Tag Archives: gratitude

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 18

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Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo invites us to write a poem about life’s simple pleasures. There are many. How could I choose just one? Or even a hundred? It’s almost midnight so I’ll contain myself and mention a few of my simple pleasures.

๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿ€๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿ€๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿ€

The sound of bubbles colliding with the sides of my glass
as I sip my sparkling water
Stepping outside and feeling fresh, cool wind on my face
The sun piercing through the clouds after days of rain
The scent of a fresh pot of green tea
Feeling my fingertips growing calloused from playing guitar
The sound of my children’s laughter
The taste of a really crisp apple
Sitting on my cushion in the morning and looking inwards
Watching blossoms fluttering from the trees like snowflakes
Lying down to sleep after an exhausting day
Taking a nap in the middle of the day
Watching ink spill out of my pen and onto the page
The feel of yarn slipping through my fingers
as I knit another row
The sound of my sewing machine.
The smell of steam rising off fabric while I’m ironing
Hitting several green lights in a row
Stepping into the hot shower when I feel cold
Love welling up as I tuck my kids in at night.
Walking
Breathing
Smiling
Just. Being. Alive.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 16

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Uggggg. Rough day. And today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo invites us to write a poem complimenting something. This is probably going to be a good exercise for me, given that I’ve had a tough time today and I’m feeling quite negative. Hmmm. Should I try praising the thing I really am not liking these days, which is attempting to homeschool my kids with materials from their public school system when all the kids really want to do is watch TV?

๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช
Ah, remote learning, how AMAZING you are!
I love being in the comfort of my home with my kids.
I love that my kids get to go to the bathroom
and have snacks when they want.
I love that they can take breaks when they want.
I love that I don’t have to rush them out of bed in the morning.
And even though I’m pretty terrible at this, I’m learning too.
Even though I don’t like coaxing, cajoling and bribing
my kids to do each little piece of work,
they are learning too.
So although I’m really excited for this time to be over,
I know that there is enough good here
that I’ll miss parts of this experience when it’s gone.
Thank you, remote learning, for being a great teacher.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 15

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Today at the NaPoWriMo site, the prompt encouraged us to write a poem inspired by our favorite kind of music. I have pretty eclectic musical taste, and I’m not sure I could choose a single genre…but let’s see what happens.

๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽน๐Ÿฅ๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽง๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽน๐Ÿฅ๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽง๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽน๐Ÿฅ๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽง๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽน๐Ÿฅ๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽง

My Music

A tone, droning from a singing bowl,
my own voice singing counterpoint;
I like this sound.
My voice singing along with my guitar playing and
(even though I’m self-taught)
I like this sound.
Drumming. Singing the elements,
enjoying the rhythm. Enjoying my voice.
I like this sound.
Mystical chimes, the sweetest, childlike strains,
and my voice humming softly along;
I like this sound.
Come to think of it, I do have a favorite kind of music:
My music.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 14

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It’s almost 11pm. I am tired. Right before I carried my sleeping son from my bed to his bed, I checked out the prompt over at NaPoWriMo and figured I’d just wing this one.

๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช
What It’s Like Being A Single Mom During a Pandemic
๐Ÿ—๐Ÿญ๐Ÿข๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿค๐Ÿญ๐Ÿข๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿค๐Ÿข๐Ÿข๐Ÿข
I drive into the city to pick up my kids.
The city doesn’t act like a city anymore.
It looks uncertain and confusedโ€”
like the rest of us.
It looks like it is waiting for somethingโ€”
like the rest of us.
๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป
We get back home and I fiddle with my computer
until I successfully get my fourth grader into her online class meetup.
I bring her snacks.
She tells me she isn’t supposed to eat during online learning.
(I think to myself, Why in the world not?)
I watch her drawing during the online class,
just like she does when she attends class in person.
I mean, just like she used to do,
back when kids went to school…
I fiddle with my other computer
until I successfully get my second grader into his online class meetup.
I bring him snacks.
He chews with his mouth open
and sprays bits of apple on my laptop.
I am not amused.
I attempt to read while they finish their online class meetups.
I am only partially successful.
๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ
I take my kids out on a walk.
It’s a beautiful, cool day.
My ten year old is already fifteen in her tone, body language,
and declarations of existential angst.
I am not amused.
I attempt empathy, patience, kindness, and compassion.
I attempt to enjoy my walk in spite of my ten year old’s angst.
I am only partially successful.
๐Ÿง๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿง๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿง๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿง๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฌ
Back home my idea to bake brownies
devolves into a fight over who gets to set the oven temperature.
I am not amused.
I again attempt empathy, patience, kindness and compassion
and am mostly unsuccessful.
I am disapointed, annoyed, frustrated and depressed.
I want to scream.
๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
Another mom tells me that her husband is annoying her
by sharing his two cents about their kids’ remote learning,
and then going back to his remote working
while my friend attempts to harangue their kids
into actually attending to their remote learning.
She is not amused.
I am suddenly glad that I am single.
๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ’
I make dinner with as much efficiency as I can muster.
We eat well.
The kids devour their dessert.
We sit together working on our own things.
My ten year old draws.
My eight year old works on a puzzle.
I play with my singing bowls.
We are very successful.
๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒ”๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
We get ready for bed.
I read to them a few pages
of The Phantom Tollbooth.
My son passes out.
My daughter goes back to her room
to read some Harry Potter.
I muster up the strength to carry my
eight year old into his room.
I pour him into his bed and tuck him in.
My ten year old is still reading.
I tuck her in and turn off the lights.
She smiles and says I love you.
I am extraordinarily successful.

