Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Grounding and Gratitude.

Since late  2012 I have been a collaborator at Vision and Verb.  A part of me has felt that I have been there under false pretences since I don't have a fraction of the talents of the other 'women of a certain age' who contribute there.  I have been in awe at the posts, and have grown very, very fond of the other participants.  Sadly, Vision and Verb will be closing down at the end of this month. though I will continue to stalk stay in touch with those talented women.

In my last post for them, I finished by saying how much I had gained from the other contributors.  Which is true.  But applies equally to all of the people I have found in the blogosphere.

So I am reposting my final post for Vision and Verb here.  And that final paragraph applies to the people who visit me here just as much as it does to the global collaborators from Vision and Verb.  Thank you so very much.

Grounding.



A few weekends ago I was working myself into a frazzle, running from pillar to post battling with a huge and self imposed to-do list.   Each time I crossed something off the list, I would add another two (or three) things.  It was manifestly impossible, and I was beating up on myself for failing to work miracles.  All my muscles hurt and I alternated between the urge to burst into sobs or to snarl.

Rain was forecast and working in the garden was on the list.  As the skies darkened I snatched up my gardening tools and rushed outside.

And stopped, dropped the garden implements and came inside for my camera.

As I looked down the valley at the play of light on the clouds and at the trees glowing I could feel the tension running down my body and into the earth - which has a much broader and stronger back than I do.  With each breath of appreciation I could feel my soul ease.  Yes, I did do some gardening, but then I came inside and consigned the list to the bin.

Where it belonged.

And, the comfort I got from the skies that day, mirrors the comfort and support I have found here.  Thank you one and all.  Since I took my first tentative steps here I have been supported and encouraged.  You have, all of you, enriched my world.  Thank you.

116 comments:

  1. This is very heart-warming. Thank you. I ripped up my to-do lists when I quit working. Now I decide what to do on a daily basis, always after dinner and make a list that allows no more than 5 items. After all, there are many many books waiting to be read and only 24 hours in a day.

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    1. River: I have lists most days. And sometimes use them to whip myself. Which is silly.
      I like the idea of having no more than five items to a list though.

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  2. Sorry but, are you going continue to your blog? I am a bit stupid, and I don't read as well.

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    1. Bob Bushell: I'm sorry - I didn't mean to be confusing. I will be blogging from here for some time to come yet - it is another blog which I contributed to which is closing down.

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    2. Cor, I am sorry, I got it wrong, which I am used to. Sorry EC.

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    3. Bob Bushell: I too am used (very used) to getting it wrong. Not a problem.

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    4. I was confused, too!! I'm glad you're still blogging.

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    5. fishducky: Not giving up any time soon. And looking forward to your return as well.

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    6. Phew. I also thought you were giving up your blog. Clearly I need to read more slowly. In fact I shall go back and read it again.

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    7. Wendy: It seems to me that I need to be clearer.

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  3. No matter how far away in miles, kindred spirits find a way to meet up... the older I get, the more I notice it happening.

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    1. Jacquelinand...: And the marvels of the internet have made those connections not only easier but possible.

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  4. What touching words and you are so right about to do lists. Actually they often stop us from doing the things we should really be doing.

    Blogging opens our eyes to a much much bigger world outside our own, without moving from our chairs. Personally I find this both good and bad. If I become too engrossed in the lives of others, I forget to live my own life. I sometimes feel ... okay now it's time to get off my arse and go and live, so I have something to blog about. And that's the beauty of blogging. It encourages us to do, feel and see things that would otherwise pass us by.

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    1. LL Cool Joe: Blogger just ate my response to your comment. Damn it. I need to do lists - but I don't need them as a weapon to use on myself.
      And I love the way that blogging has introduced me to people, to lives that I would never have found any other way.

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  5. How beautiful. I felt that as I read it. Our virtual support system is stronger sometimes than our 3d one. What a shame that site is closing down too. I'm glad you still have here to release to, and part of that glad is all for myself.

