Be Astonished

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One of my favorite poets ever–Mary Oliver–once penned these lines:

“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

So here, in no particular order, are a few things I’ve been astonished at recently:

*I am astonished that lately, random cats and babies seem to be drawn towards me like never before. I’ve never been the type to attract cuddly things, so this new attention is, well, flattering. Even if it comes from little creatures that can’t express their affection in any other way except adoring eyes and affectionate rubs, but really—what other kind of affection do you need?

*I am astonished that at 27 years old (this very night to be exact), I voluntarily bought tofu and put it into a smoothie.

*I am astonished that it was hardly half-bad—in fact, I think I might be tempted to say I even enjoyed it.

*I am astonished that I caught the picture above through the window of our car while Matt was driving at almost 60 MPH on a country highway last Friday on our way home from the dentist.

*I am astonished at how different dentists can be. I had always gone to the same dentist for my entire life, and last Friday, I found a different one (mostly just because it was unreasonable to have a dentist that was a 90-minute drive away). My new dentist makes odd jokes and tries to get me to talk with all these instruments in my mouth.

*I am NOT astonished that I didn’t like that.

*I am continually astonished by the exquisite treasures that autumn has been dredging up from her depths this year—everywhere I turn is a golden leaf, a shiny apple, a plump pumpkin.

*I am even more astonished that it hasn’t snowed yet. This is a first for Logan, Utah.

*I am astonished that I actually am using one of my sick days tomorrow to go see a doctor about my stomach (finally).

*I am astonished that it’s taken me over three years to make this appointment.

*I am astonished (but not really) at how excited I am that I don’t have to go in to work tomorrow—in the middle of a workweek!

*I am astonished at how when my students get a dress-up day (for Red Ribbon Week this week), they somehow think that gives them license to act all crazy. Note to students: crazy hat day does NOT mean crazy 7th-grader day. Just sayin’.

*I am astonished at how much running helps me cope with stress. Last year, I was perpetually on the edge of a meltdown when it came to teaching. This year, even with an unruly group of kids, I am hardly phased by the majority of their antics. Either I got really good really fast at learning to just go with the flow of teaching middle schoolers, or running is the best anti-anxiety drug on the planet.

*I am astonished that no matter how many times I get playfully angry at Matt for making weird faces in pictures, those are always the ones I end up posting here on the blog.

*Speaking of Matt, I was astonished when I came home from the grocery store—gleefully announcing that I’d bought us some more apples—only to find out that Matt had eaten the remaining half of the tub of caramel in the fridge.

Drop me a comment below and tell me what has astonished you recently. Better yet, do a blog post on it and give me the link so I can check it out 🙂

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