Dreaming of Fireflies

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Loving Life June 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 5:19 pm

This weekend I visited a friend who told me that, for the most part, she loves her life. It always catches my attention when someone says something like that, and it makes me question whether or not that is a statement I can make. And if it’s not, why not?

Although I have many good things and people in my life, I don’t think I can say with zero hesitation that I love my life right now. I figure that is an indication that either a change in perspective or a change in lifestyle is needed. Or both. But I did find myself feeling really good this weekend. Feeling that, at least for this weekend, I was loving life.

Why, you ask? I think it’s having hope for the future, and finding joy in the little things today. The things that when you think about them, are really the big things, such as…

  • Knowing that my friend is loving her life
  • Holding a beautiful baby and making her laugh
  • Seeing great friends
  • Visiting my old town, and my other old town
  • Mutually sharing with a stranger on the train
  • Crying at a good book, even if people saw me
  • Watching two little kids, a brother and sister, holding hands, apparently unforced by their parents
  • Moments of uncontrollable laughter
  • Seeing a friend happily married
  • Train travel, and being dropped off and picked up at the station by the love of my life
  • Helping a friend feel a renewed sense of hope
  • Taking a day off work just to spend time with my mom, with no occasion or agenda
  • Trying new things (quinoa, and birch flavored Izze)
  • Playing Wii swordfighting with all my might
  • Getting over taboos and saying anything
  • Hummingbirds
  • Getting knocked over by a dog
  • Smelling fresh oregano in the garden
  • A treehouse
  • Chocolate shoppes and craperies
  • Watching someone help a stranger at the train station
  • Walking by the lake on a beautiful day
  • Singing “Ode to Joy”
  • Sitting around a bonfire
  • Randomly running into a good friend in a town that is not near where either of us live
  • Seeing a family member take a risk to make a big life change, and being given a second chance at love
  • Being invited to give someone honest feedback, and being inspired by the vulnerability and courage of the person who asked for it
  • Working on a life goal and feeling confidence that I can accomplish it
  • Questioning life decisions I am currently making, but realizing that if I knew I only had five or ten years to live, these are the decisions I would make

I want to love life and love my life. I want to intentionally create the life that I want, the best life that God intends for me. And I want to intentionally see what there is to love about the life I am already living.

“If I have a hope, it’s that God sat over a dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.” –Donald Miller

 

Quotes of the Weekend June 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 5:25 pm

Mom (by a water fountain): “Want some water? My treat.”

~

Jenny: “After you open a bottle of wine, where do you put it?”
Angela: “In my mouth?”

~

Angela: “I was close enough to Ashton Kutcher, I could have licked him. I would have gotten arrested, but it would have been a good way to go out.”

~

Ryan: “I like soft mattresses and Angela likes firm.”
Angela: “So we compromised and got firm.”

 

Quotes of the Night June 10, 2010

Filed under: Humor — Jen @ 8:31 am

“I was just confused about your face.” -Karen (to Ben)

Ben: “What do you call those bikes with three wheels?”
David: “Tricycles?”

David: “There’s got to be a name for that profession [taking photos for textbook diseases].”
Jen: “Horrible Disease Photographer.”
(David now wants to be one.)

Ben (to me): “Come on, Frankie.”
Jen: “Frankie??”

“Why do you always stomp on my heart and crush my insides?” -Ben (to me)

 

A Week in Pictures: Florida June 8, 2010

Filed under: Photography,Uncategorized — Jen @ 6:55 am

Porthole

Beacon

Jupiter Lighthouse

Vizcaya steps

Anhinga trail

Silver Lining

in the Mangroves

a tribute to Myst

Alligator

Anhinga

Hemmingway House

Coral Shadows

Storybook Scene

Sunrise over Georgia

 

Occupational Therapy June 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 11:47 am

I know several of you have been struggling with your jobs lately, either not liking what you’re doing or just dealing with the normal challenges that come with work in general, so I thought I’d share some thoughts I had about work this week…

While on vacation in Florida (so thankful for a much longed-for break from the daily grind!), I met some people who have what some might call “dream jobs”. One man leads snorkeling tours in Key Largo for a living. Two young guys, probably only about 20 years old, rent out canoes in one of the remote corners of the Everglades and live there on the grounds, taking nightly fishing trips when the rental office closes. I also heard a radio interview with a woman whose job is to make food look good for movies and advertisements. What would it be like to work in a job like one of these, or in one of your own dream jobs? It would be amazing, of course, in a lot of ways. But, being the kind of person whose mind tends to look for the counterargument, I realized pretty quickly that even these seemingly glamorous jobs could have their drawbacks.

The snorkeling trip guy doesn’t get to snorkel on the trips, he just supervises and instructs. Maybe he gets bored of making the same boat trip and repeating the same instructions day after day. Maybe he gets hot and would be envious of someone like me who works in an air conditioned office. Who knows? Maybe the Everglades guys get lonely out there and miss out on social activities with other people their age. And I know they are concerned about their job security due to the oil spill and other ecological problems the Everglades has. The food artist has to lug around heavy bags of tools and supplies everywhere, she stands over deep fryers for hours at a time, and she probably rarely gets credit for her work. She was the first to acknowledge that her job is not as glamorous as people iamgine.

The conclusion I came to after these thoughts and observations is that it is a matter of perspective. We can choose to focus on the parts of our jobs that we love (or at least like), or we can do the opposite. Sure, your current job might just be a way to pay the bills or a stepping stone to the job you hope to have someday, but if you’re spending half of your waking hours doing it, why not do what you can to make it enjoyable? I challenge you, and myself, to think about what you are thankful for about your job and how your work is meaningful, to you and to others. Who knows, maybe some of us will find our jobs are a little closer to dream jobs than we realized. And either way, focusing on meaning and gratitude will surely make the road to our desired jobs, and life in general, much more enjoyable.