Some might say that I’ve had some bad luck in my life. Maybe a little bit more than most people. When I watch things like footage of Nepal earthquake survivors I question that. Instead, I think that I am actually quite remarkably lucky.
I’ve gotten out of practice, though, in practicing gratitude for that luck in my life. After we lost our daughter, Grace, my grief counselor suggested that I use my creativity to mount an art journal project about the things that made my life beautiful. It remains, to this day, one of my favourite things. I still look back at it from time to time, when I need a little lift.
Since I have begun blogging again, I’ve struggled with what I should write about. I haven’t worked as a writer in almost two years now, so the original intent of this blog – to write about the world of writing – is hard to keep up. And I have a feeling that the multitudes of book reviews aren’t necessarily fun reading, especially if you also follow me on GoodReads! So, my plan is to create a new place to practice gratitude, right in this space. I’m challenging myself to articulate three things I am grateful for, at least three times per week, and I’d like to challenge you to join me on that path.
You don’t have to post yours here – though I’d be honored if you chose to do so. But I challenge you to think on it, to find the bright lights in your life, to seek out that which makes your days more beautiful and full of life and to acknowledge that. Point out your lucky moments, your loved moments, your times when stars align – whether that moment is large or small. Be open to finding joy in the ticking of an old clock or the scent of flowers and remember, just for a little while, how lucky you truly are.
I am truly blessed with some of the most remarkable friends in the universe. I am beyond grateful to have them in my life, and each and every one of them makes me smile and feel a tingle of warmth in my heart during every interaction. During the hard times I have recently gone through, they have been there to listen, to surround me with friendship, to show up with wine and crafts, to get me out of the house for a coffee and a chat, to text me just to say hi and see if I’m doing okay. They’ve answered the phone when I’m crying and can barely talk. They have said “I don’t know what I can do, but I am here,” when being there was just what I needed. They’ve offered unconditional support and love, even if they might not have understood what I was going through. They have made me laugh, watched movies with me, kept my heart joyful and my face smiling.
Recently, some of them sent me flowers on Mother’s Day, to remind me that I’m not alone. They kept what might have been a hard time from being overwhelming. All of them have helped keep me from drowning in their own way, and I am so, so thankful they are in my life. I would not have made it through this, or much of life, without them.
I can’t imagine where I would be without them. Without a doubt, I am lucky to have them, and grateful for their presence in my life.
My Mom’s Increase in Health
My mom was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis a number of years ago, and it was with great sadness that I watched her health and mobility decline as a result. But I am so very, very proud of the fact that she has taken her health into her own hands and has begun getting healthy. She works out regularly, has lost fifty pounds, and has had both knees replaces – by the way, she’s doing so well in her post-surgery physical therapy that her PT said he can’t believe her last surgery was so recent!.
I worry about my mom, especially since we live far enough apart that I can’t be there to help her when she needs it. But her own hard work makes my worry so much less, and I’m so happy that when we do get chances to spend time together now, she is much more mobile and able to do things (we recently went to the Mall of America – something a few years ago she never could have done!) and much, much happier and more relaxed. I’m so grateful that she is doing better, and that her health means we will likely have many, many more years to spend together.
My husband isn’t last on my list – don’t think there is a specific order here. I love him beyond all measure.
And I nearly lost him.
We have never had a troubled marriage, not until the last year and a half or so. The stress on both of us was so great that I often worried whether or not we would be able to make it to the other side of this storm. He is, by far, the most important person in my life, and I’m not sure after so many years together, exactly where I end and he begins. We are that intertwined. But we also struggled, and had to work hard to put our relationship in a place of priority and to heal things between us. We are not perfect, and neither is our marriage. We are, however, mated for life, in both our estimations. We believe we are soul mates, but even between soul mates a distance can grow. Resentments can simmer. Anger can fester like an infected wound.
It takes careful keeping to ensure that you are both taken care of as individuals and that your marriage, the piece that is the both of you as one, is taken care of as well. Distances can be re-closed, wounds can heal, and romance can bloom again, and he has proven that to me time and again. I love him with a depth that makes my chest ache, and I am so very, very grateful for his presence in my life and for the stability and safety of our marriage together.
What are you grateful for today?