Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Under a Bridge

I get a weird feeling when I'm under a bridge. How often am I under a bridge you might ask? Often enough that I know I get a strange feeling. It's part anxiety, part curiosity and part awe.

Bridge Reflections

I think that the weird under-a-bridge feeling comes from the integration of nature and industry. Two opposing forces that, in my mind, are still trying to co-exist with each other. When I reflect on this photograph, I think about what I really need.  We think we need a lot more than we actually do. Society/industry tells us we need stuff.  The latest technological gadgets, digital photo frames, garlic presses, espresso machines, iPods, different styles of shoes, comfortable furniture, a variety of colorful dish towels.  These things enhance our lives, they don't define them.  I never want to lose myself in things - this really is a fear of mine.  I've sold almost everything I own twice in my life and I would do it again.  It's a very cathartic experience. 

My mom bought me the coolest book for my birthday.  It's The Official Nancy Drew Handbook: Skills, Tips & Life Lessons From Everyone's Favorite Girl Detective.  This is a great book.  One of the clues to success in relationships and life is How to Savor the Important Things in Life, Like a Rich Cup of Hot Cocoa.  There are seven tips on how to do this:
  1. Having something hot.  I will always choose coffee.
  2. Take in nature.  This is so true - life is different when you take the time to savor nature whether it's the beach, a forest, the desert or a park.
  3. Keep your cool.  I've learned that when I'm calm and practicing patience, I see things in an entirely new light.
  4. Help others.  It feels good to help others - this is what I love most about working in social services.  I absolutely know that my hard work is benefiting someone else.  Not every moment of every day but definitely more often than not.
  5. Start fresh tomorrow.  I love this and completely agree that knowing we have tomorrow sure makes it easier to get through rough days.
  6. Talk with friends.  Friends, family and colleagues give us different perspectives on things.  Where would we be without them?  If we look close enough, we see our true selves in their eyes.
  7. Share your success.  I truly believe that we do nothing on our own.  There's always someone to thank for a success, a person who helped us get where we are.  For example, my husband supported me while I was in graduate school by doing little things (making me dinner on late nights, taking care of the house when I had no energy to clean and giving me space when I needed to study or write a paper). 
When I think about what I need versus what I think I need, I become more grounded.  I become more thankful of the simple things in life, the important things.  Like my husband and dog, walking the beach, the comfort I get from being wrapped in my worn out baby blanket, savoring a bold cup of coffee, the soothing sounds of the ocean, grilling veggies, eating watermelon and utilizing quiet time in my home to connect with God.

How do you savor the important things in life?

*I'm participating in the 2013 A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except for Sundays) I will be posting according to a letter of the Alphabet. To read more about my theme, click here.


  1. A good post and a good reminder in general! It is so easy to get caught up in "things" and "stuff." My husband and I are pretty good at keeping back house clutter but we need to work on the mental clutter a bit more. :)

    1. I'm right there with you. It's definitely more difficult to clean out mental clutter.

  2. There is definitely a difference between need and want. I think I am possession obsessed, I hate that about myself. I want this, want that. I drive me crazy.

    1. We all have those things about ourselves that we hate. I hate that I carry around so much guilt and obligation toward others.

  3. I use mindfulness to help me stay grounded and focused on what's important. It definitely keeps me present!

    Lyre @ Lyre's Musings #atozchallenge

    1. Thanks for sharing this post. I'm glad you did b/c I was having trouble finding your blog. Now I can follow you.