Tag Archives: what are you grateful for?

Day 328: what are you thankful for? :: part 4

24 Nov

Monday kicked off a week-long series called “What are you thankful for?” — That’s right, ironically occurring just in time for a national holiday.

Part 4:

Today, I am thankful for:

Water.

What? Did you think I was going to say turkey?

Yes, indeed, turkey was just a Crock Pot and the push of a button away today before a feast was set before me.

But, when I really think about it, I am most grateful for water.

Over this past year I have been learning to drink more water.
Including my favorite, hot water with a little lemon.

But, tonight, as I relaxed in my lavender scented bath all I could think about was the power of agua.

I am actually known for taking long showers.
Almost famous for it.  I can’t help it.

You see, water is what gives me my best ideas.  There’s something magical about a hot shower, a long bath, bubbles. Add a candle and it’s like pure lavender scented heaven.

It’s a creative fountain of youth for me.
My mind lets go of whatever daily worries, bills, schedules, deadlines, what if’s and what if nots may be happening and just releases into the gentle cradle of water, where my mind regenerates itself and discovers new ways of thinking.

I think Ponce de León could have just taken a bath instead of setting sail.  As it turns out we both ended up in Florida.

The ironic thing?
We here have recently discovered a little surprise of our own in our 21st century apartment.  It’s handicap retrofit.

Which explains why the bedroom and bathroom doors are so wide and there is a slight concrete ramp to our front door.  Plus, the closet railings are very low.

None of this is an issue for the two 6-foot tall humans living here, except…

The very short bath tub.

My place of respite, my altar of worship, my fountain of youth is only long enough for me to sit up straight with my legs in warm water and my arms lined with goosebumps.

Believe me, I have tried all sort of ways to lay down in the tub, knees bent, legs flush to the wall, head cocked to the side.

The best I can do is alternate taking turns laying flat on my back, with legs in the air, so the warm water reaches my shoulders and then sit up straight so my legs get submerged too.

I’m not really complaining.
Well, maybe just a little bit.

What I’m trying to say is this — I am very thankful for water.

Day 327: what are you thankful for? :: part 3

23 Nov

Monday kicked off a week-long series called “What are you thankful for?” — That’s right, ironically occurring just in time for a national holiday.

Part 3:

Today, I am thankful for:

Technology.

As I write this post, I am feeling far, far, away from family and friends.
It will be just the two of us for Thanksgiving.

Which hardly a holiday it makes, since we both come from large family celebrations of cousins and babies, aunts, uncles and grandparents all circled around one table (plus the kids table of course!).

There is the far away in miles that I feel from my family of blood and birth, and then there is the far away in miles I feel from my family of friends — my tribe — the ones in my life who have been like adopted sisters, surrogate mothers, long lost brothers.

I miss them all on this night, the eve before family tradition and the annual breaking of bread, saying grace and giving thanks.

They are not here and I am not there.
But I feel close to them just the same.

Even though they are scattered from the West Coast to East Coast, from Texas to Delaware, Minnesota to Martha’s Vineyard, I have watched the festivities unfold on Facebook as if they were all right next door.  Actually, closer than next door, more like right in front of me on my computer screen.

Technology is amazing.
And, I am grateful for the connection.

And, then, there is the far away I feel from those I have lost, those who have moved on to the other side and left this world of turkey stuffing and Black Friday shopping.

Tonight, as I read Debi Lilly’s beautiful post, about how she and her family made a Tree of Life in remembrance of Grandpa Carl —  I was reminded of all the loved ones I wish I could spend Thanksgiving with too.

And, that, reminded me of another amazing technology at my fingertips.

If I close my eyes long enough, I can hear Mama Sling’s laughter in the kitchen.  I can see her waking up at the crack of dawn to kneed her home-made dough and place it upon the television set (the warmest spot in the house) where it would rise to perfection before being turned into the World’s Most Amazing Rolls, cinnamon rolls and elephant ears.

If I sit still long enough, I can taste Aunt Deenie’s pies, with that light golden crust.  Oh, the pumpkin!  The pecan!  The chocolate pudding — especially the chocolate pudding! 

If I breathe in deep enough, I can smell Grandma Mary’s baked beans, and honestly, everything else that came after eating Grandma Mary’s baked beans.

