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  • I've set myself a challenge each day this week, to notice something I haven't really been paying much attention to. The simple things.

    On Monday, I decided I would open my eyes to all the red flowers in my neighbourhood. When I decided on red, I figured I was setting myself a bit of a challenge, as I couldn't really recall all that many red flowers near where I live.

    Boy, was I wrong!

    Suddenly, as if they had bloomed that very day, I noticed red flowers EVERYWHERE. In parks. In gardens. Even in my own yard! Opening my refrigerator, I noticed that the drawing my daughter brought home from school and was proudly displayed for everyone to see was... a red flower. My quest for red flowers became this fun, exciting, beautiful quest to see how much beauty was all around me.

    On Tuesday, I chose rainbows. Harder than red flowers, I thought. I might not even find one! While contemplating my choice, my daughter, who was feeling a little cold, went inside to put on a jumper. She came out... wearing a rainbow poncho! Having not shared my choice with my 3-year old, I was more than a little surprised at the synchronicity of it. As the day progressed, I noticed rainbows in scarves, on my husband's guitar strap, on advertisements. I didn't see a real one in the sky but that didn't take any of the magic out of it.

    Yesterday, I felt I needed to choose something more abstract, less visual perhaps. I chose to see the kindness in others. I saw my daughter fussing over her baby brother, singing to him, telling him how much she loves him. I saw my father, who was visiting us, rock my son to sleep despite having a bad back. I saw my mother, who dropped in after work, do the dishes for me, knowing I didn't have the energy being so sleep-deprived.

    Have all of these beautiful things been here all along? I'm rapidly realising that what I focus on grows. When I focus on how tired I am, how my life revolves around meeting everyone else's needs but my own, how anxious I get somedays, it all seems to loom large over me. Throwing in some red flowers and rainbows and some kindness is a nice counterbalance to all of that.
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