Goodbye Grumblings

Find the good

Take time to notice the good

I’m grateful for times when Grumblings doesn’t make an appearance, times when finding the good is easy. In this post, I’m making a point of appreciating some good I was fortunate enough to enjoy. I’ve touched on how powerful negative messages are in another post. I firmly believe that good will triumph. I also believe that we need to do our part by working on noticing the good. It’s a small but surprisingly powerful way to counteract the negative things that clamour for our attention.

Here are my three chosen good things from the recent long weekend.

1 Road trip

Road trips feel like an adventure.

We leave behind routine and the obligations of home and head off to see new people and things.

Our lively party drove from Ottawa to the pretty town of Erin, Ontario, via Kingston and Brampton. The drive was perfect: sunny weather, smooth traffic, plenty of chatting and a fun mix of music that included something from almost every decade since the 1940s, from Ella Fitzgerald through David Wilcox to Mariana’s Trench. While in Erin, we found out that there are badlands in Ontario.  (Bonus good thing: learning something new about my own province!)

2 Visiting an old friend

I went to Erin to spend time with my oldest friend, someone I’ve known for almost four decades.

We know each other at heart, the way kids do who spend days on end together reading exploring, inventing stories, making things.

Over the years we’ve acquired new preferences, opinions and habits. We’ve been shaped by school and work, by our partners and children. We live on different continents. But there’s something wonderful and simple about being with someone I knew before either of us had baggage or knew that self-help books were a thing. There’s no need to impress — just a need to catch up. The reason for the visit was sad, but being able to help made me feel useful and connected. The visit also reminded me that it’s worth whatever it takes to keep up with old friends, and that’s definitely a good lesson.

3 Reading a whole book in the car

As we set off for home, I noticed that my e-book copy of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes was going to be returned automatically to the library in 15 hours. This was the second time I’d borrowed it, and I was determined to read it before giving it back. Since it was an e-book, I couldn’t just hold onto it and pay the fine; it was going to disappear from my e-reader.

The only thing better than a road trip is a road trip during which I get to read.

Every now and then I’d surface, and I’d be reminded of long summers when my main preoccupation was making sure I had enough books from the library to get through to the next library visit. I didn’t care where we were — in a car, at a house, at the beach, as long as I had books to read. I’m still tempted to get stacks of books out of the library, and I often bring home more than I can read, just in case. It was a comforting and delicious pleasure to read a book in one sitting, with occasional breaks for coffee or chatting. A small but important extra bit of gratitude is hereby dedicated to Husband for good-naturedly driving all the way and not minding that I spent hours with my nose in an e-reader.

What good things are you noticing this summer? Are you revelling in your own favourite summer pleasures? Leave a comment or send me an email, at


About GrumblingSusan

Word lover. Story addict. Daydreamer. Optimist. Ottawan. Treehugger. Scouter.

2 Replies

  1. You do a fabulous job of finding the good. You have inspired me, so, that this summer, we’ve been revelling in “the good”, too:
    – Rainy weekend day? We can assemble lego en famille, with intermissions to take turns reading aloud!
    – No need to angst that my garden was completely ignored this year: tomatoes are on sale, anyway!
    – Way too hot to go to the water park? Find some room on the shelves for another boxload of young adult paperbacks!
    – Why be sad that the kids are too old now to sleep all the way on a long drive? They’ve taught me how to make friendship bracelets en route!
    Really, there hasn’t been much to do except relish their wonderfulness this summer. The best thing: there’s still a couple of weeks left!

    1. GrumblingSusan

      Lego and reading at the same time — how wonderful! I love your examples of good. Thanks for sharing, and keep up the good work. 🙂

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