Bliss List

“Follow your bliss,”  such a simple piece of advice often doled out to people like me searching for some direction.  How can you follow something if you can’t even find it?  In a rare reflective moment, I’ve decided to try and seek out those small, seemingly inconsequential things in my life that bring me joy.

Maybe not on the top of the list, but certainly one that is currently making me feel cozy and warm (literally) are my new slippers.  It took three attempts, including one online purchase, but I found my feet warming bliss at Target for $16.99.    Fake Ugg Bliss.

Sports make me happy.  Watching or playing it doesn’t matter.  I’ve been a tomboy my entire life.  Whether it’s tennis, golf or Wii bowling, bring it on.  I’m not very good at many of them, but in my book, competing and trying are what make it fun.  Bliss in action.

I’m a certified bibliophile, a lover of books.  I have hundreds of them.  They captivate me.  For small lengths of time, I can be taken to new countries, meet interesting people or learn how to make a souffle.  All of this wrapped up in a tiny colorful package.  Pure bliss just waiting to be read.

I love my IPod Touch.  I feel like I have the world at my fingertips.  Calendar, Contacts, Music, Photos and all the free Apps.  I don’t even mind having to search for free wifi.  I think of it as sort of a game.  In case you are looking for hotspots in Eugene Oregon, Subway on 6th, Steelhead Brewery, My Coffee on 11th, Borders and Barnes & Noble all offer free wireless internet.  Thank you Apple for a small slice of Bliss-pie.

Free stuff.  that statement speaks for itself.  Complimentary Bliss.

Family.  Gotta be at the top of my list.  I hit the lottery jackpot with my children.  Funny, smart, beautiful, articulate human beings.  The joys they’ve brought me are too numerous to share, but watching them find their own bliss has been brilliant.  My brothers, Rick and Bob, are two of the most amusingly smart people I know.  I only wish I lived closer to them so I could laugh and learn at the same time.  Genetic Bliss.

I could write countless paragraphs about things that bring me joy, but I think it’s time for a speed round.  I’m going to type whatever comes into my head that makes me happy.  Here goes:  Chipper, Gracie, chocolate, Boston cream pie, hot showers, massages, hiking, love letters, pizza with anchovies, hugs and kisses, the OSU Beavers, receiving flowers, watching TV with my kids, friends, more friends, forgiveness, facebook, free long distance telephone calls, the Giant Dipper, Pier 39, traveling, the beach, SunRiver, the sun on my face, good memories, restaurants, a really funny joke, a great glass of wine that comes in a bottle with a cool label, making earrings, writing.  Rapid Fire Bliss.

So, there you have it.  My “bliss” list.  Now I’m suppose to follow it.  Somehow, by putting it down in writing, I think I just have.  Bliss Found.

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I’m safe. No really.

Anyone with children knows that “worry” is the glue that binds a parent to their child.  Multiply this times ten if you are a mother. 

 I have three children.  All beautiful, all smart, all talented.  You know, all those glowing adjectives you would expect a mother to use when describing her children.  One of my children, however, tends to be a wee more reckless than the other two.  This would be the oldest.  This would be the boy.  This would be my son, Sean. 

Why does the  firstborn child feel they have to be the leader of the pack, the trailblazer?  When he was young, he was a bit more cautious, not so sure he wanted to join the others diving off the diving board, riding the giant rollercoaster.  And then something happened.  He DID ride that giant rollercoaster, and ever since he believes he can do anything.  Skydiving.  Yes, did that one.  Bungee jumping.  Yup.  Canyoning…sliding over waterfalls where previous dare devils have been killed.  Fortunately, he told me all about these after the fact.  Yes, in some instances, ignorance is bliss.  So when Sean started a blog, quit his secure, 8-5 desk job and moved to Thailand to follow his dream, I wasn’t too surprised.  Was I gonna miss him?  Yes indeedy.  Was I proud?  You betcha.  Was I gonna worry.  Duh, see the opening sentence.  Did I think he would be safe?  Well yes, it’s Thailand.  Paradise.  Not Iraq, not some fascist regime.  I knew there was a little skirmish down there, something about colored shirts, red, yellow.. whatever. 

 Sean assured me he would be safe.  And for the first four months he was.  All the uproar was across town, or so he told me.  Then he was tear-gassed.  I think he thought of this as an adventure, a story to blog about.  He told me repeatedly, “I’m safe Mom, everything is happening in a different part of the city.”  He can be very convincing.  I believed him.  My worry-meter remained in the “no panic” zone.  Then he called me late one night and he had that tone in his voice that signaled he wanted to chat about something.  Apparently, he wrote a blog post titled, “Bangkok, Dangerous.”  He was warning me about what he was about to send out into cyberland for everyone to read.  He thought maybe he should warn his worry wart mother first.  At this point, I’m screaming “Are you SAFE?” “I am now.”  Again.  After the fact.  He then told me the night before, he went to sleep with on-going riots outside his apartment.  With GUNFIRE!  But, not to worry he’s safe now.  Of course he is. 

 Sean! Leave the country!  Do not pass Go!  Do not collect $200!  Claim your “get outta jail free” card and leave the frickin’ country! “I’ll leave if it gets worse.”  Worse?  Worse?  This is where I start to wonder if Sean is my smartest child…  I went to sleep that night, or I should say I tried to go to sleep, with this information swirling around in my head.  It got worse.  His neighborhood was burned to the ground.  Shopping malls burned.  Stock exchange burned. The newspaper, television stations, all flattened.  Red shirts and yellow shirts clashing making blood orange shirts. 

