Warm and Fuzzy Moments

Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerEvery once in awhile a moment occurs that is special. One of my motivational teachers put me onto  keeping a list called “Warm and Fuzzy Moments.”  Moments come along that make us feel good. The moments are special.  Sometimes it is an unexpected card from a friend, or a “thank you” for something you did for someone. By recording the moment one can occasionally review it and feel good all over again. This technique is especially helpful when I am stressed out and not feeling good about myself. I can remember all the times when I received something unexpectedly for a positive action I took unconsciously.

This morning one such moment occurred while I was walking on the path near my house. I was totally zoned saying the rosary and listening to the songs of the birds. I felt a presence near me, but kept walking. Sometimes it is another walker or a runner who silently approaches from the rear. Many times I never hear or see the person until they are next to me. This morning it was a deer. Not a fawn, nor an adult mature deer, but a teenager. It sported the beautiful honey brown color of a springtime deer without the baby spots of a fawn, or the antlers of a buck. He/she stood just above my waist in height.

I was totally surprised and amazed that this beautiful animal should come so close to me and walk along my side for a few steps. She finally picked up the pace and trotted out ahead of me and off into the brush along the side of the trail. The encounter lasted only a few seconds, but it is etched into my mind as a “warm and fuzzy” moment. It is written on my list.

My deceased wife Barbara loved deer. Could this magnificent animal been sent by her to tell me that she is well? Did God chose to let this creature wander into my path to make my day? What ever the reason it happened, a freak of nature, a coincidence, a sign, it made my day.

I recommend to all goal achieving people on this earth to keep a log of their “warm and fuzzy” moments. The moments relived will pick you up, and help you through the times you are low and not feeling good about yourself.

Whose Nest Egg Counts?

Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerWhile walking this morning it occurred to me that I spent a large part of my life away from my wife and family to earn a living. As many of us do, I spent more time than was necessary at work. I did earn and form a “nest egg.” My dream was to spend the autumn years of life with my lovely wife in play. We spoke of what we would do, we often expressed our dreams of what it would be like. We talked about living in the desert away from harsh winters.

Last night Peggy and I had dinner and conversation with the Ryans. Our time together was marvelous. We met at Villa Rosa in Frankfort. This little place, tucked into a strip mall, in the historic section is quiet. We can hear ourselves talk and think there. In addition, the food is great.  It was over a year since we had dinner with the Ryans, and we had a lot to catch up on. Our last dinner was in the Phoenix area in 2007. 

I walked along the trail listening to the birds and talking to Barb. While I spent all my time building the “nest egg” at the expense of missing time with her, she spent time developing friends. She had to do somethiing to fill the many hours that I was gone, she joined clubs in the neighborhood. She sang in the choir at church. She cultivated relationships. Barb always made sure that I met her new friends and I became a member of her circle. The Ryans are one of the couples I met through her activity in the garden club.

Since Barb died, it is her nest egg that I live on.  It was the time she spent developing relationships like the one we had with the Ryans, that has saved me from major despair. It is all of the people who she cultivated  as friends from the choir, the garden club, and the bowling league that have become my friends. They are the ones who have been my comfort.

Barbara never enjoyed any of the fruits of my nest egg, the one I spent so many hours away from her to build. All of her life she gave me love, and continues to show me her love with the payout from her nest egg.

Ugly Day, Great Day!

Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerWhat a crappy day it was in the Frankfort area today . Nevertheless, for every negative there is a positive. This morning, I started by going on a brisk forty-five minute walk. It was windy and chilly, but I got over it. I spoke to Barb as I always do on my walks. She doesn’t answer. Breakfast was a special concoction of oat meal with chopped almonds and some sugarless maple syrup. Peggy distracted me during the manufacture, and I doubled up on the syrup, UGH!

I brought my bike up from the basement. Now it resides in the space my car formerly owned. I had to take the Avalon in for an oil change in Bourbonais so we decided to make a trip out of it. Peggy and I went shopping for flowers at the Sunrise Nursery in Grant Park, IL. It rained and the temp was at forty-five degrees. We toured the greenhouses in record time. All the while we heard the constant drumming of rain drops on the plastic roofing. We still managed to fill the trunk with several flats of annuals, and some more perennials.  Shopping on a forty-five degree day when it is raining is the positive thing we did.

We chugged to the dealer for the oil change. While that was being done we spoke to Dave Sosnowski, the salesman who sold us the car. Dave is a nice young man who I recommend to anyone wantiing to buy a Toyota, Cadillac, Pontiac, or Jeep. The dealer, DAVID Bruce sells them all. I get a one hundred dollar referral fee for anyone who buys a car from him and tells him I sent them. The time went by quickly. Peggy and I proceeded to Country Buffet to have a late lunch. Of course we pigged out. From there we stopped at Farm and Fleet to buy fertilizers and odds for the garden. All in all we spent the day shopping and driving in the cold and wet. Just before we turned into our sub-division I asked Peg if she would mind if we went to the library. We went. I picked up two foreign films and a book to read.

Ugly day, great day.

Income Tax

Well the words “income tax,” required that I really get myself motivated to file. Nothing like the drudgery of  looking through old receipts and bank statements to get one excited. I scheduled two days for the task. They came and went, Then I scheduled another two days to do taxes. Again they came and went. Finally, I told myself that a great reward awaits me if I start and finish in one day. What was my reward?  A walk in the park. That is exactly what I did today. I completed the bloody 1040 and then went for a nice long walk. I didn’t mind the cold or the drizzle. It felt good compared to the drudge of filing.

Motivation is about playing tricks with your mind. Promising yourself little perks as rewards for completion of tasks is one of them. Try it, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.