Gratitude 8-19-2018

I’ve been think lately about life; its ups and downs; the people you meet, for a day or a lifetime, who become friends and mentors and teachers. If you know me well, you know I am not one for putting my life up on Facebook or anywhere else besides my blog. With all this said, however, and after writing a blog piece about integrity and living my life open and honestly, I feel the time is right for me to open up about an issue in my life.

On August 28th, I will undergo surgery for a totally hysterectomy due to cancer in my uterus. I am not afraid of the results since my doctors seem to think this will take care of the issue and I will be ‘cured.’ Still, I have been thinking about my life and, despite my trials and tribulations, how blessed I really am.

In June, I had to file bankruptcy mostly because of the medical mishap I experience in 2016. I want to thank my friends and family on 4E who supported me during that trial as well as those who supported me during my entire learning experience on 4E. I love you all and I miss you all and I wish you all the best. Being on 4E taught me that I could do more than I had ever imagined and that a job could also be a fulfillment of more than just a paycheck. Thank you again for all your love and support during one of the worse times of my life.

I want to thank my new family at North Fork for all the love and support I have received while moving back into the work force and adjusting to the things I can and can’t do. I thank you for all the support you have given me with my trials of this year. Your concern and support has reinforced the belief that work can be more than just work; that it can be fulfilling in all sorts of ways, personal and public. (And, thanks, for dragging me to the movie. Don’t pay attention to my analytic writer’s mind).

I want to thank all my friends in the model horse world for all the fun and laughter over the years. I met some of the best friends through model horses and am so thankful for their presence in my life.

I also want to thank my family for their support. I still miss my Mom every day and I will miss her every day for the rest of my life. My father who has made the great leap to try to be everything to me since she died. And my sister. What can I say? We don’t understand each other because we are on totally different wave lengths in life, but a sister is a sister and I am thankful for her presence in my life. (Except for the time you broke my Marx horse’s neck).

I can’t write this without thanking Anna D and Linda P. for all they have done for me during times of great stress and fear. Thank you all for supporting me so completely.

Thank you to all who follow my blog and comment on my work. Your words mean more than you can ever imagine.

I wish all the joy and happiness and beauty to all those in my life, both past and present. I am experiencing a newfound gratitude for all that I have gained in my life and, strangely enough, all that I have lost.

Be grateful for life. For rainy days and sunshine. For growth and learning and loss. Yes, be grateful for loss for sometimes it is our best teacher. Be grateful for friends and family and those strangers who pass through your life for a second and are gone.

Thank you for reading and listening.

Taken for Granted 4-22-2018

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It’s hard to remember the things which come easily and abundantly into our lives might not be abundant in other people’s lives. For example, I take for granted I will have someplace to go, to live, to be safe and secure between walls and roof and floor. But how many other people, both in America and beyond, don’t have the safety and security of a place to live?

Probably more than I could ever imagine, since I can’t even image what it would it be like to be homeless. I’m sure it won’t be like Sam in My Side of the Mountain or Claudia From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. If homelessness was running away to live in the woods for a year or running away to live in a museum, I’d be all over that. I’ve always wanted to run away to live in the woods, with a nice cozy tree to live in and a pet falcon. And I’ve always wanted to live in a museum. Or a tree-house.

See, those are my fantasies from childhood. Maybe another child fantasized about living in a house with four walls, heat, AC and a working kitchen and bathroom. Maybe another child fantasized about hot dogs and beans.

I take for granted I will always have food to eat, if I can just figure out what – in all the choices available – I’d like to eat. There are people in the world who don’t have that choice. Often they have to choose between eating or some other necessarily of life.

So many things we take for granted. Without even thinking about it, I can walk into a store and buy a drink and some chips. Not everyone can.

I can stay warm inside my house. I can stay cool. I can stay dry. Not everyone can.

I can go to school. I can choose to continue education. I can choose to move anywhere I want. I know that if I walk from my house to my car, I am normally fairly safe. I can work in my backyard without being afraid. I can go out to eat, see a movie, decided to take a trip, make some popcorn, take a flight, go to a ballgame or anywhere else I might wish to go or anything I might wish to do.

But not everybody is so lucky. I’m sure that, even in my neighborhood, there are people who do not have the same freedoms and luxuries I enjoy.

How do we fix this problem? I don’t know, but I do know that every single step we take forward, each time one of us ripples the universe with a gesture of love and acceptance and togetherness, the entire world takes a step forward. I can’t feed the children in Africa, but I can help feed the children in my own town.

I can remember those things which come easily for me, don’t come so easily for all. I can open my hand and my heart to let little bits of my ‘things’ free for others.

If each of us, the hundreds and thousands and millions of us, opened our hands and our hearts to let little bits of love and hope and caring free, we might not recognize the world when we wake up tomorrow.

What an answer to all our prayers!

What Is It You Are Avoiding At This Point In Time?

A fellow blogger, Reena Saxena, asked this question in her Exploration Challenge. This question stopped me dead in my tracks. Well, my reading, thinking, tracks.

It made me wonder – what am I avoiding at this point in time? How about a bunch. A passel. More than I could put into one post.

But really, this isn’t true. Saying there are too many things to count is just another way of avoiding. If there are too many, why bother? Let’s just toss the question aside and move on.

Which, in itself, is a cop-out. So is my life an endless circles of cop-outs?

I sincerely hope not, but what do I know? I can’t even list avoided ‘things.’

So, if I brave up and seriously think about the question, what do I find?

I find I am avoiding the world right now. But no, that’s quite true. I am avoiding myself. I am out of work and feeling like anybody else in the world can get a job except me. I am often told, so-and-so called this place and got a job.  She put in an application here and got a job. He interviewed here and got hired. And on and on.

I’m told, “With your skills, you will have no problem finding a job.” Truth is, I don’t have a job. Where are these ‘no problem’ jobs?

So what the hell is wrong with me?

Sorry, got carried away there.

But I hope you get the point. Which isn’t, by the way, me freaking out about the job, but that I’m avoiding the whys or hows or whens. I don’t want to face myself if I’m somebody who can no longer get a job. If a medical mistake had changed the entirety of who I am.

I don’t want to face myself as I stand on the threshold of financial failure. The Bi-Polar me doesn’t even know how to see myself anymore.

Who am I? This is what I am avoiding.

Am I better knowing this? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s safer to pretend.

So, then, the question is:

Am I willing to stop pretending?

I don’t know.

I do know I am thankful to Reena for asking the question in the first place.

What are you avoiding at this point in time?

 

Here is the link to Reena’s challenge