Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 7

fibro journal

I am finding it hard to be grateful for pain. I mean, really, who is all, like, yay pain! except in certain situations that are maybe consensual and between adults and not at all the kind of experience that I am talking about here.

I’m talking about chronic pain. Which can be unfun.

I have been feeling super resentful of it because it is cramping my style. On Saturday I was out with some friends. Because of pain, I had to stop and go home 2 hours into our fun day. I made it through lunch and around one block of shopping before the nerve endings said, “No more.” That was super frustrating for me. I had a lot of resistance and anger on the ride home, which made the nerve endings even angrier. I came home, and I began journaling about my frustration in my nice clean shiny new journal. I had a moment of not wanting to put that stuff down in the clean white pages, of not wanting to journal anything negative or painful there. I had to ask myself what that was about. Why was I so resistant? Not acknowledging it doesn’t make it less real. It doesn’t make it less present. It just stuffs it out of sight and makes it act out in even more awful ways to get my attention.

Resistance makes it hurt more, in more damaging ways.

I’m grateful for that lesson. The one that is trying to teach me that it is okay to let the negative out into the light because it does not make me unlovable or unworthy of living. The lesson that says my negative and positive experiences do not define me. I define me, always, by what I choose around those things, and who I choose to be in the face of them.

All the experiences of our lives are worthy of marking, of writing down, of learning from… they all have value.

Think “willow tree” not “mighty oak.” Sink your roots as deep as you can into fertile ground. Art, music, love, friends, the stuff that feeds you. And then be willing to bend with the storms.

I had a really good time on Saturday. Two hours of hanging out with my friends in the sunshine was super therapeutic and fun. We had epic noms. It is, as ever, my choice to either celebrate the two great hours I had or get bound up in resentment about not having more.


I opt for celebration.

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30 Days of Gratitude – Day 6

I am doing two days today – one now, one later. Bad fibro flare derailed a large chunk of yesterday night.

I am grateful for friendship. But specifically I am grateful for THIS friendship:

Nicole and Koala

You know how there are people you meet and think, “Oh. It’s my old best friend who I haven’t met yet.” and you go on as if you had known each other all your lives and hope that you DO get to know each other all of your lives? This would be one of those friends. It’s a sort of Anne of Green Gables kindred spirit kind of thing. Except she’s probably Anne, she’s just that cool. It’s okay, I don’t mind being Diana.

She makes me laugh, she gets me into the *worst* kind of mischief (which is really the best) and then gets me out of it, teaches me silly drinking songs, is willing to eat chocolate cake and champagne at midnight with stuffed animals, mopped up my tears during my very worst, darkest times this fall, has patiently listened to me vent and process for hours and did not tell me to move on and get over it until I was ready to just move on and get over it, and she is also my go-to gal for all things Zombie Apocalypse related.

Nicole, I am SO glad I met you, SO glad I know you, and really looking forward to more years of knowing you better. There aren’t enough words for how grateful I am for the gift of your friendship.

And I will see you next weekend. With cake. ❤

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I am super grateful for my new blank journal.

It is a little like a seed of pure potential and I am going to do amazing things with it.

I am also grateful that I’m finally starting to feel creative again, beyond the knitting and spinning. That I want to make something that’s never been made before. Finally. Again. It’s really about time.

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a spot of color in winter

I’m really grateful that right now I get to live in Los Angeles for a lot of reasons.

I know this city has its bleak side, its cold and cruel aspects. I know that it is a hard place for a lot of people, the entertainment industry chews people up and spits them out, it is a place of contrasts and false fronts and horribly inflated everything. A lot of people hate it. Sometimes I hate it. But it has taught me a lot, and I love it more than I hate it, most of the time.

Southern California has taught me that my preconceptions can sometimes be terribly wrong. As a dyed in the wool Northern Californian, this was the one place I always swore I’d never live. Now I have been here for 15 years and it’s hard to comprehend trying to live anywhere else. I’m grateful that something I said “no” to for so long has become such a “yes.” I’m grateful for the roots I’ve put down in this place.