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    1. All Consuming: Our virtual support is a lifesaver often - or I find it so.

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  6. Perhaps false modesty about you place in the group, but you must have really slayed them in the aisles with your parting piece.

    PS I need to do lists, to do anything.

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    1. Andrew: No false modesty at all. And I doubt that my final piece did slay them in the aisles - though it was positively received.
      And yes, I need lists too. But not ones with nuclear devices attached. Or ones which rival encyclopedias.

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  7. Dear EC
    I am definitely a list person - but I try and limit the number of things on it to 7. They won't all get done, but being able to cross one or two off makes me happy! Sometimes though, I find they can be more negative, almost taunting me with the things I haven't done! (If I haven't done them, perhaps they weren't that important in the first place?) Slowing down and allowing yourself time to relax and recharge is far more important...
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: On saner days I keep my lists controlled. And ensure that there is always something easy on it that I know I can cross off, and feel I have achieved something.
      That wasn't a sane day. My list ran off the page.

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  8. Thank you for the warmth and honesty you bring to all your posts.

    I find that I need lists, to galvanise myself into something approaching action. And I do like the sense of accomplishment when I tick something off!

    This is a beautiful photograph.

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    1. Alexia: Thank you. I love my lists. I need my lists. But sometimes they develop an evil life of their own. Which that one did.

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  9. That photograph is magnificent and worthy of taking the fork in the road.

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    1. Grannie Annie: Looking down the valley at that sky was SUCH a gift that day. And every day.

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  10. I think as I lay on my death bed I won't be worried about whether I got all the jobs done on my list.... but I'll be mad at myself if I sacrificed doing things I love in order to do mundane jobs. Sounds like you stepped out the door just at the right time.

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    1. Delores: I hope that I won't be worried about unfinished chores either. Such a sad epitaph. 'I didn't get my list finished...'

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  11. Wow, what an incredible image.
    Sometimes we have to just chuck the list in favor of life.
    Sorry the site is closing down. Hope you stay in contact with all involved.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: I hope (very much) to stay in contact with the other women from Vision and Verb. And to be able to chuck my lists before they reach insanity levels.

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  12. "I was beating up on myself for failing to work miracles" - we really do this a lot don't we?? We have incredibly high expectations of ourselves sometimes. I love the idea of letting the earth take some of that burden away...

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    1. Optimistic Existentialist: Higher (and less realistic) expectations of ourselves than for anyone else. Which is silly. And wrong. And the earth (and the sky) did suck my tension away that day.

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  13. I'm sorry to hear the site you like is closing down. I do see how you found it though, talent attracts talent. Your writing is wonderful.

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    1. mail4rosey: Thank you so much. They found me - and I am so grateful.

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  14. You are a very special person, which comes through in your writing as well as the very large heart that beats in your breast, EC. You feel like a friend I've made that I cannot bear to part with. So I won't, and I'm glad you'll be posting here for a long time to come, I expect. :-)

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    1. DJan: Isn't it wonderful to have found so many friends here? Good friends. Very good friends. Hugs.

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  15. What a touching post! I am glad that you are continuing to blog. I would miss you. That picture is stunning! Some time nature has a way of bringing us back to what is important.

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    1. Teresa: Thank you. Having found the blogging community I would be insane to give it up. So much support, so much magic. And yes, to nature's healing touch.

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  16. I like having a to-do list. I usually break it down so I can strike more off the list. That's very satisfying. :)

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    1. The Furries of Whisppy: I usually love my lists too. And that sense of achievement. That day I went bat-shit crazy with it though. And was very lucky that the sky pulled me up short.

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  17. Looks like a really interesting website ~ pity it is closing down. I love the link to Kiva.

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    1. Carol in Cairns: It was, it is, a very interesting site. And I LOVE the Kiva loans. Micro finance at its very best. Empowering and helping in the most positive way.

