Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

What Went Well

What went well this week:

  1. My son’s football team won their first game of the season! This is a big deal because they are in middle school and did not win a single game last year. They won because they have been working hard, including in some new positions, and did not allow themselves to become discouraged.
  2. I am making progress in physical therapy. Because I have a terrific physical therapist and I am pushing myself to do the exercises as often and as far as possible.
  3. I got great advice from one of my oldest friends. Because she is wise, and kind, and she cares deeply about me.

Have a serene week, everyone!

I Witness(ed) a True Act of Kindness Today From a Customer.

I Witness(ed) a True Act of Kindness Today From a Customer.

Random acts of kindness spread serenity. I Witnessed a True Act of Kindness Today From a Customer, on the Kindness Blog.

Kindness Blog

be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battleSo I work at an auto-part store and today I had the most amazing thing happen.

So this old lady comes in and I greet her and ask if she needs any help. Well her car battery turned out to be bad and she needed a new one. I looked it up and it cost $110 after turning in her old one. She agrees and I go grab it, I ring it up and with the $15 core charge it comes out to around $136.

She slides her debit card and it gets declined. She kind of sighs and she gets out her credit card and it is declined again.

I can see she is almost in tears so I decide to remove the core charge in good faith that she will bring the old battery in and I take 10% off the purchase. She is very thankful and we…

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Scentbird?

Scentbird?

One of the tags I follow is “Perfume”. I have always loved perfume and even saved up my money in eighth grade to buy my mother a small flacon of Chanel No. 5, her signature perfume. An early memory of mine is sitting on her bed watching her get ready to go out with my father, as she sat at a real dressing-table whose lid, when lifted, revealed a mirror and a deep compartment filled with mysterious bottles of fragrance, lotion and makeup. I am firmly convinced that scent and fragrance can help transport us to a different (better?) state of mind, as the sense of smell connects to the most primitive, unconscious parts of the human brain, the ones that process emotions and memories. Let’s use that power for good!  Serenity now!

Today, another blog featured a subscription service called “Scentbird.” I loved that name so much, I had to read more just to find out what it was. Turns out it is a service where you pay a monthly fee to receive a decanted sample of a different named fragrance each month. This has clearly been given a lot of thought; subscribers get a special container to hold their samples, which come in small glass vials. Very creative! I had heard of another subscription for beauty supply samples — “Birchbox” — but not for fragrance. Where do they get these great names, by the way?

Anyway, Scentbird also has a blog where contributors comment on various fragrances: Scentbird. And today’s post included a fragrance I just tried myself in a store and liked very much: Hermes Jour d’Hermes. The blog aptly describes it as taking its wearer into a beautiful garden — and you know how much we love gardens here at Serenity Now. It was very appealing, with its white florals, green notes, sweet pea, citrus and water notes. And yes, it made me feel more serene.

Next up for me to try: Hermes Jour d’Hermes Absolu, pictured above with my favorite roses!

jourdhermes-bottle

Blogging 101: About

About me and my blog: I am a lover of beauty, a happily married introvert, an empath and INTJ. I have an inquiring mind and thousands of books. Many things make me happy. I’d like to share some of them.

Mindfulness is something I am trying to cultivate in my life. There are many competing claims on my time and attention: family, work, etc. As my children are now in their teens, I am working to carve out some time for peaceful reflection and creativity in my life, in spite of a demanding, sometimes pressured job. Blogging is one way for me to do that. I am also using this blog to cultivate positive thoughts through practices like “What Went Well Wednesdays”, when I write down three things that went well that week.

I also blog about gardens, gardening, garden books, art in gardens and garden photography at Old Herbaceous.

Morning Calm

Morning Calm

I woke up this morning at dawn, in the tiny but cozy guest room of an old-fashioned lakeside cottage. The window, barely a foot from the four-poster bed which filled most of the room, looked out over a small lake which was so calm, it reflected the rosy sky like a smooth mirror. A slight mist rose off the water but all was silent. I lay back against the pillows and just gazed out at the water before picking up my book. What a joy, to have hours of uninterrupted reading time before breakfast, in such a lovely place. I love these simple cottages: uninsulated, plain wooden walls, simple sleeping porches, kitchens no bigger than the small galley kitchen in my first city apartment. Old, faded, soft furniture. Simplicity now!

Why Serenity Now?

Why Serenity Now?

Today’s assignment: names and taglines. I named this blog “Serenity Now” in honor of George Costanza’s father Frank. If you ever watched “Seinfeld”, you know who I mean: the perpetually irritated, snarky dad played by the brilliant Jerry Stiller. In one episode, he is told that he has to bring his high blood pressure and anger under control; when he feels himself becoming enraged, he should say the phrase “Serenity now.” Except that Frank screams the phrase at the people who irritate him, which doesn’t calm anyone down, least of all him. As one character says “Serenity now, insanity later.”

I loved that episode because it made me laugh. But at the same time, there are days when I feel like Frank in spite of my normally calm demeanor. The world seems irrational and crazy and it’s not cooperating with my plans or appreciating my contributions. I need to remember how much of my life is going well and how fortunate I am. I need to be more mindful of the many things and people I love. I need to keep calm and carry on. Serenity now!