Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31 ... a full three months of gratitude!!

Hi everyone and happy Princess Day. I had a nice, leisurely day - this after last night's feast with 15 people! While that is always a good time, it sure is a lot of work and I must say I am very grateful for having had a free day today. I had lunch with my dear friend and then took my dad for a hair cut. I was really glad to be doing both those things - got me out of the house and away from the leftovers and the caramel crunch stuff!!

So three months of gratitude. Wow. You know what though, it works and its real. I am learning that one's approach - hold on, my approach, my perspective in life, how I choose to greet the day, others, my issues, is very much a choice, my choice. Gratitude is not just a consequence - it is most definitely a choice. I have to make a conscious choice to allow that awareness to grow, take root, enrich me. I am so glad that I do, that I am.

And to those of you joining me on this journey, thank you. I feel proud when I hear you saying "Hey it's P Day, what are you doing?" I feel proud when I see you and you say "that's great", or "are you ok?", or "thank you". I feel proud that you would invest yourself to such a degree as to tell me what does and doesn't work for you in what I share, that there is meaning there that you appreciate, that you too are cultivating gratitude in your life. That, to me, is spectacular.

So from a full and grateful heart, happy sort of anniversary and thank you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30 .... Ramblings

I am grateful that the couch I am lying on is so comfortable. Many a sitter has commented on the spaciousness and comfort of this couch.
I am grateful I have a husband who does as much laundry as mine does.
I am grateful for the orchid I have growing in my living room, it's spectacular.
I am grateful for the two naps I got to take today.
I am grateful we are only doing one seder.
I am grateful my niece connected with me. She is an awesome girl and I love her very much.
I am very grateful about our upcoming trip, because I very much need a vacation.
I am grateful for all the pitching in Honey's family does for this big dinner we're having.
I was grateful to find a big bunch of my favourite bubble bath left over earlier today!
I am very grateful for my awesome physiotherapist, who not only takes excellent care of me, but follows up via email with information I might need to make my vacation a happy one. I feel very taken care of by her, and I am really grateful about that. Her business card says "Because a good physiotherapist is hard to find..", indeed! She put me back together (ha ha) this morning and I'm grateful.

And that folks, is it for today... back to the kitchen for me!

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29 ... I'm perfect just the way I am .. we all are...

Hi there. Today is going to be easy. Well... I take that back because I will own a bit of shame first. My good friend Ilze sent me the link below (small blue line)with a note that said "Having a bad day?" When I first started watching it I didn't feel good. It made me uncomfortable. I didn't want to watch. The sound wasn't working, I was grateful.

For what ever reason, I went back to it about an hour later, got my earphones out, and paid some mindful attention. It left me feeling ashamed of my first reaction, there you have it.

I thank this Nick person. I don't know what happened to him. I know as I watched all the young teenage girls crying in the audience that he was saying something very important. He is grateful. Go figure. He says he doesn't understand girls with eating disorders, or people who stop living because of their home life. Add to that list addiction, self-mutilation, self-hate... He says we are all perfect just the way we are. He says ya his life is hard, but he loves living it, he is happy, it's not a girl's hand he is going to hold, it's her heart. He tries everything. He is a motivational speaker.

Jesus Christ some days I have trouble getting out of bed. I want to complain about how exhausted I am, how my back hurts, I whine, make excuses for doing not very much, get miserable and caught up in drama, and it's not that I should de-legitimize my aches and pains but really, I have it easy.

So thank you Nick. Thank you for showing me the true resilience of the human spirit, thanks for showing me what gratitude is really all about.

Here is the unedited link.. I'm still not good with the HTML programing.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28 ...Belonging..

I'm whooped. Honey and I have pretty much dedicated our day to getting ready for the second Seder on Tuesday. We both have a very full day tomorrow, the first Seder to go to tomorrow night, which leaves day time Tuesday to cook up a whopping storm and get things ready for a 15 people sit down dinner. The folks in the clan call it the Jewish Olympics and they don't call it that for nothing! So today was about a lot of prep, and now I'm prepped out.

I've allowed myself the last lovely hour surfing the blogs I read. Oh my goodness some people are funny and it makes my day to be a part of this community.

Speaking of community, as I went out to buy something earlier today, I passed a church as the churchgoers were all leaving with their palms, for Palm Sunday. I often get a sense of longing when noticing - whether protestant, catholic, Jewish - people with faith, with a way to practice their faith, attached to a community that revolves around that. My longing revolves around the sense of belonging I imagine them to have. They know where they are going on Saturday or Sunday morning. They know who they will see there. They know where they can go for comfort and solace. I am sure as hell (ha, ha, pun) no advocate of organized religion, the Oral Roberts stuff, gaad shudder the thought, but when I see folks communing in my neighbourhood, I feel like I'm missing out on something, is all.

