Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Charlie Brown Christmas

My husband and I celebrate Christmas our own way.  We sort of mirror my favorite Christmas movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas.  A few years ago we decided to stop buying gifts for people.  Also, we stay home for Christmas and no longer visit with family.  It all started on a Christmas day at my mom's house - there were so many presents in the living room, you could not walk into it.  The both of us saw how stressed everyone was and the sense of obligation that people feel suffocates me.  I don't want anyone to feel obligated to buy me something or do something for me.  If they do, the act loses its meaning.  I hate the commercialization of Christmas and it breaks my heart to see the people I care about stressed out.  That defining Christmas, no one ever mentioned the wonder of Jesus Christ or God's mercy.  It was all about gifts and obligations.  Neither my husband nor I could take it any longer - we weren't being authentic by feeding into the frenzy.

The first year we stayed home felt weird and my family did not understand.  We've had to deal with hurt feelings and disappointment.  I completely understand where others are coming from.  Society defines what is normal and when one deviates from that, they are ostracized.  I love my family and friends.  It is because I care for them that I don't buy them gifts - they have one (two counting my husband) less person to stress about during the holidays.  I'd rather show my appreciation for them through acts of random kindness during the year - I don't want to define my relationships by material things.  I really feel that the overindulgence of material things and stress during Christmas overpowers the true meaning of the day. 

My husband and I decorate our house and we have a tree.  I'm sending my family a gift that I made, we bought an elderly couple we know gifts, I bought the little boy I mentor a couple of things (one was a Charlie Brown Christmas book) and my husband and I did buy each other one thing that we really wanted that we've been using for about a week now.  For Christmas day, I made my husband a surprise gift and he's still working on mine that he's making.  We are not stressed out one bit.  I think that we will get up early and walk around downtown before the tourists come out and we might even go fishing.  Our turkey that we are going to cook will feed us for a week and we'll watch another favorite Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life.  We did buy Floyd a big bag of Beggin' Strips and we'll definitely take a long walk on the beach. 

I'm happy that people celebrate Christmas their own way as I know everyone is different.  I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and blessed day full of joy, relaxation and reflection.


Saturday, December 3, 2011


I've been working on my blog and glanced at my profile.  I noticed that it still read that I am was in my early thirties.  When exactly does one transition from her early thirties to mid thirties?  Because, I think that I am there.  I've never really cared about age - mine or other people's.  My husband is 13 years older than I am, I have friends who are in their 50's and 60's and I have been known to hang out with a few 20 year olds. 

For some reason, realizing that I am in mid-thirties is lingering over me.  The thing is, I still feel young.  I love really loud hard rock music, I'm a bit of a gypsy, I'd have lots of tats if I didn't work in a professional environment and I still have many different adventures to go on.  I don't know what 34 is supposed to feel like but I do know that I don't feel 34.  The reality is, I am getting older - in both good ways and not-so-good ways.

So, for the not-so-good ways:  I can't sleep on my right side because my shoulder will start hurting; a 5th grader I work with joked that I could be her mother and, after I did the math in my head, I realized that she was correct; I am using my tweezers a lot more often than I did a few years ago; I'm really appreciating the power of push-up bras more and more; even if I become pregnant today, by the time I'd deliver I would be referred to as "advanced maternal age"; staying out until 10:00 p.m. is a late night; college students call me ma'am; and lately when I look at my feet, I see my mother's.   

Now, for the good ways:  the older I get, the less I care what people think of me; I am more confident in myself than I ever have been; if I forget my ID when I go out for a drink, it won't matter; I am no longer naive; I've become more patient and understanding; not only have I learned to say "no" but I'm comfortable with it as well; I have my own family; I've found true love; my husband is my best friend and I wouldn't have it any other way; I only dress up when I want to, not because I feel obligated (hell, I wore flip flops on my first night out in Vegas); I appreciate the art of reflection; and I am becoming much more spiritual.

I want to embrace all aspects of aging - the wisdom, patience and compassion along with the wrinkles, cracking joints and moments of forgetfulness.  I feel that those who rejoice in becoming older are beautiful and strong.  This life on earth is so short - God would want us to be happy.  As Bette Davis said, "Old age is no place for sissies". 

