Looking on the bright side

Like it or not, if you walk into any store you’ll see things to tell you Valentine’s Day is around the corner (I saw Twinkies with pink filling in the grocery store!) I’ve never been a fan of this holiday. I think love and romance should get top billing on regular basis, not only once a year. In addition, I’ve seen this day be as lousy for those in relationships as those not (If he/she doesn’t do the right thing? Disaster!).

The creation of “Galentines” has been kind of cute – away for us to celebrate our female friendships which are key in our lives, and to the success of our romantic relationships, but it still seems more like a ploy by retailers than something women are actually celebrating.

I’m not some sort of Valentine’s Grinch or Scrooge. You have only to look at what I write to know that love, romance and passion are important to me. In my books, my characters are going after what they most desire or what’s missing from their lives as much as they are falling in love. In fact, their personal journeys are usually more important than the romance. The romance is enhancing their discoveries and making everything sweeter, as good relationships should.

So that’s what I’ve decided to focus on this month – the love and passion that is already in my life, why it’s important to me and how it makes everything that much better. For this week, I am going to highlight a few of my favorite things (cue Julie Andrews singing). These don’t include people – they’ll be part of a later post.

The first thing that comes to mind is my morning coffee. OMG – I cannot start the day without thi,s and everyone in my life knows not to talk to me until I’ve gotten through most of that first cup. If you follow me on Instagram (@rona.writes.as.rachel or @rachelkenley) you’ll see my morning coffee post. Given the number of memes and gifs out there, I’m not the only one who needs her magical morning elixir. And as much as I like going out for coffee and having with friends or in other places – I prefer the coffee I make at home where I can put in just the right amount my favorite creamer (sugar-free hazelnut). Happy sigh.

Most days I drink my coffee while writing my morning pages and I am so grateful that I have a room of my own (thank you, Virginia Woolf) for this. About ten years ago, my husband and sons emptied out the garage, put everything into a shed in the backyard, and transformed this space into a writing salon for me. I know how lucky I am to have a dedicated space where I can be creative. It’s filled with my favorite books (fiction and non-fiction) lots of Funko Pops (as you can see from the picture, and other things that make me happy when I look at them. Marie Kondo would have a tiny, adorable fit over how many books I own, but I can honestly say that pretty much everything in this room brings me joy.

Charlie on the thrift

And finally for this post, I want to mention my cats, Charlie and Buster. Is there anything that can bring a smile to our faces quicker than our furry family members? As I write this, Charlie is nearby on the couch in my writing room. That’s his habit and if it takes me too long to go into my office in the morning, he’s there to remind me. He’s been known to walk around my desk, check out my laptop, or jump up on the back of my chair. He definitely makes sure I know he’s there. Buster rarely comes in here, but I see him when I’m around the house. He’ll be by me when I have lunch and he’ll check to see if there are any treats for him. Both of them love it when I decide it’s a nap day. They think I should do that more often. (If I wake up too soon, they both give me a look that seems to say “Quitter!”). They aren’t lap cats, but they are almost always nearby. And they both purr especially loudly when they get attention from my sons. And here you can see pics of how much Charlie loves the thrifted clothes my older son brings home for his business (that coat is never being sold).

Yes, there are lots more things that I love and which are in my life on a daily basis and I am grateful for them all. How about you? What are some of your favorite things? What brings you joy?

Loving My Life: Favorite Things
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