Archive for the ‘sunshine’ Tag

Flat out 

I had hoped to write something substantive and post earlier in the week. It just didn’t happen. I’ve been working flat out and just haven’t been able to pull it together. But I’m not going to let my posting goal fall to a busy schedule. 

Here’s a list of good things from this week. Although they are not terribly original, they made me happy and kept my positivity going:

  1. Sunshine! I wore my sunglasses on my drive to work every day this week and three of my drives home. It’s finally, truly Spring and I’m grateful. 
  2. I’m enjoying my work. I’ve done some really difficult, executive-level lawyering this last couple of weeks. And in the middle of it, both my boss and outside counsel have been very complimentary of my work and the logic of my theories and deductions. It’s extremely gratifying when those you respect and admire show equal respect and admiration for you and your work. 
  3. Very glad to be able to celebrate the good fortunes of a couple of friends. One has recently been able to visit her new girlfriend and visit old friends and home places for the first time in ages. Another has a new puppy. It’s really nice to have good news for once, and pleasant to share the happiness with my friends. 
  4. My sister-in-law received some lovely flowers from her kids for Mother’s Day and has shared them with the family. Irises are some of the most lovely blooms of Spring. 
  5. I have been reading for fun again, for the first time in ages. Just silly, fluff novels. Cozy mysteries, mostly. I particularly enjoy the weird and wonderful Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton. They demand very little mentally, yet are delightfully quirky and engaging. 

There are five good things for this week. I hope your week has been just as full of beauty and blessings. 

Advertisements

Spring!

It’s finally here! There have been three straight days of sunshine and warm breezes. My grass is all green and had it’s first cutting of the season. My pear trees are in bloom and the tulips have begun to open. I’m so happy!

Never destroyed 

Had a tough day today. Work was hard. Lots of demands, little advancement in areas I’d hoped to be resolved soon, and disappointing outcome on a big presentation I’ve been busting my buns over for a long time. Add some personal disappointments and you have a recipe for a rough day. 

But I’m keeping my commitment to positivity, despite it all, with these three good things:

  1. It’s sunny, with song birds and crabapple blossom buds in the trees. There’s even a little warmth from the sunshine!
  2. I got a haircut after work. The place I get it cut washes after the cut (so it’s not itchy after) and gives a massage with the wash. They use a really good tea tree shampoo and pomade that smells really nice. I always feel better after a good haircut. 
  3. This quote helped me put the day in perspective: “Disappointment to the noble soul is is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” ~ Eliza Tabor 

Have a great evening, friends. I hope you are not disappointed, but if you are, I wish you well in your tempering and hope you find balm for the sting. 

First Quarter Check-Up

At the end of last year, I set a goal to post something to this blog at least once a week. At the same time, I’ve been working on a couple other personal goals that I haven’t published yet. Working on myself is something that doesn’t come naturally and I sometimes need to set milestones to keep up the motivation. So I’m borrowing a device I’ve seen it n a couple of other blogs: a self report card. 

Since I set these goals for myself, and the self-improvement I hope to achieve is for myself, I intend to rate myself fairly, but allow myself leeway or the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the close calls. You see, publishing a report card and posting about my human failings is all a means to an end: spurring myself to be a better version of myself each day. And the way I figure it, if the world witnesses my less than optimal performance as a person, I should at least get the benefit of the world as witness to my improvement. Of course, the risk is that they’ll, instead, see me fail at improving. In any event, the value is in the attempt. 
For this report card I’m rating achievement against three goals:

  1. Post something at least once a week 
  2. Do something creative, or at least something that nurtures my spirit 
  3. Strike a better balance between work and my private life 

Although I actually started working on all these things last year, I’m only rating myself from the beginning of the year. Conventional wisdom has it that the most effective goals are bound in time and objectively measurable. By measuring from the beginning of the year, I stop myself from dwelling on things too far in the past, essentially starting from a clean slate. And by focusing on specific actions (even if there isn’t an obvious numeric dimension to be counted), I give myself the best chance of making incremental progress. That should help keep me motivated. 

So here’s my report card for the first quarter of 2018:

Weekly Posting: A

There are one or two close calls, but I’ve essentially posted at least one article a week since the beginning of the year. While there is at least one that’s little more than a place holder to avoid a miss, I’ve been intentional and thoughtful about writing, which are habits I really want to cultivate in myself. This is a win. 

Being Creative/Nurturing the Spirit: A

This one is a double win. I’ve been looking up at the sky and intentionally taking advantage of any sunshine that happens in my vicinity. For example, when I was in San Diego in January, I took at least 10 minutes to sit in the sun every day. It was heaven. And every day that the sky is clear, wherever I am, spending a few minutes to watch the sky, whether to see birds soaring or contemplate interesting cloud formations, I physically feel my spirit lift. 

