It’s that time of year when I have to make an extra effort to focus. If it feels at all like a chore, or needs thoughtful attention from me, it’s extra burdensome in June. And yet the to-do list is long – making kids’ arrangements for summertime; wrapping up the UUCC program year; planning for next year. The work doesn’t cease, even as my mind and body grow weary.
One thing that helps, though – at this time of year, but really any time, of course – is choosing deliberately to turn my attention to concrete things that bring joy and gratitude. The “little things”, as they say. Here are a few things for which I’m grateful right now.
1. Watching one of my children lie on the driveway at dusk with their other parent, counting the number of bats that fly overhead.
2. Being introduced to a new author and delighting in her writing and her characters. (This past few weeks’ pleasure has been Maggie Stiefvater’s series The Raven Cycle.)
3. Finding a way to visit most of our Georgia family in one 11-day trip, without breaking the bank and (I hope) without losing my mind.
4. Discovering caramel M&M’s.
5. Gathering for two hours each Thursday with a group of UUCC members to field test the new Our Whole Lives curriculum for older adults. In this week’s lesson, we’re supposed to talk about using one’s mouth to put on a condom (“both a great parlor trick and also a wonderful way to make condoms a highly desirable part of sex play”). I am so appreciative the candor of this curriculum; for example: “Use a non-lubricated condom or a flavored condom. Some lubricated condoms (and particularly ones with spermicidal lube) taste terrible.”
6. And being reminded, as I was yesterday while listening to a stranger speak in a public forum, of the blessing of this community, filled with people who choose to challenge themselves and think beyond long-held notions and rigid preconceptions.
Thank you, dear ones, for all the joy and inspiration you bring to me.