Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Think Back Tuesday -- What Makes You Smile?

Yes, it's that time again. It has snowed a little, again. Another week is underway and it is oh, so long until the weekend.

But it's Think Back Tuesday.

I started out struggling through my undertaking. Three things came easily and I challenged myself. "Think of at least seven. You need seven things that you didn't expect to make you smile that did."

By the time I pushed myself to six, they were rolling out and I think the list could have gone on and on.

1. Making it to PiYo and Zumba last Monday after I had resigned myself to not getting to go when someone drove through the front of the store where my son-in-law is manager. Going to class means I have to be able to take the girls home, and it looked like he was going to be stuck at work so that wasn't an option, but things worked out.

2. Going to the grocery store with E2 to pick out a pizza for dinner Thursday night after gymnastics. While we had fallen into the Little Cesar's habit/trap, there's been some kind of problem at our local option. They may be hot, but they aren't ready and the previous week the three of us agreed that we would not sit in line for 45 minutes for a pizza any more. Get help, get an oven fixed, whatever. The joy was E2's delight in being the one to pick a pizza and choosing which one looked the most delicious to her (plus not sitting in that infernal line).

3. A new song from the Newsboys that I heard while grooming dogs Saturday. I don't normally get to spend a lot of time with a radio, so I had not heard "We Believe." I was singing along with the chorus before the song ended and went to Amazon to buy and download it yesterday so I could hear it again.

4. Watching the rescue bulldog Pedro play with the teenager who helps me out around the kennel twice a week. Pedro came with so many issues to overcome after a life of neglect that there were times even after he was in rescue care that they considered having him euthanized. He had been labeled dog and food aggressive, had never bonded with a human and actually bit me over food a short time into his stay. But we've worked on his issues and while he still doesn't like other males if he is off leash, he is the most absolutely fun dog to have around and watching him come barreling in with happy eyes and a wagging tail makes a lot of my work seem worthwhile. I'm his first love, but I think he'll be able to love again.

5. Our two-week delayed Valentine's Dinner at church, where we sat with people we didn't really know well. If you're thinking stuffy meal, you don't know my church or my pastor and his wife. The meal was great and my husband managed without me needing to cut his meat after breaking his arm at work last Tuesday (not joy). After the meal a round of the Newlywed Game and a balloon dance had us laughing and getting to know one another a lot better.

6. Meeting another mom who's followed my journey because of this blog. On Saturday, I cried with a mom whose son is an addict and who fears this path I'm on. Yes, we met through Facebook and this blog because we are grieving, if not the actual loss of our sons then the loss of who he could have been. We shared stories that we wouldn't talk about with a mother not on this journey and we cried a little together, which is better than crying alone. Reaching out to her and others makes me feel like I can do something despite the pain and a purpose that brings a flash of joy.

7. Eight eggs a day for three days in a row from my backyard hens. It's not so much the eggs, although they are welcome, as it is the sign that spring may be more than a skunky smell in the air. Hens are notorious for not laying in cold/dark weather, so increased production means they feel something I'm wishing for.

8. A surprise birthday party for one of my "doggy moms". When I opened my kennel, a little six-month old ball of fur named Chipper was my first guest. Now it's been years and I count Chipper's "mom and dad," and a lot of my doggy "parents" as real friends. When Ethan died, Chipper's parents were one of my doggy families who showed up for the service. On Saturday, her family had planned a surprise 65th birthday and I had been invited by a daughter. Despite what shaped up to be a hectic day, I went and had a really good time. It was so nice to celebrate with her and her family and friends.

9. Hosting a "dinner party." Seriously, I don't entertain. It's like no one but family or occasionally another couple (very rarely) comes to my house. It used to be my kitchen/dining area, which I hated, but I remodeled it (mostly myself) last spring. Saturday two other couples from our church came over (there were potentially more people, but they didn't make it). I went from worried over getting the house clean to just relaxing and having a good time with food and friends for several hours.

10. My husband having to ask me to make him a sandwich to pack for lunch. I do not have a husband who is needy. He does his own laundry, packs his lunch each night for work, makes his own breakfast and fixes our morning coffee. No, he doesn't clean or cook and you cannot trade. After he broke his arm, which was not a good thing, he was so sheepish about asking me to fix a sandwich for his lunch the next day. He hated being helpless in any way, and he might could have struggled through opening the mayonnaise jar, which I think was the big barrier, but he asked me and I was glad to be able to help. By the next night in a real cast with more finger mobility, he was back to taking care of himself, also something to enjoy.

Your turn: What brought you unexpected joy last week? Like me, you may be surprised at what all you find.

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