On top of that, I have completed a short, three-week course in silver sand casting through the local community college. My sister-in-law and I took it together. We had a good time doing something fun together. And we’ve learned the basic techniques that we can use to try it at home. But, honestly, the class wasn’t very successful. The instructor was unprepared and disorganized and there were way too many people in the class. But I did it and have a determination to practice it until I get at least one successful casting. This sparks my creativity and I’m excited to feel that again. 

Work/Life Balance: A

I work hard. My job is often challenging and sometimes requires long hours. And, truth be told, I enjoy the challenge and the recognition when I succeed. But I also know that my job isn’t everything. I’ve felt rather isolated for quite a while, because most of my non-work interactions have been remote, through social media and texts. But I’m working on it. 
Since January I’ve had more in-person social interactions than nearly all of last year. Between separate visits with three friends I first met online, monthly supper club dinners with some art friends, and a few game nights with a couple of friends I met through a continuing legal education seminar a couple years ago, I feel I’ve done pretty well with in-person socializing. And I’ve even had some really pleasant conversations with some new acquaintances entirely unrelated to any of my other social circles. All without puking or becoming completely withdrawn for days on end. I count this as a big success. 

So I’ve got straight A’s for the first quarter. Look at me, hitting the honor roll 30+ years after graduating from high school. That’s awesome.  

I can do better. Actually going out with someone for a purely social occasion, for instance. I can also try to deepen the substance and thoughtfulness of my blog posts. And following up with practice on the silver casting class is a must. We’ll see how I do next quarter. 

I hope you all are finding satisfaction in your own personal growth. Keep at it, my friends. 

It’s All Good 

This weekly posting goal is more of a challenge than it really should be, some days. I get so caught up in the bustle of every day life that writing about it doesn’t seem to even make the to-do list. Crazy how fast life seems to move. One day you’re busting your hump to get to vacation and before you know it, vacation is over and you’re back to the grind. Days slip by so fast when you have your head down jobbin’.  Almost so fast that you don’t realize how much energy you’re spending on the parts of your life that shouldn’t matter that much and how little time you’re spending actually living. 

But, it’s all good. It’s all about personal growth and moving forward. I’m still working on it, especially that posting goal. So, to that end, here’s a list of a few good, even great, things in my life lately. 

  1. I had an epically awesome time with a good friend last week. Getting away is always a refresher, but getting away to do nothing but enjoy the company of friends, relax and breathe is the best thing ever. Bookstores and libraries and board games and amazing meals and great company – what better way to spend theee days off?
  2. While I was visiting my friend, I was blessed to experience a community where Butch visibility was everywhere and welcomed. That is extremely rare in my life. You don’t know how much impact visibility has until you realize how absent it is in your daily life. Said another way, it is astounding how meaningful it can be to have your identity and presentation validated by seeing yourself represented in the every day public. Walking down the street or into a public space and seeing yourself in others, not compromised or edited, but exactly as you are on the faces and in the forms/bodies of total strangers, is profoundly moving. 
  3. Prosciutto mozzarella pesto sandwiches are my new obsession. They are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. 😉
  4. I got my performance evaluation today and my boss rated me higher than I rated myself overall and in 4 out of 5 core competencies. He said I set the standard for my role and for a senior leader for our company. He said my leadership has a material impact on my company’s success. So, basically… I’m AWESOME! 
  5. It’s almost Spring and there has been sunshine for at least part of every day this week. Sunshine lifts my spirits and turns my eyes to the sky to appreciate the heavens. This was the sunrise this morning as I arrived at my office:

I hope you are having a great week and take a moment to appreciate the number of great and good things in your life. Keep smiling, my friends!

Ultra-quick Positives

3 good things:

  1. Yesterday, there was sunshine and it got above 50F for the first time in months. I left my office early enough to enjoy the last rays. It was so warm walking to my truck that I took my coat off and enjoyed the warm for a few minutes. 
  2. I got to see The Black Panther movie. It’s awesome!
  3. Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m taking the day off. Going to get my hairs cut and hang out at the bookstore and go out for dinner to this really cool place in the hip part of town. Just gonna chill and enjoy the day. 

I hope you find some good things to feel happy about this week. 

IRL Friends Rock

I may have indicated in prior posts that I don’t have a lot of friends in my daily life (“in real life” or IRL). Tons of friends online (whom I’ve sadly neglected since quitting social media after the Dark Day In November better known as the US Presidential Election of 2016), but only a scarce few whom I see day to day. So IRL encounters with my (mostly) online friends are rare and special. 

