Looking for answers to life's questions

This post is about gratitude. Deep gratitude. In the weeks since my last post, my gratitude list has increased exponentially. The kindness, support and ideas I have received from the blogging community has been almost overwhelming. It’s given me the strength and courage to press on, persevere and work on some of their ideas for helping others.

One of many roses that have bloomed to cheer me.

I ventured into our employment service here and registered as well as speaking with a Work Source assistant. She looked at everything I had filled out and realizing I had not held a job since the mid 90’s, with a spotty history of employment, (I  was the full-time caregiver for several family members after that time) she suggested that I check out nursing homes for possible volunteering, potentially checking out my next residence at the same time.  In not so many words it was gently implied that I am not particularly employable. I had an inkling of that fact already. I’m still not ruling it out. So on to option B. Whatever that may be.

We clocked the distance with the car. 1.5 miles straight up.

I take my walks now saying my gratitude’s out loud (softly, so the neighbors don’t think I’ve slipped a cog). I start with the list of what I CAN do. It’s quite lengthy. I CAN still walk.

I was able to help my 78 year old friend lift this into the cart. I CAN.

In all of this, I can still give. My friend, Emily gave me a couple of charity quilt tops she no longer wanted to finish. The pieces were all cut, all I had to do was sew them together following the pattern she gave me. I have one done. Finished this month’s quilt squares for the group charity quilt. I’m also still able to pick up a friend who is no longer able to drive and deliver her home.

Blogging friends have given me so many ideas that I have taken to heart. One has also suggested that in light of my understanding about how even the best of our plans can go sideways, sometimes we need a bit of a lift through a rough patch. I’m lucky that I have family and friends. Many are not so lucky. So we need to find a way to network and help each other.

I network here with local friends. We exchange plants so each of us can have something from the others. I’ve shared many pieces of my ever expanding ground cover, succulents, and exchanged several cordial glasses for a bottle of homemade Limoncello and a garden umbrella with stand to have on top of the terrace. Nice trade, right? I’m going to try making that friend a new swing cover. I’m looking at what I have here to work with to make, share or sell to help others as well as myself.

We are having a neighborhood yard sale this weekend. Hopefully some of my extra stuff can find new homes. Tech Support is here for the week and I’m hoping we can set up a website for networking while he is here. No outside projects this time. Instead of last year’s 100 degree temps, we have RAIN and 60 degrees!

The Rhodi’s where huge this year. Just needed a little love.

How do you find ways to pay it forward?

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.~ Edward Everett Hale

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

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Comments on: "Paying It Forward" (64)

  1. Being in a state of gratitude is such a good sign of excellent mental health. That’s another blessing you can count. And you have a sense of optimism too, also good…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is such an enjoyable post to read from you Marlene – I can easily see a change has taken place – it is evident in every word you write. It is cultivating a new habit isn’t it – remembering that gratitude is a possibility in every situation and much more enjoyable than worrying or fearing or grumbling. I really admire that you went into the employment place,despite fearing you already knew the answer. Now you know and so new avenues are able to open for your attention. It sounds like there is a good community support system going on around you too. That must be so heartening, that you can give to others and others can give to you and together you all become contributors to the happiness of each other. Keep walking and talking to yourself – I’m over here doing it too 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am feeling very much lighter, Pauline. You underestimate how much you and and several of our friends help even though we have never met. You are my circle of support that gives me such strength. I’ve said nothing to anyone around here so unless they read my blog, they are unaware. The immediate panic has subsided and been replaced with faithful determination. Everywhere I look around me, I see people trying just to make do. Life should be more fun than that. I’ll keep knocking on doors until I find one that opens for me. I know that walking on a full stomach when I’m tired is harder than first thing in the morning. when I’m fresh and energized. That was when the rain stopped so that’s when I walked. I’ll be thinking of you as I go up that hill.