So ya, gratitude. I'm grateful for this space I took today, to surf the net, to ponder such things as community. I am grateful for the families I belong to, that make me feel like a part of something bigger whether it's Honey's, or mine, or the blogesphere... I'm grateful to be here.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 27 .. I dreamed a dream....

I dreamed of my mother last night. This doesn't happen often. Even less often, the dreams in which I see or meet her sober. Actually there have only been two. The first one, I found myself in an unlit apartment. My mother came through the front door, looking beautiful actually. She turned on the light and walked right by me as though I wasn't there. I thought it what, ironic? fitting? not sure how to qualify it, that the one and first time I ever dream of my mother sober, she should not acknowledge me.

Clearly my relationship with my mother is/was somewhat loaded. This year will mark the 5th year anniversary of her death. I still wait for a dream of comfort and connection, just like I did when she was living I guess.

Last night's dream was not much of an exception with regard to the lack of comfort I'm sad to report. I saw my mother sober, with huge breasts (in all fairness there have been hormonal things going on in my waking life, and just yesterday I was speaking to a girlfriend about the state of breasts during menopause, but I digress). She was telling me (talking to me!) that she was going into nursing (!?). I was surprised and happy for her, encouraging her. At one point she pulled out one of her huge breasts and there were boils all over it. She was applying some kind of salve to the area. The psychoanalytic fodder inherent in this dream is not lost on me. I remember feeling a little left behind, a little ignored, a little not acknowledged, again. How could I compete with such an enormous breast, such painful boils. And while she spoke to me I felt had I not made my presence known, she would just as easily made like I wasn't there.

I always have a bit of a heavy heart after dreaming about my mother. The dreams where she is riotously drunk seem to affect me less, I guess I sort of expect those. But believe it or not there is something that I am grateful for in all this. I am grateful I have access to these feelings that come up. I strongly believe that ignoring them or pretending them away, would cost me a lot more in the long run. I have developed a strength I like to think, in that I can carry these feelings. They are no doubt a part of me. My story is my story and there is no denying it, no making it go away, no making it prettier.

I am grateful for my strength.

Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26 and ritual

Passover is coming up, and while I'm not Jewish, Honey and his clan are and ever since we've lived in this house, we have been hosting the seders (big dinners). Our bubby, who will be 96 this year, has finally been convinced to give up the duties of making chicken soup and gefilte fish. Others in the family are happier about this than I am, I love gefilte fish!

Anyhow, Bubby called today. She wants me to pick up some chicken feet for her. That's all I can do, pick them up, anything else involving chicken feet just horrifies me! I told her last week I would, but when I went to chicken-dude (go figure I have a chicken-dude!) on Wednesday he didn't have any. So I told Bubby that and she wasn't pleased. She then asked me what I was doing, "Bookkeeping" I said. "Yeah, ok... so Heidi, where are my chicken feet?" she asks again. That's how our conversations go now. It's lovely. I tell her I'm getting them tomorrow. "Oh, ok" she says, "So what are you doing?" ....

I have been thinking lately how it's sad that in my family, my Lutheran, Protestant (for what its worth) family, it only took one generation to lose the rituals associated with our religion and culture. I remember as a kid we would celebrate Easter. My uncle and his family would come for dinner (always a disaster in our dysfunctional, alcoholic family, pretty much just like Christmas). We would paint eggs, eat chocolate bunnies, get presents (and as the evening wore on, duck for cover). I never carried that on with my kids. I guess that's how it goes sometimes - from my mother to me, the religious aspect was lost. She was a catholic and I am sure Easter revolved around going to church when she was a young girl. I think I was supposed to hand down the ritual of family gathering but that didn't happen. We sometimes even struggle to acknowledge Christmas amongst ourselves. Maybe that will change with grandchildren, I'm not sure.

I am happy for the ritual and culture of Honey's family. The family gathers, sometimes as many as 20 strong and I really enjoy that. Mother-in-law gets a little loony as the day nears, and Bubby likes to go on about chicken feet, but it's lovely, and I'm grateful for the family.

So Bubby, don't fret, I'm getting you those chicken feet tomorrow, I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25 .. Spring theme continued...

