A Smile Every Day – New Year’s Week

I started a post about my not-resolutions for the New Year, but it turned out to be too heavy and difficult to sort through. I’ve got my Word of the Year and a few notions of what I’d like to focus on (a healthier body, dedication to my Sunday class, saving money), and that’s good enough for me right now.

Besides, any concrete resolutions I may have attempted to see through would have been abandoned by this week.

We got a blast of arctic weather that caused my car’s door latches to freeze. I’ve been having a hard time parking lately – no idea why – and bumped Aiden’s truck (no harm done, but it’s embarrassing). I’m hormonal and feel like ripping people’s heads off left and right.

But I reached today and forced myself to consider all of the reasons to smile from this past week. I’ve never been the sort of person to keep a “happiness journal” or any of those “one good/cool/inspiring thing a day” things; I’ve tried and I simply can’t focus that long. However, just for this week, and in one single blog post, I figured I’d tally up the good.

My night table Sunday morning. The computer decal is something I requested for Christmas.

Sunday: After a night of laughing long and hard over really cheesy stuff with the MacIntyre kids, I got a good night’s rest and was the first one up on Sunday. There was no Sunday school, so church started at 11:00. I crept around the house getting hot chocolate and pumpkin bread and stopped to soak in the sunshine pouring through the kitchen window. Few things put me at ease like sunlight on my skin, and it set the mood for the day.

This week in general has provided several beautiful sunrises and sunsets, which I never miss because I’m either driving to or from work while they’re happening.

Monday: My last vacation day for a while (buh-bye, four-day workweeks) was spent with Fay. Can’t tell you what all we did except waste time, but that’s how we bond.

file-jan-07-10-48-52-amTuesday: Most of the day was foggy, which puts me in nearly as good of a mood as sunshine. After work, I headed to the library to pick up a book. I was in line behind an older lady with that composed, quietly regal sort of bearing. The librarian helping her check out told her that she had a 50 cent fine for some expired holds on books – books about heart disease, of all things. She read the date they expired and the patron hummed. “That was a bad week.”

Before she could dig out some change, I offered her a couple of quarters. I didn’t really know what to say, but I can certainly understand the sort of week that forces people to forget library holds and other normal things like food and washing the laundry. And the books were about heart disease, which made it worse.

This was my warm and fuzzy feeling for the week, and it only cost 50 cents.file-jan-07-10-47-07-am

Wednesday: Wednesday started out rotten because it was the day my car’s door latch froze, thus preventing the door from staying shut. Mom had to drive me to work, which meant I had 2 minutes left to get ready instead of 10. I showed up to work with my shirt still unbuttoned beneath my coat and my hair a mess – “blowzy”, as Caroline Bingley would say.

The day wasn’t totally awful, though, because I’d packed a good lunch: salmon salad sandwiches with crisp lettuce and tomatoes. I used Greek yogurt and cream cheese instead of mayo and added some feta, and they were delicious.

file-jan-07-10-46-18-amThursday: Payday, first of all, and my car was back to being driveable. But toward the end of the day Dad showed up unexpectedly with flowers and I got to parade him around the office with a grin on my face. (“You really look like your dad” one of the ladies commented when he left.) Be jealous, y’all, because he’s awesome.

I also put in a request for a day off in February, and I have doused that day and the week before it in a fervent prayer that nothing happens like it did just before my last requested day off.

Friday: Kind of a rough day over all, because I was lacking motivation and I was cold. However, Mom and Dad were gone in the evening, delivering the pig to a family up north looking for a pet to dote on (that poor creature has been so neglected), which left us girls at home to scream to our hearts’ content. And eat pizza. And watch Pride and Prejudice.

And that brings us to today. Fay is headed home to college and, as I didn’t have a chance to see her yesterday, we made plans for breakfast (it’s becoming our thing). I woke up at 7:00 to a wind chill of -3 to meet Fay for breakfast at 8:00. (Don’t tell her mother, who was already in tears at saying good-bye.)

I was the first one there, which was disturbing; the MacIntyres are always early. It’s weird. Fay didn’t show up until 10 after, when I’d started to get worried, and it was because her dad chose this morning to check her tire pressure and oil level.

We drank hot chocolate and ate muffins and bagels and talked about who-knows-what before Fay was on her way. She has an 8-odd-hour drive ahead of her, and school starts back up on Monday. (Just for us, though; Eli’s classes don’t start for a couple of weeks.)

It was 9:00 by this time and I wanted to go to the library, but they don’t open on Saturdays until 10:00, so I had to kill some time. 15 minutes was easy because I needed dog food and gas.

I made the mistake, however, of passing the shelter animals at Petsmart on my way to the dog food section.

File Jan 07, 11 29 57 AM.jpegI’m not a cat person. It’s not that I don’t like them; we just never seem to get along. And they all know “that dog” is mine. But oh. My. Goodness. There was this 2-year-old black-and-white cat there. He caught my eye, held my gaze, and rolled over asking for scratches (curse that plexiglass). The card with his info said he was shy, but he kept looking at me. He kept rolling back and forth looking cute. I wanted him. So badly. I sent a text to Mom bemoaning my lot in life. I even got misty-eyed as I dragged myself away.

I’m hopeless. I am a toddler. And, as I told my mother, if I ever fall in love, the poor man is going to have some weird attachment issues to deal with.

But it’s ok. I came home and picked up Tip, who was begging for milk. She was so enthralled with being scratched without a dog eyeballing her that she voluntarily sat in my lap and rubbed my chin with her face.

Next week resumes business as usual. I picked up Danish on Duolingo, which has managed to hold my interest for a whole week; I can’t remember what part of the Armor of God we were on in class, and so have no lesson for tomorrow; I haven’t written a proper bit of story since November; I keep returning library books without reading them; and I think I gained some weight over the holidays (it was the hot chocolate).

2017 is going to be exciting.



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