Today is a good day.
I have positioned my laptop on the dining room table in a way so that I can see the bird feeders. Even through the closed doors I can hear the unique warble of the yellow finches that have recently begun to frequent my yard.
This morning, cardinals-- the male brilliant in his scarlet coat and black mask -- returned, and as I watched, the male flew back and forth from the sunflower seeds to feed his mate.
Watching the birds gives me great joy and so I am trying to take the time to do this each day. Were it not for this blog and how it makes me sit down and think, I can't say I would sit still long enough to do this. Taking time for myself is still a foreign concept.
It is ironic that I have tried to attract birds to our pet free, quiet yard for years and the first year we have two dogs (one a squirrel/bird chasing terrier who launches herself off our deck or up the brick walls of our house to get at anything in our yard) we finally have a diverse little community of birds that come by every day!
It could also be that the birds have been here all along and I have never slowed down long enough to notice.
This is a revelation to me.
Life is going on all around me --- right now.
For many years I focused on striving for perfection to the point of exhaustion. Problem solving my way through a work day and a home day with nothing left for me...and condemning myself -- that little voice in my head hissing "not good enough! not good enough!" all the time.
Today's lesson for me is to experience this day. Not the day that "should be" or "the day that was" but the day that IS.
No judgement, no expectations. I do have some things to do today --drive my son to a job interview, pick up my other child from after school care--get dinner organized---try to get to a class I am taking after dinner.
Some of these things are on a tight timeline and it may fall to me to try to get them all successfully navigated. But one step at a time, one moment at a time...while all the while remembering that I am not waiting for my life to start, nor is my life "over"---it is now. So what you do in the now is all that matters.
Soon it will be the squirrels turn at the feeder. They are usually hanging upside down by their feet before 7 AM and scatter when I let the dogs out, returning before noon to stuff their faces and twitch their tails through the patio door at my glowering terrier until dark.
The lesson today from the birds and squirrels: sing out loud, share with someone you love, it's ok to run away when something nasty comes at you---just remember to not give up (even big nasty things have to stay away sometimes). And sometimes to get what you want, you have to keep tackling it in a new way but always hang on (by your feet if necessary) as the reward are there!
Life goes on....