Thursday, December 17, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

Hello friends!

Another long absence, my apologies. I truly regret the amount of time that passes between posts but it's because of my process. I can usually only write when I am spending a quiet evening in my room and a pensive mood strikes. Quite simply, though there is an abundance of the latter, there has been an enormous lack of the former. If I am not at work, I am in the library or the common room and my pensive moods are usually employed to working on one of my numerous research papers. Tonight marks the end of another semester and with no papers to write or finals to study for, I have a rare stretch of free time. And so, alas, here we are!

In such busy, troubling times as these, it's important that we take time to appreciate the little things that bring us comfort and joy. A blog I've recently discovered practices this, with posts entitled "Things I Love Thursdays". I'm not trying to steal her thunder or be a copy cat, but I'd like to do it too, to help myself in the daily struggle to choose happiness. So here we go.

(1) Blankets - There is nothing quite like the cozy softness of an afghan, quilt, throw, or comforter. The best are the handmade ones, the ones with history. It's one of my weirder interests but I adore blankets. There's the fleece blanket I bought for camping, the throw I got to decorate my first dorm room with, and the double-sided blanket my sister made for my birthday. They are so useful; handy for picnics, Sunday naps, extra bedding for a sleepover, constructing forts, and in a pinch, superhero capes. If there was an opening in the position of National Blanket Spokesperson, I would be first in line. If everyone conducted their daily business wrapped in a blanket, the world would be a lot more relaxed. And take more naps.

(2) Excessively long lunches with friends - This started last year with one of my very good friends whom I have no classes with and don't see very often. Every Thurday possible at 12:30 we meet at Oasis to eat lunch and catch up. She has a chicken caesar wrap and a banana. I have the Zanzibar sandwich and an apple. And then we talk and laugh for hours, or until one of us has to go class. Today was exceptional, she brought her husband and since none of us had class, we were there for three hours. It was absolutely my favorite part of this week.

(3) This blog - Whenever I find myself unduly stressed or cranky about my life, I find my way to this page and remind myself to be thankful for what I have and who I am. The experience of this girl and those close to her has been of Brobdingnagian proportions. It is a storm that none should have to weather but they are doing it with prayer and thanksgiving. The tenacity, strength, and faith that all have displayed has been both humbling and inspiring.

(4)Piano music - For all the artists and styles in the world, there is nothing quite like the beauty and simplicity of a song played well on a piano. It is so relaxing to close your eyes and drift along the stream of the melody. There are no need for lyrics or fancy production tricks. The best music is thought-provoking, rich, and full of heart. I enjoy the classics immensely (Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Schubert) but am recently favoring the stylings of modern composers. Songs to check out (can be found on Youtube or iTunes):
  • "Breathe" by Greg Maroney
  • "Before Dawn" by Isaac Shepherd
  • The entire "December" album by George Winston. I particularly enjoy his arrangement of "Carol of the Bells"
  • "Divenire" or "Fly" Ludovico Einaudi (his piano is often accompanied by strings but no less beautiful than the others)

(5) Blank note and thank you cards - Of all the silly things to collect, I love boxed sets of these. When I was younger, both of my grandmothers used to give me a set for what seemed like every birthday. I have entire storage bin in my closet at home, full of stationary, notecards and envelopes with my initial embossed on them, decorated with flowers, or Monet paintings. I have enough stationary to last a lifetime, yet I continue to pick up little gems like this at Marshall's, Target, or Papyrus:

Nothing quite says "thank you" as heartily as a gold embossed peacock on sturdy textured cardstock, tied with a saffron ribbon. A sentiment expressed like that deserves a card of similar quality that says "you're welcome" on the front. I have yet to find such a card, though it is not for lack of trying.

That's enough for this Thursday. What makes you happy?

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