And wow. I have accumulated a LOT of stuff over the years.
Of course, as with everything I do, it is not a quick process. And while going through a bunch of my plastic tubs over the past couple days, I found myself stopping to reminisce on my childhood, adolescence, college years, and early years of teaching.
One item that I discovered was this:
About ten years ago, I bought this notebook with the idea that I would use it to write down daily the little things that make me happy.....to focus on the positives, and put some perspective on life's blessings. This came at a great time, as I had just moved to a new city, was jobless for a few months, got a new job teaching middle schoolers (after three years of teaching second graders!), and was still struggling a little with the debt that college put me in......so I guess this was my own form of therapy. :)
Here are some things that I wrote down in this journal:
*seeing my niece laugh at the smallest things, like me shuffling cards
*going for a long walk on a sunny spring day
*riding in my car with the windows down and the sunroof wide open
*finishing up my thank you notes
*fixing a computer problem on my own
*my soccer team winning their game vs. Cross Creek in double overtime
*having the windows open at night....in April!
*mailing out an Easter package to my nephew
*finding out that I just have a pinched nerve in my leg-- nothing serious like I worried it was
*a good night's sleep-- eight hours!
*working out on my pilates machine
*not working at school all weekend
*balancing my checkbook
*having my voice back for teaching after a few days without it!
*being invited to my brother's for dinner- and seeing my niece crawl for the first time
*getting all of my grades entered in the computer
*fresh strawberries for a morning snack
*cooking a yummy dinner with leftovers for lunch
*going to Michael's for some scrapbooking supplies
*finishing a challenging crossword puzzle
*taking a short nap to get rid of a migraine
*the smell of freshly picked lilacs in my classroom....a gift from a student
*hearing from Joy and making plans to see her soon
*finally organizing my nightstand
*getting some very positive comments on my research paper
*shopping at Target
*hearing the birds chirping outside when I woke up this morning
I thought I'd add a few more, but new ones. Things from the past couple days that make me happy.
Because even though this has been a very relaxing summer, it's been a packed summer. Getting projects done, checking off things from my to-do list, running lots of errands, making phone calls, lots of trips to the home improvement stores, squeezing in things whenever I have time....it's busy, but it's a good busy.
I just don't want my summer to fly by....I want to stop and notice and appreciate the little things every day that make me happy. I want to enjoy every small, seemingly insignificant part of my day while I can. For teachers, summer is a time to rejuvenate ourselves. We work hard.....really hard....all school year long. Summer is the reward.....the bucket of gold at the end of the rainbow.
And since I can't resist making a Top Ten list.....
2. Having my windows open all day and at night....after the Heat Wave of 2012, it feels great to have fresh air in my house again!
3. Going through my old keepsakes and finding this gem.....my friend Joy made this for my birthday one year. We dubbed ourselves the "Wondertwins" in college (and even had matching cheap superpower rings!) and I just love this picture of us "in disguise". As if you could hide the fun that we brought to the party! :)
4. Reading old letters from my friends and family members when I went away to college. Reading my old diaries.....from middle school, high school, and college. They. are. hilarious.
5. Finding small items I kept from my childhood. Like this set of Scratch-and-Sniff stickers that came in boxes of the "monster cereals". Count Chocula was my favorite, but I also liked Frankenberry and BooBerry, too.
6. Seeing the final step in the process of my kitchen tile backsplash.....pictures to come soon!
7. Ordering online some prints for my kitchen/dining room.....and seeing my vision for my kitchen remodel all coming together.
8. Cleaning out and reorganizing my storage room for the first time since I moved in to this house.
This one area.....is JUST Christmas stuff. Totally serious.
9. Getting an iced capp from Tim Hortons. Okay.....and a donut.
10. Looking up at the clouds on this gorgeous summer day. Thick, puffy, fluffy cumulus clouds.....vibrant blue sky......love. it.
Hopefully this will inspire some of you to create your own lists, or even just stop and reflect on those little things that make you happy. It just takes a few seconds out of your day, but let me tell you.....it's worth it.