Tag Archives: gratitude

Gratitude…

Okay, okay, so it’s pretty hokey. I know that, in November, people do the whole… thirty days of thankfulness… gratitude… whatever… I know that ‘science shows’ that if you focus on the positive you end up being more positive.

Once upon a time, I TOTALLY didn’t need any more Mary Sunshine smoke blown up my… posterior. Then my whole world changed. And I lost myself (to a great extent). I’m trying to find that part again that has gone missing.

I started out, in March (I want to vent… I REALLY want to vent. I’ve had it up to right about here with bullshit the last couple days) determinedly writing down three good thing every day. Some days it’s been that I have dogs and coffee. Some days it’s hard to even come up with those. But I keep trying.

June, I started to step up my game. I started to try to come up with 5 good things. Not even, necessarily, gratitude… just five good things. Some days coffee and dogs are still on the list. But I realized something today that I have got to put at the top of my list.

I have started to totally not be able to handle stores. Between people being incredibly rude and people deciding that social distancing and the mask ‘order’ are totally not going to stop them from doing as they please for whatever contrived reason they seem to be able to find I just can’t mentally do it. And now with Ohio’s numbers over double what they were a month ago I can’t do it physically any more either. It’s too much of a risk.

Today, I have decided that cubside pickup, now that I can get a date and time for groceries that isn’t over a week out, is incredibly high on my gratitude list.

Sometimes I have to get creative to get all of the $35 worth of food you have to buy in order to do curbside… but thankfully it is also watermelon season and tomato season and fat free cottage cheese is 0 points and I have tomatoes starting to be on my vines. Today, it would have been nice to have gotten to pick up the order this evening… but it’s all good. We can wait until tomorrow morning for the order. No contact shopping is a God send. That and produce delivery (Misfits Market and Perfectly Imperfect on alternating weeks)… I can cope this way for as long as I have to.

I will still go walking in the early morning when no one is around and at lunch time during my daily touch point conference call (and yes, I will even bleat like the little sheep I am and wear a mask when I walk because I don’t want to take any changes. I don’t want to take changes with Bear’s health. I don’t want to take chances with Squirrels, or Monkey Butt’s or my own health. I’m getting used to 90 degrees and humid while I wear a mask and a buff. I’m kind of over people in general right now and… if people don’t want to accept my choices because they don’t mesh with their choices… then I guess that is something else to be grateful for… knowing who is excepting enough to stay in my circle.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
7/18/2020
OH… and… my keep Squirrel’s head from exploding walk this afternoon means I made my July goal. I am officially a Joyful Wanderer!

Choosing Joy… 99 Walks… Joyful Wanderer… July 4th edition

It’s the 4th of July 2020. I am so over politics. I am so over Covid 19 and its evolving cousins. I’m over the Murder Hornets and the Meth Gators and being scared all the time.

January is the traditional time of “reset”. And in January I decided that my word for 2020 was going to be JOY. And then February happened… then March happened… then April and May and June. I have been fighting so hard to just maintain any vague semblance of sanity and not falling into a pit of depression.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m on year three of my anti-depressants. And there are days when I really want to message my Dr to see if we can’t adjust the dose. It’s not like I have much to be depressed about. Bear on hospice, knowing that the flu probably put him there. Races being cancelled. Fairs and Disney. Movies at the theater being a thing of the past. The world as we know it changing to one where hate and derisiveness are rampant. Realizing just how polarized things really can get. It’s made this Mary Sunshine pretty much a Debbie Downer for a lot of days.

Then I found 99 Walks.

I’m not even sure how I found it on Facebook, to be perfectly honest. It might have been an ad on my feed. I don’t know. I know whatever it was, I saw the shiny thin bracelet that is your reward for making your walking goal every month and I was hooked on the bling. Ask anyone… I have a crap ton of medals hanging in the window of my office at home. Bling is an awesome motivator. And I needed some heavy duty motivation. Three good things every day for months on end wasn’t doing it. Something had to.

So I went and investigated. There is an app for that (go figure). There is a book. There is a central Facebook group. There are spawned off other Facebook groups. Everyone is so incredibly supportive and friendly. It is my respite from the world. It’s not a magic bullet. I still find myself in a pit with nothing to look at but mud walls and worms kind of frequently. But it is helping.

This month the theme is Joyful Wanderer (did I say that yesterday?). I’m taking this month very much to heart. I’m very mindfully walking. I’m stepping up my game. I’m very determined to get my Joyful Wanderer bracelet.

I’m struggling to get back to Choose Joy.

I’m manufacturing ways to try to trick my brain back into some semblance of who I am because I really really miss being me.

Does that make any sense?

