Grateful for HabitRPG

I always have a lot to do. Sometimes, I even manage most of it. Long-time readers might even remember I did a series of posts on time management. The problem with schedules, for me, is that they only seem to work if I’m accountable to someone else — appointments, volunteer slots, anthology deadlines are all well and good. But something as simple as trying to create a set order of things to do each day? Not so much.

Enter HabitRPG. Continue reading

Small gratitude

A couple of years ago, I posted every Monday about things I’m grateful for. I might get back to that.

Today, I was starting to prep dinner when my daughter called me to come see something in the hall. I patted her on the head, and she asked, “Are we having salad and croutons for dinner?”

Turns out, she recognized the smell of green leaf lettuce on my hands.

She likes salad; this is one of her favorite dinners. I think it’s mostly the croutons and dressing (blue cheese for her) she likes, but she eats it all.

My son likes it, too, and likes all of it — lettuce, chicken breast meat, croutons, and dressing (he prefers creamy garlic Caesar).

I’m grateful it’s a healthy meal that everyone likes. And that my daughter can recognize the smell of lettuce.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a lot to be thankful for, both large — being alive, being able to walk, my husband, my kids, family, friends, my readers — and small — the taste of the first cup of hot tea in the morning, cardinals at bird feeder, plants that finally flower years after planting. I chronicled some of the things I’m grateful for here on my blog, and you can look back over them if you’re interested.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It’s a date that commemorates gratitude for good neighbors, sufficient food, new chances, and working together. I hope in the coming year, these blessings touch more people both here in the US and elsewhere.

May your day be filled with joy and things to be thankful for. And thank you for stopping by and reading.

A new year to be grateful for

The end of last year had a lot to be grateful for, including a visit from my in-laws and our first white Christmas in years! Oh, and my wonderful husband, who gave me an iPad mini (which, for the record, is much easier to compose blog posts on).

This year has had some bright spots already, including a visit to the dentist today, wherein the children were found to have no cavities. It’s not been perfect, of course — this is real life — but I’m trying to focus on the positive. Both The Happiness Project (by Gretchen Rubin — site here) and Barking Up The Wrong Tree talk about the necessity of focusing on the good to improve your happiness, so I’m working even more on that this year.

I’m also taking stock of my work and writing habits and looking at what makes me feel good, feel bad, or feel right. I anticipate some large changes over the next few months. I’m feeling like one writing site isn’t offering me much more than goal tracking any more, and I may decrease my commitment there. I’m also considering whether NaNoWriMo is still a good fit for me, although I have months left to make that decision.

I feel as though something in the way I’m working, the way I approach things, is holding me back. I teeter on the brink of a breakthrough, but I can’t quite see it. Mind you, this could be the lingering cold or cough syrup talking!

Anyway, I’m spending time reflecting, and feeling gratitude for my life in general.

What are you grateful for as Janus looks forward and backward in your life?

Around the corner

Today, I’m grateful that a laundromat opened up around the corner from our house. As I’ve told more than one person today, “ka-thunk, thunk, thunk” isn’t any better a sound for your dryer to make than for your car to. Which means yesterday’s laundry got pushed to today, and I spent the morning (and way more quarters than it used to take!) doing the family laundry.

Why my kids probably think this is a good thing: since I went to the laundromat, I took their stuffed animals that were too big to go into our home washing machine and cleaned them. (Animals were, you may recall, covered with soot, along with everything else in the house. And no, the house isn’t all clean yet. *sigh*)

Something else I’m grateful for is that we have a spare out in the garage. When we bought the house, the previous owners left their washing machine and dryer here. We’ve never gotten around to getting rid of them (Yay! Procrastination for the win!), and a couple of years ago when our washer died, we swapped that. Now we can swap the other. Eventually, we’ll have to replace both with something more modern and energy efficient, but right now, we don’t have to have the extra expense.

What are you grateful for this week?

Ooh, the shiny!

Like the Tick’s brain, I am easily distracted by bright, shiny objects. We went window shopping on Saturday at the mall, and I kept stopping to stare at the clothing displays. I love all the glittery gold and silver tops and dresses at this time of year!

I don’t have to keep it to just this time of year, of course. Earrings are great bling and pick-me-ups. Or today I tossed on a gold scarf (a fashion accessory, not something to keep me warm, which I don’t need with this week’s springlike temps) just because — something I can do any time.

One of the cool things about these simple things? They always make me smile.

What are you grateful for today? What little things do you do to make yourself smile?

Hand-me-down handicrafts

I thought about doing a post last week on Thanksgiving about all the things I’m thankful for, but didn’t for two reasons — I was cooking (and letting others use the computer), and I talk every week about what I’m grateful for.

This week, I’m grateful for crocheting, for Mom who taught me how (and who taught me to try new things), for my husband and son (both of whom I’ve taught to crochet — my husband even had one of his classes crochet hyperbolic planes as an assignment), for my daughter (whom I will probably eventually teach to crochet as well), and for lovely colors to play with as I work.

In progress view of skirt from crochet thread.

Crochet skirt for my daughter’s birthday, still in progress.

What are you grateful for today?

Letting go

The obvious thing I’m grateful for is heat — without more soot. I’m also exceedingly grateful that the blocked chimney didn’t cause a fire. And as I go through the house cleaning, I see how very much we have to be grateful for.

Which leads to the less obvious thing I’m grateful for: the soot is making it much easier for me to say, “This has to go” — whether for papers I’ve kept just in case I needed them, books I’m never going to read or reread, or clothes that I’m done fooling myself I’ll ever fit into again. Not all of this stuff needs to be thrown away; some will be recycled or given away. But all of it needs to go away, and I’m in the right frame of mind at last to do that.

What are you grateful for today?

Monday again

Time marches on, and both challenges and triumphs are either past or yet to come. Right now, all I have is now.

Sometimes, I remind myself of this on weekends, when I’m with my family, in slightly different words. Whatever has stressed me through the week doesn’t matter as I listen to my children laugh or cuddle with them or watch a show with my husband. What I have is family and love in the moment. That’s enough.

Does wonders for the stress levels most of the time, too. Not permanent decrease — whatever’s out there to stress me will still be there — but lowering the stress to a manageable level.

Now. It’s all I’m responsible for.

What are you grateful for today?

So much variety!

As everyone who has been paying attention knows, I’m truly grateful to have electricity and Internet back. However, for my weekly gratitude post, I want to talk about something else — and I’m cheating a bit by melding this with my monthly Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour post, which should have gone up last Friday.

I am grateful for all the books that are available to read now. With the industry in its current state of flux, it might seem scary to some. However, I’m finding books that I haven’t been able to read for years — books where I read one book in a series from a library but couldn’t find others at new or used books stores, let alone the library; books that went out of print before I discovered the authors; and omnibus editions of books I’ve loved for decades. I’m also finding new new books — books by authors whose vision won’t sell enough to meet the bottom line of a corporate accountant, books by tried and true authors that I love (maybe writing out of their usual niche but quite possibly doing more of what I fell in love with), and books by authors I’ve heard of but never tried before.

It’s an embarrassment of riches, and I love it.

That’s what the current state of the industry is, and what I’m grateful for today. Whatever I want to read, someone out there is publishing it. What’s not to love?

What are you grateful for this week?

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “The state of the industry (i.e., my take on what’s happening in publishing)”– November’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour — an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to check it out.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on crossing genre lines, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Read and enjoy!