Ten Things of Thankful: Blessings Beyond Measure

It has been such a long time since I have written a “Ten Things of Thankful” post.  I was a bit worried the group had broken up, but it makes my heart happy to find that the same core group exists, and they even have their own webpage now (which you can access by clicking the above link).

Someone once said that there are so many flowers at a funeral is because people have more regret and guilt in their hearts than gratitude.  I don’t believe that is true, but I do believe that people, in general, including myself, specifically, don’t always access their gratitude to the same degree that guilt and regret can be at the forefront of the mind.  To make things even more complex, there are some circumstances or people or events or states of being that people feel both regret or guilt for, yet are intensely thankful for this particular item in their life.

One of the often-mentioned “thing of thankfulness” is a person.  I know I am incredibly grateful for the different people in my life, but I also have great amounts of regret and guilt about how, perhaps, I have handled some of the situations I have found myself in with certain people.  It follows that my feelings towards some people are a mixed bag, just as my feelings toward certain events are mixed, are a sort of paradox.  How dialectical, right?  (Ok, Ms. DBT, we get it!)

In no particular order, I am currently, at this moment, crushingly grateful (and sometimes regretful of certain bits) for:

(ONE)

LarBear continues to be my daily rock.  Sometimes we disagree, sometimes we even have harsh words with each other, but we always come back together, stronger than ever.  We don’t ever let an argument or disagreement last very long, and we are both keen to point out to the other just how much we love each other, just how good we are together in so many ways, and how any negativity that might exist between us is always overcome by a sincere appreciation for the love and caring that we have for each other.  I had to kiss many frogs (toads, even) to meet my prince, and I don’t think my life would feel complete without him in it.

(TWO)

There are the obvious people in life that I am thankful for, namely those people making up my inner circle (when added to LarBear).  I have to say that I am happy with the relationship I have with QoB and Mikey Mike, moreso than ever before.  I feel like we all understand each other better than at any other moment in time, and also feel like I have been able (with some prodding) to step out more into my own life and not rely so heavily on them, but know that they are still available, and still right there.  My  dad is also a great support, and is often “the one” who gets selected to talk me off the ledge, if you will.  He can, at times, insert such compassion and common sense and reason into a conversation, that he can truly set my many anxieties aside.

(THREE)

My sister, Ab…wow, I am just so proud of her, for the great mom that she is, for the amazing things she has done with her life, for her accomplishments professionally and personally, but mostly I am proud of her because we have worked and worked at building a relationship and I feel like we are really getting there.  She is teaching me things about life that I never knew, never appreciated, and I would like to think that she is realizing the things that I have to give to the relationship that are of value.  I am very thankful for my network of online friends.  While there is only one or two people that I “speak” with on a regular basis, it seems that I can return to these relationships after months of being “gone” and things can be picked right back up.

(FOUR)

My mental health treatment team is pretty amazing, and I was lucky enough to be in touch with Goddess of Mindfulness lately, and that just made me realize how far I have come in so many different areas.

(FIVE)

I haven’t been in the crisis center or the hospital for just over one year now, with my last stay being in April of 2016.  There have been several times when nurses, therapists, family have wanted me to go, but I have (stubbornly) resisted and here I am, still standing and doing pretty darn well.

(SIX)

My jewelry is starting take off at the gallery, after nearly a year of it just kind of sitting there.  I am getting better at my craft, and taking more pleasure from it.  Like my original art therapist said, take pleasure in the process and everything else will fall into place.

(SEVEN)

I have managed to get into an exercise and nutritional plan that works for me.  There have been tweaks along the way, but I am seeing some success and I am staying away (for the most part) from any eating disordered behavior, and I haven’t been able to say that for ages.

(EIGHT)

I have found a new friend, and she has introduced me to a new church.  I am taking things slowly, but it feels good to be back in a church and I really am enjoying the people in this particular place.

(NINE)

Kizzie and Lucy continue to keep on keeping on, even though now they are considered to be something of “senior” dogs.  They still play and want snuggles and pets and pretty words and treats, and I plan to just keep enjoying every moment we have with them.

(TEN)

Last, but certainly not least…I have a new niece!  Miss Adelaide Louise was born to my sister and her husband earlier this month and she is sweeter than sweetness itself.  More to come about her and my nephew, Oscar, who is now THE big brother!

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Breaking the Habit — Talking About Joy and Gratitude

joys

RANDOM GRATITUDE LIST

1) The youthful exuberance brought to my two best friends by increasing exercise and having a companion.  The barking DOES get a bit obsessive, though.

2) 2014 is almost over and I have not been in the hospital since the summer, although it is likely a few times I should have gone.

3) Deciding to rededicate myself to meditation and mindfulness.

4) Making concrete plans and seeking medical advice to lose weight in 2015.

