB about the little light bulb that went off the other night when I finally started thinking about the positives in my life rather than letting myself continue to stay in the mental rut I've been in for the last several months.
While I recognize that life is still pretty darn good, several of my friends have also mentioned that 2016 just feels sort of "off" to them. There have been some major work transitions on the table for the last six months and last week the plan that has been in motion potentially changed direction....again. This term I've also been dealing with some challenging student issues beyond the norm and more behavioral issues keep coming up. I'm a little worried that I'm starting to burn out a bit on academia ...but am continuing to plug along toward the upcoming year while starting to mentally explore steps toward other options. On my road trip I also connected with a fun "potential" individual....only to have to block that person when he turned out to be a creepster. I've never had to block a date before....so it's taken a bit to process through and re-evaluate that experience.
But without focusing too much on some of the stressors, I instead want to practice some of that awesome reframing and focus in on some of the great things of late that I'm loving:
I have so much gratitude for:
--the comfortable state of my home. I love the way each room currently feels and I've been relishing being able to financially afford to live alone.
--the weather. This spring has been unusually warm (80 and 90 degree days already!) but I've also enjoyed the days that we've had of rain. The mix of rain and sunny days has produced a beautiful floral spring and there's so much abundant green everywhere.
--the dogs. Seriously, cause their furry dog faces just win over my heart all.the.time. I feel like I've won the lottery when I come through the front door. And even with Anna slowing down, it's still so rewarding to get them out for some easy jogs or walking outings.
--time with Reg D. The first couple months of this year were a bit rough between us as we both transitioned through a few separate things. He's not heading toward the Peacecorps after all, but instead will be fighting fires in southern Oregon. I'm selfishly glad that he'll still be in Oregon...and I'm so happy that our friendship is feeling a bit more normal again. Life is just happier when my brother-from-another-mother is routinely a part of it. We were able to get together both last week and this week before he transitions south....and last night was full of so much laughter watching Captain America, drinking a brew, and splitting an awesome burger in one of our old haunts.
--having routine work. While I'm tired with work, I also find it incredibly rewarding each time I'm on site at the office and I truly do enjoy my coworkers.
--family. I feel like I have had some of the best role models via my parents and my dad's parents. My sister has been checking in quite frequently and it's been great to be communicating with her routinely. It's still so great also to be able to routinely get together for monthly family dinner.
--recent travels. The trip to the NE was a great initial exposure to a new region of the US. I absolutely loved Maine and DC, and would love to go back to do more exploring. It also was so wonderful to finally meet in-person one of my longest blog contacts. (I'll write more about the trip later....)
--Central Oregon weekend. In an effort to clear my mind a bit, last weekend I hit the road for a quick overnight trip to one of my favorite outdoor locations. I've been needing to just hang out with God for a bit and this particular location is also one that reminds me of my grandfather (we spread his ashes nearby). Thus a bit of time chatting with the Man Upstairs and hanging out with memories of Poppa did my heart and soul much good.
--prayer in general. My spiritual engagement has been pretty nil and I'd intended to spend more of my NE roadtrip focusing in here. As that didn't happen, I'm instead spending a lot of time now trying to hone in a bit more spiritually and also engaging in some regular daily prayer. When I reflect upon last year, I see His hand at work in so many profound ways....and I know that He's continuing to guide me even now....
--garden. The starts and seeds are in. The second round of weeds have been pulled. The slugs need to be battled. My medicinal herbs in the entry way are growing and there already are a host of things already putting on: kiwis, berries, radishes, grapes, leeks, onions, greens, peas. I'm excited for the harvest that summer will bring and the produce that can be preserved in the process.
--finances. The credit card is paid off and I just made the first larger payment toward paying my car off. I just paid for a decent vacation and to get Roxi's teeth fixed out of pocket. I'm finally fully making all my bills on my own while also making headway on debt reduction. Even with some work items in the air, when I calculated out how much I can save before summer, I could still choose to live alone through what tends to be my "tighter" budget months (although I did just put a guest room ad out just to keep the debt reduction plan in motion). I've finally become more or less financially independent in a way I've never been before....and should the original job plan pan out still then I would make some pretty significant headway on being debt free in the next few years.
--mileage. Somehow I hit 85 miles last month. I managed a speedwork run last evening for the first time in a long time....and I just downloaded a follow-up half marathon training plan. It's time to get a bit more serious about re-training for the half that is in July.....and while I know it'll be a bit more challenging this go around, I'm excited to get my body back up to a better performance level.
All really great things....and I just need to continue to focus there. Cause the more I focus on the good, the more "good" I feel deep down into my heart and soul. :)