Day 1 (Jan 1)
Sitting at the front desk of the bed & breakfast where I work, looking out the window, reveling in the quiet and peace of the moment. Thinking about new beginnings and starting over. May peace reign over the earth.
Day 2 (Jan 2)
On the metro on the way to my job at the B&B. After hours of non-stop activity, I finally have a moment to sit, breathe and relax with one of my favorite things: a book. As frustrating as Metro can sometimes be, it does allow time to breathe. And I’m grateful.
Day 3 (Jan 3)
It’s a cold day outside today. The old guy working the register at Trader Joe’s admitted that he was having a hard time adjusting to this cold climate, after having moved here from California six months ago. “You lived here long enough to where your blood has thickened against the cold?” he asked me in a wistful tone. “I suppose so,” I answered. But, I think to myself when I finally get home, my little wall heater goes a long way in providing me with warmth, comfort and protection from the bitter cold outside.
Day 4 (Jan 4)
This tree sits just off my balcony. Nothing extra special, but I always find myself gazing at it. When I look at it today, in its state of winter undress, I see the twists and turns and whorls of its branches, and I marvel over the intricate and intriguing patterns they form. And I think, if my life were a tree, maybe it would look like this one, with all my twists and turns and joys and heartache forming beautiful, unique patterns.
Day 5 (Jan 5)
Three things I would surely perish without: a good book, a strong cup of black tea, and bright sunshine. Right at this moment, life is simply perfect as I get to indulge in all three at the same time.
Day 6 (Jan 6)
I don’t take naps often. But right now the urge steals over me in a big way. So I curl up on my bed, thankful for the luxury of an unexpected nap time, and drift gently off to sleep.
Day 7 (Jan 7)
I don’t consider myself a morning person, but nothing makes my heart sing like early morning sunlight wafting its way through trees and buildings and windows and streets, bringing light into dark places, infusing freshness and hope for a new day.
Day 8 (Jan 8)
One of my favorite places to hang out is the bookstore, especially the ones where you can curl up in a corner and read for hours. They provide me with great intellectual stimulation, entertainment, and therapy. Today I treat myself to this favorite delight and feed my insatiable curiosity.
Day 9 (Jan 9)
I have several stops to make today, and I decide to walk instead of metro-ing. I need the exercise. Five miles later I finally arrive back home and collapse on my couch. The walk felt good, but the couch feels soooooo much better right now!
Day 10 (Jan 10)
I come home from work today with a strong sense of peace and wellbeing. Nothing out of the ordinary has occurred, but I just feel…good. As I think about how to capture this moment, I come across this statement I cut out of a magazine a couple of weeks ago for my dream/vision board: “Paradise was never really lost. It’s just been waiting for you to move in and call it home.” Amen and amen.
Day 11 (Jan 11)
I am giddy after a trip to the library. All these books I can’t wait to delve into! Books have always been among the most steady companions in my life, and when I bring them home from the library, it’s like communing with a beloved friend.
Day 12 (Jan 12)
In the middle of a long work day I feel tired and lethargic, longing for home and couch. I stumble onto this video of a TED Talk that instantly changes the tenor of my day. The work of photographer Louie Schwartzberg floods me with a deep sense of gratitude and wonder, and reminds me that life is a gift to be accepted and embraced every moment of every day. You can check the video out here.
Day 13 (Jan 13)
Another long and tiring day, and I am struggling to find that one standout moment of the day to share on this page. But all I can think about is my bed–and the moment when I can crawl into it, turn off the lights and snuggle into the pillows. So I embrace this simple pleasure waiting for me at day’s end.
Day 14 (Jan 14)
What a difference a good meal makes! For the past few days I had been consuming unhealthy amounts of sugar and just eating poorly in general, creating a sense of malaise and lethargy throughout my body and mind. Today I vow to begin rectifying the situation by preparing a healthy meal. This is my own concoction, a sort of sardine goulash with vegetables and rice. I savor every bite and clean my plate. I feel the difference in my body immediately.
Day 15 (Jan 15)
It’s a cold, wet and dreary night and all I can think of as I make my way home is the cozy embrace of my little apartment. In moments like these, I feel overwhelmingly grateful to have a place that welcomes me in from the cold with its warmth and light.
Day 16 (Jan 16)
I am a huge fan of Trader Joe’s, and I am always excited to make a trip there, even though it’s on the other side of town. Today I brave the cold and rain in order to bring home some special treats. My mind, body and spirit delight in the thought that, over the next several days at least, I will have (mostly) healthy and delicious food at my fingertips!
Day 17 (Jan 17)
There is something magical about reconnecting with old friends you haven’t seen in ages. It’s been over five years since I’ve seen this dear friend, but when we meet tonight the years just fall away. I am blessed by her presence and thankful to have her in my life.