5) Becoming more serious about the few things in my life that I can pinpoint as activities that really DO matter in the overall scheme of things.  Must, however, find more of these things.

6) Making a conscious decision not to lose sleep over things I can’t change.  You have to turn that over in your mind again and again.

7) Being brave enough to reach out to people I am at odds with.

8) Better place to blog and do other computer tasks.

9) New-to-me car to replace the PT Cruiser I totaled a month ago (not my fault, was struck by a driver not yielding to a stop sign).  The new car is a bright blue 2006 Chevy HHR and it is CUTE and fun to drive.  And if anyone needs help hauling a dead body, it also has a huge cargo space.

10) Feeling a certainty that I can make my life better, regardless of the status of the lives around me.

Question of the day…

Do you think you are addicted to talking about your problems?  Sometimes a little thankfulness goes a long way!

PS to my wonderful readers — turns out as I  publish this, it notifies me this is post 590.  600 posts seems HUGE!  I will bring cookies, someone grab a bunch of egg nog.  🙂


 

Dark-thirty AM Gratitude — TToT

 

Found on tabletonic.blogspot.com

Found on tabletonic.blogspot.com

It has been awhile since I have participated in TToT.  It just seemed like the weekend always just slipped by me as I put it off again and again.  It occurred to me yesterday that the gratitude list that is TToT has always helped me immensely, as during rough times it is important to sit back and try and pinpoint the good in things, even as your mind is churning with the bad.  There of course some repeats that continue on from past TToT’s, but I am considering it a good thing that some of the positives in my life are static, no matter what hell is going on.

1). What started out easy has become really, truly difficult.  I am talking about quitting smoking, of course.  I have had a few relapses, I am sad to say.  Nothing has been permanent, but still.  I am thankful, though, that I keep on trucking even after I do slip up.

2). Secondary to the feeling good about trying to quit, is the ever-magical Atomic Fireball jawbreaker.  I have been going through these things like crazy and find they are what is best when I am having a strong craving.

3) I am grateful that (without smoking), I had enough money to open an Audible account.  I am really excited about the possibilities for audio books.

4). Related, my dad and I are going to start listening to books together and then have our own little book club.  We started Stephen King’s novel about a man going back in time to save JFK and it is really interesting and well-read.  Even Dad is liking it, and it is really not his normal kind of book.  Thanks to Marilyn at teepee12.wordpress.com for the great recommendation!

5) Speaking of Marilyn, and a few others out there, I have THE best, hands-down online friends one could ask for.  Ranging from an acquaintance to a BFF I talk to every day — even when I feel really all alone, I can hop online and then I am not.

6). It sounds like perhaps the Big Dawg isn’t going to move too far away, after all.  That in itself is anxiety reducing.  What I am saddest about it losing my family.,

7). I am thankful for my mom for so many things. She has been staying with me during the time leading up the divorce, and while there is no extra burden, I am just happy I can help.  A big plus is having her help around the house and just having someone to talk to.  And I think between the cleaning and the Kizz and the mouse traps, headway is finally beings made on the mousie infestation.  Thank heavens for that!

8). Kizzie once again also being celebrated — you just can’t stay too sad if you are playing with her or petting her or having her sit on your lap.  Dogs truly do heal the spirit, I believe.  And Kizzie is a very special dog.

9). I am thankful my writer’s block is over (knock on wood!) and it feels really good to be out in the blogosphere again.  I am especially grateful to anyone still reading, as I know those unannounced leave of absences can be annoying.

10) I am glad I have my Surface, especially since my laptop just shot craps.  I am getting used to the keyboard and touch screen, ever so slowly.  Thank you, my green friend out there, for introducing me to Surface.  🙂

To do the linkup (and you totally should) write your gratitude list, tag Lizzy, and put the link to your post in the linky-up-thingie.,  Hope you have all had a week wherein 10 things of thankful can be found

Ten Things of Thankful, Turn-it-Around Edition

This past week has been one of true growth, new realizations, (somewhat) painful lessons, and most of all, a focus on turning it around.  Turn around my perspective on health, both mental and physical, and revitalize and begin to use DBT skills again, like mindfulness, meditation, and willingness.  I am pretty sure I can easily bang a TToT out of the past week’s events.

1) Began meditating on a regular basis again, remembering that, for me, the easiest and most gratifying meditation is any form of the Loving-Kindness.

2) Turning away from wilfulness and embracing willingness.  Making the committment to be more open, to people and change.

3) Baby O still just rules my world.  His momma keeps me in pictures and I am basically getting to see him grow up everyday even though I can’t actually be there every day.  Everything about that little boy is so right and he has motivated me to do so much!

