Relishing Life

Focusing on the Blessings in My Life

Happiness March 7, 2009

Filed under: family,habits,Homemaking,marriage,musing,nature,raising children — Relishing Life @ 12:02 am

What is your definition of happiness?

When you have more than enough money to fulfill your needs?
When your soul mate smiles at you?
When your child tells you that he loves you?
When an friend calls to just to say “hi?”
When your pet cuddles with you?
When you are traveling?
When you curled up with a good book?
When you receive a hand-written letter in the mail?
When the traffic was light on the way to work?
When you nailed the presentation?

There are so many aspects of life which we can base our happiness upon. Yet, it is a choice as to what we allow to affect our moods. We all have things go wrong during our day:

We just can’t get up when the alarm buzzes the first time putting us behind for the ENTIRE DAY…
Traffic was horrid making us irritable…
The boss picks the other guy for the special project…
The kids make a mess and are fussing about everything…
Our spouse had a bad day and all household tasks are left for us to handle…
The cat threw up on the carpet AGAIN…

The list goes on and on. But are these really reasons not to be happy? Yes, they put a damper on that moment, but happiness is a state of mind. One which we have control over. We can choose to let these things bring us down for the rest of the day OR we can focus on the blessings of the situation or other blessings in our life.

Many – okay, most – of my days are rout with minor irritants that dampen my mood:

The kids don’t want to get dressed…
Now, they want to get dressed, but refuse to actually put the cloths on their bodies or let me do so…
The boys are arguing over a toy…
The house is a mess…
The ability to put DH’s dirty cloths in the hamper has eluded him – although our 2 year old and 4 year old do so without prompting…
The cat has thrown up on the carpet AGAIN…
It is five o’clock and I still haven’t even considered what to make for supper…
DH is irritable after a long day of work and traffic…
Did I mention that the cat has thrown up yet again???

But, these things are only minor nuisances. They might cause me a bit of additional work and definitely help me to develop more patience and tolerance, but they aren’t life-threatening although our attitudes can be. So, when something annoys me, I try my best – which quite often is not good enough – to remain calm and focus the blessings:

The kids are learning to assert their independence…
The boys are learning the art of negotiation…
We are blessed with an abundance of earthly things…
The boys love being Mommy’s helper and taking care of Daddy’s cloths for him…
Our purring cats…
McD’s is on DH way home from work (LOL!)…
DH comes home to be with us most every night and enjoys his work…

Happiness is a conglomeration of all of the little blessings in life that we choose to focus on.  As I continue on my journey, I work on my patience and understanding. I try not to become angered by the little ones’ blatant disobedience (most often failing). I try not to impose my expectations on others (DH) unduly. And, each night I pray that God will grant me the patience and skills to be the best mom and wife I can be. It is a blessing to know that I don’t have to be perfect!  With God’s help and my determination to try to choose to be happy as much as I can by recalling my blessings and the small joys that bring me so much pleasure instead of fixating on the nuisances, I am beginning to be a much happier person!  Please remind me of that it is up to me to remember my blessing the next time I start focusing on the negative, okay?


Recovering February 19, 2009

Filed under: family,raising children — Relishing Life @ 10:27 pm

The little ones have been ill for the past week now. I have been a bit under the weather, but the poor boys have been in hit pretty hard. It turns out that our older son is fighting (with the help of antibiotics) a double ear infection as well as the flu while our younger son is combating the flu alone. This is actually the second round in our house since last Friday which began with the younger one and has come back around again. I feel so sorry for them. The blessing is that everyone seems to be on the up-swing of it all (and they could have been inflected with much worse – a HUGE blessing as that was not the case!) and hopefully not be sharing it again. The second blessing is that our oldest can blow his own nose. Now, I just have to convince Mr. You-Need-to-Do-Everything-For-Me-Unless-I-WANT-to-Do-It that he is quite capable of accomplishing this task on his own as well. LOL! But, it is nice to be needed even if it is to wipe slime off.


Winter Returns February 11, 2009

Filed under: family,nature — Relishing Life @ 1:00 pm

Ah, yesterday was refreshing with the warm sun melting most of the snow and the kids being able to play outside without coats or even a jacket on! The boys enjoyed splashing about in the puddles and completely covering themselves in mud. I was able to air out the house and bring that fresh, crisp smell back inside. (Although, now, I see just how much dusting I need to do. LOL!) The sunshine seemed to linger longer than normal and following me where ever I went. The geese even cooed “hello” on their way to Canada. Ah, yes, spring must be here!

