Friday, July 24, 2009

Unexpected Gifts

Some days are simply exhausting, it's when life slows and there is nothing I can do about it. Other days, something in the house breaks, bad news is delivered or the heat combined with a never-ending hot flash threatens to wring me out. I feel sorry for myself and have a great, big, pity party-- And then I move on, or at least as best I can at the moment.

I recently had "one of those days-- A. Day. From. Hell. Nothing life threatening, just a whole lot of drama all lumped into one very long, very hot, day. But around 10 o'clock that night, five gifts appeared within about an hour's time, and I couldn't help but feel better. Okay, six gifts appeared, and one of them was a Xanax, but you'll see why my spirits lifted if you keep reading.

The first gift was a post by my dear friend and "Sister in Snark", Holly over at Your Mother Knows But Won't Tell You. And if you didn't read this post, grab a cup of coffee or a big ice tea and settle in for a great read. Then pass the post onto every single, unattached, person you know. Believe me, they will thank you for it! If you don't know Holly you should, so please pay her a visit! You'll see why I love her, why the post kept me hanging on every word and why I think she should write a book!

After reading Holly's hilarious and informative post, I checked my emails and found this picture!
Two of my favorite love birds were recently married and put "their motto" on the top of their wedding cake. "The peanut butter to my jelly", is what the bride and groom always say about each other. Can you see the wedding veil and the tuxedo bow tie? It made me smile.

I checked the front door for mail well after 10pm and found gift number three, my tres chic new indoor/outdoor rug, courtesy of Christy at A Lil' Welsh Rarebit's Giveaway a few weeks ago. Cool, huh? It will look great on my patio!
Christy is a self proclaimed "trophy wife and stay at home mom" with a beautiful baby girl! And, she's training for a triathlon! Please stop by when you get a chance and cheer her on.

And then, I found gift number four-- A bowl full of these left for me by Godson's Mom.

They are tiny tomatoes-- Think smaller than a pencil eraser, and the sweetest tomatoes I have ever eaten. And they smell wonderful! Of course these are the remaining few that I haven't eaten-- yet. But I stopped long enough to take a picture to show you because, well, just because they are perfect.

I finally sat down around 11pm and thumbed through Real Simple Magazine and discovered gift number five-- An Essay Contest titled "When did you first realize that you had become a grown up?". I read the short blurb with details and folded the page to read again later.

Over the past six months of blogging, I've tried to figure out what I want to do with myself. I don't like retirement, which is one of the reasons I started blogging, but honestly, I'm not up for another 60 hour a week job either. What I have figured out is that I enjoy writing, something I never did before in my "previous life", so I think I will write more and have less of "those days".... Or at least try to.

Before the Essay Contest gets buried in my "to-do" pile, I'm going to sit down and take a stab at it. I've never written one but I definitely feel like a grown up-- And I remember the first time I realized my childhood was behind me.

I'll enter it in the Real Simple Magazine Essay Contest. Deadline is September 7, 2009 so I have time work on it-- And you have time to work on your essay if you so desire!

What unexpected gifts have you received?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna

PS Be on the lookout for my first ever GIVEAWAY. Coming soon!

41 comments:

  1. Oh, and I just know you should win!! If there is a voting on the essay, let us know where to go, ok?
    Good for you for finding something you love to fulfill your life. I just know that I am not ready for retirement either, and am pretty scared what I will do when the time comes. But for now, I´m still working, luckily part time, so I get to enjoy both sides of the "fence".
    Good luck with that essay!! Hopefully we get to read it too.

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  2. I'm so glad you had all those lovely things happen after a crummy day! I've never seen tomatoes like that. I would love to try them!

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  3. Hey! Sister in Snark here! Thanks for the lovelies about my blog on dating! IF I can help one of us on the road to finding bliss, I'm honored.

    I have an idea! Why don't the two Snark Sisters tandem right that essay?!! LOL

    Between the two of us we should have one grown up, dontcha think?

    Love that rug, but love you even more!

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  4. I love bad days with happy endings. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  5. This is a great post! Just when it all looks blue...

    I can hardly wait to read your essay! You go!

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  6. How wonderful and so many gifts wow. I love the lil tomatoes I don't think I have ever seen such small ones!

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  7. those lovely gifts came your way because you were willing to recognise them.
    lovely gifts surround us all the time.

    i enjoy your style of writing and if you write in the same manner as you do here on your blog i think you'll be in the race for a big win.

    ps... on another note and i could be way off, but from what i've just read you may need to drink more water :)

    best wishes
    always Ribbon

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  8. Those were nice gifts, the peanut butter and jelly was a nice touch. Thank you for coming by, have a very nice weekend.

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  9. I used to love that magazine. I just don't read them anymore. I get Sunset, Better Homes and Gardens and Marie Claire and I always recycle them without reading them. It's sad...very sad.

    I'm sorry you had a bad day and I hope days like that are few and far between. Those are some awesome gifts!

    If you end up writing for a magazine, I'll not only subscribe but I'll READ it too!

    Hugs and love,
    GEM

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  10. I love when life comes full circle and gives you a good bounce. lol Those are some great gifts to receive and good luck in the essay contest, I think you have an excellent shot at it!

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  11. What a great post! I really enjoying reading what you have to say, and I also enjoy the links you post! The essay contest you linked to really made me stop and think - I'm 28 and married with four kids, but I don't feel much like a grown up at all! In fact, sometimes I feel kinda like "why the heck am I the one behind the wheel, and where the heck is the REAL pilot?!" I still have dreams of dying my hair pink...!

