This is my first “Marvelous In My Monday” post, since I thought it would be a good way to put a positive spin on the day of the week that most people (and a certain cartoon cat) absolutely despise:) Also, I think it is good for me to reflect on the “marvelous things” in my life that I too often take for granted. So here is an A to Z list of twenty-six things that bring me joy, make me smile, or help me realize just how blessed I am. It is by no means a complete list, of course–that would be far more than merely 26 items…Thank you to Katie for hosting this MIMM event. Before I begin my list, I would like to say that one marvelous thing is the fact that I decided to write this post; it really helped me to get my thoughts together and be honest with myself.
I know this may seem like an odd one to people who aren’t “animal lovers,” but I feel truly grateful for the unique array of animals in this world–from poisonous snakes to cuddly kittens. Their grace, strength, beauty, power, talents, and complex survival techniques never fail to amaze me. And, of course, I am extraordinarily grateful for all the pets we have had over the years; they have never failed to raise my spirits even on not-so-great days. I know some people may consider animals to be nothing more than dumb beasts with no emotions. And they are perfectly free to believe that. But personally, I think animals are far more than that–even if they aren’t human.
Quite a shock, right?:) Even though I get frustrated in ballet, and wish I could be a better dancer, all those negative feelings vanish when I am dancing on stage or in the studio, lost in the magic of the movement. I know that sounds super cheesy and dramatic, but it is true. I love ballet more than I love almost anything else (of course, I love my family, friends, and pets more!), and I feel so lucky to just be able to dance.
I am glad I no longer dislike coconut; now I can enjoy such delights as coconut milk ice cream, coconut curries, coconut flour, and many more coconut-based delicacies:)
Isn’t it wonderful that we live in such a diverse world? If you’ve ever read the book A Wrinkle In Time, you will know will understand just how strange and dull it would be to live in a place where everyone is (basically) the same. There is so much diversity in the world: in the people, food, landscapes, ideas, flowers, animals, houses, etc…Certainly, sometimes such diversity can lead to prejudice and hate, but we should learn to embrace diversity–not attack it. Of course, this is not to say that ALL diversity is necessarily good, but I am sure you understand my general sentiment:)
When I was younger, I used to love reading the Magic School Bus books, and one of Ms. Frizzle’s favorite sayings was “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” Sometimes you just have to experiment with new things and get out of your comfort zone; you never know what you may discover…Though I am often wary of experimenting, it has never failed to teach me something–whether the experiment was successful or not!
I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I truly AM grateful for my family and all the support they give me on a 24-hour basis. I can never thank them enough for everything they have done for me.
Some of my favorite games are Apples to Apples, Taboo, Scrabble, numerous card games, and Pictionary or charades (I don’t like the drawing or acting parts, though, just the guessing:P). Playing games–not video or computer games, just non-electronic ones–is one of my favorite ways to relax and de-stress. I also played a ton of “imaginary games” with my siblings when I was younger; we would pretend we were animals, explorers, pioneers, and many other things. Such fun times:)
I honestly don’t know how I could survive without humor in my life–who doesn’t like to laugh?? Whether it is my family and friends cracking jokes, watching funny movies, or looking at old family video tapes, hardly a day goes by when I don’t find something to laugh at–and I love it:) Though it may not be true that laughing helps you live longer, it certainly couldn’t hurt! As long as you aren’t laughing at something cruel/inappropriate/unfriendly, of course.
I: Ice Cream
Nondairy ice cream, to be more specific, since I prefer to avoid dairy. I have yet to visit a 100% vegan ice cream shop, since there aren’t any nearby. But maybe one day I will…Until then, perhaps I shall just have to buy an ice cream maker so we don’t have to constantly spend money buying the delicious-but-pricey So Delicious coconut milk ice cream.
Not because I like wearing jewelry (I rarely do), but simply because looking at the beauty of such jewels as rubies and emeralds reminds me to appreciate just how amazing our earth is, and what fantastic treasures it contains.
