Saturday, September 30, 2017

Milestone

Today, positively b.e.e. reached a small but significant milestone!

Exactly one month ago today, I launched this site to bring more positivity, light, joy, and gratitude to the world, and I’m thrilled you’ve joined me for the journey.

In the past month, there have been over a thousand visitors to positively b.e.e. from all over the world! And the Facebook page has reached 122 likes as of this writing. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!

I’m wondering if I can ask you a small favor? I’ve received many kind messages/PMs/comments from you, telling me what this site and its purpose means to you. If you are enjoying what you see here, would you be willing to help me to grow outreach for this little nugget of positivity on the web?

Tell your friends and family. Link to the blog. Share and "like" the Facebook page. Any of these actions will help me get the message out: that life is worth living; that there are good things in the world, even when it seems scary or dark or contentious; that there are better ways of dealing with difficult things; and that fun and beauty are worth noticing and sharing with others.

Thank you, ALL of you, for reading, sharing, commenting, or sending in your support. However you use this site, it’s for you. Knowing that positively b.e.e. can make a difference in someone’s life is why I write. Let’s all “bee” positive together!

<3 <3 <3

-- Beth (b.e.e.)



Friday, September 22, 2017

It's Pumpkin Time!

Today marks the Autumnal Equinox, or first day of Fall.

This is the time of year that makes my Autumn-loving heart sing! Falling leaves that crunch underfoot, crisp air, football games and marching bands, and PUMPKIN EVERYTHING! Maybe I'm biased because I'm an Autumn baby, as is my husband, but there is just something magical about that changeover from Summer.

My team and another one at work are doing a joint team building today to decorate our shared office space for Fall. We're going to sip apple cider, eat some treats (apples, pumpkin cookies, caramels, etc.) and work together to beautify our space. Each person is contributing something creative to the effort and I can't wait to see what we do!

One of my contributions was to buy everyone a pumpkin that they can put on their desk. I got these beauties at my local Trader Joe's for only $0.69 a pop!



Whatever your plans for Fall, I hope you have a good start to the season, and a GREAT weekend. Feel free to comment here or on the Facebook page and share what you love about Autumn! Don't forget to give us a "like" or subscribe, as well!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Rainbows!

Do you guys know how hard it is to get a selfie with a rainbow? With a double-rainbow, even?

Let me just say: It’s HARD, but I tried my best!

Fred and I were treated to the most beautiful display of science and nature the other evening. We were decompressing on our couch, getting ready to watch some TV, when suddenly he leapt up and said, “Oh! It’s raining! And the sun’s still out! Let’s go find a rainbow!”

(Have I ever mentioned that I love how my husband finds joy in the simplest of things?)

We ran outside and saw the most gorgeous, huge rainbow that seemed like it was right above our street, and then a second one appeared as well. We quickly grabbed our cameras and tried to capture these beauties. No photo can do them full justice, however.

Neighbors passing by getting some exercise, or walking their dogs, or coming home from work--all of them asked what we were doing. We simply pointed up. I wanted to shout, “HOW COULD YOU NOT NOTICE THIS?” Were we the only ones seeing the beauty right in front of us?

Sometimes I like to turn off the TV, put down the phone, look up, notice the world around me, and smell the proverbial flowers. Like my husband, I take joy in simple things. Something as simple as watching a bee in a flower, or a bird in a tree, or a rainbow in the sky, will make me smile and forget any stresses for awhile.

Below are some of the better shots from that day, including some silly rainbow selfies. I wish I could truly show you the colors we were treated to. They seemed so much more vibrant in real life--and closer--than they do in the photos. Which reminds me to say: while we took some pics together and had fun with it, after a few minutes, we put our phones down and just sat and marveled at it all. It's nice to capture the moment, but it's also nice to enjoy the moment together without distraction.

Have you taken any rainbow shots at any point? Or do you find joy in nature? Feel free to share your thoughts or photos, either here in the comments section or at the Facebook page. Have a great start to your week!







Thursday, September 14, 2017

Just Hold On and I'll Find You

This song has really touched my heart this week. The lyrics are pretty powerful, but when I saw the video, I knew I had to share it. 

How often in life have we felt like giving up, had to hang on to every shred of faith and hope we might have just to get through something? This song and video embodies all of that, to me, and the video itself is just so beautiful in support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!




Monday, September 11, 2017

Getting through overwhelming life changes

In the past 2 episodes of Making A Difference Radio, we discussed situations in which we found our lives to be so overwhelming that we wanted to give up, and how we got through it anyway. Our special guest for both episodes was Jim, who shared with us how his life turned upside down with a sudden medical diagnosis that was a life or death situation.

Jim detailed how he went through several stages throughout the ordeal, including:
  • initial shock and feeling alone
  • wallowing / "why me"?
  • taking the steps he needed to take, but not seeing the bright side (that he is still alive)
  • finally realizing that life was a gift, even though how he lives has been changed forever
Jim still has his bad days, but he cherishes the good days even more.