Day 18 (Jan 18)
I feel my thoughts gel around a subject for my blog, and I sit down to record them on my computer. With a view of the sunshine and trees swaying in the wind, surrounded by quiet and peace, I cherish the sense of pride and accomplishment in completing another post.
Day 19 (Jan 19)
I am participating in the MLK National Day of Service with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of other people at this particular site. The energy and enthusiasm in the vast hall is contagious, and I feel proud to be a part of this collective effort to generate good and goodwill in our world.
Day 20 (Jan 20)
It’s a bright, sunny 60 degrees today and Washington DC is hopping. I love the festive atmosphere of this Inauguration weekend. I walk through the streets enjoying all the sights and sounds, the colorful characters and creative designs, and simply soaking in the sunshine. The electric energy in the air gives me goosebumps as I slow down to take it all in.
Day 21 (Jan 21)
Today feels chaotic. Time-consuming chores this morning. Coming off a high from watching the inauguration ceremony on TV, then plummeting to a frustrating low from all the detours and massive crowds and extra miles walked and more massive crowds just to get to work. But a good friend picks me up in her car just when fatigue strikes hard, and drives me the rest of the way to work. The yummy cupcakes we pick up along the way help to soothe my aggravation and restore my faith in the world. And when I finally make it home–on a smoothly running and EMPTY subway train–all I can say is, Thank You, God, for touching my chaotic day with hope, love and cupcakes!
Day 22 (Jan 22)
I brave the frigid temperatures today to attend my first class in Adobe Photoshop. I am thrilled to be learning a skill that appeals to a) my curiosity and hunger for learning new things, b) my creative expression, c) my deep interest in photography and the ways it can be used to communicate powerful messages, and d) my desire to incorporate more creative expression in my career. This photo above will not win an Image of the Year award, but I am proud of my first Photoshop creation!
Day 23 (Jan 23)
I took this photo a year ago, at a moment of monumental self-doubt and uncertainty about the future. I was sitting on the floor, praying for grace, direction and affirmation. When I opened my eyes, this was the image that greeted me. I recall that moment and that image today, when I begin to see the first glimmers of change–signs that my efforts and commitments of this past year are beginning to yield tangible results. It is exciting, humbling, heartening, and just a little frightening. But I thank God for the grace, love, and affirmation that has brought me to this moment today.
Day 24 (Jan 24)
The cereal aisle in the supermarket does not normally compel me to dance a jig or fall to my knees in gratitude. But today I come close! First, I receive a call that opens a fantastic door of opportunity for me, one that will lead me straight out of my comfort zone and into brand new territory. Then, my favorite oatmeal, the one without which my mornings wither, the one whose absence created a huge empty void on the supermarket shelf two days ago, has suddenly reappeared. And it’s on sale!! And I grab the last four containers! A sense of abundance and joy characterizes these two moments for me, and I head home with a song in my heart.
Day 25 (Jan 25)
I am bombarded by all sorts of emotions today, most having to do with this new opportunity given to me. I am absolutely thrilled and excited and rearing to go, and also intimidated, nervous and feeling out of my element. I feel the weight of this call, this new responsibility. As it presses in on me, I look out the window and see the pretty snow swirling around the lights outside, and hear Bob Marley’s voice singing to me, “Don’t worry about a thing, cuz every little thing is gonna be alright.”
Day 26 (Jan 26)
After an emotionally intense week, I finally have a moment of silence today. My apartment is clean and my stomach is full, and I sit back to breathe in what feels like the first moment of peace and quiet this week. To make this moment even sweeter, I pull out a couple of old romance novels–one of my favorite types of books to read for relaxation. And I delve in.
Day 27 (Jan 27)
Another long (but invigorating) day and I am happy to simply be at home and unwind with my cup of tea. I savor the simplicity of this moment.
Day 28 (Jan 28)
Today is one of those days where one moment just seems to drag into the next. I feel tired and unfocused and not very interested in finding delightful moments. But throughout the day I remind myself to take a deep breath and anchor myself to the moment, remembering that I AM HERE.
Day 29 (Jan 29)
I’ve got you. I see you. Those are the words that gave me hope and carried me through this past year of major transition and confusion. They are also the words that led to the new beginning on which I am about to embark. And as I share this with a colleague today, I am suddenly overcome with tears and the sure knowledge that God sees me, God knows me, and who I am matters. This photo, taken a couple of years ago in Sedona, AZ, comes closest to capturing the essence of this moment for me.
Day 30 (Jan 30)
The last few days have been jam-packed, mentally and emotionally intense days, and I am exhausted right now. I gratefully sink into the moment and feel the silence wrap around me, soothing and comforting me. It is a healing and restful silence, and I cherish it gladly.
Day 31 (Jan 31)
I am tired. Exhausted. Drained in every sense of the word. A common theme over the past week or so. But throughout the day today I experience little flashes of something joyful beneath the surface of my tired mind. I feel a dash of hope dancing under the heavy layers of fatigue, waiting for the skies to clear and the sun to come out.