day 18: being bold or at least not letting the crit eek get the best of me

today I am grateful for..
1. putting aside my shy self and jumping into situations that if I listened to my ‘crit eek’ I would never have even dreamed of doing.
2. freaky dreams and having someone willing to listen to them
3. being inspired by a friend  to plan a date night for myself.
4. laughter

On a whim a few months ago, in November (I think) I signed up to compete in the NYC Midnight Short Story competition. I saw a post a friend of mine posted, followed the link and voila, suddenly found myself signed up. I got the email this morning and found out my assigned heat/ topic and I am off and writing now. Whatever happens, I am amazed that I even signed up in the first place. It goes hand in hand with me being asked last week to put some photos in an art show. Rather than think about it, make excuses not to do it, I just did it. It was the very first time that I had done anything like that… I am glad I did. I had nothing to lose in the end, just like with the writing competition. I really wanted to start this year of doing things that I have wanted to do but never had the courage to. So far, I am three for three. My unrulei making is helping.

I have been having some weird and intense dreams lately – and luckily a friend of mine has been willing to listen to me talk about them. I have mixed feelings about interpreting dreams, but regardless, it is nice to have someone to talk to about them.

I also am grateful for another friend (Gen you’re awesome) who has inspired me to plan an ongoing ‘date night’ for myself. I haven’t actually planned it yet but I am going to. 2 hours just for me.

Not sure how I can’t be grateful for laughter. I just am.

day 17

 

 

Well… today I am grateful for having a living alarm clock. I slept in, didn’t hear my alarm go off once – my daughter luckily came in and woke me up. I also woke up to a beautiful pre-dawn sky and saw a spectacular sunrise this morning on my way to work. It was nice to see the sun – even though it was brief (the clouds have since moved in again).

I am deeply grateful today to some very dear friends of mine, who when I feel like I am stumbling/ crashing/ burning, consistently are there when I reach out for help. I have never been very good about reaching out – have always in the past kept my troubles to myself, but I am learning this year that I just can’t do it alone. I am grateful (so much) for being able to be myself with them. They let me rant, cry, laugh, whatever – and they don’t let me be hard on myself. You are beautiful and you know who you are.

I am grateful for my life. I have two wonderful daughters – who are the reason I am here. I get to help others for a living, be creative and express myself artistically every day. I am healthy. I have a house that protects my family and keeps us warm (now that I fixed the furnace and put weather stripping on the new doors the rental company installed – holy gale force wind!). I have food on the table (not now but you know what I mean). I have a loving family – brothers sisters dad, whom I love deeply. I have some wonderful friends. I have a lot and I am grateful for it all.
1. That Gabbie woke up on her own this morning and then woke me up too
2. More sunshine
3. Deeply grateful for friends – especially when I am having a bad moment and all I need is a hug and to laugh
4. For my life

day 16: thank god there were no ants, that’s all I’m saying.

Today I am grateful for:

1. that there were no ants around me when I woke up from a very weird and disturbing dream.

2. that my driveway was still nicely plowed even though they plowed the streets in the night and boxed in the end of the lane with ice and snow. I couldn’t exactly deal with it because I broke my shovel yesterday and was too lazy to go out and buy a new one. I just drove my car straight through it. I’m a rebel.

3. sunshine. It is currently pouring in the window and after so many days of heavy grey skies, I am just now realizing how much I missed seeing it.

4. that there were no ants around me when i woke up from a very weird and disturbing dream.

 

 

day 15: brrr and yay for snow

today

I am grateful for

1.the wind, rain, sleet and snow (and getting to drive in it). I like to drive a lot, and I love my car because it enjoys the winter as much as I do. I enjoy being able to drive through the worst kind of weather and know that when the idiot in front to of me is taking a sharp turn too quickly and is dangerously close to spinning out into the ditch, I have plenty of time, good winter tires and can stop well out of the way.

2. I am also grateful for my very warm Irish sweater. It is an actual sweater from Ireland proper – all cabled and warm. need I say more?

3. good coffee. hmmm coffee – ground properly, brewed well and staying warm in my travel mug/container/thingy

4. just being.

day 12: sunshine, imagination and snow

There are some days when I just need to hug my girls a little tighter and tell them that I love them a few extra times. The past few days have been that way for me. It is hard to not become introspective knowing that a friend’s life has been suddenly shaken and transformed by the death of a loved one. Five months ago mine was as well. Grief comes and goes for me, and it is hard to know that someone I care about is going through something similar. What I try to do each day is stay present, focus on the day, what comes and appreciate as much as I can the beauty that each day brings. It is ok to be sad, and ok to have moments that are completely overwhelming. Today I am grateful for the sunshine that made the fresh snow sparkle. I am also grateful for the blue sky or at least glimpses of it after so many grey days.