Walking to work today was awesome. +12 degrees, March 25, many, many crocuses blooming.

About two weeks ago, a dear friend of mine gave me feedback on the blog. One of the things I learned is that not every moment about gratitude needs to be about big feelings, big events. Sometimes it's about having eggs for breakfast, or enjoying a favourite sweater; something, at some point of the day makes your face break into a smile.

For me today it was those crocuses. I would love to show a picture but they didn't turn out. All good... I got to stare, and hover, and enjoy all the same. Crocuses, the purple and yellow ones, are just super happy spring things. You can't walk by and not notice (at least I can't) and you can't walk by and not smile. And I think the smile is even broader when it's March (I mean come on folks - March 25th, no snow anywhere) rather than May.

While tomorrow the temperature is supposed to dip, but ever so briefly so it's all good really, I am really grateful for noticing the flowers, for enjoying the walk (twice today!), for the sun on my face and the warmth in the air. I'm loving Spring this year.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 24 ... Magical...

It seems overnight we had a bit of an ice storm. Nothing like what happened in 1998 obviously but still, all the trees had a coating of ice on them. When I left for my dr. appointment this morning, the streets were filled with a tink-a-link music; the sun was warming the branches and the ice was falling - everywhere! It was really magical. My route took me over Mount Royal - it was spectacular. With the sun shining through the branches it looked like a crystal forest. Believe it or not I am going to post pics! Does that give you an idea of what the entire mountain looked like? And not only that - there as well - tink-a-inking music filled the air. It really felt like a blessing to witness this.

I decided that on my way back from the dr.'s I would go back to Mount Royal and walk around and I did. Fine thing to do on Princess Day if you ask me.

In a phone conversation I had with an old friend the other night, we were talking about vacations and the places she went for her 50th, and where I hope to go for my 50th (15 years from now ...). I came to the conclusion that I would much rather go on a hike, kayak a river, or climb a mountain, than go to a museum. I am always inspired and mesmerized by nature. Sometimes I have this totally crazy thought that this "show" was put on for me! One of my secrets is I fancy myself a "bird whisperer" ... ok so it's a little out there. All I'm saying is it really makes my day when I get a gift like today. I'm grateful to have received that gift.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23 ... The rantings of a pregnant girl ....

On the phone with young pregnant daughter (is it 32 or 33 weeks? not sure). I am grateful that I have gone through the experience of having a baby before she did, cause now I have the stamina to help her through things on the phone... stamina for things like uh... bellowing, moaning and groaning, cranky whining (she just chirped in). And all this is made totally pleasurable for me, because she likes to say "At least I know I'm doing it!"

That is worth a blog in and of itself. Some rantings:

Through the sound of a mouthful of cookies... "I gotta stop eating these cookies!!" Moan and groan... I'm roaring with laughter... she threatens to hang up and groans again.... Oh my goodness I love it.

Now she is upset cause she can't see her ribs :-).

"My dogs poop too much... it's true you pick up their poop one day... the next day you pick up seven plops. I wish I could poop 7 plops I would be so much less crabby. Just sayin'"

"Ok I'm gonna let you go and go sulk somewhere."

Hang in there lovely Peanut.

Ahhh, I'm grateful...

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22..... I'm not so sure..

I have been sitting here wondering what to write this evening. I'm going over my day, it wasn't anything too exciting, still struggling with a bit of a flu bug, took care of some errands.. it meandered on that way, the day did. I made a treat for Passover, bought some groceries...

Aha, I got it. Today, at IGA, I finally found my Vanilla Almond Bark tofu ice cream. Trite, you may say, but holy cow, I love that stuff and I'm hard pressed not to hide it from Honey and eat the whole thing myself! That was my moment of joy and gratitude today, lingering over my Tofuti ...

I realize that some days just go by. I can't say I squandered it, or that I didn't appreciate it. I can't even say I'm not grateful. If gratitude is an essence to experience then there it is.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 21 ...Regrets, apologies and gratitude.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to turn a regret into gratitude. You ever do something you originally thought was right for you, and then it turns out all the reasons you thought it right are some how stupid after the fact? What I am struggling with though is if I had it to do over again - would I?

This sucks. Young pregnant daughter - my lovely young pregnant daughter, had a virtual shower held in her honour today (she lives in Alberta). This woman who my daughter cares greatly and deeply about, decided to host this shower. It was all arranged on Facebook. I don't know her, nor did I know anyone at the shower, except my daughter's aunt. My daughter was only going to be there "virtually". You can be sure as anything that had she been there in person, wild horses wouldn't have kept me away. But still..... would it have killed me to be there to show support for my daughter (which in my defense I do all the time). No. I don't know, I'm so conflicted. I don't like that I wasn't there. I didn't want to go.

