Wednesday, March 16, 2005

What Makes Me Happy

I’ve had several very productive days and I’m starting to get worried. Usually when I get things caught up and start to feel a bit of relief from the stress of being behind something happens to put me even more behind. It’s like waiting for the thunder after you see the lightening - I know it’s coming, I’m just not sure when.

I’m currently drinking Irish Cream coffee from a polka dot coffee mug. Laura, the woman who waited on me at the Pour House today, thought it suited me. This is a very happy cup, so I’m taking that as a compliment. I’m feeling very well today for a change so that’s making me happy too. A happy cup of coffee for a happy day.

Last month I was supposed to be journaling about emotions, but I never had the chance to do very much. Since the word for today seems to be “happy,” I thought I’d blog a list of the things that make me happy. So here they are - in no particular order.

a clean desk with lots of white space
the smell of stacks of books when you first walk into a book store
the very thought of a cup of coffee
caramel macchiato’s from Starbucks
walking out the library or bookstore with a bag of new books
visiting an office supply store
new pens
spending time with my nephew
a new episode of “Lost”
whenever Jack Bristow walks into a scene in Alias (Spy Daddy is so cool!)
getting email
only cards and letters and no bills in my mailbox
new craft supplies
finding money in a coat pocket
having a day out on the town with my mom
getting my nails done
good hair days (they are so rare)
watching a movie that speaks to me
discovering a new favorite author
having a day off of work
singing in my car (at the top of my lungs)
a day with nothing scheduled (I can barely remember days like that but I know I loved them!)
sitting on the deck with a cold iced tea and a great book (hurry Spring!)
the smell of lemons
not having to cook
writing something profound (it does happen, occasionally)
answers to prayer
hugs from friends
the right song just when I need it
reading the Psalms
the smell of lilacs (they give me asthma attacks though, so I”m not happy for long, but I do love the smell)
going on vacation
the thought of vacation
the hope that one day I will have a vacation

I guess that’s all for now. I could keep going but I’m getting bored with it. On to new things…

I have a very busy weekend coming up. I won’t get much rest this time. I have been getting eight full hours of sleep ever night now for almost two weeks. I’m finding it easier to make it through my shift at work without feeling drained. I think that also might be why I am getting so much done this week. Even though I have two hours less time each day, I am so full of energy I’m still getting everything done. I guess there’s a lesson to be learned in here somewhere.

Ummmm, wow. They are grinding fresh coffee beans and boy, howdy, does it smell good in here. Even with a stuffy nose I can smell it.

So I’m starting to work on my Sunday School class for the summer. I have things planned out for the rest of the year, I think. I am going to be doing the April Bible study on Success, then the May-August Sunday school class based on the book “The Worn Out Woman” by Alice Gray and Dr. Steve Stephens. (Who named that man?) Then in the summer we are doing a Bible study on being a woman of influence. The September-December study is one I am very excited about. It is going to be a blend of several books and will focus on how your personality and your gifts influence your relationship with God. It will be based on the personality book by Florence Littauer, a book on your spiritual personality by Marita Littauer, and a book or two on spiritual gifts. I think it will be very fun and quite a learning experience. That one will be quite a bit of work behind the scenes for me, but one that I think many women can benefit from.

In struggling all my life to be consistent in prayer and Bible study I’ve learned that the “accepted” methods don’t work for everyone. We all bring our own personality and individual habits and patterns into everything we do. Yet it seems we forget that when we have our devotions. We try to conform to standards preached for fifty years. Those rigid patterns may have worked then, but life has become much different now. We need to approach spending time with God in a different manner than we might read in the how to books. We need to bring along the person God created with all of her likes and dislikes, habits, personality and gifts. When we do this, our relationship with God is uniquely personal, very much all our own. And that’s how it should be. The book my Marita Littauer does an excellent job of breaking down how the different personality types respond to God and how they approach life on a spiritual level. I think it will open many eyes to see ways to deepen their relationship with God.

And now it’s time for a commercial interruption. This blog has been sponsored by… Mozilla. Not seriously, but I do want to brag about them for a minute. I’ve never been a big fan the Explorer web browser. Besides the often serious security issues it just isn’t very flashy or creative. I love Safari on my Mac at work and when I was told that Mozilla had a web browser that was similar to Safari I thought I’d check it out. I downloaded Firefox and gave it a try. I only had to use it for a few minutes and I was hooked. Tabbed browsing is “da bomb” and I love the optional themes to make it look different every day if I want to.

Having loved Firefox, I decided to give their other products a try. I’m now using Thunderbird exclusively for all my email on my laptop as well as Sunbird to keep myself organized. So far, there are no problems that I can see and I’ve been using them for a bit now. So if you are looking for a great email program, try Thunderbird. If you need a very cool (colorful and full of features) calendar give Sunbird a try. And if you aren’t using Firefox you don’t know what you’re missing! And did I mention - they are all free! Yep, free. And they work better and look cooler than all the ones I’ve paid for!

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

I just finished reading the first Harry Potter book. I had listened to all of them on Audio book, but I wanted to read them all in book form before the new one comes out in July. I had planned to be finished book three by the end of March, but that isn’t going to happen. I will start book two this weekend. I’m hoping to blog in the next day or two about my thoughts on the first one. I have a few favorite quotes and some things I thought of while I was reading that I want to write about. Hopefully I can get to that tomorrow or Friday.

And speaking of quotes I found a new one the other day that I adore. I’m putting it in my email signature. It’s by Mark Twain and it says, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” That’s the theme of my life. I have learned to enjoy having a reputation for not walking the “expected” path. I thrive on taking the road less traveled, as Robert Frost said. So there’s our thought for the day and with that, I close.

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