What Went Well

What Went Well

Every Wednesday (or thereabouts!), I post three things that went well in the preceding week. This is a mindfulness practice also known as “three blessings.” It helps focus one’s thoughts on the positive events in one’s life and the factors that have contributed to them. This week on “What Went Well Wednesday”:

  1. My husband and I took a day trip to a beautiful new botanical garden we hadn’t visited before, to see its thousands of Japanese maples; it was gorgeous and we had a great afternoon on our own. Because as much as we love our teenagers, we still enjoy being alone together and are best friends after 25 years of marriage.
  2. My daughter finished and submitted her Early Decision application to her top-choice college! Because she is a hardworking, gifted student making great choices for herself and her future.
  3. Halloween was very entertaining. Because although our children have mostly outgrown it, we still get visited by dozens of small trick-or-treaters in wonderful costumes, including some from outside our neighborhood whose parents bring them because our neighborhood is kid-friendly and safe. So cute!

That was my week, on top of the usual work/school/house routines! How was yours?

What Went Well

We had a great week!

  1. Our oldest daughter had a named role in a Pulitzer Prize-winning play; and the playwright came to watch the production! The author gave very generous comments to the student actors and stayed for Q&A afterward; it was great. Because our daughter is fortunate to have a terrific theater department at her college and she makes the most of those opportunities.
  2. Our other children sang beautifully in church this weekend, when the youth choir led the service. Because they have an amazing choir director who demands a lot of them but makes it fun; and because they and their friends rise to her expectations.
  3. I finalized arrangements to see one of my oldest friends when I am on the West Coast for work. Because I am trying to do better staying connected to people who have been important to me.

That’s it for this What Went Well Wednesday! Feel free to add your own positives in the comments.

What Went Well

My “three blessings” this week:

  1. Our family realized there were a few days this month when we could all be away from school or work, so we’re planning a short, fun family holiday. Can’t wait! Because I would rather spend time with them than do almost anything.
  2. My helpful sister-in-law really loved the plant I got her as a thank-you for keeping one of our kids overnight, and I’m so glad. Because she made it possible for my husband and me to take care of other family members’ needs.
  3. The sun came out yesterday, which made me happy! Because it has been raining all week.

How about you?

What Went Well

This week:

  1. I had a lovely visit with my elderly, fragile mother who lives in another state (a plane ride away). Nowadays those visits are always a little tinged with sadness as she doesn’t want to say goodbye and I wonder if this might be the last one, given her poor health, but we still enjoyed it very much. Because when I’m there, I can focus on her and just be with her, thanks to my wonderful husband who manages household and kids in my absence.
  2. We had lots of fun choosing childhood photos for our daughter’s senior yearbook page. Because she and her siblings were so cute and funny, and such happy children! Lots of happy memories, although she and the others have grown up too fast.
  3. I reconnected with two childhood friends during my weekend with my mother, one in person and one via email. Because I am trying to counter my introvert tendencies by remembering to reach out more to people I don’t see often.

I do this exercise, also called “Three Blessings”, weekly as a mindfulness/gratitude practice. What helps you focus on the good things in your life?

What Went Well

I forgot to post this on Wednesday, so here it is: what went well this week.

  1. My high school senior received a national award for scholastic achievement. Because she works very hard, studies conscientiously and deserves recognition.
  2. My college student won a coveted, named part in her college’s fall play. Because she also works very hard to develop the gifts with which she has been blessed, and chose a college program that is the perfect fit for her. And the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright is coming to see the performance!
  3. I am really enjoying a new part of my job which includes advising students one-on-one. Because I like students, they are very eager and motivated, and I enjoy knowing and helping them.

What went well for you this week?

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!

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!

Who I Am and Why I’m Here

I need more serenity and mindfulness in my life and I think others do too. I am blessed in many ways but I am also pulled in many directions: family, home, work, creative urges. I am introverted and find it easiest to communicate in writing, which gives me time to choose my words precisely and express exactly what I want to say, so blogging appeals to that side of me. I am also intensely curious and interested in the world around me, including other people. I love new ideas and new information, so I enjoy reading what others write.

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. Because thinking and writing about lovely things brings more serenity into my life.

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

What Went Well This Week

This is my first post in a new feature here on “Serenity Now”: What Went Well Wednesdays. It is based on a positive psychology exercise also known as “Three Blessings.” You’re supposed to set aside a short time every night and write down three things that went well that day. They can be major or minor. Then you write down why they went well. One example goes something like this: “My husband brought me ice cream after work. Because (he loves me and he remembered how much I enjoy ice cream; or, I remembered to call him and ask him to stop at the store).” Ideally, one does it nightly. I may try that, but in this blog, it will appear once a week. So here goes!

What went well this week:

1. My family took turns making wonderful meals for everyone. Because I can’t cook right now and they are enthusiastic about learning to cook (and proud of their results!).

2. Our air-conditioning system was easily repaired after a weekend breakdown and the repair was minor and inexpensive. Because the repairman was competent, honest and professional.

3. A dear friend came by for a drop-in visit. Because she had been out of town and knew I had missed her company.

There! I feel great. I hope you’ll try this exercise!


Photo: Blue Apron.

Reblogged: Digital Devices and Learning to Grow Up

Very insightful post from The Frailest Thing:

Digital Devices and Learning to Grow Up

“Yes, digital devices have given us the power to decide who is worthy of our attention minute by minute. Advocates of this constant connectivity–many of them, like Facebook, acting out of obvious self-interest–want us to believe this is an unmitigated good and that we should exercise this power with impunity. But–how to say this without sounding alarmist–encouraging people to habitually render other human beings unworthy of their attention seems like a poor way to build a just and equitable society.”