The Simple Things

I have found it hard to blog lately. My health has taken a bit of a downward turn and it is becoming increasingly difficult to get through the weeks. Writing has taken a bit of a back seat. I have felt a kind of emptiness as a result. This has left me realising that I need to write. I am stressed without the discipline of it. It is my lifeblood.

So I have hatched a plan. I am going to rise above it by focusing on the simple things in life that bring me pleasure. I am going to focus and focus until the fever breaks.

The simple things are the important things, aren’t they? They fill our days much more than those complex things we think it’s important to strive for. They are the sum of us rather than extras lurking in the background.

Some days I look out my window and I see things that make me smile. And I thank the powers that be for giving me the ability to look at life as if it a movie with stories all around.

Today it is a beautiful winter’s day. The air is crisp but clear. The sky is a film set.

The first thing I see when I look out my window is a little girl walking a puppy. The puppy is the cutest thing you ever saw. He is pure white and he bounces as he walks. His ears don’t stand up yet, they are all flopped over. People stop and talk to the little girl, smile at her puppy. She stops near my house and I hear her say: I have a brand new puppy. She is as proud as punch.

My gaze shifts to the house across the road. An enormous Victorian mansion that wouldn’t be out of place in the heart of London. Three mourning doves sit on the railing of the upstairs balcony. Chests puffed out like Victorian gentlemen who have just been supping on French cheeses and very good wine. They are a picture of contentment. Their soft hoo hoos are like feathers on glass.

The camellia flowers have fallen onto the grass. They bunch beneath the bushes like floral tributes to the tree gods. I remember the pillbox hat my grandmother used to wear to church in the 1960s decorated with white linen flowers, tightly formed. It is funny how things you see in the present day reference things you saw in days past.

The simple things. The best things. Filling up our thoughts. The minutiae of our days. The measure of our days.

Life moves and shifts from battleground to serene meadow, back and forth until our heads are spinning.

Take refuge where you can in the falling flowers.

And celebrate the simple things.

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24 thoughts on “The Simple Things

  1. At such times, I think of the story told by Andy McNab, in ‘Bravo Two-Zero’.

    McNab and his patrol had been captured by the Iraqis, kept in squalid conditions, tortured, beaten … and, just when he was about to give up hope, his friend said:

    ‘At least, they can’t make us pregnant!’

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  2. Selma I have used this ‘strategy’ in the past and I can’t say enough how beneficial it is – in terms of “self” and in terms of writing. I may just follow your lead and do the same. Nothing builds one’s sense of internal well being than experiencing gratitude.

    I really hope you feel better soon. Take good care of yourself. I think your ‘simple things’ approach is one way of doing just that.

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  3. It’s funny, but only recently I’ve sort of decided to do that very same thing. Find the good things that insist upon happening throughout the difficult times, and enjoy the darn things before I forget them.

    I find that it’s so easy to get caught up in the overwhelming distress that threatens to drown me when life is acting like a cranky toddler and pitching me one crappy nappy after another, that I will miss the charming moments. So now, I will do my best to hold those moments and treasure them.

    And duck the rest of the crap.

    ok, not enough coffee and too much headache.

    Love you, dear Selma, and your writing.

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  4. Selma hope you feel better soon. Sickness is such a greedy monster. It likes to take all of your energy. You’re a strong woman to look away from it and grasp on the beauty around you.
    Get well soon!

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  5. wishing you relief from illness, release from any and all stresses, that you will continue to flourish in the great love and generosity of your true wonderous self xx

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  6. Hugs, dear heart. Keep writing and keep seeing what you see. I know you will get through this soon. You’re much stronger and tougher than you think you are.

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  7. Beautiful and true post Selma. People always seem to be striving for something in the distance instead of focusing on what is already around them (the grass is not always greener on the other side). Hope you feel better soon, big hugs from all of us up hereat frog lodge πŸ™‚

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  8. So very true Sel.And so easy to forget, what is truly important and lasting.
    I am sorry you are having health issues. Hang in there. Better days ahead. For sure.

    Hugs, G

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  9. Sorry to hear you’re having a tough time Selma. It’s very strong of you (and typical) to try to focus on whatever small positive things you can see around you.