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  3. J & D > Nothing succeeds better than success. Completion of one task provides momentum and leverage for the next. The more you get done, the more folk see – there’s someone that gets things done. You might not easily find formal salaried employment that way, but you will find your wanted, and – perhaps, remunerated in one way or another for much of what you do. Then suddenly in stead of searching, you find you’re giving it all away!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I so agree. Well said. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you find yourself having a beautiful journey. I let go of how it works out and trust that it will. Knock on all the doors and the right one will open. I have great faith that all will work out as it should. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Mutual support and coming together, a real sign of civilisation! Well done you. Yes you can. To quote Thomas the Tank Engine, I can, I can , I can!

    Liked by 3 people

    • You make me smile, Cathy. I’ve forgotten about Thomas the Tank. 🙂 I’ll remember that as I huff and puff up that hill. 🙂 Have a wonderfilled weekend.

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  5. I’m so proud of the changes you’re making, Marlene. You can do this!!!! Your last photo is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Jill. Yes, I can do this! 🙂 The flower was stunning. Just used the cell phone camera. Have never seen the Rhodi’s that big and beautiful.

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  6. What an amazing attitude you have, Marlene! I’m truly in awe of the extent to which you focus outwards, on others’ needs. The technique of focusing on what you CAN do sounds very powerful!

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    • It’s a very Pollyanna way of looking at the world but makes life so much easier to manage. It also produces more energy than looking at the gloomy side of things. I have always felt it important to reach out and lift others. Now it’s even more so. Thanks for stopping by Kerry. Just your blog title lets me know you feel the same way. 🙂

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  7. Good luck with the job hunt, Marlene. The first step is always the hardest but you don’t know until step out there and see your options. The Work Source lady sounds very helpful and I hope she will continue to help you 🙂 It is so inspiring of you to feel your spare time doing great things. Good to see that you are putting the pieces of quilt to good use and turning them into something lovely – they do look so bright and cheery. It seems you like going out and about, and since warmer weather is on the way for you, maybe do that more 🙂

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  8. I’m not sure how much paying forward I’ve done in the past but I must have done a bit because, in these last few weeks, I’ve been on the receiving end of much kindness and support and concern from dear friends, some old and some new.
    Your post has meant a lot to me today, and has also reminded me how very much I have to be grateful for. Thank you.
    PS. I _really_ like those quilts with the faces on them!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Jill and your kind words. I keep a separate gratitude journal that I write in every night. But when I really focus on how fortunate I am, it goes to a greater level and creates it’s own energy. We are all in this together and I always try to find ways to help. Not so good at accepting help just yet. That’s a whole new lesson. 🙂 I hope whoever gets that quilt likes those faces too. 🙂

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  9. You are that beautiful red rose, all a glow, vibrant, and pleasing to everyone

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  10. Good morning Marlene! Having a positive outlook and support system can make a big difference in one’s life. It’s not what we have in material possessions that matters most, but what is in our hearts. Often those who have the most don’t often share, I’ve noticed. I too like to pay it forward because I’ve been on the receiving end and know how it feels when one someone makes a difference at a time of turmoil.
    Life always goes on, but it sure goes smoother with the love and kindness of friends! 😊

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  11. I love your attitude, Marlene! Yes, you can do anything you set yourself to do! It might not be done the ‘conventional’ way, but it will get done. 🙂
    I’ve always been a big believer in positive thinking. That’s why I don’t stay down for too long. I might wallow for a day or so but then I think of all I do have and feel much better.
    The job thing would not do for me either, as I need to be here for the husband and I’m pretty sure my health right now wouldn’t let me do it. There is always some way to get what you need. Sometimes one has to realize what they need and want are two different things. I’m sure with friends and family you will come around and land on your feet once more. Big hugs, my friend!

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    • I was talking to my son today about how we get a little depressed sometime and I allow myself 10 minutes on the pity pot and then time is up. I had to give the job thing an honest try. But I trust that it’s not what I need to be doing. So I’ll work from home making and selling things. We are having a washed out yard sale this weekend. Cold and wet. No one wants to get out of their cars. 😦 I don’t think my son’s stuff will sell anyway. I don’t have much out there and it looks like it’s coming back inside. 😦 You definitely need to be at home. I’d like to think of something that would help you out as well.