4) So what has Baby O motivated me to do?  Well, he is one of the many reasons that I quit smoking on September 13th.  I have hung in strong, and I have motivation from a lot of other places as well, mostly my health.  I know it’s not a “big deal” till you’ve done it for awhile, but I am proud that  I have not smoked for:

One week, 10 hours, 14 minutes and 21 seconds. 445 cigarettes not smoked, saving $60.15. Life saved: 1 day, 13 hours, 5 minutes.

5) Making a decision to not get mired in feeling sick.  Yes, I feel sick, but there must be something I can get up and do, even if it seems small and insignificant.  Then, if you might feel halfway decent, you slowly add another task and another over a course of a few days, and the to-do list that has been rotting  away in your hand, can be thrown away.  It is totally true that a body at rest will stay at rest, and a body in motion stays in motion.  I “get” that saying now.

6) My realization that a “family member” did not have my best interests at heart, and cutting that relationship out of my life.

7) Having grown to the point where I don’t have to spread juicy gossip, really don’t even WANT to.

8) Mom found a bunch of really cute clips for my shorter hair (with bangs…ugh).  I think this will all be workable in the end.

9) It is amazing the things that you find your postal mailbox.   No, not EVERYTHING gets emailed or texted.  🙂

10) The biggest thanks to old and new readers that were supportive this week I restarted blogging.  I realize some of it is absolute drivel, but like Marilyn says, it keeps getting better as you keep going (I paraphrase).

Now it’s your turn to head out to the TToT link-up with Liz over at Considerings.   If you don’t feel like writing a top 10, consider a top 5 or a top 3.  Or just go check out all the other crazy writers on this train!

Ten Things of Thankful, The “Week Off” Edition

In the past, I have written gratitude posts on a weekly basis for “Ten Things of Thankful.”  I quit doing that after awhile because I thought I wanted to give it a go by myself, and then I foolishly thought my focus was different and special and started “Building a Life Worth Living.”  And then I lost my focus, and I am back to the beginning.

Knowing “Building a Life Worth Living” was never going to go anywhere (although there is another blogger in the sphere who might pick it up), I’ve decided to return to “Ten Things of Thankful,” and have seen a lot of really great posts on it lately.

So, to participate in TToT, write a list of ten things you were thankful for or that were particularly awesome in the past week.  Click here to link-up with Liz at Considerings and your happy little post will be shared around the blogosphere.  Have fun!

1) I can’t remember if I mentioned it on the blog (although I know I have on FB), but I had Sunday thru Thursday off from work and it was WONDERFUL.  I caught up on sleep, TV, and with friends.  I did a ton of laundry and cleaned some neglected areas of the house.  I feel like I accomplished quite a bit, although there is always more to do.

2) In related news, I was able to go to the big city on Thursday and spend ALL DAY with Baby O.  I fed him and helped with his bath and he even let me hold him, but just a little.  It was a good day all in all.

3)  My dad and uncle are in Colorado on vacation, and Dad called to let me know they survived a scary and intense drive up and down part of Pike’s Peak.  They are both afraid of heights and Dad said, now that he’d done it, he didn’t think they’d do it again.  While I find this somewhat amusing, I am really glad they are ok.

4) Put up 12 PINTS of grape jelly (picked right off my own property) with help of my dad’s wife.  We had a lot of fun and I’ll have several Christmas presents to hand out, especially considering I don’t like grape jelly…like, at all.

5) Was sooooo very hungry yesterday morning, with little in the house but coffee, and I found a box of Shredded Mini Wheats that was only partially stale.  I know that sounds gross, but…hungry!

6) Able to speak with Goddess of Mindfulness for a bit yesterday.  Seems that other than a few little glitches, things overall are pretty good.  We have been doing a system where I leave her messages and she reads my blog, and I let her know when I want to speak with her or sometimes she will call or email me based on what she has read or heard.  It seems to be a pretty good system.

7) Big stack of paperwork to sort and file, and receipts to catalogue and put in Excel, waiting for me when I got back to work.  Job security!

8)  The busy season is pretty much over for now, so I am happy everyone is getting a little extra time off to do what they want to do.  Busy season ends always right before (or sometimes slightly after…yikes) people seem like they’re going to snap.

9)  Thank goodness for Medicare and Medicaid.  I start Medicare in October, and will have an increased number of doctors and specialists I can see.  And the Medicaid will pick up the remainder of the bill.  The best part of this is that I will have coverage for my CPAP again!

10) We are getting a lot of rain, and that will mean beautiful color on leaves during autumn.  Really must do a scenic drive of some sort!

 

d8fc4-tenthingsbanner

 

Astonishing Light

I am lonely, I am anxious, and have had a very different last week.  But, as Goddess of Mindfulness and Dad both pointed out, I rocked it.