HA! Yesterday was just a treat – a harbinger of warmer times in the distance, as alas, today it is winter yet again. The wonders of winter! Winter always reminds me of what is important in life. It is when the warmth of our home and family seems to beckon us to tend to it even more – to enjoy the blessing of security it provides against the frigid temperatures and outside elements. It is when we most look forward to returning home to our families and we remember just how blessed we are to be in their warm bosom. Today, we will celebrate the return of winter by keeping one another warm and cozy while we enjoy reading books together and making a delicious treat to warm our tummies and our souls. It is the simple things that are the most rewarding.

Please excuse me as I cuddle up with my little ones while I read them book upon book under the warm blanket on the couch. If only DH could be here to share this time with us it would be PERFECT!

Enjoy your day – whatever the weather!


Beautiful Blessings February 10, 2009

Filed under: education,family,musing,nature — Relishing Life @ 9:27 pm
  • The quick and easy recovery of my grandma who had a heart attack and splint put in a week ago.
  • The boys giggling as they are playing in the backyard. Such a beautiful sound!!
  • The unseasonably warm day.
  • The presents of my wonderful husband who is working from home today.
  • The peace of knowing that all that *needs* to be accomplished will be.
  • Our loving and supportive extended family.
  • The time to spending reading on topics of interest to me.
  • The rich resources available to us at our public library. (Our oldest son checked a framed print out to display in our home – he wanted it for his bedroom, but we aren’t so sure it will be in one piece if left in there. LOL!)
  • Watching our oldest go into the prints room at the library and see one that he said was “beautiful” and ask if he could check it out (we had never done so before). It was great to see in interest in art and appreciate its beauty.
  • The geese returning from the South.

What has blessed your life today?


What is… February 3, 2009

Filed under: family,musing — Relishing Life @ 6:07 am

What is tomorrow without today?
What is a marriage without love?
What is the future without hope?
What is food without nourishment?
What is an embrace without caring?
What is knowledge without learning?
What is friendship without sharing?
What is love without giving of ourselves?

All of these are empty vessels if without the substance behind them that make each a wonderful blessing. I choose these blessings with their beautiful meanings intact. May your life be full of these blessings and many more!


Just Keep Swimming January 22, 2009

Filed under: family,Homemaking,musing — Relishing Life @ 1:40 am

A funny picture just popped into my mind as I opened this post. Dori from Finding Nemo singing, “Just keep swimming.” How often that is our mantra. Just keep on keeping on. Today we didn’t accomplish everything that I would have liked, but we did get quite a bit done. The chores that aren’t completed will wait until tomorrow as we just keep going about our day until we are able to complete all of the items on our list. We have slowed our pace and are taking more time to enjoy our daily lives. As some tasks pile up keeping me feeling “just keep swimming,” I am also appreciating each and every day more – even if less is being done.


Wishing for Perfection January 15, 2009

Filed under: family,Homemaking,musing — Relishing Life @ 4:26 am

Have you ever found yourself barraged by internal turmoil? It is at this point in my life that I am both liberated and confined. I am liberated in the sense that I know who I am, who I would like to be and what I am capable of. I am confined in the sense as I have a family to take care of (which I very much love doing!) and do not have the freedom to pursue my dreams in the way one can tend to them as a single person. This is not to say that I wish I didn’t have my wonderful family – alas, it is my wonderful family which is truly my biggest dream. I simply wish that I were a more complete person so that I could fulfill the needs and wants of the precious people all around me more wholly and be completely satisfied myself. I always wanted to be little Miss Susie Homemaker (pre-prison, lol) who could take care of the house, her children, her husband, and herself effortlessly (or at least without falling to complete pieces). But, that is not who I am. I still dream of being that person, but at least I know that is not really the person that I am and have reduced the amount of times which I compare myself to that “perfect mom/wife.” I wish that I could have the perfect (tidy and ALWAYS company-ready) house, the perfect way of raising my children (one in which I felt that I was the one in control all of the time), the perfect relationship with my husband, and enough time AND energy to pursue personal interests and hobbies. As the kids get older and I am grasping a better handle of keeping the house under control, I inch towards this elusive dream of perfection. But, as for today, I settle for the perfection of two precious sons sleeping peacefully after a fun-filled day and the time to sit and blog for self purposes. That is as close to perfection as this day will come and I am content with that!