In discussing with the cast and our guest, I, too, detailed a period of time where my husband and I went through a whole lot in the span of a few months, including:
  • two big life moves
  • several losses, including a death in the family and a miscarriage
  • major injuries from a fall downstairs, followed by undiagnosed Lyme's Disease (it took several months to get a diagnosis, by which point I was very, very far gone.)
How my husband and I got through it was through a combination of being supportive of each other, doing our research so we didn't feel helpless during all the medical confusion, and still living our lives anyway (going to the movies, or for a walk, whatever we could do to feel normal).

By the end of the most recent episode, we hit on a really good point, I think: sometimes, even if you don't want to, you have to dig deep. YOU can take back YOUR power in a situation, and do what you have to do to not feel helpless in it anymore. Every step you take counts.

Finally, know you're not alone, so reaching out to trusted people for help or companionship can help. Even something as simple as going for a walk with a friend and getting away from it for a few minutes can help stop the "overwhelm."

If you'd like to explore this topic in more detail than this summary provides, you can find the episodes here (this subject is a two-parter):
Ep. 19 Oh Hell, I Give Up!
Ep. 20 Finding the Answer! 

Don't give up. Situations may seem overwhelming at first, but there is a way to deal with them eventually once the shock wears off.

PS: I always find this song to be inspiring in difficult times. What gets you through? Feel free to comment below.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Happy Surroundings

I saw a quote today: "Surround yourself with those that make you happy." It was some meme-y infographic floating around on social media. To me, "those" can mean either people or things.

And then I thought: "Hey, not only should I surround myself with stuff that makes me happy, let's spread the cheer a bit!"

So, without further adieu, here is today's bit of happiness--a shawl I just blocked:






I knit it over a year ago, and then it languished in the project bag because blocking is hard and I'm not very patient at it. (For non-knitters: blocking is where you gently wash the piece, then lay it out and shape it, and once it dries, the pattern in the lace pops out and shows up better.)

I wish I hadn't let it sit so long, as I LOVE the result. (I'm a bit of a Dr. Who fan, can you tell? Yes, those are TARDISES.) I'll put all the details at the bottom for those knitters out there who want to know more.

Let me know: what is making YOU happy today? Please comment and share!




Shawl Details:
Pattern is Bigger On The Inside
Yarn is  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight ; colorway: Tardis Blue
(This yarn is one of my all time favorites. I use it mostly for socks but it does well in shawls, too! Also, my camera cannot do the color justice. Go check out all their beautiful colorways on their site.)


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Resilience and our relationship to time

You can blame a musical for this post. :)

When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to see Annie on the stage. I was also a big fan of the movie that came out in 1982, with Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett, and Albert Finney. I loved the music and the story SO MUCH: an orphan girl never gives up hope that her parents love her and will come back for her some day. She truly believes her circumstances to be temporary, and refuses to be broken by the world around her.

Fast forward thirty-(mumblety) years: I hadn't really thought about Annie much. But seeing a production of Annie at my local community theatre this past weekend, it was as if I was seeing it for the first time again! I was once again struck by Annie's resilience in the face of grim surroundings, both in the orphanage and on the streets of depression-era NYC. Indeed, she sings:

When I'm stuck with a day that's gray and lonely,
I just stick out my chin and grin, and say...Oh!
The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on 'til tomorrow
Come what may...

It reminded me of something I always say to myself when I'm going through a rough time: "This moment--this one RIGHT NOW--is temporary. Just hang on and it'll be over eventually."

I often see advice to live in the "moment", and in the "now", and that is certainly a valid worldview. My "this moment is just temporary" pep-talk IS a version of that, I guess. But I guess it is also true that if the "moment" or the "now" really stinks, we can look to the future to get us through it. These things are not mutually exclusive.

Additionally, I had a reminder not to dwell on the past, which is something I sometimes get stuck doing. During last night's performance, I heard another lyric that I hadn't really noticed before. Annie and Daddy Warbucks were singing "I Don't Need Anything But You," and there's a lyric that goes:

Yesterday was plain awful
But that's not now
That's then...

(Note to self: don't dwell, Beth!)

So, in just one musical, I've had three lessons about our relationship to time as it relates to resilience:
  1. PAST: keep it there
  2. NOW: is temporary
  3. FUTURE: look forward to it 
Gee, thanks, Annie, for making me think about some of the building blocks for developing resilience through our attitude about time.

And I do believe that while for some, resilience may be innate, for most of us, it's a skill that can be learned and developed. I'm filing under "life skills."

Anyway, I'll be over here, belting out show tunes around the house til my husband tells me he's sick of 'em. ;)

How do you view time when getting through the tough stuff? Does how you relate to time contribute to your own resilience? Feel free to comment below!

PS - a HUGE shout-out to my local community theatre, Palisade Playhouse, for their superb rendition of Annie. Please visit their site, and consider giving their Facebook page a "like" to stay up to date on events. I am so grateful to Matt and Michelle Belliston for bringing quality community theatre to my little neck of the woods.


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