Thursday, April 17, 2014

30 Day Gratitude Challenge (Day5)

I started out  thinking today I would write about one of the inspirational people I've met but then something came across my path that was like a ray of sunshine  and I became grateful for the beautiful words and the feelings it evoked.

An Ester Message came across my work email today  from someone with intials S.M. after her name followed by "Superior General and the Members of her Council".  I think only the catholics know what this means.  The message was wonderful, inspirational even:

Today, for each one of us, where is our Galilee?  Is it not in our own life and work milieu? And how will we bring some of the life of this Risen One?  Every time a given smile will mean forgiveness; every time a good word will dispel sadness; every time a good deed on behalf of justice or peace will bring more dignity and more security to the individuals, then the life of the Risen Christ will become reality around us.  Life will again triumph over death!



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

30 Day Gratitude Challenge ( Day 3 and 4)

Yesterday early on I knew I was going to write about little nice gestures from people throughout the day.  Little gestures  that ripple  into a big wave of happiness.  One was the guy in line at the store who saw I only had 6 items and suggested I go to the express lane  as it would be faster for me ( and it was as nobody was in line).  The bus driver who leaned out  his window to give me a smile and enthusiastic wave  after I let him in ( it looked cute and made me smile).  The person at the counter where I buy my coffee seemed to genuinely joke around with me not because I am a customer but because we have come to know each other over the years.  My supervisor gave me a fabulous review at work which felt great as I am not one who generally has an abundance of confidence ( even at my age).  These  pleasant  interactions  add up to  form a particularly nice day and I am grateful  for that.

Wondering how to talk about today without it sounding like a backhanded complaint.  I  am grateful for the time spent with my mother today and not getting tied up in a  frustrated knot by the end of the visit.  We are  polar opposites.  She does not know me any more than I understand her.  Today I truly enjoyed fussing over  her fancy nails that she is very proud of ( as is every week when she gets a new manicure),   pampering  and waiting on her.  I do this not to try to win her love as she tried all her life to win her own mother's love (which was heartbreaking to watch), but as  my genuine gift to her as this is what she appears to want more than anything.  Once every 3 weeks is what I can handle  but between my daughters and I, she gets a good visit once or twice a week.   Grateful that we can enjoy visits together.


Monday, April 14, 2014

30 Day Gratitude Challenge ( Day 2)

2)  Grateful for having a job I love that pays well.  I've had lots of great jobs in the past but this one is the best fit for where I am in my life right now...a perfect match.   The environment is supportive, the location a nice long bike ride from  my house.  Long is good as it provides a great workout  and there is even a safe place to store bikes at the facility.
 This is where I started out my career and it feels like I've come full circle.  As I walk throughout the  remodelled building I  can't help but remember what used to be where...the new room that used to be  that other room. I feel a bit old like the building itself..a keeper of old memories which I seem to be collecting like antiques these last few years.  The staff who are not the keeper of memories turn the corner to enter  our unit. But  I turn the corner  where the placenta fridge was  into a shiny new office that once was just a wall.
 Grateful for the old stairs that I run up and down on my breaks.  7 flights of stairs.  Old stairs at the side of the building that  doesn't get much attention.  These stairs are the original and it feels nice to know part of history  in that old building is untouched.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

30 Day Gratitude Exercise (Day1)

Idea from  the book Things I Wish My Mother Taught Me by Suzanne Rivard.
Why?
According to the author, doing this exercise will give gratitude power  which sounds like a good thing.

1) Gratitude for my daughters who seem like well adjusted young adults  as they go through their teenage years. I could not have asked for  a better experience raising these girls. No drugs, alcohol, or STDs . Maybe  you want to puke reading this but I kid you not about these girls.  They are freak'n awesome and I don't know how it happened.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Waking Up





It came at me like a cool  breeze. The fresh air reaching my lungs waking me up from this  long slumber. Goal.  Running goals.  They have  come and gone with no substance for too long.  But this is different and I   recognize you  from before.  Before when I was driven.