And, if I dig deep enough, I can imagine myself sitting around a table with all of my lost loved ones.  Sure, they would make fun of me for my new eating habits, lifestyle, and food choices, but they are so close I can almost hear the conversation around the table.

My mother would say: “What do you mean you don’t want dessert? You always ate dessert in my house!”

Aunt Deenie would look me up and down and announce to the room — “You are too skinny child, you need to eat more.” 

Just as Grandma Mary would wink in my direction and remind me to tuck in my tummy — “as every woman of a certain age should.” 

So tomorrow, while the table will be set for two, I will feel plugged in to everyone in this world who I love, adore and miss.

Because, really, they are all just a wink and a smile, and photo upload away.
Gotta love that technology.

Day 326: what are you thankful for? :: part 2

22 Nov

Yesterday kicked off a week-long series called “What are you thankful for?” — That’s right, ironically occurring just in time for a national holiday.

Part 2:

Today, I am thankful for:

My stubby toes.  And stubby thumbs too.

On Day 8, I described my hands and on Day 168 I described how my body was graced with malformed feet at birth.

How easy it is to deconstruct the body, scrutinizing what is there and what isn’t.  

Including what I wish could be different even though I know what can and cannot change.

I can so easily see the dimples in my cheeks — and I’m not referring to the ones on my face  — and I can’t look past the wrinkles forming around my eyes, or the red spots where capillaries have broken through the skin on my face.  Or, the blackheads on my nose.

The freckles on my shoulders from too many days as a sun worshiping teenager.

There’s the scars on my knees from my basketball days of long ago.

The constellation of moles decorating my abdomen, around my belly-long scar from surgery past.

The veins that pop out of my arm, exactly where the IV used to go.

There’s my tiny, yet almost muscular arms, that somehow got paired with my bulbaceous-ly wide feet.  It’s as if two body parts from two different people were mixed up in the laboratory.

And, then, there are these eyeballs that have been covered with glasses since first grade. Without them, or contacts, my world is a blur.

So it seems, I have my own set of deformities and bodily disasters.

But, given all that, I am thankful for every inch of my it —
because my body is my health.

It has carried me through this life and has so much more to give.

And, over the past 326 days, I have become even more grateful for the work my body does, if not supremely aware of how I have damaged and not taken proper care of it too.

Tonight, as I read an email from my friend Amy, who goes into surgery tomorrow morning, to remove a cancer she just found, I am reminded how thankful I am for my head, heart, and body — how amazingly simple, yet complex they are — yet still all know how to play nice together.

All beating in time, moving with speed, and still keeping me ticking.

Tonight, as I sit in gratitude for my body and health, I am moved by what Amy reminded me in her email tonight — the eve before she goes under the knife.

If there is anything we do need more of, it is joy.

“Don’t postpone joy until you have learned all of your lessons. Joy is your lesson.” ~Alan Cohen

Indeed, we don’t need more stuff.
We just need to take care of what we already have and be thankful for it — even if it is stubby, half-blind, scarred, dotted with moles and oddly mis-matched. 

Thank you Amy.  You are in my thoughts.
May good health be yours.

Day 325: what are you thankful for?

21 Nov

Today kicks off a week-long series called “What are you thankful for?” — That’s right, ironically occurring just in time for a national holiday.

Day 1:
I was so excited to write my post today I started making mental lists of everything I am thankful for.  It was such a great feeling and I was so content with my mental thankful list making — I almost forgot to actually post something today!

I suppose that is the power of gratitude. 
Just thinking about it feels good.  Sometimes you don’t need to do anything, but just think grateful thoughts.

I highly recommend.
When was the last time you made a list of everything you are thankful for — right down to the ability to breathe?

Actually, you don’t need to write it down to feel the full effects of gratitude, even a few minutes of daydreaming will do good things for your heart.

Today, I share this from my own daydreaming:

I am thankful for….
The wonderful people who have come into my life.

Some, for too brief of a time.  Like my dear Mama Sling.  I soaked in my mother’s love and support for a short 25 years, but to this day I swear, I would take a little of super-amazing-wonderful over a lifetime of anything less.

Others, I have met briefly but they have made an impact far deeper than they will ever know, and I will never forget.

And too many, I fear, I forget to tell just how thankful I am for their presence in my life — mostly because they are constants, consistent and all around companions.

That is why this week is dedicated to thinking about all the things and people I am thankful for.

Including you too.

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