Sunshine, Do Something That You Enjoy Today

Sunshine, Do Something That You Enjoy Today

Do you ever have one of those weekends that just feels like a reward?  When finally you get some rest and get to chill and just do the things you love?

silhouette jumping  gymnast

Okay, chores are always in there as well, but that’s normal day-to-day life.

I just had one of those weekends.  Like you, my life is fairly insane most of the time.  But the last stretch has been crazier than most.

My novel, I Just Came here to Dance, launched in mid-September.  Whew!  What a whirlwind!  For months leading up to it and the next ones as well.  Lots of work and activity go into launching a book!

The end of September my girls and I traveled to Denver (a two-day drive from here) to a major Labrador Specialty. Then we were home for a week and drove to St. Louis for the National Labrador Specialty (another looong drive).  We showed 2 days at Denver and 3 at the Nationals.  Then home for a few seconds and down to Austin for another Lab Specialty.  Where we had a tad bit of a rough time getting home in the floods!  But my girls had nice wins, especially one of the true loves of my life, Ellie J J

Then to the DFWLRC Specialty, where a dear friend and I put on a Working Certificate test all the first day, and I judged Sweepstakes the next.

Of course all in the midst of regular work—writing, blogging, and editing.

By the time this last weekend finally rolled around, we’d kinda forgotten who we were.  Okay, so my girls didn’t—they’re fairly certain they’re 4-legged people, and nothing much dissuades them from that.

But ahh!  An entie weekend at home!  Don’t’cha just love when that happens?  A nice reward indeed.

Every weekend around here it seems has been rain-filled, but not this one.  Picture-perfect glorious sunshine.

On Sunday, we trained water retrieves.  Oh, such fun!  Not much brings me such smiles and laughter as watching these kids do what they were bred to do—retrieve.  Preferably in water, but land will do in a pinch 🙂 

14 Things that Make Me Smile

The unadulterated joy!  I don’t care who you are, this would have brought a great smile to your face.

Then we did ears and toenails.  Okay, not so much fun for them, but necessary.

We sat on the deck, sunshine beaming down, the air cool and crisp on this stellar fall day.  And as one by one I cut their nails, you’re gonna think I’m a real bozo but I sang “Sunshine on my Shoulders” to them.  Yep, the John Denver song.  How corny is that?

And all was perfect in heaven.

Well, maybe not right then for them, but then their next reward was big frozen beef marrow bones.  Oh, man!

On the stove all day was simmering homemade chicken stock, which is mandatory for the Thanksgiving feast.  For many years now, I’ve cooked up the entire schmear, and am so blessed to have those I love join me to sup and bask in gratitude.  Although no matter what else gets cooked, Mom’s cornbread dressing is still the show stopper J

What simple things bring us all joy.

I’m more cognizant of that joy these days.  As we go through this life, we lose those we love.  And the fact that we’re going to lose them all, or they us, is never quite far from my mind.  I’ve lost more folks very near and dear to me than I would ever count, as that would be too depressing. Although I think of them, often.

But we have a friend now battling stage-4 Pancreatic cancer.  And the thing Ann says to us all, whenever we talk or hear from her, is: “Do something you enjoy today.”

About which most everybody would agree. Great idea!  Gonna adopt that!  And then we get submerged back into the insanity of our lives and forget to actually do it.

Ann’s ordeal, and her admonishment to enjoy at least something every day, has stuck with me.  And I seek out those things.  Because they’re always there.  It’s just that we’re so conditioned to see the same things every single day, that to be aware of the little joys surrounding us takes some focus.

I’ve had many days like this past Sunday.  We all have.  I think of all the ones that went before, and hope that I experienced the joy of just being, as I did this stunning day.  Singing to my dogs, who had the best day ever!  At least that’s what they say J  Course, today is now the best day ever for them!  They pretty much live in the now.

As this season of Thanksgiving is upon us, and gratitude comes finally into focus (amidst all the shopping and cooking and travel and family stress and . . . ), my commitment is to enjoy it all.  To remember and give thanks that I’m still here.  And what a truly wonderful world it is.

Wishing for you all the happiest and most grateful of Thanksgivings, and sending to all and to Ann, sunshine and joy.

  “If I had a day, that I could give you,

I’d give to you a day just like today.

And if I had a song that I could sing for you,

I’d sing a song to make you feel this way. . .”