I love the vibrant cultural mix. Little Ethiopia, Little India, Little Armenia, Little Tokyo, little whatever we’ve probably got it. There’s a bit of everywhere here in Los Angeles. I love the crazy food trucks (Portland has more but we’re catching up), the art and life and excitement. I love the hills and the beaches. I love that you can get pho or bacon wrapped hot dogs at 3am if you know where to go looking. Love the subway (wish there was more of it) and the light rail (wish there was more of it) the farmer’s markets and the bike shops.

I love that there’s a Ren Faire 20 minutes from my house. And Disneyland is another 30 minutes down another freeway, and y’all, Disneyland is where I go to have my birthday party every year, even if I am going alone. A whole party just for me, even if the other guests don’t know they’re helping me celebrate. With fireworks and princesses!

I love that I know where to find miniature golf that offers Mongolian BBQ. And another one across town that is glow in the dark (the golf course, not the BBQ).

I’m grateful that my kids grew up here, in this community that is SO alive and so exciting, that they could go to museums, the zoo, learn to ride trains, haunt little indie record shops and spend hours on Venice Beach. Sure, it’s provided its share of challenges in the parenting dept, but overall I think it has been a positive.

Sometimes I bitch about the weather. It does get hot, especially in the Pasadena and foothill areas, where I live. But you know the best thing about the weather? Right about now, it gets perfect. Days are sunny and balmy, nights are cold, leaves are turning gold and red (this is amazing to me because I grew up in a place full of evergreens where leaves didn’t turn color in the fall or drop in the winter). It is December, and I can still go meet my friends for coffee at a sidewalk cafe in the morning, and wear short sleeves – though I confess I wear a sweater anyway and just sweat because dammit, it’s sweater season.

You know the thing I didn’t realize until after I’d been here for a long time and one year someone pointed it out and I realized I was totally taking it for granted?

geranium in winter 2

The flowers.

We have flowers all year round. I love that. I’m grateful for the fact that there’s such simple beauty all around me, all the time. I guess that holds true no matter where you live, but I really do like flowers.

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MOM tat

Y’all, I seriously am totally grateful that we did not get those matching tattoos this summer. Because if I had, I would now be taking a blowtorch to my arm or something.

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wide front porch

I love this idea. I try to be grateful every day, because we are so blessed with so many things, people, friends, a loving family, security, enough to eat. But I love what is going on over at Bless Her Heart right now. 30 days of gratitude.

I am starting a little late. But I’m going to play along. It’s a great way to end 2010 and a great way to bring in the year to come.

I’m grateful for our beautiful house, here in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. I’m grateful for the redwood tree, our deodar cedars, the wide shady front porch, our grass and the fact that we are happy here. I am grateful that we feel safe here again, 99% of the time, that the trauma of the break-in has mostly gone away and that we do not start at every little noise any more. I am grateful that all the kitties, tuxedo or otherwise, are happy and secure here.

There was a time when we thought we’d live in our sad little West LA apartment forever. I’m grateful for the time we spent there that makes it so much easier to really appreciate what we have now, to not take it for granted.

I’m grateful for what this place has afforded us. It gave #1 Daughter the proximity to her culinary school, a place she’d have never chosen if we’d stayed in West LA. Now she’s graduated and gone on to great things. It has given me back the Faire, which I never would have agreed to work if I had to commute from Culver City. Faire brought me friends, it brought me family, a rebirth of sorts. I met my sweetheart there and there isn’t a single day that doesn’t go by that I’m not incredibly grateful for the love, laughter and growth that he has brought into my life. It has given #2 Daughter (birth order, never second in any other way) a lovely place to finish going to school, and prompted her to get over her hatred of all public transportation. She’s more independent. She is braver and stronger now – because we live here and in order to get there she had to confront her fears and get herself where she wanted to go.

Casa Fabulous is our home, our foundation, and a great place to start.

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