When life is extraordinarily busy, there’s nothing more pleasurable than having a day unfold without an alarm, without a rush out the door and some time to tidy up the house – to be able to just sit and relax a while. Somehow, even if there’s a few things that must be done and a place or two later in the day that has to be gone to, starting a day like this is pretty remarkable.
Today has been such a day. After a few very hot nights, where I slept in the coolness of my living room and its all-encompassing ceiling fan, I returned to my bed last night. I awoke with one little dog beside me and another gingerly standing beside my bed after being taken out by my son, wondering if he too could climb aboard. He could, and he settled in next to me, quite happy to be included. Mr. Fitzgerald, one of our cats, sat in my open window, keeping a vigilant watch over the backyard. Birds were chirping and the sun was out – and best yet, I could doze off for a while longer (or at least until I uncovered a fresh tick on my dog’s ear and thought, “Yeah…maybe it is time to get up” – and so I did).
After browsing through some email and peeking in on Facebook, where I viewed some pretty amazing pancakes that a friend had posted, I decided it would be nice to have pancakes as well. Although I’ve always been a breakfast-before-leaving-for-work sort of gal, in more recent months, I’ve been sleeping later, bringing something to toast or picking up something at work. Breakfast at home is a bit of a treat these days, and particularly one that I put any effort into at all, other than making a smoothie.
So pancakes it was, and hash browns and sausages – on the deck no less, in the sunshine with a cool breeze and the latest copy of Vogue, which arrived in the mail days ago with absolutely no time for me to do more than simply peel off the plastic wrapper. It sat in my kitchen almost saying, “Perhaps you’ll have some time to leisurely read a feature or two soon.” And I did.
As I sat on my back deck, I looked at the trees, blowing gently in the cool breeze and surveyed the house and yard. So often, I look around at this place I’ve lived in now for 30 years, the home I thought would be the starter house so many years ago, and I focus on the upkeep, the work that needs to be done and how daunting it often seems. Instead, I felt such appreciation for the trees, for the property itself and once again reminded myself that this was mine. While it’s not grand or in fabulous shape, it is mine and I can remember nearly 20 years ago now when I wondered if this would be something I could handle on my own financially – and continue raising my family solo and attend to everyone’s needs.
We don’t often take the time to appreciate our accomplishments. I tend to focus on where I’m going and what I want to achieve. I’m not big on taking credit or wanting the spotlight and like so many of us, I am hard on myself for my shortcomings and not always appreciating me. I seem to have great appreciation for what I have and for everyone around me, but me…well, I’m often not enough for myself.
So this morning, as I sat eating breakfast, reading a magazine, relaxing in the gentle breeze – grateful that both dogs were surprisingly quiet out in the yard – I took stock and gave myself a moment; a moment of appreciation for all the years that have taken me to this day. I have worked incredibly hard to get to this place and I appreciate what I have been able to achieve.
And breakfast was delicious, too.