 He called me from the airport when I woke up.  He’s leaving.  Going to Manila.  Thank you God.  The next time I talked with him he was safe in the Philipines, drinking a beer by the marina, staring at the pretty boats.  “I’m so happy you got outta there, Sean, and never have to go back.”  “Oh, I’m going back.  As soon as it settles down, I’m going back…”  Beautiful, talented… and STUBBORN child, whom I love.

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Just wonderin’…Paul Bunyan edition

I live in Oregon.  Tree heaven.  The home of  majestic towering timbers that provide shelter for woodland animals and safe haven for endangered species like the northern spotted owl.  I honestly believe the term “tree huggers” was coined here.  You know, those people who chain themselves to beautiful evergreens hoping to save the green giant from the big bad antagonist of this story, the logging industry.  Very rarely do the tree huggers win.  Logging is just too important to the livelihood of Oregonians.  I’ve come to accept this.  I mean, afterall, trees are a renewable resource. 

 The problem I have is with clear cutting.  It just plain ruins the view.  I’ll be driving along, enjoying a gorgeous Oregon day, staring out my window and then it happens.  Before me, I see an entire side of a mountain where the trees are mowed down and lay like scattered toothpicks on the ground.  Save one.  They leave one lone tree standing tall at the top of the mountain.  Why do they do that?  Was that tree the lucky winner in  the “Save a Tree Today”  lotto?”  Is it some sort of marker for the loggers to find their way back so they can come and pick up their toothpicks?”  Or maybe they think that one lone timber will repopulate the whole side of the mountain by its lonely little self.  Maybe they’re just giving the beavers something to do.

  I don’t know, and I suppose in the “things that really matter in life” category, it’s a non-issue.  But I was just wonderin’…

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In the process of getting ready to sell my house, the stager lady, that’s how I like to refer to her, made me put away all of my family photos, extra unused furniture, delightful little knickknacks and, oh be still my heart, my books.  Okay, to be fair, she’s letting me keep three of my six bookshelves and she’s instructed me on how to stage them properly.  Staging a bookshelf really doesn’t have anything to do with keeping books on it.  It’s more about filling it with plants and said mentioned knickknacks, and maybe just a few books standing upright, or even better, lain on their side, so we have to crane our neck to read the titles.

See the number above?  After weeding through all my books a month ago, and donating or selling over 200, I still own 472 books.  Twenty-nine categories.  Hardcover, softcover, leather-bound, big, little, fiction, non-fiction.  Well, you get the idea, the list goes on.  I was amazed at the compilation of books I’d amassed.

Ninety-seven softcover fiction.  Forty hard bound.  Thirty-six cooking books.  Eighteen tennis books, twelve golf books.  Twenty-four books on massage.  Forty books on energy, visualization and psychicness.  Is that a word?  Spell check apparently thinks not.  Forty? Seriously.  I may not know how to snowboard, only one of those books, but I can sure tell you what you had for breakfast and read your palm.  I have seven logic and gambling books.  Why I paired these together, who knows?  Seems like an oxymoron to me.  Sixteen relationship books.  I want my money back on those.  Oh, and my favorite, I own seventeen blank books, some with pages torn out where I attempted journaling.  Maybe if I’d actually read the one book I own on, “How to write a Journal,”  I wouldn’t have had to rip the pages out.

I have books that me happy,  “I love you, Mom.”  Thanks kids.  Books that make me cry, any of those “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books.  Especially, the dog lover’s soul.  Thanks Poul.  Books that make me laugh, Bill Bryson and my favorite humorist, Erma Bombeck.  Books that tell me what to do, “Take Charge of Your Life NOW.”  Books that help me de-clutter, I obviously haven’t read those, but the stager lady apparently has.

When it’s all said and done, my books are now organized and boxed away, waiting for  their new home, where ever that may be.  And when I finally unpack them, it will be like greeting old friends.  In the mean time, if you want to borrow a book, let’s talk.

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Hello world!

Alrighty then, here goes.  It took me zero time to find my site, thanks Sean, and a full five minutes or so to figure out how to edit the first post, “Hello World!” and I’m still not sure I’m doing it correctly.  I guess we will find out. 

 Observation of the day:  I find it wonderful when I write a long email or essay and I hit the spell check button and it comes up with zero errors.  Wow, think about it.  How often are we ever perfect?  For one gloriously shining moment, I am perfect.  I like to think of it as a little game.  It’s also a good barometer as to how well my brain is working and how much I remember from my childhood spelling bees.  Ever watch the National Spelling Bee?  Those kids are amazing.  Ten to thirteen year olds spelling random gigantic words like, vespertilionid.  Take a guess at what that word means, and no cheating with the dictionary.  Okay cheat.  Personally, I thought it had something to do with little motorcycles… but then, I’d be wrong. 

 Okay, I’m off to mow the lawn, but first, drumroll please… I’m ready to hit spellcheck….  Hmmm.. apparently spellcheck doesn’t know what vespertilionid is either.  I guess that means that “perfect” can be very subjective.

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