TToT – Bright Sides and Fresh Starts

Categories Family, Home, Life, Love, Self, Words

Today has not started off very well.

All manner of things have gone other than my ideal plan, right up to and including the part where I just moments ago spilled coffee on myself and my desk. So now I need a clean shirt already and it’s not even lunchtime yet. But on the bright side, I didn’t spill that much of the coffee, so my intake for the day will not be threatened. And I probably would’ve needed a new shirt by lunchtime anyway, so…silver linings, you know?

But seriously, while my day (OK week…month…year) hasn’t necessarily started the way I hoped or planned, there is always opportunity for a fresh start. Some people wait for the new year; I say why not take any opportunity that arises and make it a chance to start over? Pick a month or a week to begin a new project or adopt healthier eating habits or re-commit to daily exercise or reading. Tomorrow is always a new day, a chance to start over. Or hey, if you need to adjust right now, there are 24 hours in a day – make the next time you hear the clock strike the hour the time you choose to start anew.

The beauty of life is its cycles, the certainty that the sun will rise, spring will come, and life will begin again. And with each opportunity to make a fresh start, we also have the opportunity to be thankful for the blessings we have. And that is precisely what I’m doing right now – taking a do-over on this morning and using this first Monday of April to march my life forward.

I am thankful that I finally finished the library book I have been ploooooddding my way through for the last few weeks – Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. It was excruciating. I’m going to say my feelings are a distinct love/hate with this book, but that’s a discussion for another day, perhaps another post. Anyway, I’m glad to have marked it “read” on my Goodreads profile and I’m certain the librarian (and the person after me who has the book on hold) will be thankful that I’ve finally returned it.

And on that note, I’m thankful that I won a little prize package from the library a few weeks ago that included a code for some fine forgiveness. I’m going to need it.

I can’t say I’m happy to have a large pharmacy bill looming today, but I’m thankful that the vet can prescribe meds for our Cat One to keep him active and healthy. And Cat One is thankful that it tastes like chicken. No, really. That’s why it costs a fortune – we have to get it compounded and flavored like chicken so he’ll take the stupid stuff. High maintenance cat. Let’s just say he’s lucky he’s cute.

I am thankful that the weather is starting to behave more like spring than winter. After several days of rain last week and several in the forecast for this week, I think it’s safe to say that our spring weather will be of the “April showers” variety, but at least it’s rain and not snow. And it’s warmer, not rain and upper 30-degree temps. Warm-ish spring rain? I’m in. But I’ll take the bits of sunshine in between, too. Warmer weather and longer hours of daylight mean we can take our evening walks again and get to see beautiful skies holding on to the last echoes of daylight. Dusk is my favorite time of day and no wonder.

I am so VERY thankful for the schedule change in our house that started last week. Zilla passed her test for her brown belt a little while ago and last week she moved to her new class time. It’s significantly later and lines up with the time she already take swimming on a different day, so our schedule has fallen into place nicely and will work so much better for all of us. Dinner will be quite a bit earlier than we’ve been used to, but that’s going to be better for all of us for so many reasons. Bedtime will be a challenge for our future black belt with the later karate class time, but so far she’s doing a great job of adjusting and getting to bed on time. Not that the process is without its bumps and oddities…but I can’t even get into that here and now. Another day, another post perhaps.

I am thankful every day for my Husband. I meant to include something in particular a week or two ago and it just somehow did not make it to the post page. A couple of weekends ago, Zilla fell asleep in our bed while watching TV with me. The Hub came up much later after doing some school work or movie-watching or both, saw her sleeping peacefully and didn’t want to roust her to move her to her own bedroom. So he slept in the living room for most of the night until I discovered him there in the wee hours of the almost-morning. That’s the kind of thing he does, though, without giving it a second thought. When I say he’s the nicest guy on the planet and the best dad ever, I’m not kidding. And I am always thankful that he is the calm to my chaos in all things.

I’m thankful for learning. Right now I am taking an online course through my public library and it is awesome. Even better? It’s completely free as a benefit of my library card holder privileges. I know, right? I am also working on two other online-ish courses that I started and re-started in the last week or two. So yes, all of a sudden I am engaged in three different learning scenarios. At the same time. No, I didn’t really think that through clearly. But I’m OK – it’s all working out fine so far and I’m really enjoying it. Plus, it is all going to help me move forward with some professional and personal goals, so it’s perfect. Oh and we may as well throw in one more…I committed to Camp NaNoWriMo this month, so I’ll be working on some writing projects for the next month at what I hope will be an intense pace. Needless to say, I’m going to be a little busy. I hope to have lots to report by the end of the month.

I am thankful that even in those times when the budget is tight, we have enough. And here’s a great bright side – those lean budget weeks are a great opportunity to clean out the tiny remainders of food that gets forgotten. Things like the half-cup of black rice you forgot about after a recipe or the jar of artichoke pesto someone gave you in a gift basket or the half package of red beet ravioli in the freezer. It’s an opportunity to discover new budget-friendly meals. It’s also a great time to actually clean the refrigerator (not everyone does that). Seriously, though, I am painfully aware that even our tight times are far more abundant than some people live on every day.

I am thankful for opportunity. And I am thankful for hints and signs that the things we are doing individually and as a family to move our lives forward are exactly right and that this is exactly the right time.

I am thankful that the coffee pot is still hot because I’m going to need another cup to get through my list today. Fresh cup. Fresh hour in six minutes. Fresh start.

Let’s do this.


Join us each week for the Ten Things of Thankful hop – the link-up is open though Tuesday evening so there’s still plenty of time.
Click on the link in the image below to find this week’s posts. 

