Tiny Beautiful Moments

by Tammy Strobel on December 19, 2012

Last night, I climbed up into my loft feeling sad. I was missing my dad and I was thinking about all of the heartbreaking news too. The news has been full of loss and I just wanted to curl up under the covers and write.

While I was writing about my emotions, I decided to take a break from blogging; at least until the new year starts. My plan is to rest, reflect and play! I’m going to spend time with my family and I will also be writing in my journal and taking photos.

During my blogging mini-break I’m going to focus on a few intentions, including:

1. Practicing gratitude. The past year was shaped by taking care of my dad and subsequently losing him. I miss him so much, especially with Christmas right around the corner. It still takes my breath away that he’s really gone. I keep returning to Cheryl Strayed’s book, “Tiny Beautiful Things,” and this quote:

“. . . we cannot possibly know what will manifest in our lives. We live and have experiences and leave people we love and get left by them. People we thought would be with us forever aren’t and people we didn’t know would come into our lives do. Our work here is to keep faith with that, to put it in a box and wait.”

Strayed’s words resonated with me because they are true. For example, a year ago I was living in Portland and had no idea how 2012 would unfold. I didn’t know that my dad would die, that Logan would lose his job, or that I would be living on a ranch in rural Northern, California.

As I wrote this post, I was feeling both sad and grateful. I’m sad because I can’t call my dad on the phone, hug him, or spend Christmas Eve eating crab with him while he told funny jokes. But I’m also grateful; grateful that he was part of my life and grateful that we’re living close to family. I don’t want to lose that sense of gratitude or miss all of the tiny, beautiful moments that will happen as I close out the year and move into the next.

2. Choosing joy. The past year has taught me to look for joy even in the midst of loss and grief. And more importantly, choosing joy is where everyday magic can be found. For me, joy encompasses the tiny moments that make up my day, from my morning cup of coffee to a bike ride into town. It’s the seemingly ordinary moments that make life so beautiful.

3. Savoring tiny pleasures. I’ve talked about tiny pleasures on the blog and in my book before. I truly believe that savoring tiny pleasures is one key to leading a happy, joyful life. So over the holiday, I’m going to savor the little things, like yummy cookies from my sweet friend Courtney, morning kisses with Logan, and a glass of white wine in the evening.

Parting words . . .

If you find yourself getting stressed out during the holidays, remember to practice gratitude, choose joy, and to savor the little moments.

Micro-action: Conduct an annual review. You can read my review here and find tips to get start your own. As you reflect on the past year, think about gratitude, joy, and the tiny pleasures you experienced during 2012. Also, consider downloading Susannah’s workbook. It will help you unravel 2012 and start thinking about 2013.

Happy holidays,
Tammy

P. S. If you are looking for something to read while I’m away, buy my new book. The Kindle version is on sale until December 22, 2012. Also check out my list of inspiring books and some happy resources!

1 Dan Garner December 19, 2012

Enjoy your break and your holiday. Sometimes we need to focus on living right here and right now; to appreciate what we have now and not always be thinking of the future. Enjoy the present moment before it’s gone.

Dan @ ZenPresence

2 Rebecca December 19, 2012

Enjoy your break and I hope you have fun and savor the special moments with family and friends.

Happy Holidays!

3 Cynthia December 19, 2012

Happy Holidays Tammy! Thank you so much for your inspirational blog and photography! The end of this year has brought some sad news for my family, but I feel better equipped to handle it with the wonderful stories/ideas you’ve shared :)

4 Teresa Dickey December 19, 2012

Tammy you have been an inspiration to me and I would have to say that my word for 2013 is: Strength. Strength to endure what the future holds. Strength to continue to lift my grandchildren and hug them. Strength when I find out there is nothing else that I can possibly do to change something. Strength to never, never, never give up! I hold you dear to my heart in prayer!
God bless you and yours and have a beautiful Christmas!

5 Claire/Just a little less December 19, 2012

Have a restful break Tammy. I can’t wait to rest, reflect and play too. Looking forward to 2013 xo

6 Paul - The Kind Little Blogger December 19, 2012

Your writing always leads me to reflect on my life, Tammy. You have a knack.

Have a great Christmas, take heaps of photos, write lots in your journal, give many hugs, drink plenty of white wine, give the kitties plenty of chin rubs, give Logan oodles of kisses; enjoy life. I look forward to reading your next blog.

7 diana December 20, 2012

Have a beautiful, relaxing, introspective break, Tammy. Thank you for all you give us through your calming and honest presence.

8 Andrea December 20, 2012

Tammy,
Enjoy the holidays and spending time with your family. I read your book and I thought it was very well written, professional, and laid out well. It had a lot of good ideas and was very inspiring. I recommend it to anyone looking for a little voluntary simplicity. Even small changes can make a big difference.

9 Merryl Chantrell December 20, 2012

Hi Tammy I haven’t commented before but I visit Rowdy Kittens regularly. While I understand you miss your Dad terribly especially at this time of year and all of us are affected by the horrors reported in the media recently there are still good people doing good things it’s just as they say ‘good news never made a paper sell’.

10 Dena December 20, 2012

I’m reading your book right now and considering what else I can take to Goodwill as my husband and I prepare to move from a 1400sq ft house with basement to a 1000sq ft apartment.

11 Ellen December 22, 2012

Tammy,

I am new to your website and really enjoying it.
I bought your book a few days ago and can hardly put it down. I love it!!! I’ve got a highlighter in hand as I read.
There’s much for me to consider in my life right now, as my husband of 17 yrs. died mid-2011. Every part of my world has changed dramatically. I still don’t know exactly what to do with my life- went back to school because Husband was the sole breadwinner. I’m not sure what to major in. But, overall, I’m better now and finding my way in very small increments.
So, thanks for being part of my journey. I value what you do.

Your “neighbor” in Southern Oregon (Medford),
Ellen :)

12 Cheri December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Tammy! Thank you so much for answering my interview questions for my blog! I appreciate it so much, it’s one of the greatest gifts of all! I hope to keep in touch and to continue learning from you. :)

Hope you have a great Christmas, Happy Holidays! And have a Happy New Year!

Previous post:

Next post: