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Wise pastor. This was beautiful. I know those ugly-cries well, especially at the most unexpected times.

What excited me? I work on being present so I can notice and appreciate all the little things. My dog staring at me right now, this piece…

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Yesssss, dogggggs. I'm currently surrounded by my three cats and one dog. If I stand up and walk around, two of these animals will follow me like I'm in a Disney movie!

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I'm reading "Falling Upward" by Richard Rohr right now and he's talking about the first half of life being a struggle to find happiness versus the second half being finding happiness where you are. I am bad at this, but it's slowly getting easier. I can tolerate running in the rain knowing that I have a dry house to go home to. I can tolerate grief knowing that it is a sign of great love.

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I need to read some Richard Rohr - I can't believe I haven't yet. I'm working toward finding happiness where I am, too.

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This gave me a lot to simmer on. I remember a moment in therapy where I realized that if something was helping me heal, then that made it real enough. I, too, used to get real, real hung up on the “actualness” of what is true in matters emotional and spiritual. What better gift than to have the imagination to open the heart and along the way, learn to smile again … 🧡

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A gift indeed! Thanks for your comment, Amanda.

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I'm reading this with my feet and and lower legs atop my dog Bernie, so all the dog talk and images truly resonate. I never watched Boston Legal, but watching the scene you linked to and the ones you so vividly describe make me wish I had. Even if Shatner's hairpiece distracted me a bit from the emotional connection (I'm sure I would have gotten used to it if I was a regular viewer)!

I can feel the love your mom and Gordy had for each other in the way you talk about them. And it comes across in the photo so clearly. What is also clear is how their love and affection comes through in you, and your words. Even when you get all "Eeyore," it always sounds at most sweetly, slightly curmudgeonly. Like you are trying to not add too much syrup to the recipe. I can relate.

I get excited lately by my garden. And the TV show "Sugar," even with the ridiculous reveal in episode 6 (I started a thread on Beth's chat btw). And the podcast Hidden Brain. And the long days and listening to wise, thoughtful people having wise, thoughtful conversation. And reading wise, thoughtful people's Substack posts.

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Steve, what a lovely comment - thank you. I am behind in responding, but I did read this at the time (it's how I found the "Sugar" discussion thread!). I'm getting excited about my garden, too! I'll have to write about it soon.

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Oh goodness, I haven't thought about those Boston Legal scenes for a long time, but whoo boy, thanks for the reminder. They were amazing. And yes, yess to bawling along too.

These days we have had guests staying with us for several weekends, and I am enjoying showing them the Island we live on. The sea, the beauty of the green trees and the flowers remind me why we moved here (besides family), especially when the sun is shining. We are currently a bit sun-starved, and when the sun comes out the world sparkles. I love that.

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The island tours sound so lovely!

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Oh, such a thoughtful post, Jen. Wonderful words. Moments which have excited me recently involved a steep walk down a gorge to bask in the mist of the 'devil's cauldron', and a trip to the second-best secondhand bookshop I'd ever been to.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/devon/lydford-gorge/devils-cauldron-trail

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Rebecca, the adventures you share and write about in England are giving me so many ideas of what to do should I ever visit the country. I just spend some time researching Devil's Cauldron and the surrounding area - lovely! And I'm always a fan of bookshops.

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Oh, how lovely, Jen!

The two second-hand bookshops I visited on the trip (both at National Trust properties) were beyond impressive. Many such visitor attractions have them as it’s a good add-on to their other fundraising, but these two were awesome - they had so many vintage books, old first editions, some proper historic stuff, but tonnes of contemporary books and classics, too. I was really disappointed to have run out of time in the first one - we only had ten minutes before they closed. Return visit already planned! 😊

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May 13Liked by Jen Zug

Sitting around the fire at your house with that amazing group of youngsters was a most remarkable time for this old man. Their curiousness and openness gave me a quad-shot of hope for the future. I may not be around to see the world they make, but I came away thinking, “They are going to run this place well!”

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Awww... thanks, Jim. Those youngsters are pretty special!

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