I am also very grateful for the imagination of my daughters. My daughter Sammy invented a scheme to contain her commentary (an empty pringles can)… last night she began her running commentary during the movie that we were watching and continued it today (during a viewing of Return of the Mummy). I almost wish that I could have recorded what she was saying, but in a way, it is enough to know that her words are trapped in the pringle’s can, waiting to be released. It will make me chuckle for a while. I so appreciate their sense of humor – Sam’s clever mind, Gabbie’s quirky sensibility (don’t know too many 15 year olds who go tobogganing with their mother and a giant sock monkey). They are one of a kind and I love them for it.

I am grateful for the scent of oranges and lemons, just because.

 

I am grateful for…
1. brief windows of sunshine on an otherwise snowy day
2. the imagination of my daughters
3. the scent of oranges and lemon
4. toboggans

day 11 – snow, laughter and everything that humbles me

This morning I woke up to two inches of snow with more falling. The snow flakes just seemed to grow bigger and fluffier as the day went on. I love days like this. These days, I have been appreciating the simple things, being with my daughters, going out for breakfast with them, which I rarely have a chance to do, and having some spontaneous fun (like trying on silly hats). Staying present for everything that arrives helps to keep focussed on the simple things… and hug my girls a little tighter because life is too short not to. I am deeply grateful for days like today. I am grateful to be a mother, to be able to spend my days with my daughters, hear their laughter, their wise words, and dreams for the future.

I was also humbled and deeply grateful for the incredibly moving and kind words from friends today and yesterday. I am truly honoured by your kindness and deeply moved. I know that none of you have said what you have to puff me up or said anything lightly – which only moves me more. I don’t know what the future holds for me – I am living each day as it comes, but I do know that I will continue to create, share what I see and hear in whatever way that I feel I can. Thank you for encouraging, supporting and allowing me to be just who I am. I am so grateful for that.

 

1. big fluffy snowflakes because they’re SO FLUFFY!
2. spontaneous silly/ fabulous hat trying on moments
3. have someone else make breakfast for me on a Saturday morning
4. hearing the incredibly moving and kind words of friends. I am honoured to know you and deeply moved

day 10: reaching out, inward and upward

today, I reach out from my center, from my heart, outward, inward and upward, in all directions with loving kindness. For those who are suffering after the passing of a loving and loved brother, for those feeling alone and isolated, for those beginning a new life, a new path, and for myself still grieving and finding my way. With each breath, I reach forward with this thread.

today, I am grateful for being able to reach out to those I care about, even if I do not always know if they get the message or ‘hear’ what I have said. I am grateful for every breath and every ordinary moment, because they are amazing. I am grateful for being able to share how I see the world and I am grateful knowing how people respond to that, if only for one single day. I am better for all of it.

xo

day 9: expecting miracles

I am grateful for moments that allow me to expect miracles. I have to start off today’s post by offering up love, prayers and healing positive thoughts to my friend Stuart Saunders and his brother Craig David Saunders. Craig was in a terrible accident yesterday afternoon and is currently on life support in London, ON after being hit by a transport truck. His family is with him, including his brother Stu. Today, my gratitude lies in miracles – and that there will be one for the Saunders family. Life can change in an instant, and we can expect miracles.

I am grateful for the lessons and messages  that I have been receiving lately, from people, from dreams and elsewhere. It has been an intense period of learning for me, and more I am sure is to come. Thank you to those who have been my teacher, even if they did not realize that they were at the time.

I am grateful for community – especially the network of friends and family that are able to reach out in rough times and in joyous times. Community, in whatever form it may take – on the street where you live, where you work, the network of friends and loved ones that remain in contact with you using whatever communication tool available (letter, phone, face to face, email, social network site)… all of this is part of the structure of community…. and we live and thrive within it. I am deeply grateful for that.

I am grateful for sleep. I have been doing a lot of it over the past day and a half, trying to get rid of the ick that has invaded my body. Sleep is healing.

