Keeping track of myself

As a slow-moving, slow-thinking, stay-at-homer, living without the aid of  a Fitbit to keep track of myself, I am inclined to fall into the habit of believing that my day’s achievements equal little more than  washing out and washing in; and that’s on a relatively well-organized day. 😀 However, if I stop for a moment and put on my old-fashioned  considering cap , I slowly  begin to understand that I have been achieving. Indeed, almost over-achieving 😉 .

For example, in this past first week of the New Year, I have, amongst other things, baked two  delicious cakes, a loaf of yogurt bread, and two hearty desserts.  I have been on some favourite  summertime walks. I have caught up with most of my blog reading and commenting. And I have decluttered the inner workings of my faithful old Toshiba laptop so that it performs faster and more efficiently than it has done in years. Hooray! Oh, and, let’s not forget, I  have given my husband a handsome haircut. ( It’s taken me more than thirty years to get up the courage to take on the haircutting! )

But of more importance, and beyond any of these achievements, has been my week of keeping tabs on my BEING; specifically on my Grateful Being.  Many people write a gratitude journal but this is the first time I have done so. It was much harder work than I expected, but I am pleased I persevered with it.

So, if you have a moment to spare, draw up a chair, put on your considering caps, and make what you will of my 7 days of random gratitudes.

Here I go….. grateful for

and grateful, too, for my new  Nextbook, for my ability to sleep soundly  through the Wilberforce earthquake, and grateful for the fact that our  Christmases don’t all come at once.

My final gratitude is reserved for the wonderful weeds that grow like flowers in my garden.

Self-sown beauties.

Self-sown beauties.

© silkannthreades

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151 thoughts on “Keeping track of myself

  1. Juliet

    I’m always surprised at how much there is to be grateful for once I start writing things down. Beautiful images and tasty cooking – a good start indeed. I especially like the bit about decluttering the laptop. Once the feng shui starts, there’s no knowing when it will end!

    Reply
      1. LucyJartz

        I do not have a green thumb, so I welcome hardy plants that survive on their own… but I don’t like plants that choke out all of the others, or ones with irritating oils like poison ivy.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          It may not be a problem for you. It is not a problem in its native habitats but the conditions in New Zealand are very attractive for it so it has become an invasive nuisance.

  2. tableofcolors

    What a lovely idea to put the considering cap on…something that is not done nearly enough when life just gets a bit too hectic. Good for you and thank you for the reminder 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It’s hard to find time to put on a considering cap, isn’t it! However I am enjoying all the considering you have been doing on your family history.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Do have a go. I limited myself to a week because I knew I would have difficulty with a longer term commitment. But even a week has given me confidence that I can do it and that I can have another go when I am ready to do so.

      Reply
  3. Sheryl

    I wish that I had beautiful weeds like the ones that you have in my flower garden. Crab grass and other miscellaneous nondescript grasses seem to thrive in my garden.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am sure I have similar weedy grasses! Apparently the seeds of one species of crab grass can be ground for porridge. So even crab grass has its uses. 🙂

      Reply
  4. quarteracrelifestyle

    I tend to think of myself as a potterer who doesn’t achieve much through the day but the bare necessities but actually I am just enjoying my time of BEING also, slowing down enough to enjoy what I am doing right now. I need to do more of this this year and I don’t think that’s a bad thing 🙂 Do you still have my email? I can’t find yours and hubby said we can pop in and pick up the mentioned book on Friday on the way through 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Potterers of the world unite, says she who is still pottering about in her pjs at 12.39 pm. I have sent you an email with my contact details. It will be lovely to see you. Tell hubby I promise not to delay you. 🙂

      Reply
      1. quarteracrelifestyle

        12.39!!! Lol, that probably beats my record! But how nice to feel that is all OK to do that, you know back in our original days we wouldn’t have changed clothes at all, tis just a consumer driven thing I reckon 🙂 I will tell him, will be lovely to see you too 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, my grandfather, as a child, wore the same clothes, or at least the same undergarments, all winter. I used to berate my children for lounging about in pjs all day but now I see why they enjoyed doing so.

        2. quarteracrelifestyle

          Every so often I just fall in to bed with my clothes on because I am just too weary to change. Roger raises his eyebrows at me but I don’t know why we need to change our clothes all the time anyway….though I do love my dressing gown!

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Tired is tired, and tired must be obeyed no matter what we are wearing. For some people, changing into pjs is part of the routine that helps them sleep. But I am no bothered because I can fall asleep anywhere, anyhow. And, yes, dressing gowns are splendid. I have a very cozy one. Thanks so much for coming by today to collect the book. So much fun to meet you, even briefly, and I was over the moon delighted that, whilst looking at the book together, we discovered that my weedy viola is heartsease. How special is that!