Ten Things of Thankful

Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

18 thoughts on “TToT – Bright Sides and Fresh Starts

  1. The theme of your post really appeals to me this morning. Especially after I looked at my husband yesterday in a moment of exasperation (with him, with the kids, with myself) and said, “Is this really how you pictured things would be?” Perhaps, it’s time to turn that frustration into a fresh start. Your photo of the dusk sky is beautiful. Hope you get lots of glimpses of the sky and sun between all that rain (we have all the rain as well). Just trying to hang on for those May flowers. Hope you have a great week!

    1. Oh, I’m so glad this spoke to you! Yeah, it’s easy to get bogged down in frustration – I know I do it. And when I hear myself saying or thinking along those lines I know I have to find a different way to see things.
      That sky was so cool – it was a beautiful glow reflecting off the clouds.
      Have a great week, too!

  2. Aw just love this Lisa! Fresh start anytime, any day- I say. Good Lord, I need them any chance I can get.

    Sorry about CAT #1 being so high maintenance, and yay for new class schedule at night for Zilla and SO AWESOME she is doing so well…. I see a black belt in her future! 🙂

    Here’s to more coffee, and more fresh starts, my friend!

    PS: I want to hear more about that book, and those courses you are taking!

    1. Me, too, Chris. Me, too! I’ll take any chance I get. 😀
      I’ll definitely share more AND I’m hoping to have reviews out for YOUR book very soon. Still catching up from being sick all winter. How appropriate, right?

  3. Great list, Lisa! Is Edgar the sick Rotten? Poor Fletcher has lost 6 pounds in the past few months. He turned 14 on April 1. He is an old, old man.
    I keep my pantry shelves stocked with canned goods, so in lean times, I can easily make some kind of soup or pasta dish. My inventory goes down in the summer when I’m not working.
    Congratulations to Zilla for the brown belt!

    1. Oh, yeah, and while I’ve never been a huge Monty Python fan, I’ve always LOVED “Bright Side of Life” and sing it with gusto when it comes on my Showtune channel on Pandora!

      1. Honestly, my interest in Monthy Python pretty much stops at Monty Python and the Holy Grail and that is mostly because I love all things King Arthur. But I have always liked that song, particularly the version in the movie As Good as it Gets. And apparently Art Garfunkel did it, too. That one sounds…well, Art Garfunkel-y. 😀

    2. Thanks, Dyanne! <3
      Edgar is the sick Rotten, but it's not so much that he's sick as much as that he's getting older (they're 11 now) and his digestive system is let's say sluggish. He gets terribly constipated (I know, cat TMI) and in order to prevent that, he needs this chicken flavored laxative thing. It works. I'm happy to report that when his system is working nicely, the poop goes in the box. If it shows up on the floor, he's not feeling OK. It's bizarre, but the vet explained in great detail why the outside-the-box thing happens. But no one wants to read all about it, I'm sure. 😀
      We are definitely making use of the freezer and canned good right now - had to buy tired, UGH. Last night we had a great veggie stir fry - hard to believe it was a meal made of leftover vegetables and rice. So good. Tonight it's spaghetti with frozen sauce. We've recently discovered a really delicious brothy beans meal - a new favorite. Rustic, hearty, and so freaking cheap.

  4. Still love the online course idea and need to get to my library’s site to check it out. So far I’ve only been over there to renew books. lol
    So glad, GLAD spring is here. 🙂 I just crave the warm sunshine and birds and sunny skies (and rain) and getting outside more. Winter affords me none of that and well, I find it all too easy to despair. Haha (not really).
    But it sounds like things are on the up and up and I love it that you’re going for it with this writing thing. YASSS!! 🙂

    1. Your library needs to get with the program and let you renew your books online! So easy. No judgment. 😀
      Well, we have spring here now. So that means we’ve gone from “holy crap it’s cold when is it ever going to be warm” to “holy crap how is it this warm and muggy already” overnight. Oh, and rain.
      In general, I think we’re on the up and up (fingers crossed, praying hard, hoping like crazy, and all the things) and speaking of writing, I should probably get to that… Talk soon!

  5. It’s true we get a fresh start every morning and again in the afternoon and then if needed at night. If I didn’t believe this I would just stay in bed. I read Cold Mountain and liked it but I liked the movie better which is not usually the case. I think the music in the movie is what made it a good movie.

    1. I pretty much hated Cold Mountain all the way through it, but not enough to quit reading. By the end, though, I found myself closing the book after the last page and thinking “wow.” So now I kind of want to go back and read it again. I do want to check out the movie so I’ll probably grab that from the library later today.

  6. A great list, Lisa. I have ‘Always look on the bright side’…da-dum da-dum da-da-da-da-da-dum playing cats-choir-like on my lips after reading your brights. Can only be a good thing, right? 😉
    I like your restart idea, though, some days (in my case) every-15 sounds like a plan o_O
    I sympathize with the vets bill (and with the cat, obviously). Our pouch has an issue with her anal glands. There’s only one thing worse than smelly-scooted-leaky-anal-glands… the bill for unblocking them!
    Keep smiling hun, I know you will 🙂

  7. What a wonderful way to end my reading of all the posts of TToT this week! You got me up and swaying to the music with that song! I’d not heard that in years. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to have been there at that performance! I’ve seen the outside of the building, but not the inside. Wow! Three online classes. That will keep you busy. Taking evening walks with the beautiful skies are nice ways to end the day.

    1. Thank you, Pat. It is a great song and I’m sure that performance was terrific!
      Yes, my classes (and everything else) are keeping me busy. The walks are the perfect slow-down after a long day, too, so I’m glad the weather is such that we can get back to them again.

  8. “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it… Yet.”

    –Lucy Maud Montgomery

    Wow, I posted this over on your other post. Do’t know how that happened. I should be sleeping, but insomnia strikes again.

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