Last week, while traveling on business, I was lucky to get to spend time with a couple who have been wonderful friends to me, especially in their support during my coming out. Not only did we have a great meal at a cool place in the community, supporting an LGBT local business, but the sheer delight in seeing their smiling faces, hearing their news and sharing real experiences together was truly enriching. 
Then, later in the week, they graciously welcomed me into their home to be a part of a fun cultural experience. It was Robert Burns Night and I was privileged to partake in my friends’ first Burns Night supper hosted in their new home. Yes folks, I ate “haggis, neeps, and tatties” and enjoyed it very much. I also listened to two Burns poems recited in an authentic Scottish brogue by a genuine Scotswoman, geeking out appropriately. The food was delicious. The company was outstanding in their gracious hospitality and festive spirit. The experience was a once-in-a-lifetime joy that will bolster my spirits through the rest of this dreary, cold winter. 

In a setting as lovely as Southern California in January, and with the kindness of friends with whom to share part of the week, I could not fail to have thoroughly enjoyed my trip. In addition to these festivities, I found time every day to sit outside and soak up a little sunshine, storing it away for those grey, chilly winter days to come. The sunshine and friend-time made an otherwise tedious business trip, filled with demanding sales people, bearable. 

Here’s to IRL friends and stolen moments in the sunshine!

Positivity Quickie

Here’s a quick post of positivity to keep my commitment to myself on more frequent posting. 

Since my last update, reporting a little progress after a bad beat on the job, I and my team have been drinking from the firehose. Not only as a little bit of of overcompensating for the perception of failure (even though my team had zero to do with the decision that left us all so stunned), but it’s once again quarter-end and the workload is super high. That’s left me with little time or energy to post or do much of anything. 

But there are some good things to focus on:

  1. It’s summer time and that means a little more sunshine and breezes. It’s been unusually mild the last week or so and I’m enjoying not melting in the blazing heat when walking to and from my car and the rare lunch break on the patio. 
  2. The hard work I and my team are putting in is being recognized. It’s not much, but it’s nice when the execs and sales leaders take a second to say “Thanks for all the help, you guys rock!” Just today, I got a bit of an ego boost when my boss spontaneously came into my office while I was finishing a call with our President of Global Sales. He was just  in time to hear her thank me and compliment my team’s great work and my “wise counsel”. 
  3. There is a 4-day weekend at the end of this very busy, very frustrating, too-long week. I’m really looking forward to it. 

I hope you’re able to see and celebrate the little positives in your life today. 😎🙏☀️

Better 

It has been gloomy, hot and humid ever since Friday’s Dark Day. Hot, yucky weekend followed by humid overcast early week. In fact, it stormed all night and well into this morning. Buckets of rain and growling thunder made for a tense night of restless sleep. 

Yet, it’s getting better. The storm clouds have passed and the sun is shining. A robin has been visiting the ledge outside my office window, serenading me for the last hour or so. There’s a light breeze waving the bright green trees adorning the lawns surrounding my office building and fluttering the flag at the entrance to the campus. 

Seems like the physical changes might be reflecting, or even driving, the mood shift around here. What seemed so dire and intense on Friday has largely eased into a determination to overcome. A few words from the C-Suite, a pep-talk of sorts, has set a better tone and a challenge to win despite taking an unfair licking. That’s a welcome change and a goal I can get behind. 

I hope your week is looking positive and you find something good to appreciate even when there’s gloom. 

Just Under the Wire

Whew…just made it. My goal was to post something at least once a week for the rest of the year. This third post since setting that goal just barely makes it. 

I’ve nothing profound to say. It’s Saturday, but feels like Sunday. Got that little edge of tension that comes with thinking tomorrow is Monday and all the stress that will bring. Trying to ignore it and relax. 

Here are a few good things to help me with that and hopefully inspire you to find the little bright spots in your corner of the world:

  1. Yesterday was the first day of sunshine we’ve had in more than two weeks. I enjoyed it by sitting under one of the pear trees in my front yard before sunset. Birdsong, sunshine, warm and breezy…a few perfect minutes at the end of the day. 
  2. Speaking of…my pear trees are about to bloom. That is one of my most favorite events of the year. Nothing smells nicer than pear blossoms in cool, Spring morning air. 
  3. I went to a movie at a new theater a couple weeks ago. They have a Star Wars theme in their lobby. I sat in the Emporer’s chair! Silly little things make me happy. Check out the pics below. 

%d bloggers like this: