Enjoy the little things in life for one day you will realize they were the big things.
There are a few little things that I miss from before quarantine. They really do seem like the big things now. But I realize that they have been replaced with new little things!
My new little things:
walking around the backyard to take a break from work and to enjoy the sun and fresh air.
sitting with my feet in the pool and feeling the heat of the sun on my skin and face and the coolness of the water on my feet and legs.
watching my son play on his scooter, penny board and skateboard or play with his little puppy.
Listening to my son share stories or music from his favorite show or videos.
Texting with my family and group texts with my friends.
My morning coffee and my afternoon tea.
Going swimming in the blistering heat.
My puppy- He’s a little thing but he’s a big thing to be thankful for. Puppies are a lot of work, but I’ve always been thankful for having him in my life. I am even more thankful for him especially now since quarantine. He is a source of comfort and another being to nurture. I don’t know what I would do without him.
Start each day with a grateful heart. List at least three things that you are grateful for every morning before you get out of bed. Try to make it three different things every day. If you struggle with that, it’s ok. Think of three things you are grateful for and when you struggle, list those same three things on your list every morning.
I have the same three things that I list on the days when I struggle to think of anything new. For me, my children are always the first on that list. After I list my same three things, I usually realize that there other things and my gratitude list starts growing. I think of the simple things that I am grateful for such as birds chirping, waking up on a sunny day, the smell and taste of coffee…
Then I think of the basic things to be grateful for such as being able to drink clean water, having a comfortable bed to sleep on, a roof over my head, food on the table, a reliable car to take me where I need to go, a job so I can make money, good health…
Before I know it, I have recited a long list of gratitude.
Here are my three things that I am grateful for in this month of July:
Celebrating my parent’s anniversary. July is the month of my parent’s anniversary, This year, they celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary. Last year for their 50th wedding anniversary, my parents came to visit to celebrate with their children and grandchildren. They stayed at my house. We had a lot of fun. My favorite memory from that time is watching fireworks outside with my mom on the 4th of July. I enjoyed spending time with my whole family, eating lots of food and taking a lot of pictures together.
More time for my hobbies. This quarantine has allowed many of us to learn new things or expand on our current hobbies. I am grateful that I have more time to cook and bake. We have not eaten out or taken any food out since March. That’s a lot of home cooked meals. I’ve learned to cook new dishes and bake different types of desserts. I am also grateful that I have more time to sew. Actually, I think that it’s the sewing that has kept me sane, distracted and busy especially during this time. It’s fun to create something new, practice better sewing and learn new skills. There’s no rush to finish any products since there is nowhere to go right now. My sewing these days is definitely about the process and not only the product. It’s very relaxing and that’s a good feeling.
Opportunity to work from home: Due to the quarantine, I have worked from home every single day since March 16th. Before that, I did have one telecommute day a week (every Thursday) that I was always grateful for. I get more done when I work from home. Of course, I miss socializing with my friends and eating lunch together. But I am grateful that I have the opportunity to stay safer at home and perform my job duties from home. I coordinate services for school aged children with special needs. I am grateful that I have an opportunity to help the children on my caseload and their parents (especially mommies) during this difficult time.
Before the lockdown, my friends and I formed a breakfast club. Every month, on the second Sunday of the month, we had breakfast or brunch together. We took turns choosing the restaurant and we were encouraged to be as creative as possible. If you couldn’t make it, no big deal, you can make it to the next month’s brunch. Also, anyone is invited to join. There were usually about 10 of us in attendance every month. Although, sometimes there were more and sometimes there were less.
We started with the letter A. My friend, Alicia, chose Humble Bee in Lake Balboa. A really delicious breakfast spot. It was February 2019 and it was our first brunch get-together. It was raining that Sunday. I remember it being very loud in the restaurant. I ordered the waffles and they were very good. There were about 9 of us that day. We had two birthdays to celebrate that month so I made lemon cupcakes with a Valentine’s day theme. I sprinkled red sprinkles on top and put a heart on top of each one. Valentine’s Day Conversation Heart Cupcakes
My friend Adriana handed out little bottles with messages inside. My message said “Let go of the need to control, Trust…”
For our March brunch, my friend, Adriana, picked out the Tam O’Shanter Pub in Los Angeles. It was the perfect spot for a St. Patrick’s day celebration. She handed out little 4 leaf clover charms. Most of us ordered the corn beef hash.
April’s brunch was at the 1919 Cafe at the Huntington Library in San Marino. We ate outside. It was a beautiful sunny day. Afterwards, we took our customary picture together at the gardens and some of us walked around the grounds.
I wasn’t able to make it to June or July’s brunch. August’s brunch was at The Malibu Cafe in Malibu. It was a hot day but we were all dressed in our pretty sundresses. We ate outside. I ordered the most delicious drink with my waffles. It was called The Lazy River and it was a lavender rosemary gin with lemon.
Afterwards, we walked around, took lots of pictures and found the perfect candles:
In August, we met at a restaurant in Pasadena. I missed September’s get together which wasn’t a brunch but was actually a cruise to Mexico. October’s brunch was at the Village in Woodland Hills. After brunch, we walked around Costco. In November, we met at The Public School 818 in Sherman Oaks. It’s a school themed restaurant. I ordered the waffles. I don’t know if you notice a theme here, but I seem to always order waffles at these brunches.
Finally, it was December and it was my turn. I decided to be creative and although I didn’t pick a fun, new restaurant to try out (I picked Mimi’s Cafe in Northridge), I collaborated with my friend, Adriana and after breakfast, we went to her home which was fully decorated for Christmas to play games, drink wine and have dessert. We were too full from breakfast to have dessert but we did drink a lot of wine. We had two teams and we played Pictionary. My team won. I brought little prizes for the winners. Later, we exchanged our White Elephant gifts. The theme for the White Elephant gifts was that they had to be re-gifted items. I ended up with the coolest Christmas decoration. It was a little Christmas house that lit up.
January’s brunch was actually the most fun out of all the brunches and also the longest. Or at least it seemed like the longest. Everyone had a chance to pick and it was Alicia’s turn for the second time around. Round 2. She picked IKEA in Burbank. I’ve never had breakfast there and it was really fun (and cheap). Afterwards, we all broke off into groups and shopped. The group I was in, who were my closest friends, stayed the longest. I have never in my whole entire life, spent 6 1/2 hours in IKEA. I’m not much of a shopper anymore. I almost had a panic attack (I might be exaggerating) and I guess I could’ve left at anytime since I did drive there separately, but part of me didn’t want to abandon my friends. I think I was feeling claustrophobic. At one point (the point when I almost had a quote-unquote “panic attack”), I though we were almost out of there, but it turned out that there was a whole other section we had to go through. Finally we made it to the lines. After we paid, we ate for a second time, since we got there at 10:00 a.m. to eat breakfast and it was now 4:00 p.m. Good times…
I missed February’s brunch. And in March, I suggested that we postpone due to concerns regarding the coronavirus and not long after that, we were in lockdown.
I really enjoyed all of our brunches together and I look forward to doing it again sometime in the future. Maybe 2021…
So today I am grateful for breakfast, brunch, waffles, messages in little bottles, lucky charms, lemon cupcakes, sun, rain, pretty sundresses, group pictures, trying new things, Costco and 6 1/2 hours at IKEA.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”