New Beginnings

I love the beginning of the year. It’s filled which such hope and possibility. For me, it’s like the first day of school – brand new clothes and a bookbag filled with new pencils and notebooks. Remember that excited feeling? I feel that way every January 1st, but somewhere about noonish, the excitement wanes.

I always make big plans to clean the house from top to bottom and I usually end up just washing dishes and doing laundry. Years ago, I stopped making resolutions when I found that I never really resolved in my spirit to make the changes. I learned that making the list isn’t enough. Making plans is not enough. Going through the motions just isn’t good enough if you haven’t resolved in your heart and mind to make the change.

This year, I am being much more realistic. Instead of resolving to do things differently, I’ve decided to do things I’ve never done before. I’m going on a few journeys this year, both literally and figuratively. I’m pulling out my favorite bookbag and I’m buying a new pack of pens. This is going to be an eventful year and I don’t want to miss a moment of it.

My one resolution – scratch that – My one promise to myself is to be present in every moment. This new year is a gift.  I am thankful for the fresh start and I will be thankful for all that it brings.

Reminders and Self Fulfilling Prophecies

Today, I am particularly thankful for reminders and self fulfilling prophecies.

I love yellow Post-It notes.  I probably use them way more than I should.  When I tripped across my life’s purpose back in 1999, I wrote it on a yellow Post-It and have carried it around with me ever since.

SAMSUNG

As I was looking forward to the new year, I remembered another yellow square that I’ve had for some time.  About six years ago,  I jotted down a list of things that I really want to do in my life.  It’s different from a bucket list because it’s a short list of fundamental must-dos.

image

I’m planning to accomplish three things on the list this year.  I’ve come to realize that if I don’t accomplish the other three things, I’ll be just fine.

I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me.  It promises to be an exciting time.

What are planning to accomplish this year?

Grandma Update

Grandma went to the hospital on Monday of this week. On Wednesday, we were told that she would be going home.  A few hours later, we were told they were going to keep her one more night.  Still later, we were told they were releasing her.

The uncertainty made me nervous.

She went home on Wednesday night only to be rushed back to the ER today.  She’s been (re)admitted to the hospital and has been waiting for a few hours to be placed in a room.

Since this blog is all about being thankful, let me first say that I am thankful that she is in a place that has the capacity to take care of her if something really bad happens.  The alternative would have her at home suffering with no help in sight.

Now that I’ve said that, I also need to say how upset and angry I am that things are happening in this way.  If they had to vacillate between keeping her and sending her home, why not just keep her to be safe?  Was the decision to send her home based on some other factor than what was in her best interest?  Why is she now having to wait for a bed?  Considering her symptoms and her age, why is she not more of a priority? They do realize that she is somebody’s grandma, right?

I am angry.  I am hurt.  I am scared.  I am far away.  I am powerless.  I am praying.

I’m going to have a slice of The Sweet Potato Pie and go to bed.

Me and Grandma at our local version of The Taste in 2013.

Me and Grandma at our local version of The Taste in 2013.

On Fridays, We Do Our Happy Dance!

image

About a month or so ago, I started “On Fridays, we do our happy dance!” It’s a day to be happy about whatever. I’m usually most happy that I made it through another week and today is no exception, although it is a bit different. 

Normally, I have a soundtrack for my happy dance that plays in my head. I might not actually bust a move (Do people still say that?), but it does put a little spring in my step and a smile on my face. Last week, I was so excited about my boots that I kept hearing Nancy Sinatra’s anthem all day long. One of my standard happy dance, I-know-I’m-hot-stuff songs is “Stayin’ Alive” by the BeeGees. I’ve never seen “Saturday Night Fever”, but I have seen some of the more iconic scenes, so when I’m bopping to the beat in my head, I normally have a little strut in my walk just like Travolta.

Before I got to work today, I heard two of my favorite happy dance songs, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson. Those songs usually get my blood flowing and produce a little happy wiggle or at least a loud exclamation of “Woo!” with MJ when the beat drops. Today, nothing. I’m dragging today and apparently I need something more powerful that Pharrell or MJ to get me going. 