So after talking today we decided we would both be sad about it and leave it at that. Had I gone, neither of us would be sad about it. I would have had a few uncomfortable moments. So what.

So I'm saying, I'm sorry love. I'm sorry I wasn't a big enough person to suck up what I could have sucked up. I am sorry to cause you any sadness at all.

I am grateful that you indeed have grown big in your heart. I am grateful that you're a bigger person than I am. I am grateful we could be honest, and that we both choose to stay the course.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 20 ... Happy Spring and other things...

I am not an alarmist. The fact that we have had one of the easiest winters and earliest springs is not necessarily due to global warming. Ice ages have come and gone and this year I'm ok with the "gone" aspect of winter's brutality. All that to say Happy Spring - and I am grateful for the weather and the end of winter.

Now to pick up from yesterday.

So this friends thing... I used to be notorious for rushing into relationships, not taking the time to really get to know someone, or for letting myself be known, and yet assuming the relationships were solid and real. This made for a lot of mucked up assumptions and inevitably heartache.

Maybe it's a function of age, maybe it's a function of having gotten burned often enough, I really see a change in how I engage, how I begin or enter into a relationship. I'm a little cautious now, I feel myself holding back, and it's not being dishonest, I don't know how to describe it really. But yesterday, sitting with my colleague/potential new friend, I felt it. We were sharing, caring, interested in each other, making plans together ..and all the while I felt this inner pacing I guess, recognized I was making choices to trust, to deepen what we were creating - I guess that's it - it was totally conscious.

That got me to thinking about gratitude... I am grateful I have a resilient heart. I am grateful I step back into the ring of humanity and relationships, continue to seek out new friendships, grateful I trust still. Because really, friends are a wonderful thing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19 .. Friends....

I wanted to write today about how I have learned to be in relationship with friends, how I feel I'm resilient because I dare to trust again, how I am willing to risk for the benefits friendships give me. I spent two hours today with a colleague, who is becoming a friend, and those two hours were very rewarding and lovely and nourishing. I'm really grateful for that.

I have since however, had a lovely dinner with my best buddies, too much food, lovely wine and wonderful conversation ... for me to be able to expand on the thought of friendships ... (the irony is not lost on me)...

I am grateful for my friends, new and old, because they challenge me to be my best, they love me, they teach me... and they are there. I am grateful... Back to the convo ...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 18 ... Chaos

Many, many (+20) years ago, chaos was a regular part of my life. Decisions were made that were based on fear, addiction, anxiety, plain old ignorance, and on and on it went. We moved constantly, never had money, never settled. I know this was a carry-over from the family I came from, as well as the family my ex-husband came from, neither of us having a model for healthy living.

Today, I look around and sometimes see the vestiges of that chaos, and I wish in my heart of hearts I had the power to do something about that. But I don't. I am in part responsible for that chaos, having sent it down the generational line, but I don't have the power to change it once it's been taken out of my hands and integrated into the life of someone else. What I get to do now is say it's possible to live without this, look, learn. And my hope and prayer is that in as much as someone has been able to learn the chaotic stuff, they can now watch and listen, and learn the healthy stuff too.

So my gratitude today is for the space in my life, that I created and I work diligently to maintain, that does not contain chaos, that does not invite it in, that withstands it's seduction. I am grateful for the calm, the serenity, the stability. I am grateful for the strength that has had a chance to grow and for the peace the flourishes because of it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 17 .... Spa & Princess Day

I got a text message from a friend today... we had trouble reaching each other yesterday and agreed we would speak today. In her text this morning she wrote "when should I call you, I realize it's you Spa Day" :-)... I find this funny.

A short while ago, while I was surfing around on the net, young pregnant daughter came on line;
"Hi Mommy"
"Hi Honey, hows you?"
"I'm good. How was P(rincess) Day?" .... see... it's a thing now.

So S & P day ... I went for my first cycle of the year today. It's St. Patrick's Day. There is usually a snow storm on this day, or snow, or some form of winter crap, cause really there is nothing else to call it in the middle of March. But today was again, glorious. Yesterday was the warmest March 16th on record! And today may well have been the warmest March 17th.

So ya, I took out my awesome bike. I bought myself a new bike at the end of last summer. Sadly, I think I bought it because I was fighting about money with you know who. So ok, that was not the greatest reason.. but OH MY GOD I love my bike!!! I really do. Cycling has never been such a pleasure. And today was no exception. I went from home, all the way up and around Mount Royal - awesome ride for the first time out. Awesome ride for the 17th of March. Awesome ride period. And little things happened along the way.... riding through the woods on the mountain, I caught the sound of a woodpecker, it pleased me immensely. I passed a garden full of purple crocuses, beautiful, joyful, lovely.

So another fine Spa/Princess Day thank you very much. I am very full of gratitude.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 16 ... babies and daughters

Young pregnant daughter posted pics of herself on Facebook today. She is 30 weeks and counting! She looks amazing, healthy, lovely, (huge!!) ... happy, no denying her "condition" lol.

I am so very grateful for our relationship. I know I say that a lot in this blog. 21 years ago I made the choice to be a non-custodial mother. Choice is a strange word to use. I felt, and feel, that I made the best decision possible for everyone concerned. To look back now and say I could have done things differently, or I should have, is of not much use. The fact remains I made the choices I made. Those choices have had their consequences, not the least of which has been some fractious relationships with my children. But I think I can say, we have all gotten through the rough parts, skinned knees and scraped elbows to be sure... but here we all are, at the other end of it. And here we are able to share in each others' lives, happiness, sadness, children (!), relationships... I am allowed in, I am invited in, and I am very grateful. I am grateful that these relationships have persevered, and that I can live without regret for the path I took.

I gotta go, one of my girls' is calling :-)...

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15 .... Our children

My dear friend has been suffering. Her son is addicted, doesn't matter much to what as it's all about chaos, manipulation, and sadly, enabling. I have been trying to support my friend, but again, in all these cases, the choice to change has to come from within right? I learned my lesson, and ever so happily so did middle daughter. My friend seems caught up in her own drama, about how to draw the line between her pain and her son's, her responsibility and her son's, her choices and her son's.

I remember in the beginning of our story, mine and my daughter's, I believed that what I was supposed to do was leave Honey and my son behind, and rent out an apartment to live out my daughter's adolescence. A wise social worker asked if I was joking. But the truth is, that's sometimes how far we think we have to go. The line between how I can "help", and how I can "hinder" is a very fine line indeed.

I want my daughter to know how grateful I am for the relationship we have. She echoed those sentiments herself yesterday. My friend had called her, to talk to "someone who's been there". My daughter was helpful, sympathetic, grateful for the "help" she got from me - which sure doesn't look like help in the way you would expect it. She told my friend she needed to say no, cut the ties, stop making excuses, stop giving her son a way out. My daughter was direct and honest - and caring. I really am so proud of her.

My gratitude goes out to you today Holly. You make me proud. I'm so excited for the road you have ahead of you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14... Afternoon delight...

It's a cold, rainy day here in Montreal. Even so, it's been lovely. We moved our clocks ahead this morning, I spent time helping a friend, chatted to my lovely daughter in Quebec, lazed around with the paper and a second cup of perfect Mooka coffee...

As if that wasn't enough to be grateful for, well, there was some delightfulness this afternoon! I am always grateful when that happens! I am always grateful to know that the machine isn't quite kaput! My foray into menopausal territory over the last two years has been scary .. especially on the "delightful" front. Before this goes into TMI - I just wanna say, I'm grateful .. content and grateful ..'nuff said!

Sometimes I don't get it. I don't get how in such a short period of time, and a week sure as hell feels short to me, I can go from so worried, anxious, and upset about stuff, and about the state of Honey and I; to content, peaceful, sated (ya, ya) .. and grateful!! I am very grateful that I do get back to this space, this grateful place. I am glad we persist, I am grateful we know we're together, loving each other, wanting each other, still. Grateful.

I'm going to snuggle...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 13.... short but grateful

I have had a good day. While my creativity seems to be on vacation, as evidenced by my trials and for the most part errors at the clay studio, I am feeling calm and happy today. Honey and I are getting along as well. This is always good.

I am grateful that sometimes you get nice, easy days, with naps, and Jamaican patties, and walks, and sun and warm weather, and pregnant daughters calling, and lovely friends writing with compliments about your blog, and other lovely friends writing to just check in, making sure you're ok. Days like that leave you, leave me, feeling grateful and content.

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 12.... lessons

This has been a tough week. I'm glad it's Friday. I'm glad I'm home with Honey, we're having a quiet little dinner, glass of wine, Johnny Cash, it's all good.

This week I learned that I am grateful my mother .. was it my mother???? taught me to stand up for myself, to use my voice, to say hey, what I'm feeling is important. And while doing that - standing up and all - may cause a hornet's nest worth of poo to stir up, and feels awfully uncomfortable, it's gotta be done people, it's gotta be done. I met a woman this week who never learned that, and it's sad, sad in the saddest of senses. What's sad is that woman reminds me I'm grateful for my voice, in the same way thinking of my mother reminds me I'm grateful for my voice - it's the lack of their own that shows me the power of mine. I feel like there may be something not right in that... but I'm grateful for my voice none the less.

And after this long, stressful and weary making week ... I'm grateful for my home, my Honey, my life, my strength, my ability to make choices and understand things; I'm grateful for change, for friends, for the love in my life - cause really, I realize, it sustains me.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11... a break..

So after howling things out last night, I am feeling calmer maybe. Not as revved up on anxiety. Certainly my back cooperated today, thank you physio-girl. Big shout out of gratitude right there. I could stop here and the gratitude for my back being ok would be enough... but I have more to say.

This time of transition and uncertainty is taxing, on both of us, and as hard as it gets, as loud as it gets, we always stay the course, we always listen, we always find each other. I'm grateful for that. Sometimes, I feel great shame in being afraid, not having faith, temporarily losing my ability to believe, stand up for, be there... I feel a lot of shame when I pass through that fire, come out the other end, and say oh yes, hold on, it's my job, my life's work to stand by you, is it not? What was I thinking? I'm sorry. Sometimes I think this shame is what cranks the volume up as well, on both sides. I know the fear does. It's all so complex and multi-layered isn't it?

And yet, despite this fear and shame, in spite of it maybe, there is love, corny as that may sound, there it is. It - the love - is what keeps us on course, keeps us trying to deflate the anxiety, keeps us reminding each other why we do what we do, why we are who we are, why we stand by each other. I am grateful for that love.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 10... a little pain and honesty

I have been having a rough go of it lately. Last week, I came face to face with what I think is rage. It's a volcanic experience that begins at the upper mid area of your chest, and seems to build to a full crescendo of volatility very, very quickly. Sadly, I stuffed it back down, or let it seep out in little spurts here and there... making like I'm saving the world from a huge dam giving way. We all know this results in passive aggressiveness, and I am no fan of that. I always tell my clients, my friends and my family, be authentic, express your anger. And yet here I am, seemingly unable - unwilling - to do so.

And the anxiety, what the hell? I have never felt this stuff before. And I'm loathe to label it as menopausal stuff - and not because of my age, or of menopause itself, but isn't it so stinking trite to use menopause as an excuse? I won't. Nor am I willing to engage in a dialogue that would explain my rage. That's terrible. The times I have tired, I have not felt heard. I feel myself running into walls, this only lifting the rage and anxiety to new heights. So I say nothing. I bottle it up. And then, I guess I could have predicted this, my back gives out! Ooops, another hole in the dam!

So on to gratitude... geez. The room I have for that today is tiny indeed. Nice physio girl told me to walk today, so I did. It's beautiful out and I smiled when I saw my first Spring crocuses. They are beautiful, joyful little flowers. That place in my heart where gratitude lives, swelled ... some. And some days I guess you take what you can get. And if all I got was this tiny swelling for those tiny flowers, so be it, I'll take it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9 ... Woman's Day (+1)

I would like to express my very deep gratitude to all women, on whose shoulders I stand, that have made it possible for me to express myself the way that I do, to make the choices I feel free to make, to make the money I am happy to be making, to vote, to love, to disagree. I want to express my gratitude to all the women whom I love, who love me back; who support me in my endeavors; who listen to me when I cry, when I laugh, when I worry, when I rant. I want to express my gratitude to all my teachers, you know who you are, for your patience, wisdom, friendship, and grace. I want to express my gratitude to all my women friends who share their lives with me, who share their jokes with me, who walk this path with me. I want to express my gratitude to the women who have died, who once taught me, nurtured me, challenged me, raised me, embraced me, and insisted I stand tall. I want to express my gratitude to my daughters, who continue to learn about being a woman and make me proud everyday.

I am grateful. Happy Woman's Day.

I realize this should have been posted yesterday... appropriately I was in the throes of hormonal upheaval yesterday.. not fit to write, let alone to remember what day it was. My apologies... the sentiment expressed today however, remains the same.

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8 ...

Hi there.

