Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

Refinding My Mojo

Watching — and drawing — birds is good for my mojo. Art by Pat Bean

          My mojo is in the toilet because of Covid isolation – for the second time given the Delta variant going around strongly here in Tucson. Because I’m 82, even my good friends and family, who are daily out in the world –including one who is a teacher and had had six students come down with Covid within a week of school starting – are staying away from me.

          I’m a social person and it is getting to me. And then there is what’s going on in the world with war and politics. Keeping up with current events is a downer, but closing a blind eye is not an option for this former journalist.

          Ok. Enough is enough.

It’s time to start counting my blessings. That always helps.

          Beginning with the basics: I have a comfortable roof over my head, more than enough food to eat, air conditioning to keep the Sonoran Desert heat at bay, money enough to at least buy a book when I want it, decent health insurance, and I’m loved.

          I have a fantastic canine companion, beautiful views of both sunrises and sunsets, heated water for a bath every night, internet access to the world, birds to watch from my third-story balcony, and an inquisitive mind that usually keeps me from ever becoming bored.

          I’m the last person in the world who should be feeling sorry for herself.

           Even isolation hasn’t been all bad. It’s given me time to learn how much I do enjoy my own company. I just don’t want it to go on forever. Plus, I still believe in silver linings.

          One has to be out there — somewhere.  

           Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Photo of Mount Lemmon taken from my youngest daughter’s backyard patio. I live 13 miles closer to the mountain and thus the overview is not visible, just like the lives of those less fortunate. — Photo by T.C. Ornelas .

“Many people … wake up one day and say, ‘Hang on. Who am I? Is this really me? Is this what I really wanted?’ – Kate Winslet

Who Am I to be so Blessed?

I’m sitting in my bedroom, barricaded in a comfortable chair with my computer on a table in front of me so I can write and my beloved canine companion Scamp can’t get on my lap and lick my face for attention.

I’m drinking cream-laced coffee, looking out the window as the day lightens. Between the tree branches, I watch as the sun dances among the peaks of Mount Lemmon. It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day.

Mount Lemmon from my living room balcony. — Photo by Pat Bean

I love mornings. They are my favorite time of day, before my mind forgets itself and goes about the business of the sometimes-chaotic day.

This morning, however, my little gray cells had a mind of their own. My thoughts considered a conversation a friend and I shared recently about not always having a bedroom of our own when we grew up.

We both bemoaned this very fact.

But as I wrote this morning, I thought about the fate of babies born in places in the world where they not only don’t have a bedroom, but no roof over their heads, not enough food to eat, and war raging outside their doors. I thought of women who can never travel alone freely across their country, who are married off at 11 or sold into sexual slavery.

Who am I to be so blessed with the place of my birth? To be comfortably housed, with plentiful food in my cupboards, to have the leisure to write, to travel, to read, to simply go to a movie when I want, and to sit here and enjoy my mornings?

Life is not fair. How could I ever have thought it was? I wish I could find a silver lining for every baby born into this world.

My thoughts have turned this bright day suddenly dark. I want to scream and yell and do something to change things. But what?

When I started this post, it was meant to be light and upbeat, but my fingers on the keyboard decided otherwise. It sometimes happens when I let the words just come. This morning I let them be. They needed to be said, even if they brought tears to my eyes.

I needed to be reminded how blessed my life has been, even if I didn’t always have a bedroom of my own.

Bean Pat: Dawn’s post:  http://dawndowneyblog.com/index.html/ another blogger whose day went awry.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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 “It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: He catches the changes of his mind on the hop.” – Vita Sackville-West

The Write Word

Watching a sunrise is my idea of a good ritual to start any day. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Completing the rewrite of my book, “Travels With Maggie.” was high on my list of New Year’s Resolutions, yet I procrastinated doing it for the entire month of January.

February has been better because I finally turned on the light bulb in my brain and then took some advice from a famous dancer.

It dawned on me that the way I got through NANO (writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days) was by making it the No. 1 activity of my days, which have always been filled with many eggs to crack and enjoy. So, I decided “Travels With Maggie” would be my No. 1 priority.

