Stephanie Ciccarelli wrote a blog recently over at Vox Daily about post session rewards. She reminded us of the little things we need to do every day to treat ourselves- thus leading to a much more rewarding life.
This morning I was thinking about Stephanie's post, as I believe strongly in the need to take a piece out of my day to not worry about work or family. I believe this makes me a healthier and stronger person all around.
You see, I have a ritual every morning. I wake up...check e-mail...have a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea...and then go outside to water the gardens and clean out the bird bath. I do this nearly every morning of my life that it's warm enough and not raining. I've always considered this my 'stress-free' treat to myself- a way to kick off my morning with something I love that is also productive.
This morning however, I added a step that made an enormous difference in my outlook on this day. It started when I made a cup of coffee...this is something I only do on days I know I won't be recording in the first half of the day. The cream gets stuck in my throat- so I usually stick to tea. Alas, this morning I got coffee- yay! I went outside, watered the gardens, and fed and watered the birds. Then I stopped.
I walked down to the stone bench my husband put on the furthest edge of our property and sat. My dog curled up under the bench in the shade and fell asleep. I just sat there for about 20 minutes listening to the beautiful calls of the mockingbirds and finches. I watched the grackles play in the bath, the doves peck around at the food. I listened to the bees buzzing around the freshly planted blackberry bushes. They were oblivious to me, and I simply relished them. It wasn't long before the tears came to my eyes.
It occurred to me this morning that I have exactly what I had hoped to have 6 months ago when I left my radio job. I have peaceful mornings spent in the gardens. I have a studio upstairs where I am able to do the work I love. I have a great husband and a healthy family. There is no other place on earth I would have wanted to spend my morning.
So, I've made a promise to myself to take those precious few minutes each morning that I can to walk down to the bench and be thankful. Even on days when the outlook might not be as bright- that will be my place to stop and appreciate everything good and right in the world. I will hope that each day the flowers and trees grow bigger, my spirit will as well.