Not only is kale one of the most nutritious vegetables, but it can also be made into kale chips, which are absolutely delicious. And, of course, you can use it to make green smoothies, which never fail to give me a boost of energy and make me feel somehow lighter and more clear-minded.
This is mainly because I love to read, and think the concept of being able to get books for free is one of the best “inventions” in history:)
This may be a trivial thing to be happy about, but for me, there is nothing like biting into a warm, moist, sweet, and crumbly muffin. Plus, they come in so many varieties (blueberry, apple, pumpkin, vegan, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, etc…, so there is one for every diet and palate.
N: Nature Documentaries
I love watching nature documentaries when I have the chance; they allow me to travel to countries where I will never be able to actually visit–at least, not until I can afford to:) Plus, they help me realize just how wonderfully diverse and interconnected the flora and fauna of our world truly is.
Yes, I am a cliche blogger and love to eat oatmeal. Enough said.
I know, it may seem strange to consider pain a “marvelous” thing. But pain, both physical and mental, is there for a reason: to tell us that something is wrong, that something needs to be adjusted or fixed. It is our body’s natural warning system; without it, we would be numb to the dangers around us.
I love asking questions and answering questions–and if I am asked a question I CAN’T answer, then I have a wonderful excuse to look it up and increase my knowledge on the topic. Even if curiosity DID kill the cat, I think we should all be more open to asking more questions (personally, I think that whole “curiosity killed the cat” adage was made popular by parents a few centuries ago who didn’t like their children to ask too many questions, because it was considered rude). I think it’s refreshing to be exposed to a young child’s natural inquisitiveness; they aren’t afraid to ask questions, no matter how “ridiculous” they may sound.
As I said before, I am a huge bookworm, and love reading books, magazines, articles, essays, poems, newspapers, and just about anything else. Some of my favorites are To Kill A Mockingbird, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, 1984, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Red Scarf Girl, all the Harry Potter books, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Jane Eyre, and many more.
S: Sweet Potatoes
I realized that seven of my recipes use sweet potatoes; they are definitely one of my favorite foods. You can use them in curries, almond butter, enchiladas, oatmeal, smoothies, veggie burgers, and many more recipes. And they are delicious when simply baked and eaten in the skin–in fact, that is my favorite way to eat them.
Yes, I know that not all technology is helpful–some can be quite harmful and/or has no positive purpose on earth. And yes, I do think that we are, in some ways, far too reliant on technology. But at the same time, technological advances have allowed us to cure deadly diseases, have improved the speed of communication between people, given us wider access to information (though not all of that info is useful), and have had other benefits as well. Technology is a double-edged sword, but if it weren’t for our constant advancements in technology, we may all still be using chamber pots and traveling by horse and carriage:)
I can only hope that someday we can all truly be united, with no hate, war, or fear of each other. But until then, I treasure the moments when I see unity between people–whether it is two children helping each other with a homework problem or a group of musicians working together to create a beautiful piece of music.
V: Vegan restaurants
Though I’ve only been to a couple 100% vegetarian restaurants in my life, I hope to someday have the time (and money!) to visit more of them. But even just looking at their menus gives me culinary inspiration, and I think it’s wonderful that people are becoming more and more receptive to the idea of restaurants that only serve “rabbit food.”:)
W: Whole Foods
Even though this store has the nickname “Whole Paycheck” for a very good reason, I still love going there when I have the chance. They have such a fantastic array of vegan-friendly food, and I hope that maybe someday it will be more affordable for people!
X is always a tough letter, so I just looked up random words starting with X, and came across this one, which means “the art of carving in wood.” I always thought wood carvings look amazing, so this will be my X word for today:)
I have recently begun taking yoga on a more regular basis, and have definitely been loving it. It helps calm my mind, de-stress, focus on the more important things in life, and also helps strengthen my upper body–something that ballet doesn’t really do, unless you are a male ballet dancer.
Zest for life, orange zest–whatever your personal definition of zest is. I just thought it was a fun-sounding word that is the perfect way to end a Monday post, since most people are lacking in zest on this particular day…Especially after a night of indulging in Super Bowl food:)
I hope you all have a marvelous Monday!