There is much information to be gained by reading an instruction manual. Close reading often requires rereading. I gather an enormous amount of satisfaction from making something myself. I will make time for what matters to me. I can coach myself. Being willing to talk to myself is a strength. Impending impatience can, in fact, be averted. First efforts inform second efforts. I love choosing my own materials. Following a pattern once helps me adapt it to my own personal needs next time. Any progress at all – however small – is almost as fulfilling as finishing. I learn best by doing. And often, redoing. I am – currently – unafraid of mistake making. Creation inspires more creation. I still have dreams and hopes and learning yet to come.
I’m hopeful you’ll find my resource helpful:
Along with many other enjoyable projects, the pattern for this reusable bowl cover can be found in the lovely book – Simply Living Well – by Julia Watkins. You’ll find Julia’s website of the same name here. Julia can be found on Instagram @simply.living.well
Do you ever find yourself – feel yourself – transforming before your eyes?
(And by yourself – of course – I mean myself.)
Perhaps it’s a slow recognition. Or a sudden realization. What used to matter, doesn’t. New things – new ideas – do. Or maybe it’s a chance encounter with a new version of you. Maybe after many long years of becoming – you finally do – become, that is. An evolution of all the yous you used to know, used to be, or used to define yourself as. All together, all of you, gathering in one room.
Maybe suddenly you understand how (and why) to walk into today with exactly the person you are right now at this morning’s moment. Open to and energized for whatever you need, want, wish, dream, feel, hope, imagine, and choose. Maybe today’s the day you remember what’s good for you and proceed gently, lovingly, respectfully.
Or it could be the new knowledge that today’s steps, however small they may be, will lead to tomorrow’s and whatever’s next. That life is about building – and sometimes tearing down and starting over – but mostly building on all of the people you’ve been.
Or maybe you just got a good night’s sleep and you feel simply more capable in your own skin.
In a winter garden, I plan next season’s plantings. Reflecting carefully, of course, on last year’s harvest.
Now is the time for imagining the ideal. The time for optimistic enthusiasm before the rolling up of sleeves and the dirt of hard work and effort and hope collects under my fingernails. A season of dormancy. A renewal of strength, purpose, and spirit.
In this season of life and living, I’ll determine what’s important to plant. Which fields in my life to let lie fallow in rest. There’s preparation to be done. Research. Trust. Faith in the future. A belief in the cycles and pace of my own nature. Knowing the truth that all is as it should be: living in the cold, wind, and darkness of winter as necessary precursors to light, warmth, and germination.
I winnow through expectations, weeding out what I’ve got to let go. Sow starter seeds, watchful for what takes root. Which seeds prosper? Which seeds – promising as they may be – were never really meant for my own little patch of soil? Some seeds, I know, only sprout after repose.
How will I nourish myself? Gather strength? Coax growth?
In a winter garden, I reap what’s happiest in today, hopeful tomorrow’s garden will grow in it’s time.
make time . . . look for the light . . . appreciate shadows . . . find beauty in the ordinary . . . take one thing away . . . experiment and learn . . . change the lens . . . try again . . . focus on what’s right in front of me . . . move for a new point of view . . . think through problems . . . simplify . . . make adjustments . . . trust my eye . . . work is pleasure . . . it’s okay to make a mess . . . to create is to hope
Oh, when finally I feel better, the promises I’ll keep. The good will I’ll spread and gratitude I’ll share.
I’ll remember how I feel about most things. I’ll know how to string several words together to express a coherent thought. I’ll read fluently, keeping track of plot or ingredients or news. I’ll remember decisions I made when I was was well, when I was able to think clearly, when what was on my mind and in my heart was more dominant in conversations than my symptoms.
When finally I feel well, I’ll buy balloons for no other reason than balloons make it a party. l’ll revel in good health and confetti the floor, toot-tooting the New Year – no matter how many days late I am for the celebration. Big, red balloons. Full. Luscious. Bright. Happy. Healthy. Whole.
When finally I feel fine, the big, beautiful breaths I’ll breathe … fully and with utter appreciation. I’ll fold up my fatigue like a quilt at the end of my bed, ready – as it should be – for the very end of my day, not throughout it. I’ll taste. Smell. Smile.
Oh, the walks I’ll take, the hope I’ll feel, the life I’ll live.
What will I do with it? What attitudes and expectations will I bring to it? What goals, dreams, or ambitions do I have for it?
Or, shall I simply live it?
Come what may.
Life’s complexities are often of my own making – or perhaps my own participation. It’s likely, life’s simplicities can be mine as well.
Here in this day, may I be mindful of simple living. The choice of simple living.
What does this simple living look like? How will I know when I’m living it?
Maybe it’s in the noticing and then the appreciation.
Appreciating the burst of black crows against a blue sky. The prayer of a pair of leaves roadside. The ability to hoist my own socks after a debilitating few weeks of back pain. The first few flakes of snow adrift on a breezy afternoon.
A year’s worth of accumulated hope.
So is simple living walking one step at a time on the day’s path? Expecting nothing but noting everything? Delighting in each minute’s arrival and feeling grateful as it departs? In the moment, of the moment, and most especially . . . author of the moment.
How grand to watch the sun travel across the sky, taking great pleasure in the simplicity of being here to see it.
How glorious to greet the first star as night falls, grateful for living today and wishing on that star for a simple tomorrow.