Teachers, firefighters, nurses, police, hospice workers, first responders… the list is much longer.  The people who do jobs that serve others every day.  Words fail me when I try to express my gratitude for them.

maya

 

Thanks to Positive Outlooks Blog and Maya Angelou for helping with the words…

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I’ve always loved books.  My husband could spend hours in a music store, but my escape is a book store.  Although most of my book purchasing these days is in digital form, being in a physical bookstore is still a thrill.

During our recent move, I forced myself to get rid of a lot of books.  Although I still have a wonderful stash of books that I vow to read a second time (or third, or fourth…), I finally gave away dozens of books that I knew were just taking up space.
Books

I’ve kept a list of some of my favorite books here.  They are definitely on my “read again” bookshelf.

This past year, I haven’t read as much fiction as I typically do.  Too much going on.  I think I have just made the first of my New Year’s resolutions!

I often discover the best reads through recommendations of friends.   Read any good books lately?

Photography is amazing.  It inspires me and excites me.  Photos can evoke memories certainly.  But they can also bring instant sensations as well.  A remembrance of a taste.  A smell.  Or a sound.

A sunny day in Portugal, and my first taste of the crisp, vinho verde03almost tart sip of Vinho Verde.  I can still feel it on my tongue when I see this picture.

Or the powerful smell of rosemary against a warmed wall on 4m_2a summer’s day in Tuscany.

Or the baying of longhorns as their mealOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA time was approaching.

My parents were not photography buffs.  And both Tom and I tend to steer  clear of the front of the camera.  But we have so many opportunities today to document our lives and to relive particular moments.  What a wonderful gift.

Related:

I’ve started to move my online photo album to a site of it’s own.  Please visit it to see some of the photos that make me happy.

Slumber.  I’m thankful for the chance to refresh IMG_1308ourselves with a good nights sleep.

A night or two without it make you truly appreciate how wonderful it is.

I love that my yoga practice is mine.  Not a session at the studio, or a class at the gym.  It is not measured by my physical strength or by my endurance.

Meditations from the Mat

I do not compare myself with other participants.  Yoga is whatever I make it today.  It is a discipline that is all mine.

For that very reason, my practice has had a lot of ups and downs.  Times of real dedication, and times of neglect.  But the opportunity to focus internally and to block out the surrounding noise of life is a real asset — one that I can develop and carry with me throughout my life.

(I highly recommend Meditations from the Mat, by Rolf Gates, if you have not read it yet)

 

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Practice, practice, practice

Lady bugs

All in the mind

Santosha

 

Don’t you just love smart people?   You know – the kind that make you stop and think.  Smart peopleThat make you want to dig deeper.  The ones that challenge you to do better.  To contribute more.  The ones that you thank for making our lives better.  The ones that you grieve their departure even though you never knew them.

I’m thankful for the contributions and the inspiration that so many smart people have provided in my lifetime.  And I’m thankful for the caliber of people that I was able to work directly with as well.  I’ve always relished the opportunity to engage with thought leaders.

Don’t get me wrong — I consider myself very intelligent.  I’ve been able to do a lot of innovating and creative problem solving in my career.   But there used to be a time when the idea that I would never be another Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerman was pretty depressing.  I removed “What a Wonderful World” from my playlist because I couldn’t deal with the lyrics “I see babies cry, I watch them grow.   They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know.”  Today, I’m more accepting of that notion.

They recently discovered that Einstein’s brain is different from most.  His prefrontal cortices were “relatively expanded”.  His brain had extra folds, and “larger -than-usual bulges… on the surface of the cerebral cortex”.  At first this information was comforting to me — sort of an excuse for why I wasn’t among the truly brilliant.  I wasn’t born with an exceptional brain.  But was he born with an exceptional brain, or is it more likely that his brain developed that way because of the way his used it?

Food for thought.  But in the mean time, I am grateful for really smart people.

Perhaps I’ve got this backwards… yesterday I was grateful for a spa tub, and today I’m grateful for the fresh water to fill it.   The Illinois River Watershed Partnership has recently purchased a piece of land near our community that encompasses a cave and fresh springs that are part of the Illinois River Watershed.  The spring is amazing.  Fresh and cool.  Through their efforts, we will have a local sanctuary to enjoy and a place to educate our kids about the preciousness of fresh water.