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      • People don’t want to hire us old folks, Marlene. Thier loss. lol
        Too bad about the yard sale but I can understand no one wants to go out when the weather is nasty. 😦
        If you or your friends come up with anything to help us both out that we can do, I’m all ears. 🙂 Thanks for always thinking of me.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I think that as you give away the answer will appear to what you should be doing, or could be doing, or will be doing for extra money in your life. I am wondering if all your years of taking care of others does open up to you a paying job …. staying with someone and helping them with house work, driving a Sr. Citizen bus, working in school lunch rooms….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have looked at all those options, Linda. Because I’m debilitated (not disabled) in certain ways, I’m an insurance risk. So I have to get even more creative. It’s a little hard to explain without sounding negative. But I agree with you, it will open up.

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  13. Marlene, good for your for putting yourself out there. I’m impressed! I loved hearing how you support each other in your community, and how you take such good care of your friends and neighbors. They’re lucky to have you. I hope you’ve enjoyed your son’s visit. Garage sales are a mixed bag, aren’t they? I organized a garage sale about 15 years ago for a non-profit I worked with. We had several high-ticket items at the time, donated by various board members. I raised $1,800. I tried to do the same for the boys pre-school and on the day of the sale it poured. It was hugely disappointing.Ah, life.

    You are such a good soul. Your garden looks so pretty and that rose…oh my! Sending hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, Alys. It’s 5;30 a.m. and still pouring out there. Not a great thing for graduation parties or yard sales. I don’t remember a June this wet or cold. Last year, 100 degrees! Nothing sold yesterday. Sunday may be better but I gave some ground cover to a friend that stopped by. 🙂 She wants me to make her a shirt like the one I had on. A flannel Big Shirt. Hopefully I can get the sleeves on correctly on hers. 🙂 T.S. needs to sell this stuff to get it out of my driveway. We had a sale when we left Burbank that made $6000 that included the sale of an antique truck. The Pack Rat had so much stuff you didn’t even miss it when it was gone. Wasn’t that rose something!! I have never seen them so beautiful! Thanks for stopping by. Sending another note soon. Giant hugs.

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      • Oh darn that rain, Marlene. Yard sales and wet weather are never a good combo. We’re getting the threat of rain here, but nothing yet, just lots of wind. It’s amazing how stuff can own us. I’ve also seen through my clients over a decade that many things don’t hold monetary value. People are moving away from antiques, large furniture, massive record collections, etc. More mobility, less stuff. I’m glad he brought in a tidy sum of $6K when he first moved. Junk King or 1-800-Got-Junk may be the best way to clear out the last of it. Good luck!

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      • He has a steel loft bed that he had his desk under many years ago. No one seems interested and if it doesn’t sell along with the heavy exercise equipment, he must trailer it home or it goes to scrap yard. Sold my extra dining table and chairs yesterday. Next door bought it and I will have made $15 over what I paid for it 3 years ago. Too big and heavy for me. I have pared down so much already and still going. It’s love it, use it or lose it time. Next sale will be for things I’ve made and are new. Lots of ideas but will not do it in this neighborhood. No money down here. We are all on the low cash flow side. For the moment anyway. I wonder what my ex’s kids are going to do with all of his stuff. We had 4 outbuildings full when I left. My whole life fit into a 26′ U Haul and it was loosely packed. I’m ready for less again. Soon! 🙂

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  14. I love this post, Marlene! Attitude is everything. My occasional pity-poor-me-party is short lived, thank goodness. I often look at unhappy people with lots of money and realize I am the wealthy one. Thank you for being YOU. You always inspire me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Jennie. I agree, money doesn’t make you happy. It helps to have enough to pay the bills but the rest is just fluff. It’s the community that I find most important. If we all stick together. You are the wealthy one. What you have given to the world is PRICELESS!!!

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  15. Marlene, I love your heart, your giving and caring for others. Truly this is a spirit for all of us to strive for. I wrote down yesterday, “in everything, in every circumstance, do for others as you would have them do for you.” Best to you, my friend.