I don't yet fully recognize the how and the why.  I only  know that I was moved deeply and forever changed. Things flow into another, turning and moulding.  A death here, a broken bone there, relationships and responsibilities mounting. Chance meetings  guiding  the way back to music long forgotten.   Movement through dance needing to express all that I did not have the words for.  You have been gentle.  Passionate. Patient and kind.  I twirl and stumble.  Your arms steady me back to the rhythm.   New friendships.  Strength returning so that I can feel this breeze, really feel it.

The goal is different but just as deep as those others from long ago.  I need to  train hard so as not to cheat myself.  I will know when I have done all that I can do and then I will go out there and experience it head on.   Right now it is very important that I do not cheat myself.  Train hard and mean it.   I will not let this slip through my fingers.  I am holding on tight.  There is life to be found here. The race is the path that leads to it..  I will not cheat  on myself anymore.  Funny how running mirrors life.

Stage 1 of training has already begun. 6  more months to go.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Graveyard Groupie

It seems I'm making a  habit  of visiting your final place of rest once each of the three seasons.  Oh, what a strange thing it is to visit  this place.  You are not there.  Only your  bones are there but that is the closest I will get to being with you.  I understand now why people go to visit these empty places....I think.

I arrive in the morning with a cup of coffee and stand at your cold stone.  Sometimes I stay a few minutes, sometimes a half hour.  At some point during each visit I end up texting a friend to  say  I  am having coffee with dead Jerry and chuckle.  This is only year one and I wonder if I will always do this.  or will the need to come here wear off eventually?

I hate the sterility of this graveyard.  Maybe all graveyards.  I never stepped foot in one except for  actual burials at various funerals.  One of the first thoughts I have when visiting you is that you are surrounded by old guys,  not your peers.  Again, I know I am just visiting a pile of buried bones yet  the thought comes anyway.  You are immediately surrounded by Jack, James, Helen and Rita.  The youngest  was born in 1924, the oldest 1921.  Beyond them are Albert, Alexander and some other old guys.  Oh, but then there is poor Deanne who was born in 1981. Her parents bought two stones for her, oh their grief I can only imagine.  I don't want to imagine.

The aloe vera plant I so carefully placed beside your stone is gone.  It is not allowed, you know.  Here  you must abide by the rules.  You can place a wreath or put flowers in a vase provided by this institution that is attached permanently to the stone.  You don't have one of those.  I would not deposit flowers in this manner anyway...it is not you.  Wouldn't it be  nice to be able to plant flowers around the stone that speaks to the person you were. Aloe vera.  For healing.  I will not get in trouble for dropping tobacco all around your stone so I do.  I am sure you would love a cigarette if only you could have one.  Wherever you are. Tobacco is also an offering.  I give it for both reasons so this gesture speaks to both of us.

I am getting used to this place a little bit more.  This last visit I sat on the hard concrete bench that is provided and I sent  you love via a feeble attempt at meditating.  No matter, I sent love and it is the thought that counts.  I choose to believe you can feel love even in the afterlife.  I get comfort from Eben Alexander's words from his book Proof of Heaven:  A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife. Love is more than we can ever perceive in this life.  It is so much bigger.  I choose to believe that.

On a final note, I have never seen anyone else in this graveyard.  Maybe because it is too damn far.  Maybe because nobody thinks to visit dead people in the morning.  To me it is ideal.  The start of a new day.  Crisp air.  A time to pay respect.

I have 'tucked you  in' for the winter.  See you in the Spring.

Lots of Love   from the other side.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Race of the Season

The race that shall  remain nameless.  I was only there because of friends.  Thank Goodness for friends.  I listened to their stories of this spectacular run when they raced it last year and was intrigued.  When they asked if anyone was interested in joining them this year I jumped at the chance.

Race day.

Out there in the mud and the hills and the distance I  felt part of it.  One hour into the race I saw the elderly skinny man with white hair slightly stooped over running gracefully up the rocks then down the rocks.  Steady, always steady.  Quiet.

I found out later his name is Dag Aabye.

 So it is true after all.  Sometimes you don't know why you are doing a race until it is over.


Turns out I run to catch a glimpse of spirit and grace.