The little things.

9 10 2017

I’ve been immersed in gratitude this weekend. Like most people I know, we have more than enough to be thankful for. And this weekend is ripe for expressing it, showing our deep thanks and recognizing the blessed lives we lead. For many, we were surrounded by family and friends and copious amounts of food. As the autumn sunlight streamed through windows, lighting up the tables set to celebrate our abundance, it made me think about the little things, the not-so-easy things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for this gentle appreciation I have for my aging. While I joke about the crinkles and eyebags and my deep fear of a neck wattle with my dearest of friends, fantasizing about Botox and mini-lifts, I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. While my skin folds in on itself, and the age that I amĀ  is reflected in the face I present to the world, I find myself discovering a beauty I wouldn’t have dreamed of admiring a mere ten years ago. I breathe my age in and exhale my thanks out. For this only means that I am still fortunate enough to be here, to live and find joy and have arguments and walk my dog along a forest path.

I give thanks for my restless mind, who prowls about at 2 am. Who fosters self-doubt and worry and strife, but who also reigns in senseless fretting and whispers gentle realities to myself. Don’t worry so much I tell myself and I agree. I listen and it says: You are loved. You are loved.

I am deeply grateful for my decades of dealing with depression and chronic pain and the dark dance I shared with thoughts of suicide so many times. It was indeed as scary as it sounds but in a lovely way, it afforded me more self-knowledge that I could have ever imagined. My cognizance of my frailty has made me stronger. And letting go of my fear of talking about it has gifted me the strength of being there for others. Raw honesty is as healing as honey drizzled in a cup of tea. One sip and you feel it cascading into your body, spreading it’s warmth and love to every cell.

I am indebted to experiencing hate and jealousy. In allowing myself to mirror the beauty of love and kindness through contempt and resentment, I think that I’ve only become more appreciative of my own bounty. And learning how these two distasteful emotions can be used to guide me towards a better understanding and a deeper compassion is seeing that light turned onto me. How bitter I was and relieved my soul was when I found I could let it go. My life certainly isn’t perfect. And by no means will I be able to stop coveting entirely. But learning to step back and trying to see the foolishness of my insecurities is akin to peeling off layers of wet and uncomfortable clothing. Discarded on the floor, I stand bare and tender, more willing to let the negative dissipate.

I am thankful for so much. Today, though, my gratitude is for the little life lessons we are gifted every day, these hidden jewels around us, offering us ways to better our own true selves and walk a sweeter path.

Many blessings to you all, this Thanksgiving weekend.

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Wanton indulgence

8 01 2013

The curse of Woman is not the monstruating nightmare that happens monthly. It is guilt, the rampant guilt stomping around our brains, yelling at us if we dare to put ourselves first, that keeps many of us from self-indulgent activities.

The lure of divine chocolate dancing on our tongues is met with internal scorn of a caloric measure. A hot bubble bath ten minutes past the usual length leads to curious knocking on the door and inquiries of your possible death by bubbles. Sleeping in on a Saturday? Tsk tsk. Aren’t we meant to be frying up bacon and eggs for the others in our home? Heaven forbid we put ourselves first, and though we try, many of us are met with our own inner judgement.

It’s a true melting pot of cause and effect.

I admit I am my own worst enemy. When I sit to write, I fret about the laundry. When I sit to read, I worry what my husband will say if he sees me idle and not working around the home.

Try and let that guilt go I say to myself! But it isn’t that easy. I have children, a part time job, a busy husband, a house to upkeep, food to cook, gardens to weed, my body to exercise. And there is nothing wrong with my “duties” in my life. But I feel sapped and drained if I don’t feed my soul with my own wanton desires of indulgences.

And so today I dedicated my day to ME. I *gasp* had a bath and then went back to bed after my kids and husband left for the day. At first I felt squirmy and out of sorts, the guilt rising in me about the endless multitudes of things I could be doing. But the lure of my book and my (sorry) epic cramps begged me to give in. I did. I fought the guilt and gave in to my desire to do nothing.

And it felt so damn good.