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Macgyver

I was in love with Macgyver when I was younger.  I thought that he was awesome.  Now when I see photos of him, I don't know - it just isn't the same.  He isn't as sexy as I thought he was when I was a tween.  Did all middle-school girls have crushes on Macgyver or was I always attracted to older men?  What special characteristics do our childhood crushes possess?  Authority?  Power?  Intelligence?  Are they men who can protect us?  I think that the answers are "yes".

Now that I am married, I have to say. . . I'm quite lucky.  Not only is my husband compassionate, humorous and understanding but he is also protective, strong and assertive.  We were walking downtown yesterday evening, holding hands and laughing.  In the same moment, without pause, he had his pocket knife out in response to a group of roudy young guys that were walking by.  I am absolutely certain that if we were ever attacked, he would protect me. 

I am also positive that if anything awful happened, he would take care of me.  If the apocolypse comes, he will build us a house, hunt for food (even though I am totally against killing animals), find water and protect our family from thugs.  My husband would invent a way to booby trap our home in the woods so no one could sneak up on us.  He'd also find a way to keep me entertained by singing funny songs and doing weird dances that he saves up just for me.

My husband doesn't have the best fashion sense and he, pretty much, wears the same jeans and black t-shirt every day.  However, he does know how to fix anything - whether it is electrical, plumbing, carpentry or structural.  He can fix any problem - OMG, I married my version of Macgyver.  So, he doesn't use a q-tip, bubble gum and a match but he does have a lot of tools.

My husband is a real man - to me, this means that he is both supportive and encouraging; he likes both beer and wine but would never, in his life, order an appletini; he loves really disguisting horror movies but also has seen every Twilight movie in the theatre with me; my husband is a beautiful poet and he also has literally thrown people into the street when acting as security at a comedy club; he doesn't tell anyone but he loves watching the Golden Girls almost as much as I do; he eats steak and also tabouli; he gets pissed off easily but for the lack of values in our world; I've seen him return money that he's found a bunch of times; even though we aren't wealthy, he will save money to send to a friend who's in trouble and he will also volunteer to help me out at work, even if it is chaperoning a field trip for a bunch of at-risk kids. 

In short, my husband is a real man.  He is my Macgyver and I am thankful for him every day of my life.     

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Reflections

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I am thankful for so much.  Here are 24 things that I am grateful for this November 24, 2011:

  1. My husband and his extraordinary courage, creativity, humor, insight and passion.
  2. The fact that after 15 years, I feel closer to him and more in love with him every day.
  3. Floyd (my dog) - he brings joy to my life.
  4. Family (mom, step-dad, brothers, sister, aunts, uncle, cousins and grandpa).
  5. Those who I've lost - dad and grandma.
  6. The volunteers I work with.  My organization would not exist without them.  I am amazed at their dedication, the desire they have to impact children's lives and their generosity. 
  7. My mentee - a cute nine year-old boy full of creativity, potential, storytelling abilities and humor.
  8. Photography and writing - creative ways to capture moments in time.
  9. My job and the ability to provide for my family and impact my community.
  10. My cozy, ecclectic beach condo.
  11. Education and the thirst for knowledge. 
  12. Cabernet Sauvignon and hazelnut coffee.
  13. Music and how it can both help me connect with the present and also escape into another dimension.
  14. Grace Kelly films.
  15. The men and women who fight (and have fought) for freedom.  My dad who served in Vietnam, my cousin who served in Iraqi Freedom and my grandpa who served in WW II.
  16. The United States of America.
  17. The power of prayer.
  18. Laughter and how a day does not go by that my husband and I do not laugh.  Sometimes, we wake up laughing together.  Other days, we fall asleep giggling (though my husband wouldn't call it giggling).
  19. Friends, neighbors and colleagues.
  20. My mistakes as well as my successes.
  21. Everything about the beach - the sand, shells, sea foam, salted air, expansive sky and sound of the ocean.
  22. Knowing that my husband supports me as much as I support him.  It refreshes me to know that together we take risks, learn, grow personally as well as spiritually and are creative as a couple. 
  23. My quiet and simple life.
  24. Most importantly, I am thankful that I have found God again.  I am finally feeling complete.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beautiful Mornings

I'm not a morning person. I never have been. I've only seen one sunrise in my life and that was about a month ago. When I first moved from a house to the condo that I am now living in, I really thought that having to take Floyd (my dog) out to potty was going to be a hassle.  Especially, in the mornings.  I was so wrong.  Having to walk Floyd first thing in the morning has been enlightening.  Now, to be honest, I don't quite care for the constant wining/crying thing that he does in my face.  I'm usually hoping that he forgets about me and moves to my husband's side of the bed so that I can pretend I am in a deep sleep.  But, nevertheless. 

