DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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17 August 2015

The true gift

It's been a quietly busy few days here. I finished my blue swap sewing, worked in the garden, baked bread and a cake, made a quick quiche which fed us for two days, watered the garden when I gave up all hope of rain, finally booked an appointment to have a haircut and did the hundred other unnoticed but necessary things that make up a day.




I smiled when I just read what I'd written. It seems like so little was done and yet it filled my days not only with activity but with satisfaction and contentment as well. There was a time when I would have thought I was wasting time doing what I've been doing, a time when only busyness counted. Well, I'm more enlightened now. Now I value each moment. I've stopped rushing and I'm just as committed to enjoying what I do as I am about the productivity of my hours. Life's too short for anything else.


In the old days I would have known I had a certain task to complete - let's say it was my swap sewing - and I would have planned it out, cut it out, spent time at the machine sewing, ironed what I'd made and within half a day, I would have finished the job. HA! Not now. Many of you know I now have my sewing machine set up next to my computer and so before I sat down to make the last blue item, I searched for some music to listen to and watch on You Tube. I settled on the funeral music of country  music legend George Jones, yes, the funeral music, then readied myself to listen to Alan Jackson singing He stopped loving her today. Not the most popular music but oh my, it was beautiful - I was captured by the emotion as much as the words.  As it turned out, I listened to that particular song about 10 okay, 30 times. Long term readers will know I've referred to myself before now as the ageing equivalent of a box full of monkeys being let loose in the jungle. This is another manifestation of that. We are all many people rolled into one and this is a small example of my obsessive self.  It surfaces fairly frequently. ;- )


So, I had the music ready and was just about to start sewing when my good friend Kathleen messaged me. I have phone messages set up on my computer too, so we had a long chat, in between stitches, cutting, snipping and listening to Alan singing sadly for old George and watching a bit of flat foot dancing on the porch. It took me three or four times longer than it should have to finish my project but the enjoyment factor was sky-high. I was smiling and ready for anything.

Of course I had many other things I could have been doing but I came away from that sewing machine feeling that I'd looked after myself and given myself the time to enjoy those hours. Sometimes it's not so much about what is produced but the feeling the production gives you. That is the true gift and there will be days when that gift will carry me through a bad day and help me continue this journey of simplicity. And even though some people would look at me there, madly re-listening to Alan singing for George, and taking longer, much longer, than the job needed, sometimes we all need to embrace the mad feelings we have, invest that time and craziness in ourselves and then reap the rewards.

What craziness do you get up to? :- )

22 comments:

  1. I believe that we all need validation, in who we are, what we choose to do, our value system. If you can live and feel validated without the approval of others, then you are miles ahead. If the ordinariness of a particular day affirms your reason for being, then you have reached a milestone. We can all learn that "we are enough"-- we are "good enough", "we do enough" without guilt attached. Wonderful post!

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    1. Well said, my thoughts exactly!

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  2. I love your post today. I don't have many opportunities to click around on youtube looking for new music, but whenever I find a song that I would love to sing, I play it a thousand times, and then bring my laptop to the piano and try to figure it out. I can only do that on moments my little boy is in daycare and I always end up having to rush to pick him up.
    My favorite way of blessing myself lately is cuddle up with a book, in the middle of the day, while I'm ignoring my household for a few moments.

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  3. This weekend I volunteered 5 hours on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake for a charity event, house sat for a friend (horses, goats, dogs, cats, chickens, geese, ducks), watched a bunch of "tiny house" videos on YouTube Friday and Saturday nights, and spent a few minutes of quality time with my horses Saturday. Plan more horse time this afternoon. Barn time is the BEST time. =)

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    1. Hi Kathy
      I have an obsession with tiny houses and even though I have a beautiful home of my own, I dream if building tiny homes. MY favourite show at the moment is Tiny House Nation. What do you like about Tiny Houses?

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  4. "Now I value each moment. I've stopped rushing and I'm just as committed to enjoying what I do as I am about the productivity of my hours. Life's too short for anything else."

    I call this savoring my days. And I do too.

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  5. Hello Rhonda, although I stop in to read your posts, I have not yet commented. But I feel I had to today as your post was just so timely & appropriate. You are SO right ... the true gift is not in what is produced but the feeling the production gives you. Oh how I needed a reminder of that today - thanks so much :-) Your blog is such a special & wonderful place to visit. Happy week to you x x x (Oh & by the way, that apron is just beautiful)

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  6. I smiled. I nodded. I understood. Have a wonderful week Rhonda. You've just set a lovely busily relaxed tone for mine.