So here is a day I need to dig a little deeper to get in touch with gratitude. I'm not quite sure what's wrong with me, but I'm thinking it's some kind of migraine. This is never good. This is draining and painful. And yet...

Taking the day off work, I watched a movie my daughter gave me for Christmas - Up!. It left a smile on my face ... something about all those balloons. How can you not smile at a million balloons?

I spoke to my friend who has some tough work ahead of her with regard to her son. I'm there for her. I found myself able to be there regardless of how I was feeling. I'm grateful for that.

I spoke to lovely young pregnant daughter. She was concerned because she thought I didn't post here yesterday, I appreciate the attention from her. I'm grateful.

I can go take a nap now. I'm feeling the gratitude.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7 ... solitude with company...

I awoke very early this morning. The house that our dear friends are having built still doesn't have curtains, and "our room" is facing the rising sun. It was fine being woken up by the sunrise really ... it was quite spectacular. The lake is still frozen so there is such brightness - it's breathtaking.

Not being able to sleep any more, I got up and went for an early morning walk. I passed a creek, the waters rushing from the melting mountains around us, waterfalls, ice sculptures, stunning. All of a sudden I heard a splashing... four white-tailed deer were crossing the creek. They gazelled their way up the other side, noticed me, and stopped. We stood there for many minutes - they wary, me in awe. They got bored with me and hopped away, tails white and high behind them.

When I got back to the house, I sat out on the deck, it being warm enough to do so. I kept hearing this noise by the lake and went to investigate. While the ice is solid (supposedly), there were cracks apparent. The way the water along the shoreline froze a sculpture of a wave seemed to have formed. As the sun continued to rise and warm the air, the ice tinkled and crackled sounding like little bells. Then this music like whale song began. It lasted for quite some time - it was the ice moving I guess.. I'm not even sure that's what it was truth be told. It was groaning and humming .. the ice alive. It was amazing.

Much gratitude in my aloneness today .. how full that space was with these marvels.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6 .... play day...

It's another glorious day today. It promises to get up to at least 8 degrees. I'm thrilled. We're leaving momentarily to go to the country! The beautiful Eastern Townships. We're going to belatedly celebrate our dear friend's birthday. I have amassed a bit of a picnic lunch, all our our favourite treats, a bottle of our favourite Champagne, friggen hell life is good!

My lovely Spiro responded to yesterday's post. I found out I have a big head!! Who knew :-)...

Happy day to you all. See you here tomorrow.

Much gratitude....

Friday, March 5, 2010

March 5 ... Lots of stuff

Hi there. My day started kind of funky. Honey and I are still trying to navigate difficult issues .. about money, those dialogues never, ever being easy. So I wasn't happy when I left the house. I wasn't happy after my client. Then I went to get my hair taken care of, and ahhhh .. there itwas, that lovely breath of fresh air that is Spiro, one of the most beautiful and lovely 25 year old souls I know. 25 people! When I saw her she said "Hey, it's not Wednesday" - Princess Day remember?. I'm thrilled that little rituals I have started in my blog are being carried on by others, remembered, honoured.... it's amazing.

Spiro and I always laugh a lot together. I wonder what my hair would look like if we didn't. Anyway, we always share stories and today was no exception. So I tell her about some of the happenings at Honey's party. I tell her about my not being happy today. She tells me about her stuff, in particular about her Honey. Her husband received underwear as a gift from his mom on his birthday. Eeek I said, we laughed. How old is he?? 30!!! We're roaring... Honestly, I have to check my hair tomorrow - how can you laugh so hard and cut hair at the same time. I am grateful for the real honest to goodness fun I have with her. I always feel better after seeing her. I want her to know I am grateful for what it is she brings to me when I see her. Thank you Dear Girl. You are one beautiful soul.

I had a lovely chat with young pregnant daughter. She is doing really well, the pregnancy having eased up on her. She asked what I was doing today, I told her going to the hair salon, she replied "It's not Wednesday Ma", I said "It's ok, I'm expanding" .... there is that pebble in the pond again if you ask me. Makes me happy, makes me feel grateful. Lately, young pregnant daughter has been paying attention, acknowledging my presence, showing interest, ... it's nice. It's nice for things to be reciprocal. I need her to know I am appreciative and grateful for her stepping up to the plate in our relationship. I love it. I am very grateful.

And finally, we had dinner with the lovely Mooka folks. I cooked a spectacular dinner. Everything came out perfect, perfectly delicious, perfectly beautiful. I am proud of myself. I am very grateful for the company I had. These lovely people have invited us down south for a week, that's coming up soon, and yes, I am grateful!

