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Posts tagged ‘Gratitude’

In Search of the Next Step

In this season of gratitude and giving, there seems no end to my list of things for which to be grateful.

On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, I stopped at the mailbox on my way to run errands. It was the first dry day in a week and since I don’t drive at all when it rains, there was much to be accomplished. Windshield wipers add to the dizziness.

I was not expecting any mail but i nside my tiny box was a thick packet in one of those yellow-brown envelopes. It was from a title company in the town where my house was for sale.

The first page read: Congratulations on the sale of your home. Here are 50 pages of documents to read, sign and have notarized. Well, that added to my to-do list. I would need to find a notary close to home so I searched the internet and made some calls, all from the convenience of my front seat with my smart phone. How did we ever live without them?

Arriving at the notary, I can’t tell you how relieved I was to be greeted by a mature woman who knew what she was doing. I certainly didn’t.I handed her the documents. The process took us the better part of an hour and with each page I signed, a feeling I could not immediately identify, crept over me. Before the last pages were signed, I was blotting quiet tears. What the heck was this all about? I had asked St. Joseph to find someone to care for the home and he had complied, within days of my prayer. So why the tears? Melancholy set in and stayed for the next day as well. I would miss that home for all hopes and dreams it represented.

It was a wonderful home

It was a wonderful home

I’ve been afraid to say a word about selling my home because it’s not done till it’s done. Homes have fallen out of escrow at the very last-minute and I didn’t want to jinx it. Yes, I’m slightly superstitious. How silly is that? Waiting until the closing completed, was a must. On December 18 at 1:18 pm I was notified that escrow had officially been closed.

This will be the last thing that ties me to the ex-husband and we can be done. We can both move forward in different ways. In deepest gratitude, I am a free woman in every sense of the word.

oh so grand but not for me.

oh so grand but not for me.

This Christmas season has brought many gifts. The best part is I have both my adult children and my sister with me for the holiday. What comes under the tree is just icing on a very tasty cake. I am filled to the brim with joy and I hope some of it spills over onto you.

The process of selling this home has taken a lot of energy during this holiday season so very little of my usual routine has been done but I am oh, so grateful it has found new caregivers. bringing a fresh breath to the New Year. Here’s a toast to mixed emotions. I am soaking up this moment, then I have to wonder, what’s next? What would you do as a next step?

Sometimes moving on with the rest of your life starts with goodbye. ~ author unknown

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of the Season of Gratitude

I woke up the day after Thanksgiving Day to find we had no water. Discovering this as I tried to fill my coffee maker made it apparent that my plans for the day were going down the drain. I was feeling quite silly keeping a bucket on the back deck to be filled with rain water until I used it to flush my toilet. I had plenty of wet ones on hand that I take to the fitness room here and alcohol on the bathroom counter. I am so glad I had no dishes to do. What’s a girl to do when there is no running water at home? I sent off a quick text to my daughter inviting her to drive us to breakfast so I could wash my hands in real water. It was a necessary maneuver, don’t you think?

In this season of gratitude, running water is something that often slides through the increasingly larger gaps in my mind. Mother nature and worn street pipes are kind enough to give us these gentle reminders of how lucky we are.

This can be a life saving device.

Growing up in rural Germany, we had to go to the pump to get water for our home and walk to the end of the dirt road to use one in a row of outhouses. Even as a child, I found it detestable.

When my young husband was stationed in Taiwan, our toddler son and I joined him there for his remaining 14 months of duty. Talk about stepping back in time. Our apartment had plenty of modern conveniences. A two burner hot plate and a refrigerator we bought at the PX. We had indoor plumbing with drains in all the floors. Later we discovered that the drains were essential during a typhoon. Many of the locals still did not have indoor plumbing. Unfortunately, the water was not potable. So my husband had to truck bottles of it down the mountain from their filtration site so we could have water for drinking, cooking and brushing our teeth. That was more than 40 years ago and things have probably changed a great deal. I’m still in awe of water flowing freely from the tap and use it sparingly.

For me, Thanksgiving begins a season of gratitude. I was grateful on that Black Friday to have been forced out of my comfortable home and into a store with my daughter doing the driving. I have been unable to do any driving the last couple of weeks. We did a little Christmas shopping for my niece’s daughters. I call them my niecettes or grand-niece’s. Their grandmother is letting me borrow them since she lives so far away and I’m so much closer. I’m grateful to have them in my life.

