Celebrating Sandal Season

WP_20180323_002One of my Favorite read aloud characters is a kindergarten girl who sometimes wishes she has grown-up lady feet. Her parents try to convince her that little girls should be footloose and fancy-free, but she will have none of it until the uncomfortable shoes and tights she wears for her aunt’s wedding are shed under the table and the joys of loose feet are discovered.

That joy is what I feel every sandal season. I enjoy loose feet so much I’ll wear sandals on warm winter days. These first few days of spring have been more lion than lamb days, although the afternoon temperatures have reached respectably mild levels for March. I have worn sandals every day, even if I’ve had to wear a winter coat in the morning. I fully intend to wear sandals until I’m forced in October or if I’m lucky, November, to wear closed shoes on a regular basis.

Sandals make me think of sunshine, fresh breezes and days on the beach. I could happily live in a place where I could wear sandals three-hundred-sixty-five days a year. Here in coastal South Carolina, I think it comes close to at least three-hundred. I’ m just happier and more relaxed about things when my feet are free.

Thinking about sandals and the joy they bring me is a good reminder that it truly is the simple things in life that can make you feel blessed. Savor the small joys, they add to big rewards.

Footloose and fancy-free, that’s how I want to dance through my days. So feeling tired or overwhelmed by what life is throwing your way? Try freeing those tootsies and step them out into the sunshine. It just might bring a smile to your face and a lift to your soul.

Season of the Optimist

WP_20160313_001It is hard to be pessimistic with the warm sunshine, the clear blue skies with puffy white clouds and mother nature adorning our gardens with flowering trees and daffodils. It is the season with lucky leprechauns and chocolate bunnies. It is the season of rebirth and fresh starts.

I identify with the optimists.  I like the idea that things can always improve. That around the next corner is something better.  That when we falter, we can get back up again. This does not mean I don’t experience real pain and disappointment,  oh I feel all emotions very deeply, it means I try to learn from them and grow. It also means I focus on the silver lining that is always present, even when it requires a deep search to find it.

I have shared before that I made a conscious effort over a year ago to celebrate life and have gratitude for the daily blessings.  Part of this is looking forward and embracing the challenges. It also means trying new things and taking risks, believing that it will all work out.  Isn’t funny that somehow it always does, even if it might not be what you envisioned at the start?

A little over a month from now, a dream I have pursued for the past several years will be realized, my first book will be available for public consumption. (More details coming in blog posts later this month.) I have a broad range of emotions.  I am exhilarated by the prospect of seeing my book with  a real cover and flipping through the pages.  I am scared it won’t be well received, after all a bit of my soul is in every page.  I am elated that I have reached this milestone in my journey. I am nervous I will drop something as I add another ball to juggle in my daily life. But my inner voice keeps telling me with clarity, it will all work out.

So in this season, seemingly designed for the optimist, I find this new step well timed.  I am not seeking fame or fortune, I just want to connect with readers. I want them to relate to my characters, laugh a little, maybe tear up a little and when they close the book, feel like they left behind a friend.  Of course I want them to want to read my next novel, coming out late September-early October.  What author wouldn’t want these things?

Before the end of Spring I should have a good picture of how my first novel was received. I an sure I will learn a few things.  I am sure I will be surprised by a few things.  I am also sure that it will work out just fine.  After all, what else can an optimist expect?