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  12. flew in to florida this morning for a job interview. hidden in my suitcase were little notes from T and the boys. made my day when i finally unpacked this evening...

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  13. Your whole post was full of good finds. I found your last paragraph the most intriguing. My mom is taking retirement really bad. Just did not agree with her.

    I think her sense of purpose was taken away a little. My sister and I have had problems with her. I have told my sister that I thought it was an adjustment to retirement. I guess maybe I am right.

    .... I have a single friend. I will go check out that post for her.

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  14. I love your profile picture!

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  15. pps...
    just read your comment and if you're drinking plenty of water then there's really no more for me to say on the topic :)

    for me lack of water can contribute to fatigue..

    best wishes
    Ribbon x

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  16. Nothing can be better than an unexpected present....unless that is 4 unexpected presents! Your lucky day!

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  17. That's a great way to end a bad day!

    Good luck with the essay writing!

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  18. If you still don't know what you would like to do, with some extra time, you could be a Hospice Volunteer!

    I get an "unexpected gift" every day I go to work as a Hospice Nurse...ironic isn't?

    Cool that you had such wonderful surprises!

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  19. so glad you got all those unexpected blessings!!! good luck with your essay; I'll have to check that out; I feel like I'm on that road myself; at 51 I'm not crazy with my present work, can't retire (we live in So. California, LOL) but don't know if I want to do this for the next 15 years....

    enjoy the weekend :)

    betty

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  20. Hey, I'm new here :) Glad to have stumbled onto your writing, you have candor ( and a cute new rug, lucky winner )

    I saw you have lupus...did you see the NYT did a recent 'day in the life of...' on people with lupus? They do the column with different diseases and lupus was a recent one.

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  21. I love unexpected gifts... Mine was getting my 11-yr-old niece coming over to Sweden for a two-week holiday by herself... Never thought her parents would let her go.

    We have had a great time!

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  22. My last two greatest unexpected gifts were the arrival of first my mother and then my father-in-law. They each came to live with us - unexpectedly, but most welcomed! Truly a gift that keeps on giving.

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  23. I don't have an unexpected gift to write about but I DO want you to know that I am here getting my fix! I can't wait to get the new desk top and get the laptop back so I can prowl around my favorite blogs again! I'm taking a chance with this old computer today, but I missed reading you! You never disappoint me with your writing!

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  24. What great gifts! Smiles at the end of a crud day...wonderful. Recently, a gift I was given was a hug and an 'I love you' from the very son I'd just evicted.

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  25. Go girl! Write yourself silly and win that damn contest for all of us.

    Your writing is so pure and genuine. I hate for you to have bad days, but I love that it only takes a sweet little suggestion of something simple to knock you out of your funk.

    You inspire me!

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  26. Good things happen to good people and you are cetainly one of them.

    I'm off to check out your friend and post your essay.

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  27. There really isn't A moment for me when I realized I was grown up. Then again, I felt real grown up when set the alarm clock to wake up my mother and sister I was a 2nd grader.

    This is a great post with a lot of insight. Write that essay. I hope you'll share it here, too.

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  28. Ok, that PB&J cake topper CRACKED ME UP. And that rug is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your little gifts with us! :)

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  29. Get outta my head, Joanna... LOL

    I am in the same zone you are... I will look for the gifts. I saw that in Real Simple, too. Thanks for the reminder. Geez I did the exact same thing. Folded a corner over to re-read later, and plum forgot about it. I think we all should enter. I'd be thrilled to post on my blog that you won it. :-)

    Thank you for such a great post. It helps knowing someone else visits fog-ville, with me. sigh....
    Hugzzzz...~~

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  30. interesting post Joanna, I loved Holly's story too!

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  31. I often have days when numerous awful things happen at once. Usually Monday to Friday...

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  32. I loved this post. I love the way you point out all the little things that you noticed were good. I'm going to go follow your links.

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  33. To take a basically simple "bad day" and turn it around to make such a great post out of it is truly a skill that I envy. Well done!

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  34. Great post!

    Those teesy tomatoes are just too adorable for words. :)

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  35. I've been on somewhat of an emotional roller coaster lately, so I can really relate. The best unexpected gift I've had recently is the support of my blogger buddies. Honestly. And it really was totally unexpected. My blogger buddies turned me from the village idiot into a movie star, I'm beyond grateful. xo

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  36. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving an unexpected gift for me, your kind comments!

    I am hot on your heels in age, I will be following your words of wisdom. :-)

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  37. It's amazing how a xanax or vicodin can open your eyes to see the gifts that are out there waiting for you! It makes them so much more enjoyable too.

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  38. It is always the surprises that keep us interested and excited. Good luck with the essay competition....you will blitz it....Enjoy the rest of your weekend, xv.

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  39. Lots of wonderful gifts were bestowed on you in one day!! What a pick-me-up for a day that didn't start out so great. Hugs to you for seeing the good things and sharing with us. The tomatoes look delicious, and the rug is an amazing prize. Good for you.

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  40. Congrats on your winnings!
    That cake topper is about the most whimsical thing I've seen in a while--very cute:)
    I may have to enter that Real Simple contest...I am intrigued.

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  41. Loved the post! Congrats on your winning! Loved the wedding cake, how cute is that! I would LOVE to know what kind of tomatoes those are? How interesting and neat to have such tiny snack size tomatoes! I planted a grape tomato this year and the tomatoes on it were huge for grape tomatoes. I swear it took 4 bites to eat them.

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