A Happy Place Apart

Sunset over Manhattan - Can't ever grow tired of this view.  The Empire State Building as the setting sun illuminates it in the colors of fall. #sunset #nyc #Manhattan #mynyc #autumninnewyork #theempirestatebuilding #sunsetovermanhattanI am finally back on Instagram and back to snapping shots of my home city!  Although it’s a tad bit disappointing that I wasn’t upgraded to the coveted iPhone 6 just yet — there’s a company freeze on the upgrades — I suppose, at least until the big bosses get theirs.  I’m not complaining.  I’m just glad to have my main cell phone number back on line, although arranging the apps and icons on my various screens is still in progress and keeping me on the verge of a vertigo attack.

Sometimes, I get lucky.  The shot above was actually just one of those I took after walking to the other side of my floor, and I discovered a new trick to prevent the reflection of the interior lights from bouncing off of the glass window.  I simply stuck the phone to the glass, as in on top of it, as if it were a filter in front of the actual phone camera.  Voila!

Posted on my Instagram feed 2 weeks ago before the other iPhone changed hands, this picture was reposted by the official @empirestatebldg Instagram account and was liked more than 2400+ times on that page and garnered me at least a dozen additional “followers”.  Of course, I was honored.  Again, sometimes, I get lucky.

Yet another reason to smile.  Another little note to tuck into that bucket of “happy”.

My sister wrote me a rather pointed inquiry on my state of heart with a single sentence e-mail.  (“Are you okay, sis?,” she wrote.)  She has a knack for emphasis by decluttering her message and going straight to the point.  I’d usually just call her back but it was late last night and I thought I’d give her something to read.

Yes, I’m okay.  I’ve just been very busy of late, but I am doing okay and trying to concentrate on “happy” thoughts and bits and pieces that bring me to that happy place.  I’ve come to discover that there are actually a lot of things to tuck into my little virtual scrapbook in my heart — the one I go to when I feel the need to try and lift my spirits up.  It’s where all the reminders of “good” and “okay” are — in simple thoughts, lines, memories and snapshots.

You know how you would often remember bits and pieces of a conversation, or scenes framed by a certain event or moment in your mind.  It could be words you read somewhere — perhaps a magazine, an e-mail or a written message handed to you.  It might be the taste of something you had, a movie you keep wanting to watch over and over again, or a line in a song.  And even in this place of “happy” thoughts there are buckets for the different things that bring you there, from the ordinary to those special ones that bring you to a happy place apart.

Four words that have stuck with me through most of the past week and a half — “A Happy Place Apart”.   You want to keep going there but then you want to save it for when you need it most so that you can savor the smile, the warmth of that thought, of remembering things, or laughing over something you laughed about not too long ago.  And it actually works.  It brings me to that happy place apart from all the other happy places I have tucked in my heart.

It is that happy place apart that makes me say, yes, I’m okay.  Because in the midst of it all, I have a lot to be thankful for.  I have a lot to smile about.  I have a lot to remain hopeful for.  I’d be hard pressed to justify sulking or moping, or even asking “Why me?”.

It might be knowing I got featured by THE @empirestatebldg account, and I got congratulated by people I don’t even know from Adam.  Or the thought of indulging in a piece of my chocolate treat from Lilac at Grand Central Market, the uber sinful milk chocolate caramel nut bar.  (Seriously thinking of stopping by this morning despite the fact it will mean a major detour in the commute into the city, and a major dent on the diet, at that!)  It might be about happily anticipating some books I ordered in connection with an online History course I enrolled in recently.  (That’s another blog post altogether.)  It might be simply writing or pinging one of my three siblings across the oceans for a conversation.

And sometimes you hear something random like the latest news and it reminds you of something connected.  Even that can bring you to that happy place.

Another weekend for all of us — another weekend for more happy thoughts — and in case there’s a shortage of that, there will be that happy place apart tucked somewhere in my heart.

Monday and then some…

I’ve been trying to create my first Art Journal Every Day entry for the month of March all morning — to no avail. So I finally gave up after ruining several drafts pieces and decided my hand was too unsteady and my mind too fickle at this point to keep trying, and I put my pen down.

Not that I’ve been zero on the creativity front. I actually created several earring drops last night, but I had to postpone attaching them to earwires until tonight because I had to “undo” a few pairs. But I’m quite happy with what I came up with, and I must say I can’t make up my mind as to which ones to sell and to keep for myself. (Ha! The benefits of being able to create one’s own accessories.)

I recently finished the first book in the Hunger Games Trilogy, The Hunger Games and I have to admit I’m hooked, and eagerly trying to ready on to get through all three. I didn’t even know about this series until my goddaughter Eeya told me about it as I tried to probe her if she read and what kind of literature she is into, etc. I had my own ulterior motives for asking (which I cannot reveal here because she takes a peek into Ninang’s blog from time-to-time), but she told me about trying to get her hand on a copy of the third installment of the Trilogy, Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games).

So I went to Amazon and got the trilogy for Kindle , and now I feel as though we are reading together.  I just started the second book in the series, Catching Fire and just when I thought it couldn’t stir up any more excitement, it does as a new element of the story is introduced.  (Okay, no spoilers here.)  I’m just happy to be back into reading again, and as Eeya said, although she hasn’t had the time to go back and get to the third installment, she figures by the time I start, she will be reading it, too.

Surprise of surprises!

I haven’t really had the chance to seriously sit down and post but the first thing I usually see are the comments that have come in between posts.  Although I get an e-mail alert when one comes in, I don’t really get the chance to pore through them and see which ones are spam and which ones are actually legitimate.

Today I was totally blown away to find my Art Journal Every Day guru and artist idol and total source for happy thoughts, Julie Fei Fan Balzer had actually stopped by to write a comment here ON MY BLOG..

{pausing to enjoy the moment}

I am truly humbled. I was going to use the subheading font size but figured it didn’t look quite humble as if I were screaming although that is what I am figuratively doing.  Just about the kind of push one needs when all the attempts for the day ended up in the trash can… I will be scribbling in the car, I am almost sure. LOL.  Thank you, Julie. And thank you, too, for the recognition, as I found my work getting special mention in your blog.  Me?  On Julie’s Blog????? For someone “just giving it a try”, I feel this is a very touching affirmation I should keep trying. (HA!)

Time to calm down now.  Back to earth for me.