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  16. !! Go Marlene, Go Marlene, Go Marl…….” Well, you know the chant 😀
    Isn’t it true, “when things get though, the though get going” ? It’s a shame the employment centre didn’t have the foresight to see what a great teammate you could be. A lot of jobs I can think of really are learn as you go. With your attitude, you’d be a star. You’d rock a sewing/fabric store, book store, garden store…..well now, thank goodness for perseverance. It’s rough to hear “no thank-you”, I’m sorry hon.
    Well your garden is a riot of beauty and while the rain might be dreary, nature enjoys the moisture. The main highway in BC was washed into a creek and what a mess. Many travelers are delayed. We’re getting rain since Friday, but I love it actually. Mild wheather is for me. Anything over 25 seems too hot….good grief, this global warming thing will kick my a** 😀 Well stick together, us birds of a feather, good things always come around xo K

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    • I’m loving the cool rain too. 🙂 Always a bit afraid to admit it to the sun worshipers. I’m considered an insurance risk because I can’t turn around without the threat of falling over. What I have to do is anything sitting down. I’m not giving up. I’ll sew my way out of this if possible or work on that old resume and see if I can make it dance. Everything works out exactly as it should. Giant hugs to you and your fuzzy family. 🙂

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  17. Practicing gratitude has a magical way of making life expand upon that which we’re grateful for. And it’s a wonderful, wonderful feeling. 🙂
    As for employment. Sigh…your post immediately made me think of wanting to come up with ideas for folks who are nearing retirement (or are retired and want to return to work): folks who are wise beyond words and have so much to give and age somehow cruelly works against them. Oh, how I wish I could just create a place where I could employ anyone who needed it based on wisdom. 😉
    Ah well, I wish you many blessings and abundance ahead with a healthy dose of gratitude. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the same thing often. I’ve always wanted to and have helped those in more dire straits than mine. I didn’t find out soon enough that the pension would end at his death and I fully expected him to live a bit longer. So I must get creative which is not a bad thing. I’m an insurance liability with my balance issue from the Bells Palsy so whatever I do, it will be from home. I’m always up for a challenge and change. That’s what life is about. Thank you for the many kind words and for stopping by. Hopefully I will get to listen to the meditation you posted this evening. It’s been a full week with company and graduations. 🙂

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  18. Just wanted to come back and send you extra hugs. You will figure something out: you have unique life experiences and the internet is such a haven for creative folks with unique perspectives and life experience. 🙂

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  19. So proud of you, Marlene! I truly believe in the power of gratitude and make a daily practice of counting my blessings out loud. I’ll have to try it while I take a walk. Great idea! It’s always nice to look back through the pages of my Gratitude Journal. I don’t write every day, but it feels good to write my blessings when times are difficult. I love your sense of joy and resilience, Marlene! Know that you are making a difference every day to family, friends, and friends you’ve never met. Sending joy! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Dawn for stopping by and your kind words. If I get down a little, there is always someone who lifts me up so I want to be able to do that for others as well. My gratitude journal is only one line at night. What I’m most grateful for that day. I do journal every single day. One page of time, temp weather and events of the day and how I waddled through it. Always some gratitude at the end of the page or often at the beginning. I am so very, very blessed in the ways that really count. If I focus on what I have and can do, what else is there time to look at? 🙂 You do much the same thing. Always so optimistic and creative. That takes positive energy. It inspires the rest of us. Hugs, M

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  20. I am so glad to have read this post, Marlene! I am on a similar path, as you know. I’ve had a couple of ideas that might work for you: offering to teach lessons in quilting, crochet, etc. at your home. You could do one on one or maybe up to four learners. Or perhaps put an ad in a seniors’ newsletter or the like, offering to visit someone in a nursing home (and I can’t say I see you in one, certainly not yet!) for an affordable amount. It will depend on whether you are able to drive to many places, but, on the other hand, every drop helps fill the bucket . . .

    I like that you are making things to sell. I am lucky that my cousin is knowledgeable about antiques and collectibles; if I find anything valuable in my storage things, I may decide to let it/them go. Trouble is, I’ve stored it all these years with a view to enjoying them in my retirement. Who knew the bottom would drop out and just finding an affordable place to live would be so complex?

    But you have the right attitude of gratitude, as well as the habit of giving. In the end, it all comes back to you multiplied; you never know when or from where.

    I am thinking of you daily, ,y friend. Love your flower pictures, by the way. And we’ve had a couple weeks of very hot weather where we got a lot planted, followed by a time of cool and sometimes rainy weather, too. I rather like the cool and rainy still. Lets me stay indoors and do handwork without feeling guilty.