Hot water and lemon… so simple and yet so effective. thank you for allowing me to breathe freely and speak without sounding too much like a growly old man.

today I am thankful for
1. lessons and messages
2. community
3. sleep
4. hot water and lemon

day 8: silver thistles, inspiration and mending what’s broken

When I first sat down to write today’s gratitude entry, I came up with a blank. I asked myself, what are you thankful for today. Nothing came. It’s not that I am not grateful, or don’t have things to be grateful for, but in that moment, it was just an empty moment. I have been feeling kind of empty this week, after learning that a friend, who I met at work, died on Saturday. She was a very sweet person, full of life and I enjoyed many long talks with her whenever she came in. We were working on writing a history of the Boys & Girls Club of London and the Horton Street Seniors Centre for the past five years. It was a pet project for both of us. Recording history, stories of members, how the Club impacted on their lives and the changes the organization has gone through over the years. I will miss her and the talks that we had. Luckily, I saw her before Christmas – we sat for an hour talking and catching up. She had been ill for awhile but was feeling well enough that day to come in and visit. She was going away for Christmas and January to Arizona. She was excited about it. It was a shock to learn Monday that she had passed. She had her secrets. Unfortunately she didn’t tell me she was sick with stomach cancer. I didn’t know. I am grateful for people who come into my life, even if it can only for a short period of time, and who affect me in a deep and profound way. It is difficult not to be sad when they are gone but grateful to have had the chance to know and spend time with them. I don’t know if our little pet project will ever be completed now, but I am glad that we worked together on it.

I am grateful that I am not afraid to fix something when it breaks. I can usually figure it out and fix it. I like to be independent that way. The rule that things happen in threes is true. The furnace, the dryer and the windshield wipers on my car all “exploded” in the span of the last two days. Luckily now, they are all repaired as well.

I am grateful for unexpected gifts and kindness from people. I have been looking for a silver brooch for many years, one similar to a brooch my grandmother used to have. I don’t know why, but lately I have been thinking about it again, and have had a strong ‘need’ to find one for myself. I went into the cafe at work this morning to order some breakfast, when one of my friends, a member, jumped up out of her seat and came hurrying over to me. She had gone through her things and found a brooch that she had. She wanted to see if it was similar to the one I was looking for. It is very close. She insisted on giving it to me. It was such a kind and thoughtful thing to do, and a gift that I will keep close to my heart.

I am also grateful for people’s sense of wonder and amazement. I rarely write about these kinds of things or go into much detail about it, but today something beautiful happened in my meditation class. I led the class as I usually do Wednesday mornings. A new meditation came through today – I usually wait to see what is inspired by the people in the class, tuning into their energy and conversations prior to the class beginning. After the 20 minute meditation, we sit together and talk about anything that may have happened/ come up. Quite often it is about something personal, related to health or emotions… the chat at the end is a nice way for people in the class to ask questions, share a bit of what is going on for them, and release anything that might have stirred them up during the quiet parts of the meditation. Today a new setting and focus came up. It had quite an impact on everyone, and the chat was filled with wonder and amazement. It is humbling and inspiring to hear someone talk about what they have experienced, especially if it amazes them. They (in the class) often think I have something to do with what happens, but I don’t. It’s just them becoming more open and aware of what happens on any ordinary day. A simple opportunity to reconnect and become centred can be amazing, no doubt, but the only thing I ‘do’  is allow for it to happen for others. and when it does, it is wonderful. I am grateful for the victories of others.

today I am grateful for:

1. people

2. being mechanically minded and able to fix stuff when it breaks down because it always tends to happen and in threes…

3. unexpected gifts and people’s kindness towards me

4. people’s sense of wonder and amazement. It is humbling and inspiring.

day 7: late night kick and electric boogaloo

ah day 7, has it already been a week *pinches arm* feels like I have been dreaming again. The days are just flying by it seems – how can it already be a week, let alone the 25th of January. Oiy. Anyway, I suppose that it is better to focus on the task at hand, rather than sit here and shake my head in disbelief.

Today, I am grateful for those reminders though that give me a good kick in the rear factor. They make me stop, take note and re-evaluate. Oh, yeah I am hard on myself. I probably didn’t need a million reminders of that fact, but that’s what I have been getting over the past, well at least two months. I know it – ok Universe? I know I am hard on myself, and that I have to stop and give myself a break. I will start today. I am grateful for the opportunity to stop being hard on myself, at least for a little while until I screw up again. I am more grateful for music. I have said thank you before for that gift but today I am saying it again and again. I sincerely love this gift. So much. And of course, I am grateful for friends – especially those who find me late at night/ early morning and offer some reassurance. Finally – I am grateful for the electric blanket during these frigid days… actually, I am grateful for remember where I put it and wrestling it onto the bed last night. I was toasty warm while I was sleeping, which was a big improvement from the night before when I seriously considered wearing a toque to bed. Being warm again warrants a little chair dance I think… why not!?

I am grateful for…

1. the late night kick in the ass to remind me to stop being hard on myself and have faith in me.
2. the gift of music.
3. so grateful for friends
4. finding the electric blanket…. enuff said.

 

Have a beautiful day today. I mean it.

la