I'm here in the grand Pacific Northwest -- Portland, Oregon to be exact, for three weeks. It amazes me how big everything seems here. The trees are taller and the mountains higher than New England. So far (for the past seven days), it's rained every day. Grey, wet days are not my favorite.
I'm also living in an unfamiliar city in a neighborhood where I don't know anyone. On top of that, I'm helping out some friends with their two businesses, both of which are not in my area of expertise. To say that I am out of my element is an understatement.
Fortunately, I can take heart from this week's Pleasure Peek via tut.com:
"Pretending is easy ...
Gratitude, easy ...
Finding stuff to be happy about, easy ...
What's supposed to be the hard part?"
Taking it from the top -- I can easily pretend I am on a luxurious vacation. The home where I am staying is large and airy with all the amenities I could want. I'm surrounded by sumptuous natural beauty. The usual day-to-day "grind" doesn't exist. Every day is something new and unexpected.
I am grateful that the rain stops every day, at some point. As soon as I notice it, I put on
my sneakers and head out the door. The streets are hilly and I'm already feeling the benefits in my body of walking up and down them. With all the rain, the trees, bushes, and gardens are in full bloom. It's lush all around me. I'm also grateful that I have this opportunity to stretch myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
There are countless things to be happy about:
I'm living with two adorable, affectionate kitties.
I encounter many dogs on my walks and they all greet me with wagging tails.
I'm getting to know a different part of the U.S.
I'm looking up friends, some I haven't seen since high school (!), who are out here.
I've got "up" time (I choose "up" over "down" to describe "free" time) to take care of some things that have gotten out of hand, like my email inbox!
I'm meeting new people.
So, what is the hard part? Reminding myself that I am in charge of recognizing all this wonderfulness (as far as I'm concerned, that is a real word). I could get caught up in feeling like a fish out of water (fat chance of that in rain-soaked Oregon, ha, ha!) -- but, seriously, it really is about looking at the glass as half full instead of half empty, celebrating all that there is and all that I have, staying in the present, and figuring things out as I go along.