The Freedom To Thrive


“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”  Maya Angelou


As I write this, it is the day before our latest (and I hope last) winter storm.  The snow continues to melt from the back roof which is north facing.  I love the sound of the drip, drip, drip.  The air is warmed by the sun and the outside temp is 48 degrees.  The soft gentle breeze blows easy, rustling the few leaves left on the bayberry bush.  The joyous bird song is wafting in stirring the idea that spring is coming.  Winter not quite ready to break, spring is expected soon.  After another snowstorm and more cold temps, I expect spring will stay for a while.  At least that is my wish.

And as I await spring, I know she will be here once I see the red-winged blackbird sail into the garden and sing his DSCN4350lovely song around the end of the month. For now, I am lulled into a peaceful state by the cardinals who live in the forever wild garden just off the meadow.

It has been nearly 2 weeks since retiring from a very busy job.  And what everyone asks is: What are you doing?  Are you and your husband getting on each other’s nerves?  Are you bored yet?

Here is my mantra for my retirement thus far:


 “The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.”   ~Pema Chodron


DSCN4359No I am not bored.  I am taking each day as it comes.  As I finish this post we are in a blizzard warning getting 1-2 feet of snow before winter finally gives up.  And what a perfect time to also link in with Beth@PlantPostings for her wonderful Garden Lessons Learned meme.

I am still dealing with residual issues from my illnesses in January.  Not anything serious just annoying and interrupting my sleep.  But here is what I have been doing or have planned in the next few weeks as I wait to get back in the garden:

  • I must clean up the seed growing area and get things ready for starting veggies, herbs and my marigolds.  I am not starting many flowers indoors, but will work on growing them from seed outdoors in late spring.  I will have to purchase some violas and pansies this year as I should have started them already.
  • I am cooking more and trying some great recipes especially for soup.
  • My husband and I are starting an exercise regime….this one should be interesting.  We will see who sticks to it.
  • I am sleeping better already.  Going to bed when tired and getting up when my body feels ready.  Now that is heaven to me.
  • One of the most important things I need to do, is clear the clutter that has accumulated for 9 years since we moved in the house.  Files, clothes and general stuff that just seems to pile up in every corner in every room.  Things have not changed much since we moved in, and I look forward to doing a bit of changing things up.  Soon it will be time for garden clean up too.
  • I am working on some new online courses and enjoying learning more about myself and setting goals DSCN4273personally and professionally.
  • I am getting out and getting reacquainted with neighbors and friends.  We went to dinner with friends to celebrate my retirement, and I attended a neighborhood event.  We are being frugal and not traveling much now.  Our first big trip we hope will be to visit family around Christmas for an extended period.
  • I actually went to the store to shop.  I never had the energy or time, and I actually was exhausted.  I need to get my shopping legs back.
  • I am finally finding time to catch up on my reading of books, magazines, online articles and blogs.  I should be around more and catching up on a months worth of blog posts in my inbox.
  • Another thing we have had to do is shop for health insurance….that has been exasperating and we are still working on it.  How lucky we were to just pick a plan at work and never worry.
  • And best of all, I am enjoying my time with my husband.  With work we could never spend enough time together.  We are making up for lost time just enjoying simple things like shopping, cooking and eating meals together.  It has been great and we are not driving each other crazy.  That says a lot.  Thanks Robert for everything you have done for me!


So what has been my biggest lesson this winter:


Lean in and enjoy where you are even if it is cold and snowy.  Find the beauty and joy of your surroundings.  When I stop fighting and being negative, I see the lovely details of the early morning snow sparkling on the snow, the different textures of snow and the way the spent blooms catch the snow….and on and on.



I hope you enjoyed the photos of my winter melting slowly as I continue to lean in, let go and get ready for the new season.  I look forward to you joining in with the Seasonal Celebrations meme.  You can find out how to join below.




“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh







wwf_earth_hour_300x250March 29th at 8:30pm is another chance to help ourselves and our planet simply by joining in Earth Hour.  

We only have one planet. You can help protect it. Earth Hour starts with a simple flick of the lights at 8:30 pm on March 29, 2014 in a collective display of commitment to create a better future for the planet. But Earth Hour is more than just this hour. Uniting behind a common purpose demonstrates that we can make a meaningful difference. Earth Hour is our chance to make our commitment to protecting our planet not just for one hour a year, but every day. (from the website)


You can also start your own Earth Hour event.  Joining in with this global phenomenon, you help protect the one thing that connects us all – our earth.



Come Join Us:

Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time.  I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether winter or summer or something else.  Share your traditions, holidays, gardens and celebrations in pictures, poetry or words starting March 1st.

And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme.  What lessons have you learned this past season of autumn here in the North and spring in the South.  Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.

The rules are simple.  Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations.  If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts.  Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post.  Make sure to include a link with your comment.

Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the equinox (around the 20th of March).  And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog.  Your post should be linked in the weekend before the solstice to give us enough time to include your post in our summary.  And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page.  The badges here can be used in your post.   So won’t you join in the celebration!!



Next up on the blog:   I will have a special new Garden Book to review on Monday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my latest post.

I can also be found blogging once a month at Vision and Verb.  I hope you enjoy my latest post.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.