    Much love and many hugs to you. The comment above about Thomas the Tank Engine (before my time) twigged for me a memory of The Little Engine Who Could; She chugged up the big hill, puffing out, “I think I can; I think I can . . . and so she did! So you just keep chugging away; we are only asked to take one step of the journey at a time and one step is manageable, right? ~ Linne

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    • Thank you for your caring thoughts, Linne. I have thought many times about offering to teach sewing in my home. No one seems to have the patience to even want to learn other than us older folks that already know how. I’ve been commissioned to make a shirt and a swing cover and hopefully other things will open up from there. Sold a dining room set last weekend so that frees up space to make more work possible.Affordable housing seems to be an issue world wide and they seem to keep wanting to make it more difficult. Right now, they are requiring a $3000 a month income for residence here. i don’t even have near that so I’m fortunate to already be in place. I know you are having a hard time letting things go. I had the same thoughts but letting it go was quite freeing. Starting fresh is kind of fun if you look at that way. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and wishing good things ahead for you. As for the weather, we have been blessed with the coldest, wettest June in years. Hip, hip, hooray!! I’m with you on that one. The heat is coming though and the plants need that too. Not me so much. Keep me posted as to how you are doing. Hugs, M

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  21. Beautiful post 🙂

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  22. Oh well done Marlene – you’re inspiring us all!
    “10 minutes on the pity pot” – I love it!
    It’s a gloomy day here – unusual on my little tropical island – and I was reflecting that I’m not very good with gloomy weather any more. But your post left me smiling, thank you, and oh those flowers – so, so beautiful!

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    • It’s pouring again. We had a week of cold gray skies, now 2 of constant rain, followed by the unrelenting heat of the summer. I will take the cold, gray rain any day. Yes, Clare, we are all allowed 10 minutes to feel completely sorry for ourselves and acknowledge that things are not as we’d like them. Then we have to get off the pot and get to work again. I believe we should own our feelings but not get lost in them. I’m glad I was able to leave you with a smile. Thanks for stopping by.

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  23. This is quite inspiring, Marlene. Yes, our blogging world has opened up friendships I never imagined would happen when I started. It’s amazing. We may not be employable as we age, but we can still offer, give, and help. That is enormously satisfying (although not overly helpful when paying the bills). I think trading goods is a fabulous way to connect and keep ourselves moving forward. Your flowers are beautiful and they do cheer us on. I LOVE the Hale quote. I am only one, but, oh, one can be powerful. ❤

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    • That quote was made just for me. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Karenlee. I love my blogging community. It helps so much since I don’t get out much anymore. Have a wonderfilled weekend.

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      • It says “5 days” above your message. Sheesh…I’m behind. Sorry for the delay. Yes, I love that quote. The bloggers have provided me lots of laughter and joy since I started; I appreciate it more and more. Hope you have a great week! ❤

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  24. Just look at the number of comments here, Marlene. There is a supportive network around you! I love that you have found a creative way around the job market problem. I have a friend studying gender equality and feminism at an academic level and she claims that older woman are invisible. They don’t even get consideration! Terrible! But nevertheless, it is great to see that you have focused your energy on what you CAN do. A fantastic attitude and helping others give one a better sense of satisfaction. Good luck with your projects. You can do attitude is contagious!!!

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    • In the last 6 years, I have found more support from the blogging community than those I lived in. It warms my heart to no end. Those that are still afraid of connection via internet have no idea how much good they are missing. The comments on these last few posts has been amazing and healing. Thank you, Amanda, for being part of this community. Your friend that studies gender equality and feminism is correct, sadly. Invisible is not always a bad thing though. 🙂

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  25. Beautiful attitude! Your determination will be the key to your success by finding the right job for you, Marlene. I keep my fingers crossed! 😄

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  26. What a beautiful post Marlene. I love your caring and giving heart. Just popped in to say hi.

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    • So good to see you, Jan. Hoping you are having a lovely summer so far. Mines just plain too busy for words. Thanks for coming by. Hope to see you again soon. Hugs.

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