30 Days of Thankfulness: new day, new beginnings.

This past month has been a generally very happy month. A few hiccups, but who doesn’t experience those? I am just so thankful and reminded that every morning that I wake, I have the decision to be a better person. Every day is a new beginning. I really want 2012 to be a year of bettering myself and learning more about the truth: “life is a journey not a destination”. I really want to challenge myself to work harder, be more contemplative, slow to anger, more patient, and a lot more happy.

I went out with a couple friends last night, and my love. We ate, drank and were merry. Those are the moments in life I appreciate more than anything. I am entirely grateful for the people in my life. Friends and family alike. This morning I went for breakfast with a good friend and had an overly perky/strange server. I walked home in the snow. It was beautiful and peaceful.

I’ve been inspired by flowers lately. Specifically babies breath and wild flowers. More specifically, in mason jars. And even more specifically, for a wedding. I am not engaged yet, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t dream up ideas for a wedding. I like to think of it as being prepared, *wink*.

via pinterest

via tumblr

via 52 Flea blogspot

via familyfreshcooking.com

via pinterest

 

 

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day#7: (yikes this is slow moving!) Forgiveness

Oh man, I’m doing a terrible job at keeping the pace of this 30 Days of Thankfulness moving. I think I was a bit overzealous. Perhaps I should have made it 7 Days of Thankfulness? I don’t know if I should continue to plug along with the happiness or not. It’s not that I can’t think of 30 things which I am thankful for,  it’s more that I just haven’t had/made the time to sit down and blog about them. Either way, tonight I wanted to take some time to be thankful for forgiveness. A bit ironic as I’m sitting here in stewing over and argument I just had and having a very difficult time getting over it.

It’s an excuse; an excuse I’d love to figure out how to overcome, but an excuse nonetheless: It’s just how I am. You know how some people can have an argument in one moment and then ten minutes they’re laughing with the person they were just shouting at? Yeah, not me at all. All my feelings sit very heavy in the middle of my chest, my mind goes on an infinite loop of angry thoughts, sometimes I want to scream or start throwing things (for the record: I don’t think I’ve ever thrown anything) and I can’t seem to snap out of it. Of course, not only am I stewing about whatever it is that’s making me so angry at the moment, I always throw in anger towards myself for being so mean and stubborn. I’ve always longed to be one of those people that subscribe to the  “fight right” approach. Bah! I don’t know what that means?! What does that look like? All I know is, if there’s going to be a fight I better have all my proverbial guns loaded and be prepared to verbally take out my opponent come what may. I don’t know why or how I became this way, but it is what it is and it needs to change.

Lately when I’m feeling like I’m obsessing over something or feeling depressed or anxious I hop online and self diagnose. Not the best, but sometimes helpful. Tonight I googled “how to get over anger” and I found this article which was the nice glass of cold water in the face that I needed.

You too can glean from this little nugget of wisdom: HERE.

“He who has been forgiven much, forgives much. He who has been forgiven little, forgives little.”  – The Bible

I know that in my life I have been forgiven of so much. Right, so….. time to get over it.

*Sigh*

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day#6 – Autumn (whenever it actually shows up for real…)

Dear Indian Summer:

As a Winnipegger I realize I have no right to wish the beautiful weather gone, however, Autumn is my favorite season and I’m through with shaving my legs every day so that I can don a pair of shorts! I love the coziness of fall, the colours, the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet as I walk, salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks, scarves and boots. I am not hoping for freezing cold weather, just cooler weather. My apartment has grown hot again and I have to sleep fitfully with no blankets. Today I went for a walk to Starbucks and was forced to get an iced green tea! Mmm, I love iced green teas, but not when I’d prefer a hot drink to enjoy with the cool Autumn weather that has apparently taken the back seat for now.

I hope you are gone by the end of this week…I need to do a wardrobe change and it’s all hinging on you and your hot rays. Winter: this does not mean I’d like you to speed up your arrival. Please don’t bother coming for more than Christmas Eve & day….okay, maybe boxing day too, otherwise, I don’t care to see you at all!

At least there are lots of leaves….

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day #5 – “Parents”

(feature photo above © beautifully focused)

Ah parents. We couldn’t live without them. We wouldn’t be here without them. Some parents are not the best at parenting. Those kind are not that kind I’m focusing the attention of this post on though. I have my own two fabulous parents in mind. They’ve been on mind a lot more as I’ve gotten older. I will be thirty one on my next birthday (!?!?!) and I find myself more and more grateful for them with each month that passes.

In the last while I’ve been hearing of people losing their Mom or their Dad or their Husband/Wife. I recently wrote a post titled “#a pie for mikey“. I was perusing some blogs and kept coming across people making peanut butter pies for this “Mikey” guy. I finally made my way to his Wife’s website (she is a food blogger @ In Jennie’s Kitchen) to find out that her Husband – the love of her life –  who was  in great health as far as she knew, just dropped dead of a heart attack one afternoon. So completely devastating and painful. And just this past week a family that I know lost their Wife/Mother very suddenly. She was here and seemingly fine one moment and gone in the next. I wasn’t a close friend of the family’s, but I know them and I felt sick to my stomach the whole evening after my Mom called me to let me know.

