As I come into 2014 I recognize that I have a lot on my plate. There are new adjustments to make in terms of income and diet and services for Orion and taking care of my own health. I have some big stressors and some exciting opportunities. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. When I start to feel this way I’ve learned that the best answer is to shift my point of view. Instead of listing the “to do” and getting bogged down I find it’s more productive to count my blessings.
1. HEAT It’s -25F outside this morning. There’s also a wind, so the speed at which frostbite happens is equivalent to a temperature closer to -40F. (THAT’s what wind chill is for those of you who’ve heard the term but never experienced the sensation.) Last week I woke up one morning to a house that was less than comfortable. My furnace had gone out.
I have a fireplace so I managed to keep the temperatures stable if chilly (55F) until the gas company could come out and fix it. I called at 830am, they arrived at about 630pm. I didn’t get my errands run, but I do have a working furnace. There are plenty of people who don’t and I’m grateful.
2. FAMILY My Aunt Donna died this fall and my Uncle Ronnie died just last week. Both of them had struggled for years with the diseases that would ultimately take them.
I am incredibly fortunate to still have both of my parents. Certainly they are aging, but they still manage to participate in their community, entertain friends and support me in innumerable ways. I treasure every moment I get with them.
My kids are a joy. I even like it when they grumble at me. I’m proud to watch As they work to establish their own lives and it’s nice to know I am still a touchstone on bad days.
My sister, the one who hosted Christmas, is so open-hearted, generous and patient it humbles me. I am blessed by the fact that family is important to her and that she’s willing to work to maintain traditions. She’s passed those values on to her children. Even the sister I don’t see much would show up if the situation was dire enough. Family you can count on is a rare gift and I’m grateful.
3. FRIENDS We got to get together with my kids’ “other mother” last week. Because of Orion’s special needs he had personal care attendants growing up. When Kauser came into our lives she was new to the country, but she took us all under her wing. Her oldest is the same age as Orion and they became “best buds”. We were pregnant together with our seconds. She went on to have a third.
When Kauser started with us Orion was 3 and over the years had my kids both on and off the clock. Because of changes in the income stream, and her other job responsibilities everything changed when Orion became an adult. We still keep in touch, but the day-to-day has slipped away. Her kids are all away at college and her husband is working out-of-state.
Seeing her and her eldest this week was like coming home. We picked up right where we left off and spent a long lunch catching up. This family would do anything for me and my kids. Friends like that are hard to come by and I’m grateful.
4. FRIENDS I have several clusters of close friends: my circle, my women’s group, my business support group. All of these (mostly women) people have supported me in various ways throughout the years. The women’s group has been a place to explore and expand spiritually and when hard times come they are an emotional support that is invaluable. The business group is the reason I managed to write my book and dared to see it published.
My circle includes the members of my coven and those friends who identify as Pagan who have supported me in the larger community. I am not a strong self-promoter and it is these people who know my teaching and presentation style who have helped me make connections stronger and broader than I ever could have on my own. I am grateful.
5. FRIENDS You didn’t think I’d forget you did you? If you’ve read to this point you are indeed a friend to my blog and therefore to me. I write for myself, but it is the support and encouragement of you, my readers, that keep me plugging away. It’s the sharing that makes it delicious, savory, and fulfilling and I couldn’t have that without you. Thank you so very much.
There is much more to be grateful for. There are so many more blessing in my life, too many to count. I am surrounded by generosity and support and warmth. That’s a good way to start the year, and also helpful on a cold Monday morning. May 2014 be filled with an abundance of blessing for us all. And may we remember to stop and count them every now and again.