As soon as I wake up, I hear the ocean.  I can't see it from my condo but I can hear it calling out to me.  The sound awakens me and helps me feel alive.  Watching the sun make its way into the sky, hovering over red tiled roofs and a plethora of palm trees, energizes me so that I can start my day fresh.  Today is a new day and anything is possible.  Maybe I will write more today or maybe I will practice yoga both in the morning and in the evening or maybe I will go on a photo shoot.  The possibilities are endless.  All I really know is that I wouldn't have seen the bright orangish yellow sky that one discovers first thing in the morning if I didn't have to take Floyd out for a morning walk.  I'm so thankful for moments like these.  They are simple and so very precious.  In these kind of moments, I really connect with God's love and grace.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hello God. It's me, Jaime.

I've been thinking that it is time to make things right with God.  It has been a while since I've connected with Him and I am feeling a bit lost.  I've begun to pray and I even pulled out my Bible which I've been carrying around with me since high school.  However, I'm still having difficulty opening myself to Him.  I feel as awkward as I did on my first day at a new school.  I don't know exactly how to go about this new path or what to say to Him or how to act.  So, I bought my very first devotional book today and I am really stoked about reading "Delight Yourself in the Lord...Even on Bad Hair Days" by Sandra Bricker, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Debby Mayne and Trish Perry. 

While I was standing in the Christian Inspirational section at Barnes & Noble (for the very first time in my life), I was amazed at the amount of faith-based books that are available.  I didn't even know where to start looking but this book caught my eye and it seems like the devotional that is meant for me at this time in my life.  As a bonus, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.  I like that this book has realistic and humorous devotions, quotes from scripture and daily prayers.  I think that it is the tool I need to help me find my voice with God. 

One of the very first devotions that I flipped to is based on Isaiah 40:31 - But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.  I don't really know what to say about this.  I guess that God really does hear us when we think no one is listening.     


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Is it Friday Yet?

I'm completely exhausted.  I mean really, really tired.  Work is kicking my ass and my vacation cannot come soon enough.  In just a few days (four to be exact), I will be camping in a national forest and swimming in a natural spring.  My cell phone does not get service and I will not have access to the internet - thank God.  I need some time to sit in silence, absorb fresh air and savor things such as the warmth of the sun, the scent of a campfire and my family. 

I am planning on doing a lot of writing, too.  I haven't blogged in a while.  A few months ago I followed my dream and bought a small yacht.  Then, just a few days later, my husband & I realized that we didn't want to live on the boat so we sold it and moved to the beach.  I've been working on settling into a new place as well as enjoying bike rides and walks on the beach.  As much as I love my new home, I need to get away and go camping.  Camping is sort of spiritual.  When I am in the small space of my camper, I'm physically closer to my husband and my dog.  The close proximity naturally translates to emotional closeness and I become so thankful for everything God has given me.  When I am in this state of mind, I become more creative and I am hoping that this trip inspires me to follow through with some of the creative ideas that I have.  I also really want to sleep in every day, too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fluffy Flufferton

Though his formal name is Floyd, he goes by many others.  My dog is also known as Floydy Floyderton, Squishy Butt, Mo Fo and (my favorite) Fluffy Flufferton.  I love my dog.  Fourteen years ago, my husband and I fell in love with puppy in a pen at the St. Augustine Humane Society.  We named him Floyd and he wears a pink collar (yes, he's named after the band).  What joy he has brought to my life.  Floyd is my family - he is a gift from God. 