        4. quarteracrelifestyle

          It was lovely to meet you Gallivanta and I sent the long trip home pouring over the wonderful books you gave me, thanks so much 🙂 And yes, I too was pleased to discover I unknowingly had Heartsease in the garden, I will be researching that more!

        5. Gallivanta Post author

          Glad you are safely home, and glad you had some time to relax and read. Hope you are not being too bothered by smoke and ash from the fires up your way. Quite alarming to see how dry the countryside is.

        6. Gallivanta Post author

          Thank goodness! I have finally resorted to watering the garden which I prefer not to do but the poor plants, all drought tolerant, are desperate.

  5. Brenda Davis Harsham

    I tried to keep a gratitude journal, but I had too much to write down, and it took too long. LOL Such a position to be in. You keep going with yours, because it sounds like it’s helping you focus on good things. 🙂 Hugs, Brenda

    Reply
  6. Just Add Attitude

    I daren’t put on my considering cap as post Christmas I have had two lazy weeks, hence I am only just catching up today on email, blog reading …Well done on getting so much done. 😉

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I heartily approve of 2 lazy weeks.The considering cap can wait its turn. I am sure you have lots more interesting head gear you would rather wear. 🙂

      Reply
  7. pleisbilongtumi

    Wonderful post! I think I am also starting to muse to be more grateful as you are being grateful with your own track. I wish there would be someone at home cutting my hairs with style she likes.

    Ops, where is the photo of the hair cut? 🙂

    Reply
  8. Robbie

    You are a very reflective soul:-) I imagine you would be a great neighbor or good friend to have near by..you live a good, rich + creative life that inspires many people:-) lovely photos of simple beauty all around:-) I enjoy stopping by and visiting-lovely:-)

    Reply
  9. Marylin Warner

    Gallivanta, you make me so grateful for you. For the lovely and simple and kind and touching things you give thanks for, and the way you share your thoughts with us and make us thankful, too. You’re a jewel.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Marylin. Isn’t it a lovely coincidence that as I was writing down my gratitude, you were choosing your word, gratefulness? What good things we share! 🙂

      Reply
  10. Clanmother

    My dear friend, this is the third time that I have read this post. Your words resonated clearly and distinctly with me. Our eyes are always moving forward. It is only when we put on our “considering cap” that we truly understand what we have accomplished. I am learning to celebrate my accomplishments rather than plan my endeavours. I just was reading a passage from St. John of the Cross. “in the evening we shall be examined on love.” I think that when we recognize that living, being, caring, and hoping are the important tasks, our lives take on a new dimension. And above all, as you said so eloquently, the joy of being grateful.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Having spent yesterday ‘worrying’ an old bone i.e. my finances and what to do about them, I reset my considering cap (it had slipped a little) and decided that the important moment was NOW not 5 years from now. That decision cleared my mind considerably though it will not make retirement planners happy! Now you have brought me this beautiful quote from St John of the Cross to validate my decision. If, at the end of each day, I can answer the question of what I have done, with “I have loved”, then I am blessed. And grateful. 🙂

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Your comment reminded me of the old song Side by Side. I wanted to post the Patsy Cline version but the embedding was disabled on that clip.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Not having a toddler twinnage probably helps me out, although I am sure they would brighten my life and bring lots of laughter, not to mention hugs and cuddles. Speaking of drool; have you ever made knitted bibs? 😉

      Reply
  11. Karin Van den Bergh

    Some delicious achievements Gallivante. Declutteriing the computer is also my first priority this year – won’t be an easy task. Such lovely ‘weeds’ 🙂

    Reply
  12. Elizabeth

    your photos are lovely and you have lots of talent, gratitude is so powerful, i practice it every day last year taking a photo of a little thing i was grateful for. i realized nature has many gifts for me, one of them was the wildflower growing in my backyard like your flowers. you said about the butterflies in your garden at the start of the new year, maybe a sign for transformation. have a great sunday, i’m looking forward for your butterfly photos.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Elizabeth, your year of daily gratitude photos must have been wonderful. I will be grateful if I get some butterfly photos this year. Last year the monarch butterflies came, they laid their eggs, the eggs hatched and caterpillars grew and then NOTHING. I was disappointed. Hoping for better things this season. 🙂

      Reply
  13. Cynthia Reyes

    Another beautiful post. Like having a leisurely visit with a good friend on a summer day, a glass of lemonade or a cup of tea in hand.
    So much to be grateful for, once you start to think about it.
    But I’m glad I don’t have to cut my husband’s hair – you are a brave woman.

