The best things in life are free

What do you see?!, originally uploaded by The Photography Elf.

It’s now the start of the most commercialized holiday of the year, Christmas, so I thought I’d do a post on some of the things that I appreciate having in my life that are free to take off the commercial edge of the season a bit.  We are planning to celebrate Christmas but we’re not going over the top with buying too many gifts.  I’ve finished most of my shopping for the holidays as I’m a year round shopper.  It saves me money to shop out of season.  When I see something on sale and think it would make a great gift for a loved one I grab it.  This year most of my gifts are for services and homemade items.  A lot of my loved ones are pretty selfless and don’t treat themselves to things like gym memberships, spa treatments, dinners out and such.

Most of the things I treasure in life can’t be purchased in any store.   Gifts like having a close family and caring friends who love, understand and respect me to spend time with are worth more than any material goods.   My kitty Princess of Chaos: Ruler of the Backyard Kingdom, is another light in my life and she gives me joy simply with her presence.  My family has taught me many lessons over the years which have all helped me to grow as a person.  Amidst the tragedy of my father’s brain injury accident came a hidden blessing – my immediate family forged stronger bonds.  All of us became closer after the accident when we united to support my father in recovery.  My cat has taught me more about the importance of resting and the importance of quiet empathy.

Dean, my perfectly imperfect partner, brings me love and friendship through good times and bad times.  We’ve both grown tremendously over our time together and although it has been painful at times there are no regrets with taking the risk to love knowing that there is no guarantee.   Dean’s in recovery for alcoholism and is fighting his own personal battles every day.   I support his efforts and am working on my own personal battles while he’s working on improving his life.  Both of us think that by doing this we’ll both be better individuals which in turn makes us better partners.  I’ve always believed that no one really loses when you’re focused on self improvement.

Outside of my relationships with people which bring me great happiness there are other things I appreciate.  The natural world is full of free pleasures! One of my favourite free activities stems from childhood and is still something I enjoy doing to this day.  It’s watching the clouds and imagining faces and shapes (like the pic above with the clouds cat face).  Another free activity I love is spending time at a beach taking in the views and doing some beachcombing with my camera.  Exploring a park is something I enjoy doing year round and most parks here offer free parking.   Some of the CRD parks offer free fun nature programs as well and the ones I’ve been to in the past have been fabulous.  If you are a fellow big kid at heart simply visiting a playground, riding a bike or climbing a tree and unleashing your childhood spirit can be a lot of fun!  Spending time in the garden getting close to the Earth and tending to the beds is something I find to be a lovely free stress reliever and highly rewarding.

What are some things that you enjoy doing for free?

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