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  18. It's strange how when you're feeling so very overwhelmed - where nothing could possibly help or fix the situation, something out of the blue captures your heart, your mind, your spirit and then you realize: things weren't as bad as they were thought to be.

    Through all of your posts, photos and views on life, you have greatly encouraged me! So, thank YOU for being a muse, or more so, an inspirer to many. I know it's not just me.

    :)

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    1. Deb: Thank you. Believe me I don't feel like a muse - a muddler along is closer to the mark. And it is almost always some aspect of nature which provides me with heart balm.

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  19. I feel your words in the sky.
    And I, too, am in awe of the group that is blog land.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: It is amazing isn't it? And wonderful.

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  20. Oh I wish I could meet you in person, perhaps one day I'll visit your land, thanks so much this warmed my heart as so many of your posts have; I have felt so many times that the earth and nature truly are the best solace for the soul. By the way that's a beautiful photo and view.

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    1. Linda Starr: If ever you do make you way to this side of the pond I would LOVE to meet you. And yes, the earth and nature are the very best comfort. Often.

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  21. I was just looking out the door and telling Joe: "I LOVE a dark day with clouds, rain and thunder. We are not leaving the house today and running here and there, it's too peaceful to leave."

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    1. lotta joy: There is something wonderful about hunkering down on those days isn't there? Mind you, I would OFTEN rather stay home. Running here and there just doesn't float my boat.

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  22. So glad. I think you def made the right choice to allow the earth to melt your pain, allowing you to go from 'must do' to 'must be'. The photo is magnificent as is your writing. I'm sorry your group is ending, but please keep blogging. I enjoy your posts so much.

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    1. Myrna R.: The earth and the sky give me healing so very often. And thank you.

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  23. Now that was a sweet post!! Beautiful pic too.....I am so glad you found the blogosphere ....

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    1. Kim @ Stuff could...: I am very, very glad to have found the blogosphere. Each and every day.

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  24. Ah, nice post. I know about lists! Lately I have not been writing so many...just floating...not sure it works for me . I guess it is a break to cease to be drivern and live in chaos a while. ha, ha. Lovely picture!

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    1. Bookie: Sometimes going with the flow is just perfect - even when it does introduce a level of chaos.

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  25. Yep, it is quite clear that it is another blog you are referring too. Sorry about that.

    And just one more thing whilst I'm here (again) your blog is one of my favourite. I don't say that about many. So please don't go anywhere :)

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    1. Wendy: You exemplify just what I have been saying. So much kindness, so much support. Megathanks.
      How is your writing and tackling publishers going? Gang-busters I hope.

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    2. Hmm ... have sent out a handful of queries. Now it is a waiting game. I shan't be holding my breath. Saying that, however, I must remain positive. But the publishing industry is like wading through mud ...

      I will be sending out more in the next few days. Keep your fingers crossed ... and toes ... and anything else you can think of :)

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    3. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed for you.

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  26. Sometimes you have to stop and check out nature it shows you that the world will go on no mater what you do so just relax and go with the flow.
    Merle...................

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    1. Merlesworld: And it will go on no matter what I don't do as well.

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  27. Good thing, to swap a beautiful sky for a to-do list. I'm frequently amazed by how wonderful the blog world is, and how supportive are my fellow bloggers (you on top of the list!). I think we all enrich each others' worlds. What a lovely post, truly.

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    1. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): I really needed to make that swap - and am horrified that I let myself get sucked into the to-do madness. Again. And, as you know, I am so grateful to have you in my life. Thank you for being yourself.

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  28. That beautiful image, and your words, brought a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat.
    You are wonderful, EC xx

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    1. Vicki: Thank you. So much. And how I wish you could look down the valley with me. Some day...

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  29. A wonderful post, EC. Your words and the emotion behind and within them are beautiful - heartfelt.

    What a shame the site is closing down.

    I love your stunning photo.

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    1. Lee: It is a shame - but everything has its season. And the contributors will continue to do good/amazing/beautiful things - elsewhere.