    Reply
      1. Mélanie

        I totally agree with you… we both love flowers and I look forward to having my violettes de Toulouse in my backyard – normally next month… 🙂 btw, I love yours! ❤ thanx for your generous comments @ my playground and have a flowery week! cheers, Mélanie

        Reply
  14. Daniela

    Somebody whose name I am unable to recall right now said that it is only when we have learned to spend perfectly good afternoon doing ‘nothing’ and be grateful for it – we have truly learned meaning of life!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      A wise person. 🙂 I have always maintained that our schools should devote time to lessons in doing nothing. At my primary school I had a grand time doing nothing or doing as I pleased which I meant I was rarely bored. Does that make sense?

      Reply
  15. April

    Those weeds look like pansies, and I like to plant them in my yard. They are one of my favorite flowers. My daughter and I received fitness trackers for Christmas. The App we use, we formed a team to encourage each other. The other day I was really racking up the number of steps I was taking–but I wasn’t doing much, just housework. I had the tracker on my dominant hand, and it was making me look like I was exercising a lot. If I want to trick myself, I could put the tracker on my dominant hand and knit and that would count as exercise. 🙂 (which it is in a way)

    I enjoyed your week of gratitude. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, the weeds are a type of pansy. Possibly remnants from the years that I had a garden full of pansies. I do love pansies but not the watering that went with them. Some of my extended family have fitness trackers and really enjoy them. I am sorely tempted by the trackers but I MUST NOT BUY anything more until I am properly decluttered! Housework and knitting and even just standing are great exercise… go you!

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      YC, they are a variant of a pansy but not what I would call a true pansy, but I could be wrong.They are very cheerful and bright whatever their proper name is.

      Reply
  16. gaiainaction

    Beautiful pic of the Violets, love it. Yes wild plants are great to find in the garden, and we sure do! So much to be thankful for. It was lovely to see your appreciations, a lovely idea! 🙂

    Reply
      1. gaiainaction

        Yes they do, and one thing about them even in winter, they can look so incredibly healthy and green, lovely!

        Reply
  17. Tiny

    Oh, you’ve been busy and very productive! Doesn’t seem “slow” on any level to me. I had a big smile when I read about the haircut. I do cut my hubby’s hair as well. And when we lived in Africa, I was a popular “hairstylist” in the evenings. Many friends, male and female, came to me to get their haircut. It’s a good and creative hobby 🙂 Your baking is delicious and your flower exquisite, as always. I’m happy the earthquake went by unnoticed.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, I knew you were multi-talented..naturalist, photographer, writer, and now hairstylist. Computer technician and car mechanic too, no doubt. 😉 😉 My husband is happy for me to cut his hair but I think the true measure of my talent would be if my son let me near his head! And I am completely hopeless at grooming Jack. He has to go to a professional.

      Reply
      1. Tiny

        Made me smile! There’s nothing creative in handling the grooming Jack…so why would that be interesting 😉 Car mechanic, I wish!! I’ve never opened the hood on my own 🙂

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Jo,I have fiddled so much with this laptop that I am not sure how to explain to anyone what I have done. The main tip is ‘have a go’. If nothing else you will get to know that your machine has components that you never ever knew existed. Enjoy your weekend too.

      Reply
  18. Poetsmith

    Lovely gratitude thoughts, even for the weeds that grow like flowers… 🙂 You do grow some beautiful flowers in your garden! 🙂 Great for cut flowers like the one in the photo!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The flowers are becoming sparse Iris, as we seem to be entering a period of drought. My aim is to have a garden that doesn’t need any water other than natural rainfall but today I had to give in and start hand watering. So, at this time of year, I will take anything I can get from the garden, be it weed or flower. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I do agree. I pick my weeds instead of being picky about removing them from my garden. Bees love weed flowers just as much and sometimes more than cultivated flowers, and in my garden I am to please the bees.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope you will find those moments of gratitude that you need. 🙂 I am often grateful for a lot of things but I found it hard to pinpoint one particular thing each day. I got there though! I am sure you will, too.

      Reply
  19. shoreacres

    I just realized today that we have come to the ninth day of the new year — the ninth! — and I feel as though I hardly have accomplished anything. Partly, I’m just restless because the weather has been cool (or flat cold) and mostly nasty the whole time, so I’ve not been able to work as I wish. January is my month for the highest bills (contractors’ insurance of $2K and taxes) and the least income, so it can be a bit of a nerve-wracker.

    So, what to do? Get caught up, declutter a bit more, look for some beauty, and huddle around the warmth of the computer! I have some soup on the stove, and am nearly caught up with blog-reading, so the afternoon will be given over to my next post, with some kitty-petting thrown in.

