At the time of my last 'sweet' post, I mentioned going through one of the boxes of my mom's things and crying when I came across her uneaten Easter candy. In all honesty, I fell into a funk that day that I just couldn't shake... like a perpetual gray cloud was hovering above my head.
Usually those gray clouds only stick around a day. I'm pretty good at focusing on the positive out of habit. I listen mostly to Christian stations in my car (upbeat and positive, nothing depressing or sad ... music is powerful!) and have learned to silence those negative voices in my head before they really get going.
After all, I've spent the last few years stepping forward in faith and dealing with a lot of transition - I wouldn't have survived otherwise. But even though this was a relatively thin gray cloud, it lingered for days.
And then the phrase "stuck in a moment" popped in my head. I realized that's exactly where I was - stuck in a moment that I couldn't get out of.
I dug out a U2 CD and popped it in. The first song that played was "It's a Beautiful Day"... and it was like someone jerked aside the curtains and let sunshine into a room. Yes, it really was a beautiful day, or at least it was going to be. I was determined not to let another one get away without seeing some beauty in it.
I could sense the gray cloud thinning even more.
"Stuck in a Moment" came on a few songs later...
You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment and now you can't get out of it
Don't say that later will be better, now
You're stuck in a moment and you can't get out of it.
By the end of the song, that gray cloud was gone.
I still have a mountain of my parents' things piled in the middle of my living room waiting for me to sort through. I know that gray cloud will drift in again - sometimes I can sense it there on the edge - but it's good to know U2 has my back. And it's good to feel the sunshine with no clouds blocking it. Definitely sweet!
I met up with two dear friends for lunch a couple of days ago in a funky little part of south Austin. While munching on Torchy's Tacos (I recommend the "Crossroads"!), we tried to cram as much conversation and cover as many subjects as possible in the short time we had. The more history you have with someone, the more ground you have to cover in a 'catch-up' session, and we all have a lot of history with each other, spanning decades.
Exactly three weeks ago I was doing the same thing, only on a grander scale and spanning a weekend, in a lake house at Lake Livingston with 16 other women I've known since at least high school, but some since elementary school. We call ourselves the Deer Park Divas, and try to get together at least once a year, but that doesn't always happen. This was the first one in a couple of years and was only possible because two of the women opened up their lake houses to us. And of course, there are many who couldn't make it.
I've hosted a couple and it's a lot of work, so I truly appreciate them putting together this therapy session...
... because when you get together with friends who have known you for decades, you can't help but be yourself. You can pretty much talk about anything without fear of judgement because they know you... the all of you... and because everyone has been through something by now, and survived.
They remind you you will survive whatever it is you're going through at the moment. Or, you'll be able to assure someone else they will survive whatever they are experiencing, because you've been through it.
That's the key.
No matter what it is, we're assured we can survive it, because of our friends. Divorce, cancer, death of a sibling, a husband, a child... and almost all of us have experienced the death of at least one parent. In fact, one friend lost her mother right before the weekend, and another lost her dad two weeks after, both from cancer. She couldn't stay the night because she needed to take him for a treatment early the next morning.
Yet, look... there are smiles on everyone's faces!
I have some tough, awesome, wonderful, amazing friends, don't I? I'm grateful for the history we share.
(This was a magnet I gave my mom years ago. She was the toughest woman I know!)
Another sweet!... air conditioning. Our outside temperature has been in the triple digits for days. Maybe weeks! It's just a blur of heat, sunshine, and sweat!
I can remember when my childhood home had no air conditioning. Instead, there was a huge fan in our attic (hence, we called it "the attic fan") which somehow pulled enough air through the screens of our open windows to keep us cool during those hot, humid summers in Houston.
At least it must have, because I don't remember feeling miserably, vaporously overheated like I did earlier this week when our air conditioner decided to stop working.
I'm grateful for our air-conditioner repairman who, for the third year in a row, has been able to patch up our old system to get us through the rest of summer. We will definitely get a new system this fall. I think our repairman is as relieved as we are!
Those are the three major sweet!s of the past few weeks. Here are a few others ...
Visiting your mom's aides and noticing her rose bush is surviving the hot, dry summer outside the nursing home where she lived.
A friend passing her real estate exam!
A cooler-than-normal morning when your air conditioner breaks
Driving around a funky south Austin neighborhood with one of your forever friends, admiring the eclectic architecture
Sitting on your back porch with your puppy watching the sun splash over your hollow, letting the busy birds entertain you
Receiving wonderful reviews from past clients
A client offering a cool room for the night at their home when your air conditioning is out
Noticing gorgeous sunsets before they disappear
Playing a part in helping a friend in Greece sell their property
Your puppy playing a joke on you by stealing your shoes while you're in the shower
Helping out with a memorial service at your church for the family of a parishioner who passed away
The arrival of your Cheesy Sauce from The Honest Stand, a company that a dear friend's son helped create
Phone calls with your sister, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and dear friends
Reconnecting with a friend from your childhood neighborhood on Facebook
A cardinal nest in a tree right outside your front door
Getting to visit with a sweet friend from high school while showing property to her and her husband
Spending a day showing property to a new out-of-state client
Finding out a "neighbor" was caught stealing electricity through an illegal wire and stopped before he "accidentally" set fire to your neighborhood
Having other neighbors who help keep an eye on your neighborhood
A chance to visit with another dear high school friend while she's in town visiting her sister
Rain, even if it's just lasts a day
A stranger in the grocery store noticing, and taking the time to warn you, that a man is showing a lot of interest in you before he has a chance to steal your purse
Morning walks with your daughter, your puppy, and the neighbor's dogs while the neighbors are away on vacation
Kittens... their playfulness, purring, and sandpaper kisses
A former client referring you to someone he sees buying a For Sale By Owner sign in your local Ace Hardware store.
Finding a blue feather from a Mexican Jay
Celebrating your baby girl's 25th birthday
A hummingbird discovering your hibiscus bud
Publishing an article about your little town
Finally finishing a blog post you've worked on little by little for three days!
If you stuck with this until the end, thank you!!
I hope this coming week overflows with sweet! moments, memories, and music that lifts you up!
"And I am glad to see, that you have also put to flight the gloomy thoughts which used to haunt you. I like to see people cheerful and happy. What is the use of giving way to sadness in this beautiful world?"
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion, A Romance, "The Evening and the Morning Star," 1839