Floyd has taught me how to be a good mother.  He's shown me the power of unconditional love.  He is patient, compassionate, protective, funny and observant.  We love the same things:  cheese, the beach, watermelon and camping.  When my husband or I are sick, Floyd stays up at night and watches over us.  He lays his head in my lap when I am sad and let's me cry into his fur.  We adopted Floyd six months after we met - he has been a part of us almost as long as there has been an "us". I am so grateful that God brought him into our lives.  He makes me very happy and I can't imagine my life without him.      

Floyd is self-conscious.  If he is dirty, he will let us know that he wants a bath.  Really, he does - he walks into the bathroom and sniffs his shampoo bottle.  He's mastered the puppy dog look.  He can give you a look that will make your heart melt.  Floyd protects us from strangers, people who wear boots and/or hats, mean dogs and delivery people.  He also likes to watch the grill to make sure that squirrels don't steal our steaks.

One of my most favorite things about Floyd:  he absolutely loves cows.  He doesn't care about horses, only cows.  When driving by open fields, he looks out the window hoping to see a cow.  If we yell out "cow," he excitedly goes to the car window and wags his tail.  If we call out "horse" he doesn't even move.  Like I said, he likes cheese.  Our theory about the whole cow thing:  Floyd knows that cheese comes from cows.  He is my family and I love Fluffy Flufferton so very much.  Have you adopted a pet lately?  It will enrich your life in ways you didn't think possible.  Save a life!  Rescue a pet!   

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Beautiful Afternoon

A couple of days ago, my cousin Stephen came to visit.  He's recently completed his duty with the Marine Corps after serving eight years.  When I'm around him I am more appreciative of the meaning of family.  Even as I am writing, it is difficult not to cry.  I am just so full of love for Stephen and I feel so proud of him.  I'm proud of his heroism, courage, strength, compassion and openness. 

My husband wanted to introduce Stephen to a friend of ours, Jim.  He is 93 years old and served in the 101st airborne during World War II.  Spending the afternoon with my cousin and Jim was an experience that I will hold in my heart forever.  Though both men served in completely different wars, they had a very special connection with each other.  It was amazing to see Stephen try to verbalize his feelings about being in the military and Jim knowing exactly what he was trying to say.  They both understood each other and both soldiers appreciated the other in a way I will never fully grasp.

That afternoon, it was as if both men needed the other. Stephen needed Jim to show him that one can find peace and normalcy after years in the military and Jim needed Stephen to remember how it feels to be strong and proud.  As I reflect on that afternoon, I find myself feeling very emotional.  I am filled with love.  Love for my cousin, love for those who fought and died in wars before my time, love for my dad who served in Vietnam but never talked about it, love for a childhood friend who died in Afghanistan, love for all of the soldiers who continue to risk their lives for our freedom and love for my country.  Spending the afternoon with these two veterans was unexpected but extremely special.  It turned out to be a very beautiful afternoon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hello, Mr. Fear

Gosh, I haven't seen you in a while.  I think that the last time I saw you, I was in grad school and dealing with issues such as competency, finding balance, writing 20 page papers after I had worked all day, lacking energy for three long years and a whole lot of stress.  Now that I'm thinking of changing my life again - you show up.  You definitely know how to crap on my parade.  I was all excited about embracing my dream of being free and living on a boat so I start reading about becoming a live aboard and who shows up?  You. 

I've been reading this book that I actually purchased over a year ago - The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat by Mark Nicholas.  The author presents a very holistic view of the lifestyle and has been helping me prepare.  I'm learning about seacocks, anchoring, the U.S. Coast Guard, sewage, boat safety and sanitation, among other things.  Now that I am cramming my head with all of this brand new information - the only natural thing for me to do is get a visit from good old Mr. Fear.  Thanks, you freaking asshole. 

I am filled with anxiety about giving up my privacy as a liveaboard and the search and seizure laws that will apply to me.  I am also afraid of propane leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, seacocks not turned in the right direction, the fact that I'm not sure what a through-hull is, sinking, mildew and learning how to navigate.  What happens if our engine quits?  I don't know how to use a radio.  Is everyone on the same channel?  Don't even get me started on the whole sewage issue.  Discharge and non-discharge zones, pump out services, macerators.  How the hell am I supposed to know what to do?  I just figured that living on a boat would sort of be like camping.  When your black and grey water tanks are full - you go dump them.   