In the weeks through to the New Year, I will focus primarily on gratitude to the best of my ability. What is it that shakes you to fuller awareness of things to be grateful for and about?

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.
~ Eileen Caddy

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of Giving Thanks

In two days, my daughter and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day at a local restaurant together. Neither of us have the stamina for cooking, cleaning or being polite company. I love to eat out, usually bringing home enough leftover food for another meal or two. Yes, I miss the big family gatherings, but life changes and we have to be adaptable. Isn’t that what the pilgrims did? Adapting to a new land and create new customs and traditions. I’m in a new land and just starting to make new friends.

Mrs Pilgrim is in hiding. She wants no part of the turkey cooking this year.

This week has been especially dizzy. Odd way to describe a week I know, but the events that add even the slightest stress, cause, for some unknown reason, extreme dizziness. Stress can be good. In this instance some of it is. My house in Arizona went into escrow! After two seasons on the market, a buyer appeared.

I’m going to share a little synchronicity with you. When we were trying to sell my mother’s manufactured home, someone suggested that I get this statue of St. Joseph and bury him in the yard with his feet up. That would help sell the house. “Don’t be ridiculous”, was my response. But I bought one anyway. We finally ended up selling to my son. So much for St. Joe.

Last week I found the flyer that came with the statue. The statue is long gone. So I stood the flyer on my dresser and said a prayer of sorts. I’m not Catholic or any other formal religion but I firmly believe in prayers that don’t involve “gimme”. It was just a “let someone that will enjoy the home have it now” kind of prayer. I kid you not, two days later, we had an offer. Not a great offer, but an offer none the less.

He’s done his job, now I must do mine.

Now for the bad part of the stress. My ex didn’t want to lower the asking price and negotiating with him has been part of the reason we are no longer together. I’ve had to work through this sale with him all week-long. Oddly, he has been more compliant than ever. Now we must see where the home inspection leaves us to see if we can both move on. The buyers are getting the house for what we paid for it 13 years ago.

So on Thanksgiving Day, I will be more than grateful to be in this new land with at least one family member, eating what I hope is a good meal. The sun will shine for the only day in several weeks. I’m fascinated that even the weather co-operates on Thanksgiving Day. I’m hoping to add the sale of our home to my list of things for which I am deeply grateful. I am regaining my health, slowly. I have a wonderful family and friends as well as a cozy place to live. I hope your Thanksgiving Day is rich with blessings no matter when or how you celebrate. I’m grateful you are all there.

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. ~ E. P. Powell

From my heart to yours,

In Search of Another Year

Halloween was the one year anniversary of my blog. I wasn’t sure I would last, especially with titles. What in the world had I got myself into?

I started this blog to try to find others who might offer insight and suggestions into my very odd illness. I’m four months shy of three years with the most unusual display of Bells Palsy. My face looks pretty good now and I’m starting to be able to drink out of cups and glasses without a straw sometimes, but dizziness and the lack of balance still make everyday tasks difficult. Boy, do I have real empathy for those with invisible illnesses.

If you happen to be over sixty, get your shingles vaccine. I didn’t because my mother was certain I’d never had chicken pox so we all assumed, (there’s that word again), that I was immune. All three (chicken pox, shingles, bells palsy) are from the same virus. I’d nursed my brothers and sister through chicken pox as well as my own children. When my son had them three weeks before high school graduation, he was certain he would die from them. I was pretty worried myself. His younger sister got them a week later with a much milder case. If I’d had chicken pox, how could anyone miss it?

After one year, no one has stepped up to say they have experience this or anything similar. What did happen? I found some wonderful bloggers doing some really great writing as well as other interesting things. I don’t want to give them up by giving up. Every day, I learn something new and often from someone new. I still don’t know how to find bloggers. Thankfully, they seem to find me. Bloggers are helping me learn the technology of blogging. They also help to remind me each day to count my blessings.

I keep a gratitude journal just for that purpose; writing each day the best thing that happened. I don’t miss a day finding that one bright spot. Some days it’s the post that made me laugh out loud. Some days it’s knowing there are others out there I can relate to even in our differences. Writing is what we all have in common. I keep so much to myself in a personal diary. I’ve learned that keeping a journal, a diary, and blogging are all different forms of writing. I do all three. I hope to learn to write more in-depth and more creatively.

Thank you fellow bloggers. You have taught me so very much. I’m not sure what direction I will take from here. It’s time for reflection.