    My way of getting through bad days is firstly, if I can, to say to myself that this is the only Monday the 19th of July 2010 there is going to be (or whatever day it is) and that it is a unique day, worth experiencing to the full and secondly, to try to create something – it might be a page in my journal, it might just be a painted hand or even some colouring in; if things are really bad and I can’t face the idea of being creative, then I will try to tackle a horrible job round the house that I’ve been putting off – then at least the day isn’t a complete waste and I get to get rid of some of my anger and frustration washing a floor or emptying a cupboard.

    My counsellor recommends ‘duvet days’ for when you are feeling low. It’s just a way of giving yourself permission to sit tucked up on the sofa under a duvet, watching old movies or sleeping, all day if you can manage it. I can’t often switch off sufficiently to allow myself to do it but I treasure the few days I have spent under the duvet.

    Hugs from Scotland – warm thought winging their way to you from here.

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  10. Oh – and I meant to echo what Geraldine said – there are definitely better days ahead. No matter how bad you think things are, they WILL get better. Nothing lasts for ever, good or bad, and the sunshine will come out for you again, I promise.

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  11. Aw. Selma, I do hope you feel better soon.

    I know what you mean about feeling kind of a loss when you don’t write for an extended period of time. Dont fret. Lots of bloggers are going through the same thing lately. In fact, I just suffered a bout of writers block myself. It lasted for TWO WEEKS. And it drove me nuts!

    And just like you said, the best thing you can do? Is to focus on the simple things, that will also help keep your spirits up and hopefully, that will have a positive effects on your health.

    Thinking of you. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers.
    xoxoxo

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  12. Hi TRAVELRAT:
    LOLZ. You have the best stories. That’s something to be thankful for right there. Thanks for always putting a positive spin on things!

    Hi JONAS:
    Awww. Knowing that makes me happy. More than you could know. You are awesome. β™₯

    Hi JENNIFER:
    I do think that gratitude is quite a powerful force and can do us a whole lot of good. I like that metaphor too – it fits, I think!

    Hi KAREN:
    It’s true, isn’t it? We often miss the good little bon bons of life along the way when overwhelmed by the other stuff. I love you too. You are the bestest β™‘

    Hi LAURI:
    I am feeling a little better. My endometriosis has been playing up and the pain has been unbelievable. I am so drugged out on painkillers I feel quite sick. I had a day procedure last week which removed some lesions left from previous surgeries that were causing me problems so things seem to be improving. Thank goodness for that. Bring on the menopause, that’s all I can say!

    Hi LISSA:
    Words do soothe. There is no doubt. Thanks for your kind wishes.

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  13. Hi TIPOTA:
    How lovely you are. Thanks so much πŸ˜€

    Hi DAOINE:
    I am a toughie. I know it. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t but that’s the way it is. Onward and upward…..

    Hi GABRIELLE:
    Hugs from Frog Lodge are the best ever. You have the Aussie version of Toad Hall from The Wind In The Willows. How cool is that? You are so right about the news but I can’t help but have a little squiz, particularly with the election. I am a news freak!

    Hi GERALDINE:
    The best thing about bad days is that they eventually become good ones. It always happens. That is a great comfort to me!

    Hi PUDDOCK:
    You are definitely right about the duvet days although in Australia we would call them doona days. I love hugs from Scotland. They are bonnie. Make me feel better straight away!

    Hi MELEAH:
    You are so right about that. I know a lot of people who’ve been going through it too. I think it’s a form of burn out. Thanks for your lovely wishes πŸ˜€

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  14. I hope you feel better – sickness does take it’s toll. If writing is breathing, then yes, you shouldn’t give it up even for a day. Celebrating the small things not only helps lift the spirits, it also clears the path for more wonderful things to happen to you. And you deserve wonderful, wonderful things!

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  15. Hi ATTILA:
    Awww, you are so sweet. I am really grateful because I know how much you have on your plate right now. Thank you πŸ˜€

    Hi AINE:
    You are lovely. I will be fine. I am determined. All my wonderful blogging friends really really help. YAY!

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  16. I’ve always admired your very strong spirit and determination. This is believed to be the key to success.
    From the bottom of my heart I wish you peace of mind and good health.

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  17. The trick is to HOLD ON when we need to, so hard some days. I usually see someone with real problems that can’t be fixed, such as life-altering health issues and that brings my own problems down to size. It’s not always easy, I know.

    Hugs friend, G

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  18. Hi GERALDINE:
    You’ve got it in one. Hold on for one more day, until morning, for another hour, for another minute. It does make a difference but eventually it will help. Thanks for the hugs πŸ˜€

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