The pupsters are here with me on the couch. The sky is a dull gray flecked with light blue and occasionally the sun shines through. The wind is making shushing and whipping sounds and shaking the tree branches.

I have, as is common for me, Law & Order SVU on my TV in the background as I sit here with my laptop. ADA Alex Cabot has just been shot, and I know from watching this episode a number of times that they are faking her death to put her into witness protection.

I have no idea how many TV channels I actually have access to, because I only watch maybe 3-4 channels. USA, MSNBC, ION Television where I watch all the reruns. And once in a blue moon I will watch Lifetime.

I am not one to sit and surf through the channels. The possibilities of what is on TV doesn’t really matter to me.

Charlie has heard something outside. I could tell him there are rarely squirrels out front. They tend to do their acrobatics out on the patio. But even the squirrels seem reluctant to brave the stiff winds today.

He probably heard the maintenance man opening or closing the door of the shed that sits in front of my apartment. Or someone unloading a truck in the alley behind the strip mall. Normal occurrences around here.

I won’t go out today. I didn’t go out yesterday. Probably won’t go out tomorrow.

I like my apartment. I am not the type of person who has to be constantly entertained by going and doing.

I have the front door open so the house plants can get more light through the glass storm door. It looks out on the pale yellow cinder block wall of the back of the strip mall. It isn’t pretty. I see the same thing out back.

But after nearly four years of living here, it doesn’t bother me anymore. It is what it is. I could say it’s ugly, with the necessary pipes criss-crossing the back of the building, but why let it bother me?

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

Yes, it would be wonderful to live out in the countryside. To have cows in the fields and see land as far as the eye could see. But I live here and that is okay.

I prefer not to see the negatives in my surroundings.

The glass is half full.

I believe it is best to change what is easy to change, and to ignore what isn’t.

Come spring, there will be green emerging out on the patio. Even though we’ve had a very cold winter so far, hopefully some of my container plants will have made it through. I hope the freezes haven’t killed what lies beneath the soil. But right now that is out of my control, so I won’t let it worry me.

I prefer to focus on things that I can make beautiful, to the squirrels that delight me and the birds that perch on the fence, than to worry what is beyond that.

You can’t always change your view. But you can always change how you let it affect you.

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23 Comments

  1. Remember the Mary Engelbreit items embossed with the saying, “Bloom where you are planted?” It’s what you’ve learned to do. It’s a healthier approach than fretting about what you can’t change. We watched a gray squirrel yesterday from the kitchen window and its markings were a bit unusual, with a white stripe outlining its tail and a white patch on its neck that looked like a bowtie. No it wasn’t a skunk, it was a squirrel who seemed a bit more dressed up than usual!

  2. It seems to me that you bring beauty into the world, with your plants and bird fountain.
    BTW, I used to love police procedurals like Law and Order, but eventually I gave them up, along with all TV, and sleep SO much better. I’d rather read.

  3. I’ve been retired approximately 18 months and so happy to be out of the rat race. I’m definitely a hermit and quite content being in my home doing exactly what I want to do when and if I want to do it. I get lots of flack from many about my hermit like tendencies. I find myself constantly apologizing and explaining – why does it matter to so many? Recently I expressed that may be I need to be a bit more social – people in my immediate circle started jumping for joy. Guess what? The whole thing makes me very anxious and unhappy. I’m trying to make others happy at the cost of my own!!! ACKKKK!

  4. A very good way to look at things. My view isn’t always the best outside, but inside I have my home which is my retreat. I love all my things and enjoy the quiet that I have here. Like you I’ll enjoy Spring but right now Winter is still ok inside and out.

  5. Last month I turned 80, it hit me hard until I thought of some of my friends that have health problems, now I am thankful and happy to have lived this long. My husband and I live in the basement of our daughters house and sometimes I think we should get our own place again, then I remember how cheap this is. I’ll keep thinking about it. Thanks for your insight.

