Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Birds singing under
leaf umbrellas, playing in
new clear rain puddles.
Along with being the world’s worst traveler/camper, celebrating birthdays come right up there in the worst category as well. I don’t mind birthdays, having them myself or other people having them. I’m just not very good at celebrating them.
I have a master calendar with pertinent birthdays written down on the correct days. Impertinent birthdays as well such as old boyfriends, lost loves, distant relatives, friends whom I never see or talk to, and dead people. I take time every year to transfer the birthdays from last year’s calendar to this year’s calendar. But looking ahead through the month or week rarely happens. I’m lucky to look at my calendar every day and make it through the day. Let’s blame it on the distraction of living with physical and mental pain, insecurity, and uncertainty. Yes, let’s blame it on that.
I’ve been unable to attend so many birthday celebrations I no longer receive invitations. When I attempt to make a celebration, watch out. So much can go wrong, the only way I cope now is by downsizing the celebrations to almost nothing.
In my family, just with my two guys, special meals have failed, including dinners out. Cakes made from scratch have fallen off counters or been attacked by ants before the humans got to enjoy them; store bought cakes were tasteless. Presents are often wrong. One year I bought the son a pinata and had no idea you had to put the candy in yourself; they aren’t sold full of candy and toys, and they didn’t tell me at the store. He had the fun of the pinata all to himself only to find it empty. Some mom I am.
A whole country celebrates the day of the hubster’s birthday on Cinco de Mayo. I don’t try to make a meal or a cake any more because of so many failures, and he hates restaurants. I have one small gift and pray there is no drama upon its reception. The son gets money to buy his own gift as I have no idea what video game he is currently interested in. I have little imagination when it comes to gifts and many years all I have to give is prayers and good wishes.
My birthday? Just another day. Another year. Just older. ‘Nuff said.
Today is my first great-nephew’s birthday. He enters his teenage years and I imagine he’s going to be a handful, as mine was. He’ll be fine. He has supportive, loving, and caring parents. They’ll be fine. I pray they have the strength to deal, as those of us who have been through it know how hard these years are for a young person.
Friday the 13th was the birthday of the young man I was going to marry when I was 19, but he died at the age of 24 before we could marry. Today is his sister’s birthday and though we found each other a couple years back (through her daughter whom I met when she was 4 years old, now a mother in her own right), somehow I said something to alienate them and I was dropped like a hot potato. Who knows what I said as neither of them respond now, and maybe I am making too much of this, it might be about them and not me. I am sad nonetheless, as I was thrilled to reconnect, hoping to learn more of his true story, instead of making it up in my head.
Tomorrow is the birthday of an older woman friend I met in the swimming pool. I have always been blessed with having an older woman friend in my life, somebody other than my mother or my aunts. The first one was the mother of the young man I was going to marry whom I mentioned earlier. She wrote to me and visited me after his death until her own death many years later. How I loved receiving those letters, in her barely readable old lady cursive, her words curling up around the sides of the page when she ran out of space. My current older friend, my pool pal, has been a champion and a comfort, helping me grieve the loss of my mother three years ago and more recently the loss of my job, willing to listen and offering a different point of view on how to look at things rather than my own self-pitiful wallowing. She shares with me her own adventure in aging, the joys and challenges of her 50 something daughter, and stories of her grandchildren and new great grandbabies.
Celebrating is not my forte. Acknowledgment works for me. If I can call or send a card (sometimes not timely enough) or give a shout-out on social media I do that. If I forget, c’est la vie. I do the best I can, as we all do.
Current View – One of the perks of being a celebrity is getting to do a cameo performance in your favorite detective mystery TV series like Patti Smith did in The Killing (2011-2014, not rated). I finished the 4 seasons and appreciate when a series has a finite end where all the loose threads are sewed together and brought to a definitive conclusion. * Grace and Frankie, (2015-2016, not rated) a Netflix series with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterson with a plethora of recognizable guest stars. Two very different women in their 70s who have been friends for the past 40 plus years of their marriages are divorced from their husbands who marry each other. The friends end up sharing a home because of financial dynamics and going through the same life drama. Actually a comedy, the women learn to become better friends and support each other through the changed path their lives have taken. A fun series and I love the main characters being women of age, the stories about the nuances of aging rather than the glorification of youth.
Currently Reading – Reading fiction during distressing times is difficult sometimes. For me fiction is about the joy of another person’s imagination and taking me into a world other than my own. I want it to be relaxing, and during distress I can barely maintain my attention, let alone relax. I find I read more slowly when distressed and maybe that’s a good thing. House of Daughters (2006, fiction) by Sarah-Kate Lynch, one of my favorite authors. Reading Ms Lynch’s stories is like eating Sweetarts candy. Biting into her stories is tart, often sour, but keep chewing the words and the resolution is oh, so sweet. I don’t drink and I thought reading about champagne would be ho-hum, but Ms Lynch never disappoints as this story encompasses the mending of broken hearts, and how everybody has a talent, despite disabilities, to bring to the mix. Recommended. The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts (2012, psychology and physical fitness) by Hanne Blank, another of my favorite authors. Advice for people of all body shapes and sizes on approaching exercise. Yes, concurrently.
This week I have been grateful for:
- Safely navigating a journey to the next community at dusk (I try not to drive after dark any more) when I needed printer ink for a job application that had a deadline of the next day, and enjoying the fragrances as I drove through the warm evening with my window down, as follows: detergents at the local laundromat, ripe silage, freshly mowed grass fields, hot french fries and hamburgers, crimson clover, the water in the creek between the two towns, scotch broom next to the creek, and tacos. Reverse the order for the return trip.
- Some refreshing rain with lightning and thunder.
- How refreshing outside smells from the rain after a dry spell.
- The change in fragrance from a warm day to a rainy day. Wet bark dust, wet soil, wet roses.
- The house scented with fresh Oregon strawberries.
- The nose works.
- Watching the hubster work so hard around the house keeping the yard tidy and repairing the machines to keep it up all in working order.
- Lunch out with a friend I’ve known for a while but we’ve never had time to sit and chat until now. Delightful to get to know people better.
- Not breaking or spraining anything when I took a fall this week. Only bruises and indignity suffered.
- Finding a swimsuit in my style and size at a retail outlet. I like being at least one ahead because you can never tell when a suit will have a blow out.
- My niece and nephew-in-law becoming parents of a teenager this weekend. Let the fun begin. Another generation grows up. Time goes by so fast any more.
- Older women friends. Time goes by fast for them as well.
- Reducing the dose of my high blood pressure medicine per my doctor because of side effects. I have enough trouble with constant fatigue without being sleepy all the time on top of it.
- Having a small (small, so very small) savings account to get me through these weeks (maybe months) of zero income.
- The stamina, no matter the recurring doubt, and the encouragement of friends and counselors, to keep fighting for myself, for truth, and justice.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch
Floral paragraph dividers by Susan Branch