So tell me, what is the soundtrack that plays in your head when you break out into your best happy dance?

Socks Postscript

Last night, just as I was about to turn off the lights for the night, my mom called. She wanted me to know that her friend, “Ann”, read my blog post on socks and was “moved”. I’ll call her “Ann” because she lives in a loft….Ann Taylor Loft…get it? Anyway, Ann said that she learned something about lupus, was moved by the post, and felt like she wanted to do something. She called my mom to figure out what she could do.

Mom’s birthday is coming up and she had already told me that she wanted to do a canned food drive for her birthday. Now she and Ann are organizing a socks, gloves, and canned food drive.

When I first started this blog, it was a completely selfish venture. I was trying to change my life and my perspective by forcing myself to find something to be thankful for everyday. “Something” is completely inaccurate. I wanted to force myself to pay attention to the small, sometimes seemingly insignificant things in life and to be thankful for those things. Writing every day kept me accountable. Somewhere along the line it has evolved into a mission. I think the advent of the FB page changed things for me. Now I still write to hold myself accountable, but my secondary purpose is to urge people to look at life differently and to be thankful for everything. When Mom told me that her friend was moved by my little 413-word post about socks, I got a little teary. To think that someone else in this world will have the simple pleasure of warm feet just because I took 30 minutes to share with the world why I am thankful for something as ordinary as socks is just so incredible to me.

Thank you, Ann, for reading the blog and taking some action.

image

These are the extra thick hunting socks that Mom gets me for Christmas. This is my heather gray pair that is still in tact.

 

Who Is It Wednesday: McDonald’s Drive-Thru Workers

On my way to work this morning, I stopped at McDonald’s to pick up a hashbrown and an iced tea.  (Yeah, I know.  The breakfast of champions.)  It was 34 degrees this morning and the wind was whipping pretty hard.  Even though the drive-thru line was long, I was willing to sit in it because it meant I wouldn’t have to leave the warmth of my car.  When I pulled up to the window, the person taking my order was decked out in about three layers of clothes, topped off by a fleece McD’s jacket and black fuzzy mittens.  She only opened her window once she saw that mine was completely down and as soon as I began to pull away, she quickly shut her window.  The person that took my money was similarly dressed and was very quick with the opening and shutting of her window too.  I hate being cold and I can only imagine what it must be like to work at a drive-thru window during the winter. 

So today, I send a big and sincere thank you to fast food drive-thru workers everywhere.  You endure the cold so folks like me can get food and still be warm.
image

Socks

Yesterday on the FB page, we focused on the little things in life that we tend to take for granted. I posted this quote.
image

One person found it funny and I guess in comparison to the other quotes I post, it probably was a bit giggle-inducing, but for me it is quite the serious matter.

People with lupus usually have a number of maladies that are either associated with or caused by lupus. I have a few, but the one that really causes me issues this time of year is Raynaud’s Disease. It causes my hands and feet to be cold all the time. In the winter, my toes go numb and turn all sorts of interesting colors. 

I’ll never forget three summers ago, I was at meeting that took place in a hotel. It was really hot outside, but the rooms were frigid, at least to me. I got to the room early so I could stake out my spot and get comfortable. Before a lot of people came in, I slipped off my shoes and put on my warm fuzzy socks. They were purple with white dots. I remember because it’s the pair that I kept in my car for just such emergencies. After the room filled up and I had done all the hand-shaking I was going to do, I put on my gloves. I know I looked crazy, but even with my socks and gloves, my feet were still freezing and my fingers were tingling.

For the past few years, my mom has given me these really thick hunting socks that she found at a sporting goods store. I have four or five pair, but I’m going to have to replace two pair because I wore a hole in them. There’s a hole in a green one and a hole in a gray one. I’ve thrown those out and now I have a mixed-matched pair. So when I tripped across the quote, it made me think about that pair of socks and how important socks are to me.

Socks can also be very important for our homeless neighbors. Can you imagine living on the street and having wet socks or no socks at all? This year, Kid President made the month of October “Socktober” and did a sock drive. I found out about this initiative late, but I plan on taking part next year. I hope you’ll consider joining in the effort too.

I am thankful for warm socks.
image