I've never been so happy to do the dishes!
I have been without running water for a little over a week now and nothing makes you more grateful for the things we take for granted like having to be without them!
The hose for the water going into the Beach House busted and the hot water heater decided to call it quits as well. In all fairness, it was over thirteen years old, so it had every right.... however...
I ordered the necessary parts thinking that they would be here in two days (I mean that's why we pay the extra for Prime, right?) only for it to take five days. Ugh.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to function with no access to water? No bathrooms, no showers, no clean dishes, no coffee, no cooking, cause you can't rinse your dishes, (it IS sugar ant season and they are everywhere here in the South!!), no drinking water, no washing your hands.
There were times I would absent-mindedly still turn on the faucet expecting magic to happen...
Today, my hose came in. I hooked that sucker up so fast and turned on all the faucets just because I could... and water came out. It was a miracle! I heated some water up on the stove and set about doing my dishes. Such a glorious task that I will not complain about ever again! (Okay, at least for a week or so...)
This got me thinking about all the things that we take for granted. Being grateful doesn't have to be for something amazing or life shattering! Sometimes I think that we need something short of a miracle to remind us to be thankful. And then we chalk it up to luck. But life, in general is filled with uneventful days sometimes blending one into another. And yet, in the midst of our complaining and trudging through what feels like mundane lives-even on the worst days- we wake up in the morning, and our eyes take in the sights around us. Without any extra thought or effort from us. We take in the inside walls of our home. We're surrounded by "things" that bring us joy, comfort, security. Our heart is beating and directing our insides that serve us the best that we can.
And when we get out of bed, our legs support us and keep us upright. We flip the switch and darkness becomes light. Pushing a button gets the brown, flavorful liquid of life bubbling and gurgling away.
Take in that deep breath... because you can.
Feel the rain on you skin. Close your eyes, hear the birds sing their songs.
What are some of the things that you are thankful for that you take for granted?
The love of a faithful pet? The sweetness in your children's faces? (No matter how old they are.) A best friend? A key that turns the motor over on your vehicle? Tastebuds! A well-prepared meal. Money enough to cover the bills. That hidden money in a coat pocket. A reliable job.
Everything might not be where you want it to be at the moment, but there is SO much that you can be grateful for every single day. Every. Single. Day. I mean, I still don't have hot water, and I probably won't for a while until I can afford a new hot water heater, but life is still good.
Life is so good.
Don't let a day slip away without taking notice of those things that make your life just a little bit better.
What are you grateful for today? Right now, in this moment?
I recently posted a picture on Facebook about my struggles of having to change the sheets in my little travel trailer which is named The Beach House. And I realized that I never formally introduced everyone to my humble abode.
For those of you that don't know, "my story", I have recently given up the brick and mortar, stationary living in favor of the gypsy, transient life-style. It was about this time last year, that I bought a used, well- loved 2005 Keystone Cougar 31' camper.
The former owners painted the insides with the soft colorful tones of beach living- greens, pale blues, clean whites and decorated with seahorses, shells, driftwood and other items that scream "I love the beach life!"
I fell in love immediately. The Kirby's needed to sell it because of a debilitating cancer and they were unable to use the camper any longer. So with promises that I would love it and honor its purpose, I laid my money down.
The Kirby's used The Beach House only for weekend trips or short ocean-side vacations. It wasn't long that I saw I was going to have to make some adjustments to this quaint little camper to make it my full-time home.
The back end had four bunks (perfect for grand babies) but I only have two, at the moment, so I took the other two out to create my office.
And then there was a matter of my clothes. When I work, be it cutting hair, or doing workshops, I have to have professional clothing. As much as I'd love to live in swimwear, 24/7, it is somewhat frowned upon in certain places... not to mention cold... But the house, as is, offered minimal options.
It seemed like a lot of wasted space, so I came up with the idea to put the bed in the air... and use the space to add in dressers, and hanging space.
And when living in a tiny house, it's all about use of space.
So my step brother, Ed Wittneber, and my favorite Seabee, Barry Moyar and myself, completely gutted the bedroom!
And then put it back together again.
Barry cut and built the bed frame. His knowledge of angle iron was indispensable! A former Seabee and a craftsman in his own right, I was so grateful that he came on board with this project. And they didn't even look at me like I was crazy! Ed was quick to get the project rolling and helped me SO much!! He also bought and assembled the perfect cubbie shelves for me and my first beanbag chair for my new space!!!
Also, my wonderful brother, Scott Ide, created the perfect cabinet to hide all the wiring and add more storage space! He made it from scratch and it's perfect! It gives me a bit more space that is easily accessible from the bedroom or the "coffee station"! (okay, fine, it's the other side of the kitchen counter... don't judge! Lol!)
So, my bed is about 32" from the ceiling, so one has to be cautious when climbing up or down, or changing sheets... and heaven help me if something scares me in the middle of the night and I sit up too quickly!!
There is one large plastic set of dresser-drawers under the bed and another one at the side. I have room to hang clothes, store away other items in the cubbie shelf and cabinet. And room for a giant dog to lounge and a beanbag chair or two!
It is an adorable little place to live and I absolutely love it! Yes, there are things I want to do to it still, but it's all part of the journey!
I am so happy with this choice and I think I am living up to the promise I made to the former owners. The Beach House has certainly covered a lot of territory and seen many new campgrounds, and I hope this has just been the beginning! I hope she hangs on with me for a few more years as we continue to travel about the country.
Next, I want to re-do the bathroom and maybe even tweak the kitchen just a tiny bit. I'm learning so much as I go...
