My simple pleasures in life

As we celebrate the dawn of a new year and make some reflections on the past I’m still trying to live in the present.

Each year for the past 10 or so I’ve spent some time between the 25 Dec and 1 Jan in contemplation of how well I did against my last years goals and what my next years goals will be.  This year, I have a day left in which to do this.  More than enough time if I can find my notes.  While looking, I found a few notebooks and other things which reminded me of things I like.  There was a sketch of my hand with a note I wrote saying ‘A few minutes of sketching does me the world of good. Must do more. xx’.  Sketching will now form part of my weekly routine for next year (starting to plan my 2013).

Lynne's quick sketch of her hand

Someone (Huge apologies as I don’t remember who) on their blog earlier in the year suggested writing a note of one simple pleasure you have in life each day for a month.  I did that and now have a list of 32 (32? I know! I could have gone on too..) things that give me pleasure.

simple pleasures on fairy cake cases

One thing I learnt this year was that I love fairy cake cases (I can’t help myself).  I use them for my writing as they help me plan and edit my novels (more about that next year but you heard it here first…). Here’s my list of a few things that give me pleasure, (as written on a different fairy cake case each day for a month) in no particular order:

Wearing colourful clothes

Dancing to cheesy music

My new soundtrack to my life

Colour coordinated clothes in wardrobe

Looking at Big Ben

The arty use of the Union Jack in 2012 on everything

Christmas decorations

A tidy, clean house with friends round for food and drink

A nice bottle of beer or wine

(sorry, one had to be edited out for decency)

Baked potatoes & cheese on toast, not necessarily together

Honey melting on porridge

Laughing with friends and family

The smell from lemon scented geraniums

Memories of playing cards with Mum and laughing with Dad

Sitting on the sofa with a nice cuppa tea

The allure of a full moon

Robin, blackbird and collard dove waiting for me

Smell of cake baking in oven

Driving to family and friends

Baking for charity

Being creative: Writing; Painting; anything arty and crafty

Sun streaming through the windows

Candlelight

Looking at flames

Sound of geese; sea water in my toes; sound of bees etc.

Gardening

Hot water running over shoulders

Watching films

Sleeping in

Drawing and looking at shadows

The realisation that I have 32 different fairy cake cases

Here’s to a pleasure filled 2013.

What’s your present like?

I remember a time when I lived for the present, not thinking too much about the past (it was too painful), or the future (it would take care of itself surely).  Things are different now.  Yesterday, I did some reviewing of my year.  Now I want to consider the present.  Today, I have a tendency to live in the past and dream of a future I could have had, should have had, can’t now have. My tendency is to put up with the present because that’s the future my past choices made for me and my new future depends on me staying on safe ground today.

I’ve had a couple of significant deaths I had to deal with in my life, one before I was a teenager and another before I was thirty.  Finally, many years, on I can laugh when they would have and think of the fun times we had together, remember the love they showed and be glad in my heart they are always with me.  My present is dominated by thoughts of family, friendships and writing, today, here and now, and also this month and next, the season we are in.  Depending on your beliefs and where you are in the world the season will always be different.

For my present, I think of the family and friends I have heard from, spoken to and spent time with this December.  Whilst there are things about my present I would like to be different I would not change my family and friends, I feel blessed to get to spend time with and be loved by you all.  You are my life and my world, sitting here writing this in my present, I am filled with much love for you.

presents

If you celebrated Christmas I hope you were able to give and receive.  I’ve been very fortunate to have time with those I love and to be able to give gifts I hope they can use or like.  Those I received were a wonderful selection of things that will remind me of the people who chose them.  Some practical and some not, some edible and many smelly (the gifts, not the people.  Lovely smells.. shall I stop digging now?  Tee hee;).

Mustn’t forget the writing..  My life, currently, is dominated by my writing.  Writing and editing.  Editing and writing.  I need to work out how to fit editing into my life more in 2013 than in 2012 if I’m going to finish one of these drafts sometime soon.  Oops.. that’s starting to think of the future.

What am I doing today?  Not sure yet.  Some baking (no idea why, but I have an urge to bake a black forest Gateaux, as you do..), reading, and I will do more reviewing of 2012 and planning for 2013.

This post has been slightly more reflective than focusing on the present.  What makes up your present and is there anything you would change?

ps I need to change how I take pictures.. apologies for the darkness..

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Lots of my cards said this.  Lumping the celebrations of both into one.  Some even included Happy Birthday.  So sorry to inconvenience you to get me another card.. (remember I have a sarcastic streak when I’m healthy.. it’s been a while..)

lilac branches decorated

Ooh, have I woken up grumpy?  Not at all, I love christmas when the house is decorated, food’s all sorted, friends are here and settled in.  As for New Year well I’ll tell you what I think of that at New Year.  For now I’m reminiscing and reviewing the past including the Christmas we’ve just had, taking time to visit friends and family, being aware of those who are having a tough time and those for whom this time of year can be very sad as it seems to highlight all emotions.

table on christmas eve

Friends came round and we ate numerous home made vegetable curries on christmas eve.  For christmas dinner it had to be an organic free-range turkey most of which is now frozen and will last a while.  My home is still cosy (code for small and cluttered..) with a warm hue of candles everywhere.  That, for me, is the Christmas and Yule spirit, welcoming and cosy, keeping warm while the nights are long.

For me, 2012 had lots of wonderful happy times and some scary and sad times.  I had a lot of colds and a couple of virus’s that seemed to take forever to clear.  I went to more funerals than weddings and celebrated more friends’ ‘big’ birthdays than funerals.  Quite a few of my friends were born in years with a 2 at the end.  What was it about 1952, 62, 72 and 82?

My writing has dominated my spare time this year, I managed to work out how I like to edit (more on this soon) and drafted my third novel.  This time last year I had just written my first guest post and was being ‘encouraged’ to start my own blog.  I completed A-Z blogging in April and wrote almost 100 posts throughout the year.  Had I realised I was so close to my 100th post I might have done a few more earlier in December.  Hmm.. I don’t like posting more than one a day so my 100th post is likely to be next year now..

That’s about it for my reflections.  How are you doing with yours?

Little things

Life is made up of little things and what we think and do about them.

This is a little post to get me back into posting more often.  I feel like I’m ready to post again a bit more.  I’m not sure why I went a bit quiet there for a while, I probably need a little time to reflect on that.  My camera’s not working very well, apologies, I’m using old images as I don’t want the lack of new images to stop me posting.  I can come up with enough excuses of my own for that..  There’s 4 days to a new year and you might get 4 new posts on little reflections from me, or not, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Blogging has connected me to new people, new friends and it’s been a wonderful experience.  This time between Christmas and new year I reflect, review and look forward.

Before I blogged I used to write, in my journal, in the garden by candlelight.  I miss that.  Spending an hour or so every few days wrapped up sat in the cold and dark in the greenhouse, as the birds woke, connected me to my garden.  It gave me time to plan what I would grow, what I wanted to do and who I wanted to spend time with.

robin

Here’s another little reflection about something that happened a year ago.

A friend decided to visit at very short notice and I realised I needed to change the sheets in the house.  I had some lovely new sheets I wanted to use but it was only when I’d put them on that I realised I should have washed them first.  They were incredibly scratchy.  My friend hasn’t done that again since.

Better to stick to what you know is comfortable than put on new to impress, or, if you don’t want people to visit at short notice put on new unwashed scratchy bed linen.

What are you reflecting on or looking forward to?