Feeling better already...
A few cups of tea. Some furious journal writing. Exercise.
Good conversation. Deep sleep. And I'm feeling much better.
Hear my deep sigh. Inhale. Wait. Exhale. Wait. Repeat.
This life thing is no joke!
One sad cashier at the local Trader Joe's told me that his good friend drowned last Thursday.
After nearly a year of being unable to find work, one friend's financial equilibrium is nearly at a point of becoming severely compromised.
The sister of a friend in Spain has cancer. Serious cancer. Undergoing chemo. Praying to avoid amputation.
Many other accounts of cancer and chemo in the lives of friends and their families. Too many to tell here.
A local teenage driver is recovering from a car accident in which she was thrown from her car, hit by the car, and than the car landed on top of her after it flipped over. She has been in the hospital for over a month. (Wear your seatbelts, folks. It's that simple.)
And I complain that I have to get up from the computer to go downstairs and vacuum the family room again because no one else will do it. I complain because I have to walk the dog and cook dinner and drive my kids to tennis and piano lessons. I complain for so many reasons... most of which seem mighty small after hearing these sorrowful accounts recently.
But when I think of the devastation of war and illness and poverty and loneliness and violence and abandonment and cancer and drowning death and car accidents, I am forced to step away from the distorted mirror I've been gazing into of late, to extinguish the candles on my pity cake with a bucket of water, and get back to the business of giving thanks with a grateful heart for the countless blessings I have been given.
With that in mind, I will share a brief list of things I am grateful for on this chilly Wednesday afternoon in Charlotte:
* A trip today to a local Latino market, Compare. Walking thru, picking out yummy foods and drinks, all the while talking to and laughing with my new friend, Mary Anna, and her gorgeous son, Jacob.
* Time on the tennis court with my son today. He is quite the gifted player and handsome young man. But I suspect that I am somewhat biased.
* My daughter's increased proficiency on the piano and guitar. It is a joy to hear her playing again. My sweet girl has had some real challenges over the past 18 months, but she is rebounding with strength and poise and grace - and I am ridiculously proud of her.
* My newly developed love for art journaling. Thick, juicy watercolor paper, big fat markers, glue sticks, cut-up magazines, watercolor and acrylic paint on my fingers and under my fingernails - it's a wonder-filled way to spend a few hours at the dining room table.
* An upcoming visit from Lisa, my Ohio-based buddy. There will be much tea drinking, walking, and late night chatter. And some art making as well, I suspect.
* Sunshine after rain.
* Our bright red teapot filled with hot Tega Rooibos tea.
* Sharing that tea with my children while we sit at the table and read.
* My brand new organic pillow. It is wonderful to wake up in the morning with my nose NOT stuffed or running or otherwise making my morning miserable.
* Dr Bronner's peppermint soap.
* Friendship, especially the kind that lasts and deepens and keeps no record of wrongs.
* Good books with endings that do not disappoint.
* My upcoming return to the university: I am taking a beginning italian class at a local community college this summer. I haven't been a geeky student for over a decade. I am thrilled. Gonna get a new pocket protector one of these days! I'll be taking that class with the aforementioned, Mary Anna. We both love Italian music - I am partial to Andrea Bocelli, but she knows many other Italian singers and has shared some of them with me. Che bella la musica italiana! My goal is to be able to speak well enough to communicate freely on my next trip to Italy. Not sure when that will be, but I'll be ready whenever it happens.
* I am healthy. I am at peace. I am loved.