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  7. Great post Rhonda....and I feel the same way. I get enjoyment from the little things every day. Hubby had a cold, so we stayed home ( in the caravan) for two days. I took up a pair of his pants, made breakfasts, cooked potato and veggie soup for lunch (nice and warming as it is cold here in Tassie at the moment), roasted a chicken, blogged and just kept him company. Before I knew it the weekend was over ...where it it go...don't know but I enjoyed every minute of it. BTW.... I have apron envy now.... :D

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  8. Ha ha. I love glimpses into obsessions how people work best. I have to 'clean' to the desk to write. If I need to get something written that will require a few hours at the desk, I clean the room, wipe down the desk, tidy books, gather writing implements or laptop, empty the waste paper bin, make a cup of something hot, bring a glass of something cold, select music and then sit down. As long as everything in the line of sight is tidy, it's permission enough to start the writing task. I used to share a studio with a novellist who though this was the best deal ever - because she was very untidy!

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  9. I love your kind of "crazy"! Mine is rearranging the furniture - which never takes long (we actually don't have much furniture) and often ends up back in the same place anyway - ha! But, it does something for me as I sweep out the corners and put things back, and then somehow I feel content and at peace with my housework again.
    -Jaime

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  10. Sounds like a perfect day......simple pleasures and memorable moments. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  11. Lovely post - it's a great reminder for so many of us who at times I'm sure doubt the way we live...Apart from an almost daily walk with the dog after I drop my daughter to school, I could stay at home happily pottering for days - cooking, baking, crocheting, blogging, surfing the internet, reading, gardening and cleaning....I honestly didn't know I could feel such contentment. I do have a rather crazy ritual in the morning with my first coffee - I make it with around half a cup of milk that I heat in the microwave then make it. I top it up with boiling water 3-4 times, savouring every sip...silly really when I could just finish it and make another!! Have a great week, Jan x

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  12. Lovely post, it did make me giggle, because I know that I can be obsessive too! You are always surprising and refreshing.

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  13. I so want to learn to flat foot! My husband and I drive 3 hours to Galax, VA every so often to go to the Rex Music Hall. Every Friday night they have a concert by local musicians that features all the old time mountain music, admission only $5, and the whole front of the auditorium is a dance floor. The locals are all down there flat footing the entire evening and most are over 60. It is so much fun even though we have yet to learn how. I wish you could go! You would enjoy it, too! Being there in person is nothing like watching it online since everyone is dancing and whooping and hollering with the fun! Looks like we need to plan another trip. :)

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  14. Your writing today was a hoot! I go to church with two of Alan Jackson's sisters (very musical also), & in the town where he grew up!! That's good music to work by. Good writing & thanks for sharing such good thoughts with us. This is in Newnan, GA, USA. Thanks. Mary Ann

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  15. I found your blog today via Sue's blog "Our New Life in the Country" and I'm enjoying catching up on all your posts. Apart from random camping trips with the love of my life, when we lie under the stars and giggle like kids, I have lately begun to give myself permission to rest and relax. Sounds crazy but it works for me! With 4 adult children all born close together, it has literally been decades since I could truly rest and relax and I still feel that I am 'on call' all the time .... even though I am not. So, I tell myself that it is OK to sleep and OK to relax ..... thought it was a crazy thing to do at the time but it is working for me.

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  16. PS. Your quiche looks really good ..... would you mind giving the recipe?? thank you.

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  17. Ah, Rhonda. I've just been catching up on quite a few posts on your blog, as I've hardly been online lately. It's the summer holidays here in the UK, and for some reason, things have been more busy than usual! Anyway, it's always lovely to come back and read your words. I find that it really grounds me and always feels like sitting down with a nice hot cup of tea.

    I'm also inspired to get my sewing machine out....!

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  18. "The unnoticed but necessary things"
    I should have read this on Monday, rather than today. I was feeling so low and wrapped up in the repetitive unacknowledged tasks of being a mum & wife and doing my paid jobs. Sometimes I get like that and its hard to get out of the rut. But I love what I do and thanks to a patient loving husband and a couple of kind words from my girls, the world seems like a brighter place. Nothing is different though! Just how I've decided to see it. Maybe I should have seen your post earlier to re-remind me of my worth, and all our worths!
    Thank you for those wise (as always) words.

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  19. "The perfect gift"
    I want to thank you so much for your blog. and this post particular. I have been having a bit of a hard time as of late. and this post reminded me of whats important. Instead of focusing on a picture perfect home, I was reminded to look at perfect moments. The little things that my family, my kids will remember. A happy home and a happy mom. Focus on slowing down. Moment to moment. Task to task.

    I know this all probably sounds incredibly cheesy, but Thank you for reminding me that I can rock the homemaker apron and still have a genuine smile.

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    1. You understood my meaning perfectly, Samantha. We all need reminders occasionally, especially when we're having a hard time. Nothing sounds cheesy to me and I thank you for your kind words. Take care, love. xx

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