Thoughts On My Mid-Pandemic Birthday

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Today I turn 43;
This body has made
43 trips around the sun,
and it seems significant
that I find myself alone
to send up rockets of appreciation
from my square foot of earth
to celebrate the occasion of my birth.
I like myself.
I like the company I keep
in the quiet moments
when there is no one else
to break the silence,
when I have the space to listen to
the deep music of what continues
without human effort,
what remains,
what hums
when we finally slow down
and accept that
enough is enough.

Honesty

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Cโ€™mon, admit it to meโ€”

You werenโ€™t in love with the routine anyway!

You ritualistically grumbled

At the dawn of each new day

And resented the tasks asked of you.

Cโ€™mon, be honest, admit itโ€”

You didnโ€™t have much to lose!

Only your attachment to control,

Your belief in an uncaring universe,

Your inability to recognize how blessed you were.

Letโ€™s be frank with one another.

This whole global pandemic is a gift!

Itโ€™s an opportunity to slow down and see

The lies you were telling to you

The lies I was telling to me.

Seriously.

Listen closely to me.

THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY.

An opportunity to be free.

To slow down and see what really matters to you.

What really matters to me.

Slow down, beloved. Breathe.

Itโ€™s all good, you see?

We Will Get Through This

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Being ok with change takes practice,
so don’t be hard on yourself
for not taking this well.
We are hardwired to gravitate
toward familiarityโ€”
it’s how we all survived this long,
so in a deep, instinctive way,
we all yearn to get back to “normal.”
And yet…
we were made for these times.
This is what we have been preparing for.
So, beloveds, take a deep breath,
be extra kind, gentle and loving with yourself,
hold all your hurting parts with tenderness.
Change is hard and
sometimes life sucks,
but you aren’t alone.
We will get through this together.

Pause And See

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Little, simple things,
such a precious gift:
the routine, the calm,
the boring, the repetitive,
how we long for this now
as it all disappears, temporarily.
I’m hoping we all seize this opportunity
to slow down and go within
and remember what’s important to us,
what we neglect in our habit of unconsciousness.
Let this be an acknowledgement
of what is always waiting
for this moment when we pause
and finally
see.

Take A Break to Keep Calm, Appreciate, Create

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Worrying doesn’t help,
so don’t do it.
A break from the routine is a chance
to appreciate the minute daily occurrences
that we take for granted.
That which appeared insignificant
in an unconscious repetition
suddenly becomes profoundly meaningful.
The mundane becomes sacred
in the light of such deep appreciation.
We find we yearn for what we had,
so many little acts of connection
and familiar places we can no longer access
because of unforeseen changes
and uncertain futures.
When we aren’t involved in an
unconscious routine
the space of uncertainty lets loose a discomfort
for the one who needs the calm familiar,
the safe, the known.
My friends, be not afraid.
This is an awakening.
How you experience this is entirely up to you.
Take a deep breath with me, now,
and breathe again.
Now is the time to cultivate appreciation.
The molecules of gratitude for
everything you love
coursing through your being
bring tidings of light and health
to every cell of your body.
Drink in what you love, now
through smiling deep breaths
of YES YES YES to life, YES!
Do not let fear pickle your cells
in darkness and despair.
Let me feel your shining smile
through the ethers our friendship now inhabits.
Stand in your one little spot of earth
and declare that you are an anchor
for peace, for gratitude,
for love.
My friends, be not afraid.
This is a sacred time.
Let the visions that were trampled
under the daily stampede of traffic
now float up in a whisper an inch
behind your eyelids.
Listen to this whisper.
It promises the joy you have yearned for
in the deepest center of your soul.
Now is the time to create, to express;
in the space of the unknown
you have so much room to choose
how this goes.
Sweethearts, this…is…a…VACATION!
Celebrate! Love! Sing! Dance!
Enjoy the beloveds you
have the privilege to share space with!
Show us your art!
Sing us your songs!
Let us hear your laugh!
Let us see your funny faces!
Share with us a video
of something beautifully boring!
Let us send little resonances
along the web that connects us
to tickle and delight and uplift
what the outer world cannot touch.

To sum up:

Take a break
to keep calm,
appreciate
and create!

A Satisfying Moment

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This afternoon
I was sitting in my kitchen window seat
soaking in the warm sun,
looking up at the blue sky,
smiling, feeling peaceful.
And then it struck me
that my life is unique,
and it is all mine,
and I wouldn’t trade
my humble, simple life
for anyone else’s life,
no matter how fancy or exciting.
That was a satisfying moment.