a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.- winston churchill

i usually see myself as an optimist; however, lately, i've been pretty grumpy and a bit of a pessimist. christmas has basically thrown me over the edge. Â i've been stressed. Â i've been overwhelmed. Â i've fussed too much. Â but today, that was all about to change. and it all began with a phone call this morning, from a dear friend. we talk every day but today, as we were complaining to one another about being busy and the stressors of life, it hit me...

i have to stop this, i said. i have to stop complaining so much. it seems like that's all i've been doing lately.

yea, me too, she said.

and we made a pact to do our best to stop complaining. simple as that.


later in the day, during ryder's speech therapy, i thought it was the perfect time to run to the store, to get the six cans of frosting i signed up to bring to ryder's class tomorrow. there i was, standing behind a man in a security uniform, trying to make his purchase. he used one card. it didn't go through. tried his debit card and that didn't work either.

it is okay. i will put it back, the security guard said, in his rather shy, gentle voice.

and she did. the cashier began voiding his items and the man exited the store.Â

is that all he was getting. a soda and chips?


let me buy it for him.

hurry, so you can catch him.

i threw $5 at her, grabbed the chips and soda and ran after the man.

thank you. thank you, he said. you didn't have to do that.

i know. i wanted to. merry christmas.

and we went our separate ways. the cashier shared with me that the whole thing gave her the chills.

what you did was so kind. you know...that was probably his lunch. you're going to have a good day, she said.

being in that situation was meant to happen. Â to me. it was my opportunity; my choice. Â my days have been a bit difficult and this was my opportunity to begin to see things differently and break the cycle. Â i didn't necessarily realize it at that moment but i sure realized it the moment after. Â my day did a 180 because of that moment. because after that moment, all i could think about was good things...positive things and thoughts about what else i could do for someone else. it's a cycle--a feel good cycle. for them. for me.


and then i come home to this email:

Well, first perhaps I should blame you for the fact that my laundry isn't put away, the kitchen isn't tidied and I have no idea what to feed my kids for dinner...

But really what I mean to say is thank you. I started putzing around flickr this morning and found myself on your stream for the first time in ages (don't get much time for flickring anymore) and that lead me to your current blog, which lead me to your old blog, which lead me to your website - and there I spent most of my available time today, looking and reading and writing all those delicious quotes. Soaking in your images and your technique and your style and your words.

I'm feeling calmer than when I started, far more inspired than I was just this morning and more energetic and eager to pick up my camera and rediscover my own artistic vision than I have been in months and months.

I swear, reading your words that we just might be kindred spirits....we really should get to know each other better:)

So - thank you, you beautiful soul - you made my day.

(now, I only wish you could come and do my laundry).

seriously, does it get much better than that? nope. it doesn't. Â today was a really feel good day.

now off to drain the one inch puddle of water that's been sitting on the jeep floor since the last rain...a week or so ago (aye!). and then clean the volvo, which has been so severely neglected since steve's departure 1 1/2 months ago. and if i have time, i might even mow the lawn.

the cycle is broken. and it feels so good. Â