So there you have it, despite a rough start, a lovely day and evening all in all. Niceness.

I'm full of gratitude.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4 ... Spring Rites...

It is another glorious day. I love it. I am grateful.

A few years ago, we had a deck built onto the back of our house. It's sixteen by sixteen, and our house is attached on both sides by houses that extend further than ours. This makes for no wind factor and makes it private and lovely. During the first year of the new deck, we spent most of our time out there, had all our meals out there, did all our morning coffees out there, had our afternoon naps out there. Our dining room, which we stopped eating in all together, became a depositoire for all the junk we collected during the day. We would rush into the house, dump our "stuff" (knapsacks, papers, food bags) on the table and go out on the deck. I remember at one point, when folks came to visit, we would escort them quickly out on to the deck, lest they linger and look at the disaster our dining room became!

Our deck is always the first to have all the snow melt. We are westward facing. Our back wall heats up, and because as I mentioned, we're a little back from our neighbors, a micro climate happens. It is always warmer in our little nook than it is outside of it.

So today we had lunch out there. In our T-shirts. Should have had a BBQ and beer! Maybe we will. It's March 4th!!

It was wonderful being warmed by the sun. It was wonderful being warm, outside. It was serene and peaceful to listen to the birds singing, and the sound of the snow melting... I am grateful.

I often feel a lot of gratitude when thinking of my home. I am very fortunate.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3 ... the real thing...

As I pondered my gratitude and what to write today I went down several paths. I could write about connecting with middle daughter today. She continues to grow, be smoke-free (!), make healthy plans, and celebrate her son. I'm grateful for that.

I also considered sharing about young pregnant daughter being open with me, sharing her insecurities, having some real insight into her "stuff", being able to discuss and understand her self through metaphor. I believe we are allowing ourselves to get closer. I'm grateful for that.

I had lunch with a friend today. He told me about some of his difficulties. Told me how much he appreciated the way we could share with each other, how much he appreciated our friendship. He said when we were together it was often like a great sea opening up, allowing him to be honest, direct, authentic. I told him that was not my doing, but his own. I'm grateful for our friendship.

All that being said, the one simple, lovely thing, that really made the essence of gratitude well up in me today - was the light. It's 5:30 p.m. and it is still light out. It is dusk actually, sky soon to turn that beautiful deep Chagall blue. It feels like it's easier to breath all of a sudden. Days are getting longer. Things are opening up. I am grateful.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2 .... Mother Earth..

It is a glorious day today. Warm even by winter's standards. Sunny. Brilliant. I walked alot today, first with Honey, then to work. Birds singing, which by the way they do all winter long, it just seems on a fine Spring-like day you really hear them. And then as I walked... there is was.. that smell, the earth melting, a tulip's bulb somewhere, tingling, the ground thawing, that smell of Mother Earth.

When we moved into this lovely home of ours, I cried a little every day because the smell (I would learn later that is the smell of trees) reminded me of my dear cottage, what used to be my dear cottage. It's been eight years since we lost the cottage, since my father sold it in a dementia-stricken moment. I still mourn it's loss. But through my relationship with that place, those grounds, the air, trees, and water of that space ... I developed a deep connection to the earth. Something real and tangible. And while I mourn the loss of that cottage more than the loss of my mother, I am ever so grateful for having had that relationship for the time that I did. I am grateful that I had a place and space that was reliable, solid, never really changing, encompassing and embracing, real. I can call up the memory - sensory memory - without trying very hard at all. Whether someone else owns that piece of land or not, I will forever be a child of Winnetou Lake. I will forever be grateful for what that land gave to me.

And so on the first Spring days, when Mother Earth loosens up a little, basks in the warmth of the sun, shifts and changes and gives of herself after a long winter, I am grateful. I am grateful for the sense of peace she shares with me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1 .... a pebble in the pond...

I had in mind to share a story about my kids today. It was meant to speak to my gratitude for the relationship with my young, pregnant daughter. Somehow, a conversation I had with her today changed my mind, although not about my gratefulness...

She had a visitor over the last few days, a girl she had become friends with while working on a Cruise ship about a year or so ago. Their relationship has continued despite them no longer working together and living in different cities. So on a drive together, her friend began to cry about her circumstance and hardship, shared her suffering with my daughter.

My daughter, explaining this to me, said "I wanted to help, you know. So I used your gratitude thing..."

I don't know what to say, I am beaming... and grateful.

This practice of gratitude is like a pebble in a pond.