Learning without reflection is a waste, reflection without learning is dangerous. ~ Confucius

From my heart to yours,

In Search of Life’s Witnesses

I went to a funeral this past Friday. It’s the first one I’ve gone to in years. It was for the woman who was our landlady for the first years we moved to California. Her mother lived in the house next door to us most of the years I lived there. Her mom was in her late 90’s when she passed. Our sweet landlady lived to 3 months shy of 98. Her baby sister who was taking care of all the festivities was 84 years young. You wouldn’t guess her to be a day over 70 and more agile and active than I am at 63.

The chapel at the memorial gardens was filled with friends. Neither of the sisters had children but their lives have been filled with friends who became family. Usually by 98 most of your friends are already gone. These 2 women had almost 80 good friends to support their journey through life as well as each other.

It brought to light how small my community of family and friends has become. The divorce made it so much smaller but then, there was no solid family connection there anyway. You can lose a lot of friends when couples part and move away. I’m still trying to keep in touch with them by e-mail. Also, being a child of a military family meant I met lots of people but managed to keep so few close other than in my heart. I work hard to keep close contact with my family but most have busy lives and their own agendas.

Being ill for so long with Bells Palsy has also reduced the size of my world even more. Having no home of my own for a year and a half kept me from opening my circle wider. I’ve always thought of myself as a gypsy and love traveling and meeting new people, learning new customs and trying new foods but I also finally want to find that place where I feel at home and can open that home to a wide variety of fellow travelers through life. I’ve often wondered if the gypsy life is part of what always made me feel like I was dropped on the wrong planet. I never quite fit anywhere and am still searching for that place that feels safe and nourishing to me.

I don’t expect to make it to 98 and not sure I’d know what to do with myself with that much time but it certainly could be interesting to give it a go. I know for certain that I would love to have a place where friends could congregate and exchange ideas and information not to mention share a glass of tea or wine. Everything tastes better when shared with a friend.
Bells Palsy has given me time to reflect and make some very necessary changes in my life. I plan to live the rest of it on purpose, with purpose. I’m reducing the opportunity for people to bring conflict into my environment. Nerve damage tells me too many and too much have gotten on my nerves and I had none left. That’s what Bells Palsy is for me. One seriously damaged nerve. But it’s healing, slowly. We are betting that by the time the pension issue is settled and the house is sold, I will be fully recovered. Why didn’t this go away in a few weeks like it has for so many others? Everyone says when they hear I have Bells Palsy that “it goes away, doesn’t it”? Well, usually but not always. But it’s not the worst thing in the world. To die with no friends to witness your life would be the worst thing in the world for me. It’s something I want so much to remedy.

I have friends and family quite literally scattered throughout the world. If my face stays paralyzed forever, I’ll make the best of it. Not being able to drive to visit the friends and family in this country or fly and drive to see those in other countries is the part I most desperately want to have heal. I want to drive myself to a spiritual center or a writers group or a class. Till that time comes, I take the bus where it will get me and be ever grateful for the family I have close by to love and assist. I will give encouragement to those that are struggling with tougher dilemmas. There are plenty of those to go around. They make me feel like my life is a piece of cake. It’s all about perspective.

From my heart to yours,

In Search of Gratitude

How hard is it to be grateful when you are quite unwell and homeless? I’ve discovered it’s a matter of perspective. It’s on what a person chooses to focus that makes the difference. I made the choice to give up a perfectly good home to drift from one family member to the next. That choice has increased my ability to heal my own body. I’m ill but not terminally ill. I’m grateful that I have family willing to let me drift among them and that I still have the potential to heal and recover my health. I have been searching out alternative therapies and I’m grateful that they are available to me since doctors as a whole don’t seem to know what to do with me. I found an energy healer less than 2 miles from my sister’s house. I can walk there. I’m grateful that I have enough money coming in from Social Security to eat regularly. I could whine, and I have extensively but there is so much more to be grateful for than whine about. I’m single again and grateful. I get to discover my full potential for the first time in my life. There may be no potential but I get to look for it without suppressing it for someone else’s definition of who I should be. So I will cook a little turkey with the trimmings for myself and my sister and have a glass of wine, not whine, to celebrate all my blessings. I have a warm place to sleep and plenty to eat. I have family to share my joys and sorrows and hope for a bright tomorrow. What more can a person want? Plenty, and there is nothing wrong with that as long as what we already have is appreciated. I appreciate my life big time. It’s been full and quite interesting. I wish the same for you. Happy, Happy Thanksgiving.

From my heart to yours,