Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why Be Grateful?

A quick glimpse at my life right now can easily lead anyone to believe that there is not much to be grateful for.

My husband was laid off earlier this year and his severance (and benefits) are over this week. My brother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The doctors speculate that he could be gone in the next 2 to 8 months.

I'm living in a land mine of questions that are currently unanswerable. Is that job going to pan out? Will we be able to stay here in Eugene? If not, where will we go? How long does my brother really have? Should I go to Tennesse now or wait till he comes back to California with my mom? And of course, the always popular why and what if? So...why be grateful?

I was very lucky to just complete a 40 day gratitude program called Gratitude Groove with my dear and beautiful friend, Kristin. We spoke on the phone every day and talked through daily exercises together. I realized that I can be grateful - no matter what.

My brother may not live past 6 months - but I am grateful to know this now so that I can spend as much time as possible with him and make sure he knows how much he is loved. It also helps me remember that we really don't know how much time anyone has left - and we shouldn't waste a single second of it - the time to love yourself and love your friends and family is NOW. And love everyone else too.

Malcolm's job situation is not optimal but we are better off than a lot of people - around the world and here in America. We won't go to bed hungry or cold. We also have each other.

It's not always easy. I want to talk myself out of it - I should be sad, I should be scared, I should be sick with worry.

I took a break from the sadness, worry and fear and we went to the Saturday Market yesterday.

Malcolm bought this bouquet for me.

I got some beets that I am going to roast with olive oil and sea salt.

Our friend, Brent showed up and made me laugh.

We saw Get Smart at the dollar theatre and laughed some more.

I realized that the sadness, worry and fear will always be there. I am grateful for what they can teach me. I am grateful for knowing that I can choose to set them aside.

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." ~ Buddha

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Church of the Painted Rocks

We live in a new development and there are lots of these rocks around. I've been painting them and leaving them in our neighbors' gardens. I completely stole this idea from the DancingMermaid.

It feels really good to do this and I also get a little scared. I feel sneaky as I plant one of these among their flowers or on their porch.*

Today, just as I was about to put one down, the neighbor's front door swung open. I held it out to her and said, "you caught me - I was leaving you a rock." She said, "you must be a Christian." And I blurted out "No." And then I was stammering, "well, I am, I guess, I don't know." And she asked me what church I go to.
"Um, I don't go to church - I just leave these rocks." :)