You visit me at 3:30 in the morning, wake me up from a deep sleep and try to get me to change my mind.  Well, have you forgotten that I loathe being told what to do?  Screw you.  I am going to use your unwanted visit to become an expert boater and safe liveaboard.  I'm warning you to get the hell out of my life.  If you try to wiggle your way into my life again, I am going to kick you in the keester.  Then, I will meditate on all of the reasons why I want to change my lifestyle:         

  • freedom from being tied down
  • enjoying a brand new experience with my husband and dog
  • less clutter
  • fresh air and lots of sunshine
  • having no choice but to simplify
  • cheap waterfront property
  • being able to change my surroundings whenever I want
  • the purity of water 
  • because I am afraid and I never want to regret not doing something because of fear
  • life is short - why not?

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    The Art of Simplifying: The First Step

    The very first step my husband and I have taken in simplifying our lives and cutting down expenses has been to get rid of our cell phone service.  We were paying over $100 per month and it wasn't necessary.  Neither my husband nor I use the web on our phones even though they had the capability.  All we want to do is talk and text. 

    So, we terminated service with our cell carrier.  Then, we purchased a Magic Jack and bought a $10 home phone.  We also bought new cell phones ($40 each) and pre-paid phone cards.  Our new home phone service will cost us $20 per year and our new cell service is estimated to cost $40 per month for both phones.  This is a total savings of $820 per year (minus the initial start up costs of new phones & the Magic Jack).  Wow, I can totally think of better things to do with $820 than spend it on phone service.  In five years, we will have saved $4100 and we aren't sacrificing anything.  This was a very easy first step. 

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    The Art of Simplifying: Motivation

    My husband and I have started taking steps toward simplifying our lives.  Our motivation:  to be free from the the things that clutter our lives and our minds.  Though I've been blogging for only a a year or so, I still consider myself very new to this world.  As I search for like-minded people, creative individuals and those who want to embrace the simple things, I am amazed at how many beautiful writers there are out there.  Everyone is so inspiring. 

    I thought that I'd share my adventure.  I don't know exactly how to go about this - simplifying - but maybe by sharing some of my tips, it will motivate others to do the same thing.  Or, maybe the process of writing and sharing will just inspire me to not give up when I am feeling discouraged.

    My husband, my dog and I live in a four bedroom house.  We have a large den in addition to our living room, a dining room that we don't use and a really big yard.  I find this a bit ridiculous.  Though, what really gets to me is all of the little stuff.  Things shoved in drawers and cabinets, closets that are full of stuff, archives of paperwork - it all makes me feel claustrophobic.  I am really looking forward to freeing myself  and simplifying my life.  Let the journey begin.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    A New Path

    When I started this blog, my intention was to write about my journey in becoming a "live aboard".  It has evolved into whatever it is and I haven't gotten very far in regards to my dream of living on a boat.  I guess that there are short journeys and long ones - this is a long one.  I thought I'd summarize my journey thus far:

    February 2010 - My husband & I attend a boat show in San Diego and get the urge.  We fell in love with a 36 foot catamaran.

    April 2010 - We need a change but we can't quite figure out what needs to happen.  So, we start looking into buying a boat and moving to a marina. 

    May 2010 - Living aboard a boat at a marina in San Diego isn't as easy as I thought it would be.  The wait list for a live aboard permit is very long (almost 2 years at some marinas).  Things aren't working out as expected.  In discussing our future, my husband & I realize that we don't want to live in California.  It isn't home.  We know where home is and, after a very easy conversation, we decide to move back to Florida.  I give my notice at work and we start packing.

    June 2010 - I leave my job, we move out of our beach bungalow, sell our beautifully renovated 1957 camper (which was very sad) and we head back to Florida.  We drove both of our vehicles so I had to drive across country myself and couldn't sleep in the passenger seat like I would have preferred.  We get back home, it takes me a week or so to settle in, I start a new job and we learn to become Floridians again.

    January 2011 - We buy another camper and start camping again.  I had forgotten how much I love being in nature.  My husband & I camped in Salt Springs and swam in the springs - the water is 72 degrees all year long and very therapeutic.  Spending time in nature reminds us that we want to live a simple life, we want to be in nature and on the water.