    I don’t know which is lovelier: your self-sown violas, or your ability to sleep through the earthquake. That certainly is worth being grateful for, as well as being one more sign of recovery.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      And, now, we have entered the 11th! And, yes, the bill paying time comes ever closer. January is a bad time for bills in our household, too. Insurance for house and contents are due. They have increased enormously since the earthquakes, and our property rates are higher, as well. Taxes come later, in April, so we have a little breather between now and then. I could (and I have done in the past)keep myself awake all night worrying about the imbalance between the outgoings and the incomings, but sleep is much more productive, as is kitty-petting. 🙂

      Reply
  20. Lavinia Ross

    I have been baking more of late myself. Banana-walnut-cranberry whole wheat loaf. Served with a good hot of hot tea with cream, one of the winter soul-menders!

    Such lovely flowers in your garden! Someday I hope to see your Land of the Long White Cloud!

    Reply
  21. Mary

    How beautiful – love your post Gallivanta. Your weeds are flowers in my eyes that proudly stand tall. I’ve been decluttering during December great feeling of relief and freedom.

    Reply
  22. Leya

    You are industrious! And being thankful and writing about it – that’s perhaps something we should all do. I have considered it, but there it stopped… Your flowers and shells, they are lovely, lovely. They lighten up my heart and soul in all the northern greyness. And doing summer walks! How wonderful! i understand if you enjoy it immensely. I hope you haven’t got the same heat as in Australia? We hear about that daily now in the news.
    Have a great weekend too, walking and loving summer.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ann Christine, we have had some lovely warm days but nothing as hot as Australia. They are scorching in some places. It took me a very long time,many years in fact, to get round to writing a gratitude log. It is not always necessary to write about gratitude. We can show it as well. Your photos reflect your gratitude and appreciation for your life and your beautiful environment.

      Reply
  23. utesmile

    Weeds….. such lovely violets in a matching violet vase, how beautiful. Well you have been busy and grateful, I am happy that the earthquake did not too much harm, and I am grateful for you, and you making those lovely cakes….. 🙂

    Reply
  24. colorpencil2014

    How I love reading your musings…it feels like a slow meandering river. Thought you have done a lot of nice things and all of sudden I have a craving for cakes;0) And what better and more beautiful pot than yours to put pansies in??? thanks my dear Galivanta! xox Johanna

    Reply
  25. Mrs. P

    You have been a busy beaver! I have started some of the same de-clutter activities but cannot as yet report the kind of progress you have had. And you certainly do have beautiful weeds! 😀

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am not sure how weedy they really are. All I know is that I didn’t plant them. They just appeared. They are not as big as the violas that I buy at the nursery, so I am guessing they are some sort of straggler. Mrs P, I haven’t had the physical energy to continue the house declutter this week, but I am very pleased with the work I have done on my laptop. I feel very satisfied about that.

      Reply
  26. Joanne Jamis Cain

    I tend to not recognize all my chores and duties as I do them either. I’m always thinking, “What shall I be doing next?” It’s good to stop and take a look at how much we really do. And I love the gratitude thing. I should do that again this year. I did it years ago and it changed my whole attitude.
    Those violets are simply gorgeous.
    xo

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I woke up this morning and saw at least 3 things that made me grateful. I contemplated doing a gratitude for every hour and then thought NO, just stick to what you originally planned which was a week of gratitude to start the year. Enough’s as good as a feast. Don’t overdo things, Gallivanta!!! By the way, did you notice the link to Orthodox Christmas? 😉 And I was really thrilled to hear that the Greek Orthodox church at Ground Zero is now being rebuilt. It will be a beautiful space in which to be still and be grateful. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30691875 Your post/tribute to your son was a wonderful post of gratitude. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Joanne Jamis Cain

        I think it’s good to stick to your original gratitude plan. 🙂
        I have been following the news on the Ground Zero church. It’s fascinating.
        I didn’t check out your link! I’ll have to go back and check it out!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I find the story of the Greek Orthodox church at Ground Zero very reassuring. We worry here because our Cathedrals are not yet rebuilt 4 years after our big earthquake, but the story of the Orthodox church shows that, with time, good things will happen. We must be patient.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh I like the tag “vintage”. Makes me feel like one of your precious linens. Actually my flowers are sitting on some of my own vintage linen, although you can’t tell in the photo. A better view can be found here https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/mrs-cockalarums-surprise-outing/ The little embroidered piece has been on my dressing table or duchess since I was a child. I think it was made by my mother and her sister.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          It was such a big day that she hasn’t been out since! Glad you like the dresser scarf. I have some other vintage ones, made by family members, but somehow they don’t get to see the light of day because I am so attached to the one that is there.

  27. earthbornliving

    Love the images of shells – cake – flowers – and home grown spuds…and throughout all the weavings of Being.
    They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.
    Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

    Reply

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