#reverb 12, #projectreflect: the bliss of the ordinary

Sometimes, there is just one day out of 365 that is just so amazing, that you’re just blissfully *happy*, even when things don’t go your way. Has there been a day this year that sticks out in your mind, where you’ve just been so happy that you had to shout it from the rooftops? What happened? What made that day better than any other day in 2012? (Esther Fox)


One of the things I have noticed is despite how challenging living apart can be, and how deeply I miss M, there are many, many days where nothing at all spectacular happens but I am happy, in a good mood, content. There has been a kind of healing that happens when you let go of whatever it is that held you back or you get out of a situation that is toxic for you, whether it be a relationship, a job, friendship. I think I have been experiencing the results of that letting go. Or perhaps, I am feeling the benefits of the work of all that tending I did this year. Whatever it is, I know that I have discovered joy again. 

A few blissful moments stand out for me this year. The first is our trip to North Carolina for a conference. We'd had a long day and were really hungry but still trying to eat better and wanted something different for dinner. I got recommendations from the front desk, and they weren't striking either of us. We were bickering about making a decision when M finally said magic words, "Apple, Bacon, Cheddar". We decided we'd have a day where we didn't worry about calories. We went to this incredible little place called The Rockford in downtown Raleigh. We sat on the balcony, eating delicious food. I looked down at one point and saw my keychain that reminded me to "enjoy the little things." 



And it occurred to me that is exactly what we were doing. And I exhaled, relaxed into the meal, to the night, and the time together. The sandwich, though, serious happiness on a plate:

I'd forgotten about the powdered sugar until I saw this photo again. Oh!

Most of my moments of bliss are when I'm doing something completely ordinary, riding in the car with M, for example. Just having her next to me while driving no matter what we are doing or where we are going is enough. 

I'm also blisfully happy (often) after working out or hiking. One of my favorite moments of this year has been taking my camera on a hike through Silvoor Biological Reserve. It's incredibly peaceful and perfect for photos. I knew while I was walking that I would have been unable to do something like that a year ago. There are incredibly steep areas that would have had me gasping or having to take a rest or certainly been uncomfortable and I could not only walk but also notice the surroundings. I could feel my body move, stretch; I was aware of the challenges, my breath and the beauty of it all. And I felt completely happy. Any time I am able to do photo walks, I enjoy it. I took my camera around campus a few weeks ago and it was amazing what I learned, how I felt, the way the lens allows me to pay attention.

From October PhotoHike

Recently, the last day of classes (Thursday) I was incredibly happy. Not necessarily because it was the last day of class, because that was bittersweet. But I just felt good, accomplished, happy to watch my students work away on their projects and ask questions. I liked what I was wearing; never underestimate the power of a good outfit. I also felt good about the work we'd done this semester. I snapped this photo which is now my facebook profile pic.

Maybe these days are not really ordinary. Noticing them, perhaps makes them remarkable.