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  30. I find it comforting to write "discard list" about midway down every list, then compose another list of remainders, to be discarded halfway down as well. I also welcome interruptions to my progress, if they are not too strenuous.

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    1. Geo.: I may adopt the 'discard list' trick. At the moment I ensure that at least one item on it is something I know I can cross off (feed cats, have shower degree of difficulty) so I can feel I have achieved something. That day? Insanity took hold...

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  31. My friend, I have been in that place holding that to-do list and it was not good. I am glad that Mother Nature provided you with that beautiful sky and gave you back your perspective. I have had my perspective restored just recently also, with unplanned eye surgery which has forced me into low gear for awhile. Let us shrug together and say, "pffft" ! Thank you for sharing your beautiful photo and last post at Vision and Verb.

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    1. jenny_o: Unplanned eye surgery? Oh no. I hope you are healing apace - and will happily join you in a shrug and pffft fest. Hugs.

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  32. Sometimes those ever growing to do lists can be like millstones round our necks. I think I will follow your example :)

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    1. DeniseinVA: I am usually fond of my lists - but that one grew to absurd proportions. One page was insufficient for it. Insanity.

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  33. Priorities!
    Great cloud formation/shot too.

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    1. J Cosmo Newbery: How I wish I could keep those priorities straight.

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  34. I've just started making to-do lists, as it stops me feeling so guilty about doing nothing. (Nothing being reading, sleeping and surfing the Net). But I limit it to crossing off only two items a day, a nice compromise between doing too little and doing too much.

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    1. lynners: Two items sounds good. The list that day had more than twenty-two items. Some of them huge, all day jobs. An epic fail.

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  35. Feeling the tension drain from your body is much better than having list-frenzy. That's a beautiful photo - power about to be unleashed.

    It's wonderful to find commonalities of spirit with others online. You've certainly been a touchstone for me as I wade through a tangled life!

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    1. River Fairchild: List frenzy is the perfect description of that day. Or at least the perfect description which doesn't involve obscenity.
      Less wading, more paddling my friend. And I will happily paddle with you.

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  36. That's awesome! Nature puts everything in perspective, reminding us how small we really are in the grand scheme of things.

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    1. Stephanie Faris. Small, insignificant and unimportant. Which I find comforting.

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  37. :-)

    You're a lovely woman, my friend.

    Pearl

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  38. This is why I never make lists!

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    1. ladyfi: I will still keeping making them. But with (I hope) a little more intelligence.

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  39. It's always a relief to get back to center. If only it could last.

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    1. Snowbrush: I wonder why it doesn't? Slow learners?

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  40. lovely image! Have a great day and here's a link to my blog post:
    http://katheworsley.blogspot.com/2014/07/baby-elephant-plays-in-ocean.html
    I think you will get a big kick out of it! Cheers!

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    1. Kathe W.: Welcome - and thank you. I will head over to check out your post now.

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  41. You're sweet and special, EC. I'm glad for our contact.
    This was beautiful.
    And thank YOU.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: Thank you. And don't forget my other sides. I am also a grumpy introvert. Who laughs at the wrong things.

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  42. Thank goodness you cleared that up. I'd miss you immensely if you were not here! xxx

    great photo.

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    1. My Inner Chick: I have no plans to leave anytime soon. How could I if it meant leaving so many wonderful people and places?

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  43. Aww! So happy about that :) The blog world is pretty amazing.

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    1. Riot Kitty: I think it is a completely amazing place - and mostly in very, very positive ways.

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  44. I'm glad you got so much from your exchanges with them. While I came to your blog from somewhere else entirely, I've been happy to see some of the results.

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  45. Luckily I'm not following any lists today, EC, because I've just spent two hours, sitting in the sun and reading that wonderful blog Vision and Verb. I'm sad I didn't find it sooner but grateful to have had this opportunity to take it in now. Such a wonderful group of women, and you of course are equally wonderful. I'm relieved that your blog continues and your words will still be here to inspire.

