July 16 - Grab Bag of Pictures, Life's Blessings

Like many others, I have been reading more books during this time of uncertainty. After reading a book about someone’s search for faith, it mentioned the idea of recognizing the blessings in our life, including ordinary events and items. With this thought in mind, I decided to try and find the blessings I my life throughout my day. As I go through my day, when I have a moment of anxiety or depressed thoughts I take a moment to be mindful of the blessings in my life.

View of pine trees on median of street in foggy weather

As I sit here writing, it has been a rough few days. There was an explosion on a Navy ship in our town this week, an unexpected bill, and the state is shutting things down again due to the surge in virus cases. I am also struggling to solve some problems at work and at home. As a result, I am finding it to be optimistic and find myself feeling the edges of depression creeping in.

I take a deep breath, remember to relax my shoulders, and my jaw as I look around. I look out the window and see the clouds glowing with the color of the sunset. Two hawks flew by and perch in one of our trees. Earlier there were baby squirrels scratching at a window as they venture out of their burrows to explore. I feel blessed to have this beautiful view. I also feel blessed that I am healthy and have eyes to see with and a few minutes of quiet for looking around.

Closupe of yellow flower with bees on flower

I am typing on an electronic device that allows me to quickly record my thoughts. I have a connection to a great deal of information that allows me to make better decisions then my great grand parents would have been able to do a hundred years ago. My son, husband and I are staying healthy, finding things to do and we are getting along. We are blessed with an uncrowded house and the ability to pick and choose when we go out.

Blurred picture of hawk flying by pine tree

As I start to list off these blessings in my life, the depression recedes and fades away as I realize that my life is doing as well as it can in times like these. I look forward to a time of fewer restrictions but in the meantime, I choose to be an adult, working through challenges and issues as they come up in my life. Not an easy thing to do, some days. There are times when I would like a break from responsibilities and what sometimes feel like punishment without cause. I remind myself, this is life and it simply is, with no intent to reward or punish me. My actions and my thoughts help to choose what events affect me and how they affect me. So long as I continue to add tools, to be open to change, I will find more moments of peace in spite of chaos and distractions around me. A challenge which will always be there.

Pictures by J.T. Harpster. Prints of his photos can be purchased at https://shellcreek.redbubble.com/