* * * * * * *

"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Just . . . Be

How often do you allow yourself to be?  Just . . . be.

I ask because I can feel myself bonking.  I need to take a mental health day.  In that light, the moment I stepped out of the car tonight after the drive home, I allowed myself to just . . . be.

Normally, my body would unthinkingly follow my mind's unconscious orders to do X, Y, and Z the moment I parked in front of the carriage doors of the garage and turned off the car's engine.

But not tonight.

Tonight, for whatever reason (survival?), I allowed myself to 'be'.  

I took in the feel of the gravel underneath the thin soles of my fun, zebra-striped slip ons as I walked to the house.  The feel of the light rain on and around me.  I sat down in the once-beautiful-but-now-functional Amish rocker that I keep on the front entrance in both the winter and summer.  When was the last time I'd sat in that chair?

The cats crawled around the legs of the rocker, Bonzi jumping into my lap to say hello.  But I didn't follow the Must Do Mandate to pet her - to do for her.  And, perhaps not so oddly enough, she didn't mind.  I took the time to simply BE there, outside in the fresh air on a cool, rainy northern Minnesota night.

I watched Bonzi's ears as she took in the night sounds.  Did you know that cats can move each ear independent of the other?  I hadn't . . . until about an hour ago . . . when I allowed myself the time to Be.

And the animals were quiet.  They all seemed to understand.  They went about their business, but no one barked, no one was needy.

I listened to the rain and looked at the apple trees I'd planted just . . . what was it . . . three years ago?  Two?  How healthy and happy they are . . . and how much I enjoy just looking at them.

While sitting there, not doing, just BEing, I heard that low-ing again.  That wolf.  Or cow.  I still don't know.  :)  I heard it once, twice, and then waited, hoping to hear it a third time . . . but perhaps s/he had settled down for the night.

I came upstairs to change into my uber-comfy fleece robe.  Any other night, I wouldn't have taken the time to enjoy the coziness and warmth that it brought me in the few minutes before bed.  Back at the cookstove in the kitchen, I heated water for a hot drink . . . something I normally wouldn't have given myself the time for, it being so late and close to bed.

I can't explain it adequately enough, but moving through my arrival home & bedtime routine with PURPOSE and awareness and . . . not in the sense of moving in slow motion, but TIME . . . was - and is - invaluable to me.  I only wish I could remember to do this more often, but I suppose it kicked in this time because it IS one of my survival mechanisms.

Anyway, when was the last time you simply . . . WERE?  Aware of your surroundings?  Taking the time to recognize the pings of raindrops falling down the rain gutter as quiet, light mallet strikes on a child's xylophone?

And, what a coincidence:  my desire to take the time, the moment to BE . . . seemed to run parallel with my crusty old laptop's willingness to function.  :)

Whether it be in the comments section here or on your own blog . . . or in your private journal . . . I encourage you to take the time, just once in a while, to BE . . . and then tell us about it.  Or not.  That's the beauty of BEing aware, BEing in the moment:  it's all up to you!


  1. and there it is - the little "celebration" I was talking about! So glad you were able to enjoy your surroundings, if even for a little while. Your animal noises are intriguing! A cougar I say, LOL, the one from the Twin Cities that has wandered all over MN and WI looking for love... maybe he heard he'd be welcome up in your neck of the woods! Your cool evenings and Amish rocker sound divine right now!

  2. Mindfulness - it's so important.

  3. Beautifully written. Beautifully experienced.

  4. Erin, speaking of cougars . . . .

    When I was in the big city w/ my girlfriend last week, I commented on a cute guy I saw . . . and then realized, "Ohmigod, I could be his mother!!!!"

    If/when I start dating again, I'm gonna need a quick Reality Check during the selection process! ;)

  5. ummm, yeah, my husband is only 32 LOL! But let's see... I have a BROTHER that is only 2 years younger than you but he's an "old soul"... oooh and bonus, he's financially got his act together... LOL hmmm, we might have to revisit this idea again someday :)

    And my friend in Stillwater is a total cougar and she saw my link to the "real cougar" crossing the river from Stillwater to WI and swears it was actually her, then I told her the DNR was analyzing scat to follow the trail of the big cat and now she's changed her tune and says she keeps her roaming confined to MN LOL

  6. Great reminder. I'm glad you did that. Maybe I'll try it....as I take in the snot wiped artfully across my sweater, the bleeping of battery powered toys ringing throughout the house, the feel of sticky dried juice beneath my bare feet on the floor....hahahhaha, I just kill myself. Anyway, I'm living vicariously through your experience of be-ing, which sounded amazing.
    On a side note: the word verification for this comment is "mouser." As in, "That cat is an excellent mouser." I thought they weren't supposed to use real words?

  7. That was awesome reading, girlfriend! Thanks!
    I did get the chance to just be this past weekend, late one evening and then again in the A.M. In my kayak, of course. It was awesome. Perhaps I'll actually post, and then you can read about it...soon...I hope... ;)


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!