Day 283 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude -Slowing Down – There is always something to be grateful for.

I am not sure what is going on now. I am in transition again. My body is so very tired and worn out. I am not sure if it is because I have been working so hard for so long or if it is the cumulative effect of full time grand-parenting teenagers. I woke up today and did some easy chores. I used the linseed oil on all the gardening tools, I watered the lower garden, I picked up a few items from the yard, I did a load of laundry, I cleaned the window sill in the kitchen, and I played with the dog. I am grateful I was able to get so many things done before anyone woke up.

Much to my surprise, Z2 awoke by 8:30 on her own. We had some errands to do but I was not in a hurry and I told her last night she could sleep in. She made herself her new favorite breakfast, yogurt, berries, and granola.   By the time my spouse woke up, we ladies were ready to go. After he had a quick bite we were off to get some things done.

I dropped off 10 small coolers to my old classroom. Another teacher said she can use them so I wanted to donate them to her classroom. The emptiness of my old room felt odd. They installed the new 96 inch TV screen, as they did to all the other classrooms on campus. It felt oddly out of place. I am grateful for the years spent in that room. I am grateful I do not have to go back to work in two weeks. 

Then it was off to the thrift store to look for some DVDs. Z2 found three she thought she would like to have. My spouse found a book on the research relating to the Bell Curve. (A hot topic on all campuses.) I still can’t find magnetic darts for my outdoor dart board. Next was a search for a lunch place we could all agree with. We don’t do Taco Hell as a general rule. Z2 does not eat burgers. We were all pizza’d out. While in West Covina I realized we were near IKEA. It seems everyone was in agreement to meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lingonberries. I am grateful we all enjoyed our lunch meal and location. 

Next was the post office. Every time I go in to a post office with arms full of packages they don’t know what to make of me. A conversation ensues and soon they are asking questions and making jokes. A fabric store was next on the list. Unfortunately they did not have the fabric I was looking for. I did find an item to add to my garden at 70% off the regular price. Z2 had the final vote on whether or not to get it. She voted yes so I bought it. A trip to the grocery store was next. By the time this errand was done I was done in. I had no energy to spare. I cancelled the last two “to do items” and came home. 

I knew I needed a real nap today. I asked Z2 if she needed one and she vehemently declined. I laughed at her response. I offered her to watch one of her new DVDs or a movie on her phone. Luckily I was able to get some much needed sleep. When I woke up we spent some time talking about her video content. It was not what she had expected and she rated it a C-.   

I had a wonderful call with Kim, as usual. I so look forward to my calls. I think I know where we will go, but usually we bird walk to another land. I am always better for our calls. I get insight and clarity and homework. Tomorrow Z2 and I will make vision boards. I shall work on my past and she will work on her future. I am grateful for the suggestion and excited for the activity.   

Then my spouse BBQ’d steaks for us. I made salads and biscuits. We had a great meal and I thought we were all stuffed. Z2 knew I had prepped artichokes and asked if she could have hers right away. I am not sure where she puts all the food she inhales. Then I remember she is a growing girl. After that she ate chocolate chip cookies. Not the most usual food combination I have seen.   

After we ate, we played Sequence. It was a cat’s game. It was really fun and she has such terrific strategies she employed. I am grateful for her quick thinking and ability to think ahead. These traits will serve her well. 

Before retiring I was able to talk with three important women in my family. I am grateful for their being in my life. I think I am going to bed. I am exhausted and I don’t feel like I got much done today. I am grateful that tomorrow I have acupuncture first thing in the morning. I always feel so much better after my needles.

Day 38 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – Blog/Gifts – There is always something to be grateful for.

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Today I am still grateful for the thought process of giving gifts. I know once upon a time I bought no gifts as I had no money. I made all the gifts I gave and most were gifts of time. While it was such a struggle it was also a joy to give of my time and energy.   

When my babies were little I made toys and blocks out of cardboard milk cartons. I made dollies out of fabric. I made all the frilly dresses and clothes my kids wore and I loved it.

I made ornaments for those I loved one year. One holiday I made an afghan for each family. It took me all year but I made five large couch sized afghans. After that I never again knitted any large products. I was burnt out.  One holiday I made toaster covers, blender covers, and mixer covers for families. Oh wow does that bring back memories of challenges. One Hanukkah about 25 years ago, my sister-in-law and I both made each other the same gift. We made placemats and napkins for the Hanukkah table. We laughed at how we both had the same idea. Hers were nicer than mine. We both still use them to this day.

My greatest gift ever was when I took 40 years of pictures found in a large box at my former mother-in-laws house and put them in 20 photo albums. The tears of joy she shed were  worth all my hours of frustration. It was so hard trying to figure out who was who and when they were taken. My ex wasn’t a lot of help either. It was a surprise gift as she was superstitious about putting pictures in albums. It was the beginning of my addiction to playing with photos without knowing it.   

Gift giving has always given me such joy. Because we celebrate Hanukkah, we are often not busy on Christmas. We often donated to senior citizen homes for many years. As teenagers my daughters would drop off gifts at senior citizen homes to people who had no visitors. It made me proud. The people didn’t care about the gift, they just wanted company.                                                                        

A coworker is always helping the homeless in her area. Last Christmas I give her gift cards, extra little gifts,  and Christmas bags to help with her giving. She then went with a Muslim friend to hand them out on Christmas Day. I am grateful that everyone can help their fellow being if they want too.     

I love gift giving. Sadly, It is getting more and more difficult with my grand kids. They are at an age where they are very specific about their likes and wants. I am not of the opinion that they should be grateful for whatever they get. But that being said I also want them to be happy with the thought and energy I put into choosing what I buy them.  I might repeat a gift I have given before which is a family gift of passes to Knott’s and the Water Park.   

For the past three years I have been going all out celebrating Hanukkah with my staff. Each day at school I explained the meaning of the day and left little gifts for each staff member. I have been doing this as a tribute to my mother. Hanukkah was a big deal in our house when we were little kids. Money was scarce but each day was a small gift from the heart. Once we became adults and started having families my mother would crochet slipper socks for each of us. It was the best gift ever. About a month before Hanukkah my daughters were required to measure the grand-kids feet so she could make their special pairs. Everyone was so grateful and overjoyed with her taking time to show us her love for us. I miss her so and I miss my ability to come to her house and make her happy.  I am grateful I had my mother for 61 years. I am grateful she taught me to give with love. I am grateful for the traditions she gave me.     

I shall continue to give with love. I shall continue to enjoy the process of giving and gifting. I will hopefully come up with something to make my grand kids have a special Hanukkah at my house before they return home and get to celebrate Christmas with their parents. I am grateful that we all celebrate our love for each other. 

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