So tonight I’m sitting here waiting on French Fries to be finished cooking, nursing a shoulder that has been flairing for about four days now (it usually doesn’t last this long and I’m really not enjoying it). I’m putting my left hand where I need it to be with my right hand so I don’t move the muscles so much in my left shoulder. I’ve been putting Boo Boo Salve on it pretty regularly (it’s awesome stuff… all natural… a friend of my mom’s makes it… https://www.rainbowskytrading.com/) and adding in the Napproxen at night.

Today we went to the zoo again. It’s coming up close to the Asian Lantern Festival and we wanted to see them in the daylight. That, and the Dinosaur experience is open so… yeah.

It was particularly scary to be out and about today. The state isn’t as bad as Florida or Arizona or California right now… but we are double what we were a month ago and it isn’t looking better any time soon. Our county is the second highest number of Covid cases in the state. The mayor of Cleveland made an executive order that everyone has to wear a mask when they are in a public place.

It was good to see, though, that people were actually wearing masks this week at the zoo.

I worked hard today at mindfully spending time with Bear and Squirrel. It was, altogether, a good day. Pictures to treasure. Memories made.

Should we have gone given everything? Probably not. But we were as careful as we could be. Handsitizer. Clorox wipes. Masks and 6 feet apart (even when it pissed people off that I deliberately would not push Bear’s wheelchair past them when it was too close. Bear says he will die sooner if he can never leave the house. I can’t take everything away.

Starting now I will be starting to use curbside pick up.

Am I scared?

Hell yes

But I can do this. I can’t say this is any kind of new normal… but it my current reality and I have to find myself again.

Today was one walk of 2.6 miles pushing the wheelchair and one walk of 1.2 miles. both were mindful and peaceful.

Love and Light

AprilJoy

7/4/2020

Gallery

Sunday Morning Contemplation

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Sitting at my kitchen table, coffee in hand, spending some time spending time. Dog Channel is playing… the ocean through the sea grass… sunrise… the dogs could honestly care less about Dog TV, I keep it for me. And it … Continue reading

Grateful

It’s Thanksgiving again.

I’m sitting at the kitchen table, Hallmark Yule Log is on… Christmas music, dogs, pigs, cats and ducks are enjoying a toasty fire. It’s still way early. I’ve got a cup of hot coffee and four dogs by my side. It’s quiet… at least until they decide to start horseplaying with each other.

One of us is far away this year. He is being very missed.

Sunday was “Thanksgiving” in my house. We had 22 people around the table all enjoying each other’s company. Today will be ham and yams and stuffing and potatoes. Has to be early because squirrel girl works retail and has to be at work for 12 hours starting at 4 pm. Once upon a time it was a day to spend with family. Now it’s a day to spend.

There have been times over the past year when I have been terrified that we would not all make it to this time this year. There will be many more times that I am terrified that we won’t all make it to next year at this time.

It’s been an enlightening year.

I’ve discovered just how broken everyone is and just how each person’s brokenness can complete everyone else’s. I’ve learned that I’m not the only one who has been feeling so much less than adequate and I’ve been learning that it’s okay to open up even when you are terrified. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that people are just people.

I’ve discovered how much I can miss a soul that was a nearly constant companion for well over a decade. Peanut was such a precious little girl and I miss her scratching at the side of the bed when it was time to go outside. I miss her snuffling. I miss her so gentle nature. I get that she is no longer in pain and she can eat all of the nummy white bits that she wants at the other side of the rainbow bridge, but she still is missed and I still talk to her daily.

I’ve discovered how much I can love the cast offs, the misfits, the other beautiful souls that other people have discarded. Pain changes people. I think pain changes animals, too.

I have learned that depression and stress can have a hugely horrible effect on how much you care about what you do to yourself and how much care you take of yourself. I’ve learned that I need to find the time and the place in my day… in my whatever… to take care of myself because sometimes it is easy to forget that your why has to be bigger than your but.

I’ve found treasure in simple things. I guess maybe not entirely simple, but simpler. Pictures… coffee cups given just because… a hat that warms not only the head but the heart… surprise cards that come and bring happy tears… a set of dishes that came from their own adventures… a box of buttons…

I’m so grateful for today.

I’m grateful for all of the todays.

I’m scared of the tomorrows and what tomorrow may bring.

But for now, I have today. I have coffee. I have the wind and the heat and the music. I have love.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
11/28/2019

Godwinks

Last night (I didn’t stay awake long enough to watch it… I’m hoping to see it yet this season) on Hallmark channel was a Godwink Christmas.  When I first started to hear the ads for the program, I started to (go figure) google it.  I found out that, not only is it a movie for Christmas but it is also a series of books.  I also determined that (go figure) the books are available in ebook format.  I fought the urge valiantly for several days to not start on the series. Last night, I failed.  I bought the first volume.  It joined the several thousand books on my iPad.  I love being able to carry a library effortlessly.