Any sunset is the perfect time for the ritual of counting the day's blessings. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Then I started reading Twyla Tharp’s book “The Creative Habit,” in which she talks about the importance of ritual as a way to make sure she went to the gym daily so as to keep her body in shape for dancing. It’s the same, I thought, for writers. We must exercise our writing fingers and minds daily for the most benefits.

Twyla’s ritual was the taxi cab ride she took to the gym. She knew that once she got to the gym, she would both exercise and enjoy it.

“Some people might say,” Twyla wrote, “that simply stumbling out of bed and getting into a taxicab hardly rates the honorific ritual that anyone can perform. I disagree. First steps are hard; it’s no one’s idea of fun to wake up in the dark every day and haul one’s tired body to the gym … but the quasi–religious power I attach to this ritual keeps me from rolling over and going back to sleep.”

After reading that, I decided I needed my own ritual. I made it the simple one of  setting my alarm clock to signal the end of the writing time I had promised myself.

Believe it or not it worked yesterday when I woke up in the mood to do anything but write.  Just set the alarm clock, I told myself. And I did. And I wrote.

Bean’s Pat: Writing Though Life http://tinyurl.com/7r4wmez This is a great blog for anyone writing a memoir, keeping a journal or even just blogging regularly.

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 Travels With Maggie


Rain drops keep falling outside my RV -- Photo by Pat Bean

“May you live all the days of your life.” Jonathan Swift

I awoke in Austin this morning, where my RV is parked outside the home of my granddaughter, Lindsey. It rained most of the night, and is still dripping. It’s an intermittent lazy kind of rain in which the sky stops to breath every few minutes.

There’s no loud pinging on my RV roof as in a storm, just a gentle tittering, like Mother Nature is quietly giggling, trying to suppress her delight in watering her Texas gardens. It reminds me of the quiet tittering I did yesterday evening as I sat beside my 2 ½ year-old great-grandson at a local restaurant where I had taken him and my granddaughter out for dinner.


Maggie asleep on the couch as rain falls outside in early dawn. -- Photo by Pat Bean

His mother, of course, was worried about his enthusiastic behavior, but I delighted in it.

“Shush,” I told her. “Remember how I used to get you in a headlock when you got a bit rambunctious as a kid. Nana can handle it.” And I did.

As I lay in my RV over-the-cab bed this morning, listening to the rain , I once again realized how blessed I am. It simply feels good to be alive. Maggie, of course, was still sleeping.

I’ll leave Austin for Lake Jackson soon, and. Mother Nature seems intent on letting the rain accompany me. I hope she keeps the rain to a gentle titter instead of letting it become as rambunctious as a 2-year-old.

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This groundhog is enjoying a past spring. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” — Maori Proverb

Travels With Maggie

Two famous groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania and Gen. Beau Lee in Georgia, didn’t see their shadows this morning. This means, according to an old German superstition, that we’ll have an early spring.

Groundhogs are members of the marmot family, and they hibernate in burrows during the winter. I doubt that any wild ones would have even stuck their noses out of the ground this morning, since a killer storm is currently moving across the country.

Phil and Lee are the mascots of two groundhog clubs, whose members actually do the weather prognosticating themselves. But the groundhogs’ supposed predictions of an early spring should still be good news to those buried today beneath snow and ice.

No snow where I’m at, but the weather experts say the 23 degrees the temperature gauge reads would feel more like 9 degrees if I stuck my head out of my RV. For the record, I’m currently parked in a son’s Lake Jackson, Texas, driveway. And 9 degrees, or 24 for that matter, is pretty darn cold for the Texas Gulf Coast.

It’s a mere mosquito bite, however, to what other parts of the country are experiencing.

According to a story in the NY Times, about a third of the country is paralyzed. Nearly 13,000 flights have been canceled and the number is expected to rise to 20,000.

It’s a day for those of us who are holed up snug and warm to send vibes of hope to those who have been caught up in Mother Nature’s frigid tantrum. It’s also a good day for those of who are safely cosseted to count our blessings.

Mine includes family, friends, my dog Maggie, my health, a zest for life, good coffee, comfortable shoes, a decent computer, birds to watch and roads to travel.

That’s just 10, but there are hundreds of others. That’s OK. I have the whole day ahead to contemplate them.

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