The news is depressing and distressing, and not good for one's mental health to fixate on, so I'm going to take a break and remember all the things around me to be thankful for. So on this Saturday, I'm thankful for....
Big dogs with big barks.
J. and D. were camping last night with the Boy Scouts. I happily stayed home in my warm house and my comfortable bed. When J. is gone, I leave Kenzie's crate door open. He loves his crate and we usually close it, but it just seems better to have him loose when I'm home alone. Of course it is unnerving when the dog wakes you up at 2:30 in the morning, using his scary, 'there's a predator at the door' bark. (This is different from his, 'ooh, ooh, there's squirrels outside and I must chase them' bark.) When he didn't stop, I went downstairs and cautiously peered out the back door window. No one was there, but he was definitely alert to something. The rest of the night passed uneventfully, though it is a bit hard to get back to sleep after such a shot of adrenaline.
Cooperative children and piano lessons.
I teach piano on Saturday mornings. I chose this day, even though it is a bit difficult to find students who can make it work, because J. can be home to keep an eye on the resident chaos. It is always a bit tricky to teach and keep the chaos in check all alone. But the older people who were home were fantastic at crowd control, and R. only wandered out once because she wanted to play with my hair. I am also thankful I am up to nearly a full morning of teaching, because it makes the checkbook very, very happy.
A free afternoon.
With nothing on the schedule today, we could take our time over lunch and then everyone pitched in to get the house clean. The house now looks as good as it ever does (and boy, are we going to have to up our game once the house goes on the market), and people are now playing happily.
A place of rest.
Even though I hesitate to write it, everyone is feeling pretty even keeled today. Jobs have been done without a whole lot of drama. People are getting along, and this allows me to finally write a longer article that's been due for a while now. There is a fire in the fireplace, G. and L. are playing library near me, soup I pulled out of the freezer for dinner is thawing on the (clean) counter, and I feel more peaceful than I have for a while.
My goal is to make our home a place of calm and peace, but this doesn't always happen. The hard part is, if I am feeling out of sorts or preoccupied, then that tends to transfer itself to the rest of the household. The ridiculous part is that I can intellectually tell you how one should go about battling those out of sorts feelings and preoccupations, but I also am terribly good at ignoring my own advice. But today I have, and am enjoying its fruits.