Insignificant Things

28 Dec

IMG_4675For the first time in weeks, I find myself completely alone in the house. No kids, no husband, just me and the dog. As a functional introvert who constantly pines for alone time, I should consider this to be a minor post-Christmas miracle. Oddly though, I find this unexpected quiet to be strangely unnerving. I even feel a bit lonely.

I attribute my current unease to the fact that it’s been so crazy around the Mireles household over the holidays with a steady stream of people coming and going (we had sixteen people for Christmas dinner) that I’ve done nothing but shop, cook, clean, wrap presents, entertain small children and do about six loads of laundry each day. I guess I’ve become so accustomed to the constant noise and commotion that now the silence feels thunderous.

A recent sunset in Santa Barbara.

A recent sunset in Santa Barbara.

But that’s just me—always longing for something I don’t have or not appreciating what I do. Being dissatisfied is a tough habit to break and for much of my adult life I’ve had to work really hard at being grateful. This is really the most ridiculous thing ever because the real truth is that compared to most of the world, I live a privileged and abundant life.

What’s most remarkable is that I’ve discovered when I post something on my blog, my gratitude meter begins to rise. I believe this is because in the process of writing and posting photographs, I’m compelled to think about all the good I have in my life and I become more cognizant of the wondrous beauty that presents itself to me every day. And you, dear readers, are largely responsible for allowing me this chance to become more aware and mindful of my good fortune. For this gift I humbly offer you my thanks.

My best junior high school girlfriends during our annual beach house get together.

My best junior high school girlfriends during our annual beach house get together.

Paper origami cranes in a local church created to honor the many lives lost in mass shootings.

Paper origami cranes in a local church created to honor the many lives lost in mass shootings.

I hope that for all of you the coming year is filled with hope, love and deep gratitude for all of the grand events and milestones that may come to pass, but even more importantly, gratitude for all of the insignificant things that make up the moments of our days—the ones we pay little attention to—but are ultimately responsible for making our lives that much more extraordinary.

I so appreciate your readership.

The amazing sunset at the Santa Barbara Harbor where Rene and I had dinner recently.

The amazing sunset at the Santa Barbara Harbor where Rene and I had dinner recently.

Yours,

Jessica

 

Christmas Eve dinner with my beautiful family.

Christmas Eve dinner with my beautiful family.

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21 Responses to “Insignificant Things”

  1. Bonnie Gerstenfeld December 28, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    Thank you for your insights. Perfect.

    >

    • Allegro non tanto December 29, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      Sometimes we just need a reminder to be grateful. God knows I do!

  2. Nanci Alvarado December 28, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    I am the opposite…I LOVE all of the craziness of family and the chaos that comes with it…BUT…one single second of me treasures that moment of being alone!!

    • Allegro non tanto December 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

      I’m with you, Nanci–I do love being with family. But sometimes we just need to recharge–it must be a “mom” thing.

  3. Jen McAdams December 28, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    Thanks Jessie – I always enjoy your blogs!

  4. injaynesworld December 29, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    You always speak from the heart and I love that about your posts. Happy New Year, my friend.

  5. Britton Swingler December 29, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Jessica–my life is richer with you in it. I am always buoyed by your honesty—by the precious way you wrestle with demons in such a way that I can accept and massage my own more easily. You help me realize that the kinks are just part of the amazing journey.

    I love that term, “functional introvert,” and half of me completely relates to it. There is a ‘bipolar’ quality to my flip-flopping need for interaction and reclusiveness in fairly equal measures.

    New Year’s resolutions? Not so much…but perhaps I will add “embrace my introvert” on my list of things to invite in 2015.

    Much love…

    • Allegro non tanto December 29, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

      We will embrace our introvertedness (is that even a word?) together! We could have a “being alone” club but we’d never want to get together for meetings…

      • Britton Swingler December 31, 2014 at 9:21 am #

        Let’s have one anyway. Sounds like accountability to me! 😉

  6. Charla Bregante December 29, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    I was just sitting down to write when I saw your post. I wanted to write for the exact same reason you do. — It helps me be present for my life. What a gift that is.

    Happy New Year, Jessie. Keep those words and pictures coming!

    Love, Charla

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  7. Rossandra White December 29, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    Another one from the heart. Thanks my friend for expressing what I’m feeling. Can’t wait to read your book, your words always comfort and transport me.

    • Allegro non tanto December 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

      Thank you, Rossandra–and likewise–your words touch me, too. Happy New Year!

  8. debatterman December 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    You got me with laundry 😉 — and I love the way you phrased it re: being so accustomed to the noise that the silence feels thunderous. No, it’s not just you. Isn’t it a dance of sorts — that comfort of being surrounded by people we love juxtaposed against our need for quiet time? A very lovely and timely reflection, Jessica. And it goes hand in hand with that holiday greeting/update you sent. Here’s to a fruitful New Year —

    • Allegro non tanto December 29, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      Happy New Year to you, too Deborah. Can’t wait to see what unfolds for us!

  9. melissa January 2, 2015 at 1:07 am #

    Happy New Year, Jessica! 🙂 I hope that your year brings you many different experiences and cherished moments. And don’t be too hard on yourself — you, for sure, are grateful! Remember to slow down and the rest (gratitude, relaxation, enjoyment) will come naturally. This is advice I’m learning to follow myself! Best wishes for 2015!

    • Allegro non tanto January 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

      Happy New Year to you, too Melissa! Best wishes to you and your lovely family.

  10. Cindy Thompson January 9, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

    Hi Jessica, It’s Cindy from Good Shepherd Preschool. I’m so glad you mentioned your blog in your Christmas letter. You were and still are one of our favorite families. So glad to see what’s up with you all. Fun to see Nino at Fresco. xo

    • Allegro non tanto January 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

      Hi Cindy! So good to hear from you! I hope you and your family are well. Happy New Year!

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