Even when things are tough, finding the good stuff in my life keeps me on an even keel.
I blame it on being a relentless optimist. (Kind of an annoyingly relentless optimist, to hear some folks describe it, even.)
But seriously, even when stuff in the world presses down like crazy, if I can just manage to find a few things I'm happy about, I know I'll be okay.
Today's writing prompt was just "three good things", and in looking back over my pictures from the last few weeks, I'm reminded of something important:
I've got a lot more than just three things to be happy about.
I had trouble picking three things to share, even.
#1: These handmade watercolor paints from Redwood Willow.
Redwood Willow's an etsy seller. She's one lady, who takes raw pigments and turns them into these paints (and paint sets). She sells out in literally seconds when she updates most of the time, and for good reason: these paints are awesome.
I lucked out and got a popsicle set (and a prussian blue, because that's kind of my favorite color ever) a couple months back, and have been using them since. It's my favorite limited palette right now, and the earthiness of the colors is stunning.
This is her shop, but I'd suggest getting on her instagram, where she announces when she'll have shop updates. And be quick when it goes live, too.
(sidenote: I just noticed she's got two new-ish colors, Green Earth and Dark Slate Gray, that I don't have. I think I just licked the monitor.)
#2: The Quinault Rain Forest
A couple weeks back, when I was in the thick of dealing with the sick puppy, I had to get away for a day. J had the day off, so I packed up a bag and drove the hour and a half north to the edge of the peninsula, and walked around the Quinault in the light, not-so-cold drizzle. It only took minutes to feel my stressed muscles unclench, and after two hours, I was sopping wet and full of Okayness.
The world is moss-covered and fern-carpeted in the Quinault. Everything smells green, and the sound of waterfalls and forest songs float through the air.
It literally feels like another world, something primeval and comforting and wild.
And it's only two hours-ish from my front door.
I'm truly blessed.
#3 Virtual Races from Yes.Fit
I know I run the risk of sounding like a total dork here, but...
I don't care. I'm totally motivated by trinkets.
There are days when I don't want to walk across the room to get my drink, but if I'm working on one of these virtual races with yes.fit, I'd walk across the state for a medal. (The same thing happened when I was starting to hike, all those years ago, by the way. I was all ewww outdoors on purpose at the beginning -- being kind of a California girl at that point, but when I found letterboxing and found out that there were hand-carved stamps waiting for me if I followed simple clues on a hike? BRING ON THE BOOTS, BABY. I'm easy, see.)
I've won two medals (above) for short to mid- sized races, and am working on a third that's much longer. And to reinforce the point: I doubled my daily steps since I started. Literally doubled them. I love that.
If you don't know how it works, here 'tis in a nutshell:
Having a fitbit helps, but isn't required. (If you have one, you connect it to yes.fit and it tracks for you. Otherwise, you have to manually input your mileage every day.) You just pick a race from the list, pay a really nominal race fee that pays for the medal at the end (which is right around $20-25). Tell the system how you'll be tracking miles (fitbit or other tracker, or manual), and then walk your patootie off.
As you go along, yes.fit sends you updates mostly every day. It tells you how far you've gone and what you've unlocked on the map. Most of the time, that's a google street view of where you're "walking", with occasional side information or PDFs with interesting info about the area. It's great for this time of year, when getting outside to walk would be inadvisable or dangerous (no frostbite for you, missy!), and lets you feel like you're actually travelling along the routes.
They're adding new races all the time and the facebook community for it is awesomely supportive and positive.
I'm a fan, and totally grateful for all the motivation they're putting out there.
And yes, the medals are pretty awesome, too.
All the Yes.fit information is here. (No affiliation, btw. Just an enthusiastic user of its services.)
So there we have it: my three good things list.
What are your three things today?