Categories
Guest Bloggers

Guest blogger Lorie Sheffer: Nothing Lost

Moth

 

(photo: Lorie Sheffer)

When I agreed to walk my friend’s dog, the first thing I thought of was losing weight. Back in March, when the snow was still on the ground, I had a vision of what I would look like today, as summer is coming to an end. Surely I would be slimmer, more fit and toned. Five days a week, a half hour to an hour each day, for six months. I never expected that I would look the same much less weight the same. I felt as if I had failed.

Then last week, I noticed something on the sidewalk. It looked like a tan tarantula. I gently nudged the fat, hairy body with a small twig. This creature opened its wings and I actually gasped. The wingspan was about six inches; I had finally found a silk moth. My friend Julie had shown me a photo of one a few years ago and I commented that she “always got the good stuff” in her yard. “You have them too; you’re just not seeing them” she told me.

The sight of that beautiful tan and brown moth, its subtle colorings, those two markings that looked like eyes staring up at me, came with a realization of a much bigger picture.

I have seen snow melt to reveal spring flowers. I have seen the bare woods become lush and dense. The creek banks look as if they were on fire from the blooms of thousands of orange lilies. I’ve heard the deafening sound of frogs mating in the spring, only to go silent by July. I’ve had a daily check-in with a rather large snapping turtle, while marveling at the grace of a swimming water snake and recoiling at the sight of a copperhead. I’ve seen orioles and blue jays, swallowtails of both yellow and black and I’ve even spotted a monarch. I’ve collected black walnuts that have fallen to the ground and I’ve watched a groundhog chew on a discarded piece of cookie.

The past six months were never about what I was going to lose; they were about what I was going to gain.

Next Blog

Categories
Guest Bloggers

Guest blogger Lorie Sheffer: Choose wisely

We all tend to do it; someone makes an insulting or negative comment about us and we replay it over and over in our mind.

Imagine if we were to pay less attention to the negative and instead replay the positive, kind comments.

Happiness is a choice; we have the choice to focus on the negative or focus on the positive.

Next Blog

Categories
Guest Bloggers

Guest blogger Lorie Sheffer: Winning

Inspiring words on gourmet the bottle

 

(photo jeff noel:  Chance encounter a few days ago… sitting next to a person drinking tea… from this bottle)

Sometimes winning doesn’t mean proving anything to anyone. Sometimes it means letting go and moving on. – Lorie Sheffer

Next Blog

Categories
Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Lorie Sheffer: (over)abundance

Listen To The Land Boat ride garden view

 

(photo jeff noel: Epcot’s The Land pavilion garden from boat tour a few days ago)

Last winter meteorologists coined the phrase “Polar Vortex”. After digging out of the snow and ice, I stood in the produce section of the grocery store looking at pale, anemic tomatoes that had begun their journey far from my shopping cart. I passed on the substandard imposters. I longed for deep red, vine ripened, home grown.

This week the tomatoes in my garden are ripening at a rapid rate. My counter is full of them, I have given many of them to family and the saucepot seems to never leave my stove. My back aches from scalding, coring, peeling and seeding. I have canned and frozen. I am running out of ideas, and basil, for fresh tomatoes.

When we have too much of something, anything, we stop appreciating it. Why do we seem surprised when excess doesn’t lead to happiness?

Next Blog

Categories
Guest Bloggers

Guest blogger Lorie Sheffer: Contentment

Church sign welcoming tough questions

 

(photo jeff noel: Church sign in Fort Collins, Colorado taken three days ago during a run)

I think real, lasting happiness can only be found through gratitude. I suppose we can achieve happiness without being grateful, but I don’t think we can sustain it.

Isn’t the secret of true contentment to convince ourselves that our life is better than it actually is? Or at least that it’s not as bad as it actually is? Is that really such a bad thing, convincing ourselves that we’re happy or content or at least OK? I guess in today’s world that is considered settling for less than we can achieve and that is frowned upon. We’re always supposed to want more, aim higher, dream big not be satisfied with the way things are.

Happiness is about adapting. I’ve learned to do that over the years.

I could look through everyone’s facebook posts about their trips and their nights out and their new this and their new that. I no longer have any of that, so I could make myself feel really bad about my life by comparison. OR … I can enjoy their photos and stories and be GENUINELY happy for them and grateful they shared. I can happily post photos of the beautiful things I see at the park less than a block from my house, or the butterfly chrysalis on my deck, or the jars of jam I just canned, or my garden. That’s my choice; be miserable or adapt to lifestyle changes and be reasonably happy.

“Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, it’s about how to dance in the rain.”  I guess I just got really sick of waiting for the sun to come out, so I started dancing. I have no control over the sun, and I’d be a fool to think that I did. I learned to live with what I have and to be grateful. At some point, you realize that anything and everything can be taken from you. If those are the things that you are dependent upon for your happiness, you’re living on thin, thin ice. Happiness has got to come from inside or it’s not sustainable, and the only way is through gratitude.

Next Blog