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    1. Carol: Hasn't it been a wonderful, inventive, warm place? I was gob and smacked when Ginnie and Marcie invited me to play. And flattered (but disbelieving) with your asessment of my capacity. Hugs.

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  46. What a perfectly well written and deeply lived wisdom walk with you!


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^= <3

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    1. Cloudia: How I wish I was wise - and could retain what I learn. Hugs.

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  47. I'm running a tad late, my apologies.
    That is one fantastically beautiful photograph. Mother nature is a great healer if you take notice of her beauty.
    Those are also wonderful words of wisdom re lists and everything else. I so often feel lifted by blogs or words of comment from blogging friends. What would we do without them for a bit of fun or support when needed.

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    1. Mimsie: You are never too late, and are welcome. And the warmth and the wonder of the blogosphere has been a life saver for me.

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  48. So much thanks for sharing the bounty of your beautiful heart,
    which is just as talented and full of music and light
    as all the other stars we shine with:)
    love and lift to you,
    Jennifer

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    1. Jennifer Richardson: Thank you. Lots.

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  49. Dear Sue,

    It most certainly wasn't a false pretence. I know that we can too easily try to think that others are better. Yet, we all have our own unique writing gifts to share with each other.

    Your story. A story of understanding the priorities that display that lists are for binning. Life and the awe we experience when we take the time to notice, is reflecting in the wonder of your words and the photo.

    Bless you for being a part of something so special it's going to make this world a better, more compassionate place.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear Sue.

    Hugs,

    Gary

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    1. klahanie: And sometimes we know that other people are better at various things. Which is discouraging, but no reason to give up
      I hope your weekend is full of wonder - and that you aren't working too hard.

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  50. Sometimes, my to-do list is two columns long on a sheet of paper. But, I don't expect to finish it in one day. It is just something to remember piddling and important things. I do what I can, mark things off, and rewrite the list for the next day.

    I think you made it plain you were not leaving blogland.

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    1. Practical Parsimony: Mostly my lists are like yours. That day sanity went out the window. I have no idea what was driving me - but driven I was.

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  51. What a lovely post... I see you've retired early due to medical reasons... I too, had to retire two years early from driving a 40' 78 passenger school bus for a local public school district. I had an on the job injury (blew out two discs in my neck) had fusion surgery (3 vertebrea) and then four blood clots (DVTs) and two pulmonary embolisms. I did manage to grit my teeth and go back to work last September (start of our school year) but knew within the first week my body could no longer handle muscling around that big bus, so I retired at 63 1/2. I also have severe persistent asthma. Chronic health issues are tough to deal with, physically, mentally and spiritually. May God bless you and help you find out what you can and can't do, and not worry about the rest. That's the spot I find myself in these days, trying to find out what my new normal is... I don't know if you are a christian, but I've just found a book that is really speaking to my heart about all of these issues 'The Fight For Light: The Spiritual Battle With Chronic Illness,' by Robert Murphy. He has chronic hepatitis and had a liver transplant and shares about his struggles and insights. I'm your newest RSS subscriber and follower...

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    1. Madge Bloom: Welcome and thank you. I will be over to visit you shortly.
      My normal changes with the seasons and it is sometimes very hard to adapt. But adapt I do. And there is always something to marvel at.
      I am not a Christian - but do what I can to lead an ethical life.

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  52. Beautiful photo, and post.

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    1. Jackie K: Thank you. I hope the flu is leaving you.

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  53. That is a magnificent photograph - I'm so glad the scene presented itself to you. I feel enriched from being your blog friend and reader - so glad you took those tentative steps.

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    1. Lynn: Thank you - and right back at you.

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  54. Boy could I relate to every word of this - from the self-imposed frazzlement (and the temperament that results) to the way stopping to notice the simple yet profound beauty of nature can restore serenity and sanity. A beautiful post - and a magnificent sky!

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    1. Laloofah: The sky was healing magic. And that day I needed both the healing and the magic.

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