Whatsoever is lovely…day 1

A purple dahlia with creamy yellow at the base of its petals. Processed to have a painterly effect using Topaz Studio 2.
A late bloomer

In spite of everything that is truly lovely both in the world and in my life I’ve been feeling rather “meh” lately. I think the background noise of stress is eroding my…I’m not sure what the right word is here…mood, maybe.

Gan Xingfu (chasing happiness) 赶兴福

I’ve been studying Chinese again, in the hope that I might be able to go and see my son sometime next year, although I’m not too optimistic about that (part of my “meh” comes from worry about what’s happening over there). Anyhow, yesterday I learned a new word “gan” third tone, which means to chase or try to catch. I was intrigued with the phrase gan3 shi2 jian1 (chasing or trying to catch time). More prosaically it is also used with train, bus or airplane.

I decided to try and chase happiness this month. Probably that is totally the wrong grammar, but maybe I’ll figure that out soon.

My plan

One of my favorite passages in the epistles is in Phillipians. In 4:8 Saint Paul exhorts the Phillipians to focus on the positive in these lovely words:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8

The context is that things can be hard but the way to move through that is to focus on good things.

Out of my rut?

For the past few months I really have not been particularly inspired. Even when I take pictures I often don’t feel like they are worth sharing. Or I read a prompt and have ideas but can’t seem to get things pulled together to respond. I fell into getting out my rut by doing next to nothing. Not the best way to grow.

After almost two years mostly confined to my neighborhood I feel very “been there done that” about things that used to inspire me. Advice to renew one’s enthusiasm always include taking on a project, and doing a 365 challenge is always listed. I can’t imaging doing something every day for a year so I decided to try one month.

For the past few years I’ve participated in a November challenge to post every day called “nanopoblano”. This year they are officially doing a variation, but I think I’m going to just plow ahead with a post a day on the theme of sharing one thing from each day that I see as lovely. I’m hoping it will help me pull through my funk.

How do you chase happiness?

Since today’s lovely is a flower I’m linking to Cee’s Flower of the day.

38 thoughts on “Whatsoever is lovely…day 1”

  1. First, I’m jealous that you’re relearning Chinese. I took 3 courses as an undergrad then stopped, but have wanted to relearn for years now. Second, it’s difficult to see things in a new perspective or be inspired when you’ve seen them for so long. The block to inspiration happens to all of us. I look forward to what you find lovely each day this month, as well as your progress out of this rut.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have felt the same as you, though I go to work as a teacher everyday and have throughout the pandemic, I find I am exhausted and often uninspired. I love that you are sharing something lovely everyday.


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