I didn’t get far (after clearing the leaves and fixing the inflatables and working around the house I was really really tired) but I did get far enough to find out what, exactly, a God Wink is.  SQuire Rushnell (the author of the series) started to use the phrase Godwink to replace Godsend or coincidence.  They are those moments in your day or your life when something happens to reassure of your path, or to help you at some point in your path.  It’s been something that I’ve always thought about it being that kind of time when I end up taking too long getting my coffee at Sheetz and miss an accident… or when I have forgotten the fifteenth thing on my way to work which causes me to “luck in to” see one of the ships coming through.

The book… the definition… everything… got me thinking about some of my really big Godwinks that have happened over the years… 

Being diagnosed with RA might not be something that someone would consider to be one.  But if I hadn’t been diagnosed with RA, I might have flipped shit way more when Squirrel Girl was diagnosed with Epilepsy (and later Gastroparesis and later still RA) and later when Monkey Butt was diagnosed with Sjogrens, Epilepsy, and the nerve damage in his leg.

When I had to go hunting for what to really really do when your daughter is diagnosed with epilepsy… bang…Godwink… I met someone from the middle of Pennsylvania who’s daughter has epilepsy who is amazing and willing to share information and willing to share information and support.  Later, I met someone from Canada who is well versed in Epilepsy.  The PA nurse later had to come to me to get information and moral support on RA (Godwink) and the woman from Canada had to get support and information from me on RA and Gastroparesis.  

Sometimes the Godwinks that go around come around.  

More recently… in my Weight Watchers (sorry… I still have trouble with calling it WW) adventure… I was doing remarkably well (apparently that is unusual) with the online only adventure.  I was nearing the point where I was going to be goal and was going to be lifetime.  I asked the WW person on line how one goes about goal and lifetime.  I found out that you can never ever ever ever ever do either of those things, officially, if you are online only.  I was, originally, irate about the fact that online only people get mislead (unless you chase the information deliberately) and irritated that I would have to spend way more to join an in person meeting to finish up my adventure.  

It turns out that the situation was yet another Godwink.  I met some very wonderful women through those meetings.  I still really don’t do people so very well… I don’t know if it will ever make me comfortable being in group… but the women who I met have brought me what I really need right now.  They reach out to talk to me about Christmas lights… about pictures I take… about my adventure… about running… I have faith that some how I will be able to be able to give back the Godwinks that I’ve received.  

I’m not sure what the future will bring.  But… I have faith that there will be more winks in my future… in both directions. 

Love and Light
April
11/20/2018

Twas the Week Before Thanksgiving

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Okay… hokey sappy post alert… consider yourself warned…

It’s hard to believe it has been almost exactly a year since I interviewed at Sherwin.  I figure by now it’s safe to admit to how incredibly sick I was the day I interviewed.  I am pretty sure it was stress.  I really wanted the job incredibly badly.  I was so sick it wasn’t even funny.  I was running on about 4 hours sleep due to the flight schedule and a crappy breakfast due to the fact that the hotel was deliberately short staffed for the holidays… I don’t remember much about the first couple of interviews.  I’m glad I reasonably impressed the people who did my interview.  One of the things I’m grateful for this year is that I impressed them enough to land the job.  That means I’m sitting in my office at home (still on work from home due to the gall bladder surgery… doctor better release me to go back on Monday) watching the deer munch on the corn that the squirrels drop from the feeders onto the ground.  The yard is snow covered.  It’s 12 degrees.  It’s beautiful.  Sirius is on my computer playing Christmas music.

I’m 6 weeks out from my last Orencia infusion.  I get my next one tomorrow afternoon.  It’s doing its job.  The last few days I’ve been toughing out Squirrel Girl’s scarf because my hands are starting to be not real happy, but the drugs are doing their job because it should be hurting way more by now.

This afternoon I see my surgeon to see how I’m doing post-op.  I’m feeling pretty good.  I hope I’m right.

After surgeon, shopping for Thanksgiving.  Two kids in the household working retail and the mall opening at 5pm on Thanksgiving day means I’m having Thanksgiving at home.  I’m kind of hoping people will show up for Thanksgiving… but I’m kind of not counting on it.  I’m having dinner at about 1:00 this year.  Shopping list is in process.  I’ve got included on the list peanut butter pie fixings and pink fluffy stuff fixings.  I’m going to try my hand at Coke Salad.

This year my household has expanded to include my returning fledgling but his fiance as well.  My house is fuller than I ever realized it could be.

And this morning..my bird friends are back at the feeders.  Two different kinds of woodpeckers, the jays, titmouses and wrens…

It’s 9 degrees.  It’s a beautiful morning…

Gallery

Gratitude

So… today I’ve been thinking… a lot… Yesterday was our first soccer game (Squirrel Girl and I are coaching 3 and 4 year olds with a couple 5 year olds thrown in accidentally) and the kiddos had fun.  They laughed. … Continue reading