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Ten Things of Thankful: Happy with a Box Edition

I know that title is a bit strange, but it came from my thoughts after some observations at Disneyland today.  I noticed a little boy, not yet even to the security check-point, excitedly pointing out to his even littler sister, three circles in the shape of Mickey Mouse.  His parents chuckled and tried to get their children to hurry up, so they could see the real Mickey Mouse inside the park.  A little bit later, I noticed a young child and her parents near a decorative water fountain.  She was enthralled with the splashing, dancing water, and her parents seemed in no rush to leave.  

I use those observations not to pass judgment, nor to say that one set of parents was right and one was wrong, but to reflect.  I understand that the first set of parents probably had limited time to spend at Disneyland, and that it doesn't make financial sense to spend hundreds of dollars to ooh and aah over 3 little circles that could probably be duplicated at home. However, observing those children and their parents got me to thinking.  Am I too quick to dismiss the beauty, wonder, and joy of something only because I know there is something more beautiful, wonderful, or joyful out there?  
Children (and cats!) can spend hours playing in cardboard boxes before they are ready to explore the actual contents.  Am I thankful for the boxes in my life?  
Here are some boxes (and contents, too) that I am thankful for this week: 
  •   I'm thankful for a wind-up vacuum cleaner cord.  I think I might have mentioned this before, but I really do like the fact that when I am finished vacuuming, I don't have to wind up the cord.  I can just step on that little lever, and whoosh! the cord magically disappears. It was fun when I was 3, and it's fun now.  
  • I'm thankful (in anticipation) for having the Christmas decorations put away.  I don't think I've ever been so late in getting this task done, but I'm determined to finish this weekend.  (And I'm fully aware it is a 3-day weekend!)
  •   I'm thankful for decreasing numbers.  I've adopted an almost-exclusively whole foods, plant-based diet, and the scale is cooperating, and other health markers, like cholesterol levels, are too.  I'm curious to see how long this steady trend continues.  (If you are interested in joining others who are participating in a gravity challenge--no special diet required!--come join us at this link)
  •  I'm thankful for increasing numbers.  I forgot to mention (though I remembered, just not for the post last week) my grandmother's 99th birthday.  Although Alzheimer's does affect her memory, she is still a sweet, strong woman and I'm lucky to have her as my grandma.  

  • I'm thankful for increasing numbers.  I'm hoping to increase my running frequency and distance this year.  John (King of Spreadsheets) has put together a helpful tracker for me, and I'm enjoying filling it in and watching the miles add up.  
  • I'm thankful for the boost that redecorating brings.  This week, I've painted my bedroom, rearranged furniture, and purchased new curtains.  I've donated usable, but not-being-used items. The overall result is a bedroom that is more a serene retreat than a storage room.  :-)
  • I'm thankful for other observations that made me smile.  I sat in front of a young family on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland.  The father spent the entire ride reassuring his toddler that there were "no scaries" on the ride, and explained the little drop as a "slide--whee!" He was just so patient and kind, and I love to see that kind of parenting.  Another observation was a mom who was quietly, calmly telling her daughter (who was dressed as a princess) that she needed to stop what she was doing:  "I think that Princess Jasmine needs a royal time-out."  
  • I'm thankful for youngest daughter, who accompanied me on a 5K at Disneyland this week.  
  • I'm thankful for nice weather for running.  It was cool, but not cold.
  • I'm thankful for John, who ran with me today at the Star Wars 10K at Disneyland.  We had a great time as Darth Vader and R2D2, and I think we posted our best times ever.   

Photo:  John and I, as Darth Vader and R2D2, in front of Small World at Disneyland

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  1. I just love your Disney stories here each week, as often as you are there. There is a lot to be observed in a place like that. Love it.
    I was at a writing workshop today and an exercise she had us doing in our memoir writing had me thinking back to my first visit to Disney World.
    Love the box theme for the TToT this time.

    1. There is a lot to observe at Disneyland. Of course, there are all the details that are there by design, but then there are all the people! Visiting Disneyland never gets old for me, because there is always something new to see or hear.

  2. i love observing people, families and children and seeing their wonderful reactions to things...lately it is focused on my kids but all the same sometimes a get a glimpse of a truly, truly happy moment....
    your accomplishments are wonderful and what is better than Disney?
    have a great week

    1. I love observing people, too.
      I don't know if this makes sense, but I see myself more as a person who has run some 10ks, than as a runner. I don't know if I'll ever be able to change that self-image, but I am enjoying the Disney runs!
      Hope you have a good week, too!

  3. you guys crack me up with the running costumes... you must have quite the assortment now!? I love them! I agree about the vacuum.... it somehow makes the task more palateable to me to step on the retractable cord and watch it snap back!

    1. Yeah, we'll either have to get rid of some regular clothes to make way for the costumes (let alone the shirts we get with each run), or we'll have to start dressing in costume for everyday wear. :-) I figure as long as we are running, though, we might as well have fun with it!

      After taking the time to vacuum, who wants to have to take the time to wind up the cord?! Retractable cords are the best!

  4. you know, you could've brought roller skates (for after the race itself) and done a total R2 thing.
    your running is a source of encouragement (no, I did not say 'inspiration' lol) for being able to achieve things that seem way, way daunting

  5. This week I'm going to focus more on the boxes in my life. . .thanks for pointing me in that direction.

  6. Your numbers make me so happy. I need to learn to focus on the goodness in the boxes of life, instead of being impatient to get to the bit *I'm* prioritising and hoping for.

    Thanks for the lesson, and congratulations on all your numbers, both in- and decreasing.

  7. I'd forgotten that you'd taken so much joy in our vacuum cord. We don't have one on the upright we have now.

    I'm glad you have a serene retreat.

    Watching little children makes me smile too!

  8. It is the little things - like self winding cords - that make life so much better and it is easy to take them for granted. I love your observation of people.

  9. I love watching people and I probably could stand to say "hurry up" a bit less where Zilla is concerned. Thanks for that reminder.
    Yay for your numbers going down! I wish mine were...I am truly not a fan of exercise in any form (blame the RA) but I do know I need to kick that into gear just as soon as this never-ending cold goes away.
    The vacuum cord thing IS fun! My Grandmother had one and we used to play with it constantly. :D


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