“Sunshine on My Shoulders” –John Denver


This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. I remember one time when someone asked me what I like to do for fun. I didn’t have an answer. I had spent many years forgetting that it was important to do something that fed my soul and was just for fun. I try to do that more and more now so I can say that I hike, camp, read, and play with my family, just for fun.

    1. Kris! I know this one well! I had the same thing happen once. And I was almost baffled by the question, and couldn’t come up with a response. Isn’t that an eye-opener! So glad you’re now doing things for fun 🙂

  2. What a beautiful post and I could feel your delight, as you described your girls and how much joy they always bring you. Yes, life seems so filled with things to do that often we forget to stop and take notice of even the smallest new “thing” in our daily world. When I walk, I am always grateful for a blue sky filled with clouds. I imagine what it would be like to bounce from cloud to cloud and often the heavenly landscapes take my breath away. More often than not though, I am flying into the future and thinking of what’s next, what else can I do, what else can I experience. Being mindful and grateful of each moment seems to be top of mind this time of year, and yet what kind of world would we create if we practiced this all the time. Thanks for the lovely post, Susan and may your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and love!

    1. Ah! Do I ever love the idea of bouncing from cloud to cloud, Beverley! Now THAT sounds like so much fun! Thank you for it, and I’m going to adopt that as soon as it quits pouring and I can take my girls for a walk 🙂 Thank You!

  3. What a great post, Susan. It’s so true–we have to stop and remember not to take things for granted. That we’re going to lose people is always in my mind, too. My brain likes to think we can prepare but we can’t. The only solution is to enjoy the time we have. Thanks for the reminder, and the fun pics of the pups, and I’m wishing I could have some of that cornbread. :O)

    1. Isn’t that so true, Colleen–my brain likes to think we can prepare to lose those we love too. But no matter how prepared I think I am, I never actually am. And oh, my, but that cornbread dressing was scrumptious!

  4. Yes, you are right, we should all do something we love everyday. I pretty much do accomplish that, but neglect to take time to just be; sometimes I do, but a lot of times I don’t. Isn’t it great that we have weekends and holidays to remind us to spend some time just being! Thanks for the remind, I think I will now go add some me time along with time to visit friends into my calendar! 😉

    1. I forget to just “be” too, Lisa. And that sure makes my world spin chaotically! Like you, I sometimes let that slip through the cracks . . . Hope you’re enjoying me time and friends!

  5. As a newcomer to your blog, it took me a while to get who the girls are. I remember how my Collie could relax me just by forcing me to keep stroking her or letting her kiss my face for an hour when I returned home from work. Oh, how I miss her. And I too think about how to savor each day, or at least some moments of each day. I am present to the possibility it could be my last. Loved your post, the lightness and getting to know you thru it.

    1. Am smiling, Roslyn–my girls are my kids 🙂 And I can feel your Collie kissing you! Takes away all the stresses of the day . . . Thank you for visiting with me here!

  6. What a powerful message! Thank you for sharing this great reminder. I totally agree. “Do something you enjoy today.” I always felt it was important to enjoy the small day to day tasks with family and friends that make us happy even if it is only 30 minutes a day. It does count.

    1. 30 minutes a day is a great prescription, Sabrina. I’m committed to it, and can sure tell when that’s slipped by, even for a day. Thank You!

  7. Hi Susan! Yes to remembering and cherishing the good in our lives and all the people we still have in our lives. My oldest sister has stage-4 cancer and while she’s doing reasonably well, I don’t want to take her for granted nor all the good she has brought to my life. That’s why we spent the day there with her yesterday and with all the family. It was a good day. And now for the rest of the weekend I doing my best just to “enjoy” myself. So far so good. Thank YOU for the reminder! ~Kathy

    1. So glad your sister is doing reasonably well, Kathy. And doubly glad you got to spend the day with her and her family! It’s what life’s about, no? That and Mom’s cornbread dressing 🙂
      Like you, I’ve spend this weekend enjoying. Which for me has translated into the new Joseph Campbell book, Romance of the Grail. Ah, heaven!

  8. Excellent post. One of my new mantras is “Cherish *this* moment.” I used to go outside and verbally express my appreciation and gratitude for everything I saw — until I realized that instead of being in *this* moment, I was in my head. And…I’ve started taking off both weekend days. I need more “me” time just to enjoy life. I’m not getting any younger!

    1. Oh, I love the *cherising*, Jackie! And isn’t that a startling revelation–when you realize your gratitude is about words, not feelings. I.e., it stays all in your head. But to turn it around and cherish, as you said, is fabulous. Thank You!

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