    May 2011 - My husband bought a Jon boat.  It was the ugliest boat I ever saw (it actually was painted with camouflage paint).  We fixed it up and painted it a bright water blue.  One weekend, we motored over to a private beach, beached our boat, set up our colorful chairs, swam in the beautiful teal water and fished from the shore.  It was wonderful and that day the urge to live on a boat started creeping its way back into our lives again. 

    June 2011- We realize that we need to start minimalizing our lives.  Even if we never live on a boat, we still want to live a simple life.  I don't want my life to be cluttered with stuff that I don't need or things that don't matter.  Though my husband & I have sold our households twice - we still have a hard time getting rid of little things.  I am very cognizant about simplifying and minimalizing - I start thinking about the direction I want my life to be headed.

    Today, July 16, 2011 - We actually view a boat.  It isn't the catamaran that I have been dreaming of but, to be honest, we just cannot afford one right now.  We look at a houseboat.  It is a 1970 Nautaline and it is 43 feet in length.  It needs a lot, a lot, a lot of work.  However, being on the boat has really sparked our interest and I feel like we are headed down a path toward becoming a live aboard couple.  I'm not sure if this is the boat for us - we are still thinking about it.  Can we take on a project like this?  It will take a few months and thousands of dollars just to make it livable.  It'll take even more time and more money to completely renovate it.  It would be nice to live on a 2-bedroom and 4-patio boat, though.  Not only would boat living force us to simplify our lives but we would also be on the water (which feels very natural to both my husband & I) and we would significantly reduce our monthly expenses (I've been calculating & we could actually reduce our expenses by almost half).  Who knows what will happen?  The possibilities are endless.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011


    What's happening in America?  I'm not one to watch a lot of news or TV shows.  Literally, I get 7 channels and I have an antenna that sits on my windowsill.  Other than a short addiction to "So You Think You Can Dance," I never watch reality TV.  Recently, there has been a plethora of stories on TV that have just blown my mind:  an advertisement for a new show called "Dance Moms", a pet shop releasing an official statement that they will no longer allow people to purchase a puppy when drunk, finding out that Sonic and Burger King are selling alcohol, hearing about a 12 year old boy beating his toddler brother to death. . . I'm in shock and I'm really scared.

    When did it become accepted to yell at children and push them until they cry?  What happens to the little girl whose mother tells her she's fat at eight years old?  Would someone actually sell a puppy to a drunk person?  What would that transaction look like?  Not only does most of America eat too much greasy processed food but now we are going to serve them a beer with that dinner?  A Whopper and a beer should be saved for those very special occasions when we are in Vegas.  What really happened to make a tween kill his brother?  Where were their parents?

    I don't understand any of this.  I can debate why we might be where we are.  I can analyze situations from different perspectives and look at opposing sides.  However, somewhere deep inside me I am truly flabbergasted.  Where are our morals?  What happened to human values?  After hearing about a horrible rape of a baby, I found myself praying to God.  I asked him to keep all children safe and when I realized how juvenile my prayer was, I started to get very angry with Him.  I just don't understand how we can hurt each other so horribly.  It just isn't right.  It occurred to me that He is probably just as sad as I am.  It isn't Him doing any of this.  It is us.         

    I am a social worker and as jaded as I am, I still want to save the world.  I wish that all children are loved and respected, the mentally ill and substance-addicted receive the treatment that they need, homeless individuals and families find shelter, the unhappy find happiness, animals are treated with compassion, no one ever has to feel lonely and people learn to embrace the important things in life.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Friday Silence

    It is Friday.  Thank God.  It isn't that I had a bad week or am stressed out.  I just really love Fridays.  Sitting on my sofa, sipping a beer and reading a really good book make a perfect beginning to my weekend.  I have a few moments of silence.  I do not have children and my dog is sleeping.  I am breathing in the scents and sounds of my home.  The silence allows me to free my mind.  It is both comforting and energizing at the same time. 

    What I love about silence is that you have nothing else to focus on except for the here and now.  You look within yourself.  If you sit in silence long enough, you even connect with yourself.  I become more appreciative of my life and I seem to pray more when my mind is free.  A few moments of silence, on a Friday evening, is a perfect gift from God.