How to Have a Happy Day
Now, if you think I am one of those people who wake up singing and flitting about the kitchen first thing in the morning, let me take this opportunity to tell you that that is absolutely not so.
I am actually slow to wake up. I like quiet, peaceful mornings preferably without an alarm telling me when my day needs to start. I don’t use a lot of words right out of the gate, but my brain is awake long before my eyelids open and is busily taking my thoughts in a million and one directions. If the sun is shining, it doesn’t take much encouragement for me to keep my eyes open, but if it is dark, dreary or cold, it’s going to take a bit more coaxing for me to leave the comfy-ness of my bed! I’m one of those people that have to set the alarm thirty minutes longer, just so I have thirty minutes of hitting the snooze button time before my feet have to actually, physically hit the floor! Lol!
On that same note, it is before I ever throw the covers off of me, in those early moments of consciousness that I’ve already decided what kind of day I am going to have. Happiness, is a choice.
The outside world is out of your control. So how can you have a happy day in spite of it? Here’s a few thoughts that I use for myself that I have gathered over the years.
1. Happiness is a choice.
Every single morning, you have the choice of how you are going to face your day. You may have no control over what time you have to be at work, what the traffic is going to be like, what kind of mood Pam from accounting is going to be in or what your customers are going to throw at you. But believe it or not, the first decision of the day should be happiness. Today, is going to be a good day.
Everyday, you get to wake up to a new beginning. And even while that alarm is grating against every nerve in your half- conscious body, you decide. Are you thankful that you are even awake? Or are you grumbling because you HAVE to be awake. Go ahead and grumble, get it out of your system, but then let the gratefulness take over and decide that you are going to be happy.
2. Count Your Blessings
Take a few moments, nine to be exact before the snooze button wears off, to run through a quick list of reasons to be thankful. I am thankful that the sun is shining. I am thankful that I have a reason to get out of bed. I am thankful that I am supporting myself. I am thankful that Pam is on vacation this week. I am thankful for my family… etc… you get the idea. Everyone has something… several somethings to be thankful for. Start your day off acknowledging them and you’ll be amazed at the effect it has on your day.
If you are having trouble at first, be thankful for the obvious. Air in your lungs. Eyes that see, feet that can walk, food to eat, coffee in the coffee pot (Or money for Starbucks!Lol) Suddenly, you will find so many more things, your vision will expand to more than just your own life, your peripheral thankfulness vision will come in to play as well!
Have you tried to be in a bad mood while you’re smiling? Not an easy task to do! So this helpful tip is for those of you looking for the easy button. Just smile. You will find that your face will change your insides. And when you see others smiling back at you, it’s usually a good enough reason to keep on smiling. It’s easy, it doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t even make you change your routine. Just smile.
4. Don’t React, Decide
As mentioned before, you have no idea what is going to come at you during your day, but you can decide before you set one foot out of your house, (or bed, if you’re staying home) how you are going to respond to outside engagement.
You and only you are responsible for your decisions. Blame stops here. People may be rude, but you choose how you react. Traffic may be at a standstill, but you choose how you react. A hurricane may have damaged your home, but you decide how you will react. You may have a flat tire, but you decide how you are going to react.
Your gut reaction may be to scream and yell and blame others, but since you are choosing to have a happy day, then you decide how you are going to respond, and nothing is so terrible that a response can’t be suspended for a few seconds so you can readjust your thoughts. When people are rude, choose kindness. When bad things happen, decide how you are going to deal with them. If things happen that bring sadness, feel it, but don’t get lost in it. Decide what you are going to do next.
Things of the world may be out of your control, but you are one hundred percent in charge of how you react.
Where is your default button set?
Which is your “automatic reaction”?
Impatience of gratitude? Jealousy or encouragement? Exasperation or hope? Despair or faith?
We all have things in life that we HAVE to do. But how will you approach them?
We all have people in our life that we’d rather not deal with. How can you still love them?
We all have upsets, trial and tribulations. How can you make love, laughter and happiness your priority?
Adjust your default settings. Practice these steps for happiness every day and soon, they will become automatic and people will look at you funny. In a good, I-wish–I-was-so- happy, kind of way. Life becomes more fulfilling, the skies are a little more blue, and that snooze button doesn’t seem so annoying. Okay, yes it does, but not enough to ruin the day!
5. Surround yourself with positive things.
If you known you are prone to bad moods or worse, depression, don’t listen to those sad songs!! Brighten up your wardrobe! Hang some pictures that make you smile, so you see them the moment you open your eyes! Have fresh cut flowers on your counter or table. Burn some lavender candles. Do everything you can to help you reset your defaults! Don’t give in to the negativity. Don’t get involved with gossip, just walk away. And don’t watch or read those negative news stories or social media posts! Have a steady stream of puppies and kitties if you need to. (or baby sloths… a personal favorite)
6. And finally Look for the Good.
What you look for you will find. Try and find the good in any and all things. There are two sides to every coin and every situation in life. Always look for the good. Slow traffic? Great! You can drink your coffee without bumps or potholes! Pam in accounting acting up again? Fine, Kill her with kindness! It’ll annoy the heck out of her! Hurricane destroy your home? So be it… you probably wanted a new living room set anyway.
Oversimpligying, yes, maybe a little, but that’s where you have to start. If you constantly look for the bad in your life or in the lives of others (which is none of your business, by the way) you will find it. Stop there. There are enough people in the world shoving bad news and bad behavior in our face. Go beyond that. Look a little deeper. Find the good. It’s there.
Now go… throw off those blankets, turn off that alarm and have a happy day!
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