  6. Now in my 60’s, I am finally at peace with my life. I have my crochet, books, cats, T.V., garden and cozy little house. Thank you for reminding me that there are kindred spirits out there who feel the same.

  7. I’m a bit of a hermit, too. I have traveled around the world, but now I am very content to stay put. I have fur-babies, my art studio and a very few great friends ~ that’s all I need!

  8. We live next to a lake, very close and I consciously try to remember to thank God for the gorgeous view every morning, sunshine or clouds. I am very visual and love my vignettes in my house and the views outside. Never boring. I love your awareness and insight.

  9. As usual you are right on with your post today. I am so tired of looking at the house across the street from me which has a white fence around it that is covered in some sort of slimy green mold and dead flowering bushes that have not been cut back and a wrap around front porch full of lumber and assorted pieces of furniture they have picked up that other people in the neighborhood have thrown away. I don’t understand people not taking pride in their homes. There are some mountains behind them that I do enjoy looking at and I also have a fairly good view of a beautiful sunset on sunny days so I try to focus on that, but sometimes it is very hard with what is in front of me. On a more positive note the squirrels love to sit on my picture window sill and stare in the house at me when I am having my morning coffee. They also like to jump on the arm of the chairs on the porch and look in the front storm door at my little fur baby. They seem to delight in teasing him. I am amazed at how smart they really are. I love your photos of Charlie watching the squirrels!

  10. Now that I’m retired I don’t get out like I used to, especially during the cold dark days of winter. I only go out if I HAVE to, to get groceries, stop at the local liquor store to buy wine, and for doctors’ appointments. I am fortunate here, I still have a nice but smaller backyard lined with garden beds put in over the years by previous owners, and views out of my windows are mostly of trees, grass and gardens, I just look past the side driveways, LOL. From my very first apartment to this retirement nest almost 50 years later, my home has always been my haven, a peaceful sanctuary away from the sometimes insanity and hub-bub of the world, filled with things I love. A few of my younger sisters and below age 30 nieces and grand-nieces I know worry about me being a hermit, but there is much to be said for enjoying your own world, however humble it may be, and savoring the peace and tranquility of keeping your own company. I never run out of things to do, study, explore (through books and internet), or think about! And if I get cabin fever (I do – every year), I jump on a plane in March (much as I HATE how awful and vulgar travelling has become these days for people who can’t afford First Class) and visit friends in warmer climes. Living like a hermit has some benefits – I am able to save money for those trips 🙂

    1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being an introvert and/or a hermit. There are pluses to these things. I don’t get bored. I don’t need anyone else to entertain me. I don’t travel or fly, but I’ve never liked traveling. I am content just as I am.

  11. I love your outlook on life! Need to remember this more often.

    Also, I’ve read that it’s proven that women aren’t channel surfers. We find the show we want to watch, watch it, and either select another show, or shut off the TV.

    Men, on the other hand, will channel surf for hours and hours. Drives me bonkers to be honest.

    1. I don’t miss being married and having to listen to all those TV shows on for a second or so and then on to another channel. When I was writing this, I was thinking that it’s another good thing about being divorced!

    1. I guess because you are probably a woman like me, maybe around my age, and we’ve come to the point in life where we probably think alike.

  12. Yes Brenda, cows is your visual from a backdoor is a lovely sight, however, cow poop is not a smell you’d want to fling wide your windows and enjoy.. So you see, all things have a positive and negative to them.. Choosing to see the positive improves our lives. Glad you are warm and cozy inside with your pups.

  13. I often look at pictures of a cottage we once owned surrounded by gorgeous trees and a stream and wish we could have lived there today, but we had to move nearer to the city for Simon (hubby) to get the best health care possible and for that I am thankful. Right now we look at the backs of some houses from our townhouse but they do have lovely large trees in their gardens which we enjoy. In this very harsh winter we are having in Ontario I help the birds and squirrels to survive with food and a heated water bowl. That gives me a lot of pleasure.

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