The Big Dawg, QoB, and Rock were all out of town this past week at a water garden conference.  Big-time conference, lots of networking, lots of learning, lots of  fun (hopefully).  They left myself and Blue Cat in charge of the two stores, for the most part.

I think Blue Cat and I were fairly nervous for most of the week, especially when it came to dealing with pond customers.  I was better at saying, “we’re really not sure” and explaining the situation and that it would be better to come back next week.  Blue Cat was intent on just “handling” everything.  Sometimes that’s not the best approach, but sometimes it works.  I just hope he didn’t feed any irreversible information to anyone.

It was fairly slow, but we did bring in some money.  I was in charge of deposits, which I am used to, but I am used to someone telling me when to do one, and then just doing it.  I was also in charge of making sure we had enough money  hanging around to make change and therein lies a delicate balance.

So I’ve been beating myself up since Friday that I didn’t go to the bank and get more fives and tens.  My coin situation was fairly fine — I knew there would be a bank run on Monday, but I’m not sure there were enough fives and tens to last through today.  I never heard about it, so I’m assuming all was fine.  What a lot of lonely worrying I spent on that!

I also beat myself up, because I was supposed to not let the cash reserve get too high, and I failed to count Wednesday, and on Thursday we were double over what we are supposed to hold.  I made a frantic bank run on Thursday morning and am just hoping I’m not going to get lectured about my oversight.  All’s well that ends well, right?

These things have been eating me up all week, and I have convinced myself in my head that I am not competent to do the things I was asked to do.  Hold that thought right there, though, Rosa.

This past week:

1) I didn’t complain.  Not about working longer hours or about helping out with chores at Mom’s.  Did I somewhat dread doing chores because I made jokes about spilling entire gallons of water onto myself?  Yes.  Did I complain?  No.  When people are away, they need to hear that everything is fine.  And it was.  Completely.

2) I kept the dogs a little bit of company off and on throughout the week.  In my mind, that would help them be less neurotic when the folks got home, and hopefully it worked to a degree.  As Mom said, I had a little “staycation” in which I got to drink crushed ice and water from the fridge and put my feet up for a little while before doing chores.  It was actually quite nice to be away from the ensuing mess at home.

3) Speaking of the ensuing mess at home, I didn’t let myself get too bothered by it.  I knew I would get the chance to address it, but when I got home from doing work and chores, I was exhausted.  There is nothing wrong with ignoring a small pile of dishes or a mounting hill of laundry (as long as you still have clean underwear).

4) Today I got some feedback from Mom and as she says, if something got really messed up, we’ll deal with the fallout later.  I have been freaked out all week that we’re almost out of goldfish.  Talk about things that you can’t control.

5) I managed to get my colonoscopy and upper GI done on Friday, while Snickers and Blue Cat held down the fort.  I felt sick all day, so didn’t do much other than animal chores (which Dad helped with, hallelujah!) but I was ok with that.  I know I need to get better, physically.

So after typing this all out, and affirming that my mental health is intact (other than anxiety which is an all-the-time-thing ), I have to stop and say to myself:

Rosa — practice some self-compassion and you will get there.

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Building a Life Worth Living, Week Three

life worth living

 

To sum it up (once again), building a life worth living is a concept from DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy.  When we are miserable, we aren’t concerned about our quality of life.  As we strive to get better, we start to care and we start to notice our actions that lead us to that better quality.  This series will become a challenge anyone can join, with an official kickoff in the next week or two.  Of course, if  you’re feeling froggy, jump and do it now — just pingback to this post.

1) I was able to see my sister and Baby O today.  An early birthday present, call it what you want.  It made my whole month.

2) A little bonfire at the HH with QoB and the Big Dawg.  Sometimes very few words are needed.

3) The realization that the majority of 2014 has been utterly yucky for me.  The following realization that I am still standing with most of my mental health intact.

4) Taking the pressure off Sister Sara and taking one for the team, feeding Dad’s cat while they are on vacation for a couple days.  True and unexpected appreciation is always welcome.

5) My niece, Little E, turned three today.  When Sister Sara was pregnant with her, I was so disappointed she wasn’t born on my birthday.  Sooo close.  Feeling very grateful to be a bigger part of her life.

6) Making plans to see a good friend next Sunday.  Yes, I have friends.  It is freaking awesome.

7) Talking to Goddess of Mindfulness on the phone.  Sometimes you just need to let it all out there, and it is so helpful to have someone on the other end of the line, letting you know that  your feelings are valid.

8) Chatting with my buddies on the Interwebs, feeling like I gave a couple pieces of good advice, and unfortunately, also like I must buy frozen pizza next time I am at the grocery store.

9) Coming up on the Big 33 and realizing there are many good people in my life, and they love me, and I love all of them.

10) Getting the banner Mental Mama made for this series to fit ALL the way across the page.  Always getting a thrill from figuring out something techie.