Seven Things on Saturday


My friend Kimi said something sweet when she read my last post: “Even when you’re complaining about stuff… I am still intrigued to read whatever it is you write.” While I took it as a compliment, it also made me realize that most of that last post was complaining. So now I’d like to take a minute to pay tribute to the good things in my life.

My husband: All of us love our significant other, but how many of us can say that he or she is our best friend? Bob puts up with my ramblings, has long conversations with me regarding philosophy, politics, and spirituality, and shares my wacky sense of humor. Most importantly, he is an active participant in my writing goals. He lets me read my chapters out loud to him then offers feedback. He proof-reads things he’s already heard or read several times. He takes all my submissions to the post office for me because he understands that taking that final step is one of the most stressful parts of the process. He’s an open-minded, laid back guy who rarely gets angry and always apologizes when he messes up. I’m not trying to make him out as perfect. Like most guys, he’ll use the countertop as a trash receptacle even when there’s a perfectly good garbage can within equal distance. But when it comes to the important things, he’s got it going on.

My Sweetie

My sweetie

My job: By fall I will be ready to hang up my hoe, but that doesn’t mean I don’t truly enjoy working in landscaping. Sure, I have to put up with the rain and cold (I HATE being cold) but the plus side is that while everyone else is stuck indoors when it’s sunny, I get to be outside soaking up the rays. Working for myself is another perk. I have control over my schedule, and I don’t have to put up with the usual workplace bureaucracy. There’s no one breathing down my neck, telling me to cut corners or hurry up. And my customers appreciate the job I do, unlike so many bosses.

Seasons: Right now we Oregonians (and most of Americans, from what I understand) are struggling to shake off a long winter. But what a glorious thing to know that spring will eventually come. Not just once, not just twice, but every year.  One of my greatest sources of hope and renewal is that this cycle exists. Just when we’re getting tired of one season, another comes along, and it’s been long enough since the last time we saw it that it feels fresh and new.

A willow providing the first hint of spring

A willow providing the first hint of spring

My friends: You know who you are. The people who read my writing and offer feedback. The people who remain supportive, no matter how long the submission process takes. Those who offer me a distraction by hanging out, or conversing with me on Facebook. My blogging buddies who remind me that my words are not just disappearing into the void of cyberspace without being read. It makes life so much more interesting and fulfilling when you have encouraging people around you.

My garden: There’s nothing like working outside with plants and the earth to ground you. I love flowers, particularly in really bright colors.  Going to nurseries and discovering new plants is one of my favorite activities.

picture_1601

One bed in my garden

My characters: One of the most rewarding parts of writing for me is getting to know my characters. They’re real people, and that’s why I can’t simply give up on a book. I have to share these characters with the rest of the world, and I don’t care how much work that means. I will re-write as many times as it takes to get a manuscript up to snuff. And if the market isn’t ready for that book at that time, I’ll put it away and wait until it is ready. But I won’t give up.

My cats: There’s nothing like cuddling a cat to help you find your center. When they’re in such a state of bliss that they blow a mouth gasket and drool a river on your jeans, and those big kitty eyes stare up at you with adoration, you know you’re loved.  Sure they have attitude. The minute you go after them, they’ll walk behind the TV—the feline equivalent of flipping you the bird—but that’s just part of the charm. If you want total subservience, get a dog. Cats get the respect they deserve because demand to be treated as equals. There’s a lesson there.

My cat Keelan

My cat Keelan

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14 Responses to Seven Things on Saturday

  1. spookwright says:

    very well said. nice post! just stumbled by and wanted to comment. cheers!

    Like

  2. Casey says:

    My significant other is my best friend, too. I feel pretty darn fortunate in that.

    I agree about characters being people. We give them life and want to see them succeed, just like children. It’s a strange sort of phenomenon.

    Keep up the positive attitude! It’s lovely.

    : )

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  3. Roxie says:

    Love the willow photo! And hooray for all the good things! Your garden is gorgeous.

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  4. susanls says:

    Hey! Even though you think YOU are my best friend, it’s actually the beloved Jenny. What a difference it makes to have a life partner who is you best friend.

    But now for the stunner: You garden freaks have infected me. I told Jenny that if she’ll build me a raised bed (high enough that I won’t have to hurt my back working in it) I will GARDEN. In that one box only, though.

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  5. susanls says:

    However, you are now plagiarizing me. First with the Six things….., Seven things….. meme and now with the gratitudes. So you want to be me? Only straight?

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  6. Lovely post! My significant other is my best friend, too–it doesn’t get any better than that. And you make landscaping sound like an ideal career choice. What appeals most to me, honestly, is the part about being self-employed. That’s one of the things I love about writing–it’s my work, my motivation, nobody to answer to but myself. Heaven.

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  7. Barb says:

    Something about the willow tree resonated with me. I think I’ve always felt that willow held fairies and elves and the long swaying branches were really gateways to mystical worlds.
    Maybe it’s the mystical entryway to spring. Hurry. Dash through it and bring the sunshine out. It’s time to bring out your hoe and wheel barrow for the season.

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  8. Lisa Nowak says:

    I’m glad to hear so many of you have a significant other who is your best friend. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Susan, I hate to break this to you, but there are lots of bloggers out there doing six things or seven things, and Karen from Chrysalis has been doing a gratitude journal for months on Facebook. So it’s not you I’m copying. 😉

    Chris, yes the self-employed thing is nice, but it isn’t for everyone. I figure there are two types of people, those who value independence most highly, and those who value security most highly. If you like independence you’re probably willing to put up with the lack of security that comes with being self-employed. If you can’t live without security, then you’ll stomach the bureaucracy of working for someone else in order to have a steady income and health insurance. I sincerely believe that if you try to force yourself into one type of employment when you’re cut out for the other you’ll wind up either frustrated or anxious.

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  9. I was with you when you took that pic of Bob! At the Oregon Coast Aquarium I do believe. What did Bob say when he read that about himself?

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  10. Lisa Nowak says:

    Katy, Bob said something like, “your blog post was cute”. He’s not really verbose when telling me something directly. I think he believes I can read his mind or something. If I really want to know what he thinks about something I did, I usually have to ask one of our friends because he brags on me to them. 😉

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  11. Alice Lynn says:

    A lovely blog that reminds me of the things I shouldn’t lose sight of; the joys, the blessings, and the upside of choices, not just the downside.
    Reply to Barb’s comment: I always think of willows in their first budding as Botticelli nymphs dancing in the wind.
    Lisa,thank you.

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  12. Laura Marshall says:

    I am so glad that you looked at all the wonderful things that are in your life. Your garden alone can make anyone smile. It is beautiful.You do so many amazing things for so many people. Since I met you, you have inspired me to be a better writer.
    Smile and be happy spring will be here any day now.:)

    Laura

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  13. shelli wells says:

    your hubby is so sweet – we wouldnt be able to do this without our hubby support!

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