After I got off the phone with my Mom I could feel my heart sinking. I could feel the fear creeping up through my toes and up, up, up into my heart so that it felt incredibly heavy. I am so scared of losing my parents. If I even have this conversation with someone I begin to cry. I know that eventually it will happen, but I honestly don’t know how I’d make it through if I lost one of them so unexpectedly.

My parents are so good to me and I have been fortunate to have grown up feeling very loved and important. When I was younger I used to always want time away from them. These days I want to be around them as often as I can. Obviously some days we don’t always see eye to eye and we argue or whatever, but that’s part of being a family. All of the sad news I keep hearing is a constant reminder to love and appreciate my parents well. I have no idea how long I have with them.  I have no control over it. I do know that I certainly don’t want to be standing at their graveside with regrets.

Feeling so thankful for my Mom and Dad. So very, very thankful.

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day#4 – “Out of the ashes rises something beautiful”

Today I am thankful for “happy endings”. Who isn’t, really? But I am especially thankful and focused on this sentiment after reading “A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard. I picked it up the the other evening and finished it the next afternoon. I had already seen the Dateline NBC special were Diane Sawyer interviewed Jaycee after she was found and reunited with her family, and I was horrified at the bits she spoke about regarding the abuse she suffered for eighteen years. However, I felt literally sick to my stomach and not myself as I read in detail the things that man (whose name, in my opinion, is not even worth speaking aloud) did to her.

Jaycee Dugard was born the same year as me. Any reference to time line or years in her book made me stop and consider what I was doing at that time; what was I complaining about when I was an eleven year old girl? I know she was naked and handcuffed, locked in a tiny room with towels covering the windows. What was I dealing with at age fourteen? I’m sure the typical cattiness of girls in middle school and the typical awkward fourteen-year-old-girl-stuff.  She, on the other hand, was giving birth to her first (NOT ONLY) child conceived by her perverted, pedophile, rapist,  abductor.

I don’t know why it works out that some people go through such horrific things in life and some of us  seem to breeze through life. I wouldn’t really put myself in the “breezing through” category, but I certainly haven’t had to face anything that damaging and traumatic in my life. I am blessed to have had the life I’ve had with my seemingly minor hiccups scattered throughout the years. At the same time, perhaps it’s best not to compare the suffering of one with the suffering of another. Still, I am left very inspired and moved by the attitude of Jaycee Dugard as she reflects on her eighteen years of captivity.

I feel so happy for her and her daughters that they get a second chance at a normal, healthy and beautiful life. They are young enough that they have many years to replace the bad memories with beautiful ones.

I said earlier that I don’t understand why some people suffer so much and others of us don’t. But one thing I have learned throughout my own painful moments is that beauty always manages to find it’s way out of the darkness. I have this tattooed on my right arm to remind me. It comes from Isaiah 61:3:

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day #3 – “Mornings”

(feature photo © beautifully focused)

….so technically this is not day 3, it’s day 4. as good as my intentions are, i know i won’t have the time to blog every single day for thirty days but i will attempt to keep them coming as frequently as i can.

i was never much of a morning person. usually i was pretty severely cranky in the mornings. but somewhere along the way i must have experienced the gorgeousness of morning and decided i needed to start enjoying them. now, when i make the effort to get up early, i enjoy them immensely. especially a morning spent in the sun room at my parents with pax and milo snuggled up beside me, a coffee in hand and a peaceful quiet other than the chirping of the birds (if you are not a morning person this chirping may not be very appealing – i understand). they are not only beautifully quiet, but for me, beautifully redemptive. what i mean by this is that every morning i have the opportunity of a fresh start. if yesterday completely sucked, today can be better. it might not be better, but that’s up to me – at least what i have control over anyways. it’s up to me what i make of the day. it’s up to me how i behave; how i respond to situations – good and bad – how i treat people around me. it’s up to me what perspective i choose to hold – positive or negative. it’s my chance to be a better person than i was the day before. it’s my day to correct the mistakes made in previous ones. it’s my day to appreciate life, the people in it, my health, the things i am blessed to have, love, faith, etc.

it’s another day to be thankful. cast some light and you’ll be alright for now. and leave the rest behind with yesterday …

Don’t you know that I’ll be around to guide you
Through your weakest moments to leave them behind you
Returning nightmares only shadows
We’ll cast some light and you’ll be alright for now
Crosses all over, heavy on your shoulders
The sirens inside you waiting to step forward
Disturbing silence darkens your sight
We’ll cast some light and you’ll be alright for now
Crosses all over the boulevard
The streets outside your window overflooded
People staring they know you’ve been broken
Repeatedly reminded by the looks on their faces
Ignore them tonight and you’ll be alright
We’ll cast some light and you’ll be alright

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 2 – “blankets, parks & dear ones”

(feature photo above © beautifully focused)

when i lived in seattle my friends and i used to grab a blanket and head to the park. sometimes it wasn’t a park, as i do recall laying in the grass on the UW grounds. mostly we were happy for any old grassy spot where we could stretch out, enjoy a bubble tea or iced coffee, play a game of scrabble, read a book with our elbows touching or argue over who was laying half on blanket and half on grass…

this world moves so fast. sometimes i feel like it’s all passing me by too quickly. i hate the thought of having time rush by when i’m stuck inside the four cement walls i call “work”.  lately i find myself more eager to spend time slowing down, enjoying the warm afternoon sunshine, laying in the grass and staring at the sky with someone i love by my side.  just enjoying. for me, that’s where it’s at.