By Angela Noel Lawson
February 13, 2019
I grew up in California. Winter meant off-the-shoulder sweaters, jean shorts, and UGGs. But all that changed when I moved to Minnesota. So much so that I measure my years in the Midwest by the winters I’ve spent here. This will be my fifteenth.
The first freeze left me struggling to understand how to scrape the ice from my windshield. My boss at the time, a Canadian, told me to use the edge of my credit card to scrape my window. This was not great advice. But I’d never heard of a “scraper.” So that’s my bad.
It took me 12 winters to actually live in a home with a garage. I never fully appreciated the humble glory of parking beneath a roof until I moved here. Now I do.
I also learned that extreme cold causes cancelled school. My son was in kindergarten for the first “polar vortex” when temperatures dropped to -18F. Jackson struggled to understand that Mommy was on a conference call and couldn’t play just then. But even in those days I rejoiced in the fact that I worked at a company that allowed for remote work. This alone was and is something to be grateful for.
In the past few weeks the Midwest has experienced crazy cold temperatures. Here in Minneapolis we hit -28F, and that wasn’t counting the windchill. But Awesome Nugget posts aren’t about the hardships. They’re about the fun moments of surprise and delight that offer me a moment of pause. Being grateful for all the wonder and joy brought on by circumstance is one of the best parts of being a living, breathing human being.
So without further ado, here’s a few of the little moments I’ve noticed so far this winter. Continue reading “Awesome Nuggets: Winter 2019 Edition”
October 15, 2018
What’s an Awesome Nugget? I’ll tell you. It’s a moment of surprise and delight. Just a little moment–or maybe a big one–depending on your point of view. I try and keep my eyes open for these beautiful moments both because they make me happy, and I hope they make you happy too.
Lorna from Gin & Lemonade recently reminded me that it’s been awhile since I wrote an Awesome Nuggets post. She’s right. And thus you have before you, a collection of Iceland-related nuggets. Let us begin. Continue reading “Awesome Nuggets: Iceland Adventure Edition”
By Angela Noel
June 27, 2018
I sometimes forget, particularly when life gets over-busy with obligations and activity, to revel in little moments of joy. Bringing them to mind helps dig happy pathways in my mind, reinforcing the good like steel girders in the skyscraper of life. Sharing these nuggets of awesomeness are my way of reminding myself to keep delight alive.
You can read former Awesome Nuggets posts collected for you on the new page devoted to these posts. Please feel free to visit it anytime and add your nuggets whenever the spirit moves you.
Here’s the Summertime Edition:
Continue reading “Awesome Nuggets: Summertime Edition”
by Angela Noel
March 13, 2018
I won’t blame you if you’ve forgotten what an Awesome Nugget is. Or, if you are one of the new subscribers to the You are Awesome blog (Hi!) you may have never heard the term before. Either way, I owe you an explanation.
Awesome Nuggets make the day better. Big or small, these things surprise and delight me. I’ve talked about moths before, or about my wonderful former co-workers who honored me with all kinds of tongue-in-cheek insults. By opening my eyes to the wonder of the moment, these little bits of awesome make me feel good. Sharing them makes me feel better. Knowing they might inspire others to see the wonder around us. . . well, that’s the best of all.
We all need some good. And it’s been a minute. (I just love that phrase.)
Without further ado:
Continue reading “Awesome Nuggets: It’s Been a Minute Edition”
by Angela Noel
November 23, 2017
Weird thing about gratitude: In the act of calling to mind all the good things we have in our lives, we’re actually receiving a powerful benefit. As Alex Korb Ph.D discusses in The Grateful Brain, studies have shown that calling to mind what we’re grateful for has a direct effect on depression and an indirect effect on anxiety. As we express gratitude our brains increase dopamine production, making us both feel good, and increase our activity levels–a kind of “more of that, please” response. So offering thanks for the gifts we’ve been given is also a gift to ourselves. Continue reading “Awesome Nuggets: Thanksgiving Edition”
By Angela Noel
August 17, 2017
Remember in February when I said I’d created a weekly way to share the good called Awesome Nuggets? No? Of course you don’t. Why would you? I didn’t do a good job with it at all. I kept it up for a month and when a thousand people didn’t immediately start posting little gems of goodness on my Facebook page I gave up. Shame on me. Continue reading “Sharing the Good: It’s not You, It’s Me”
by Angela Noel
February 23, 2017
“Don’t go looking for trouble;” Sookie Stackhouse, heroine of The Southern Vampire Series often says, quoting her wise grandmother (who in turn was paraphrasing Proverbs 11:27), “it’s already looking for you.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, author and philosopher, offers a different but related perspective, “Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.” Even if you aren’t a fan of either Sookie or Dostoyevsky, it’s difficult to deny there’s truth here: Trouble is looking for us whether we like it or not, and we tend to focus on it, even when we’re trying not to.
But, trouble is neither all bad, nor all encompassing. At least, it doesn’t have to be. We can follow a different path. One highlighted by poet Mary Oliver in her poem Sometimes:
“Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.”
I think Mary’s on to something, so I’m creating a way to share the good. I’m calling it “Awesome Nuggets: A Weekly Way to Share the Good” and I hope you’ll join me. Continue reading “A Weekly Way to Share the Good”