Practicing Gratitude – Day Three Of Hanukkah

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I love to learn more about my religion. I have more time at this stage of my life to devote to gaining understanding. I feel like I need to know so much more. Tonight was the third night of Hanukkah. I am again celebrating in peaceful solitude.

 

When my worlds collide I am grateful. Today I had anotherconnecting  experience.  I am happy when I practice meditation so today when I read an email from Rabbi Jill Zimmerman, I felt connected in two worlds. The entire post is here. The rabbi takes you through step by step, to make the candle lighting much more meaningful and purposeful.  I want to add this short meditation to my Hanukkah practice tomorrow night.   

I appreciate the idea of letting light into my world. The rabbi posted questions to reflect on after the lights diminish.

  • What did the darkness feel like?
  • What did you notice about the flames themselves?
  • What came up for you as the candles were lit one after another and the light grew?  How did it feel when the candles burned down and the darkness came again?  Does it feel different than the original darkness?
  • Where in your life does light grow? Who is a candle for you?
  • How can you be a candle in your own life or the life of others?

I can imagine adding one or two of these each night to make the experience more meaningful. I am grateful for the ability to learn, experience, and move toward happiness.

Day 326 – LSS Attitude of gratitude – A day makes a difference – There is always something to be grateful for.

Every day is a new opportunity to try and be more in the moment. Yesterday was amazing because of a variety of things.

I didn’t get much sleep and I was still feeling pretty low. I tried to meditate, well I guess I actually did a strange form of meditation for me. What happened is that I cried and cried about this new medical issue. I cried for experiencing the worst fibro flare I have had in years. I cried about feeling that it isn’t fair for me to have yet another physical hurdle to endure. I allowed myself to be sad, angry, frustrated, and pissed off about what is going on. I was pretty tired of trying to just accept it. I decided I do not have to like, or be OK with this new diagnosis. What I do have to do is everything in my power to help myself be out of pain. After more than an hour of crying, swearing, and being angry, I finally felt a calm presence in my body. I was drained and I did not feel like I had the energy to do anything physical, so I didn’t. Allowing myself to do nothing is an anomaly.   

After taking a nap, I decided I was physically progressing enough that I wanted to finally purchase the airline tickets to go to the retreat in October. I procrastinated making  this purchase until I felt I was going to recover enough to be OK to travel. I am not a fan of airplane travel. Even before this latest blow, my body does not do well in any long travel. But I desperately want to go to this retreat.

I was in a very calm mood, and I wanted to take advantage of that. I tried to contact my credit card company and the airlines online. I was repeatedly unsuccessful. I remained calm. I then called the credit card company and was given great advice on how to use my points in the most efficient way. Following their advice, I called numerous numbers thinking they were a direct route to the airline.  But it was a rouse to use some random companies services that I did not want. I still remained calm. I finally was connected to the right people but they were unable to help me with the stringent parameters I gave them. I went back to the number the credit card company gave me and I spent a couple of hours with them searching for a flight that would work for me. The agent was more than helpful. He listened to what I wanted and what options I would accept.   

I needed the flight to be a direct one. Traveling from coast to coast is difficult enough without adding hours to it. I wanted to be in Boston at a specific time. I was hoping to be present for as much of the retreat as possible. I hoped to be able to avoid LAX. This was negotiable, but that airport is a nightmare to navigate alone.  After searching and searching the agent was able to find something that worked for me. He then worked just as hard on finding the flight back. I was so happy with his efforts and I told him so repeatedly. 

My spouse, knowing how poorly I have been feeling and the difficulty I would experience traveling for so long, advised me to request a first class seat. When the agent told me the cost of the ticket I momentarily thought I should not go at all. It was more than my new refrigerator.  I decided I deserved to go and first class was going to be the best way. I have never traveled first class before. I never felt the cost was justified. The agent then applied my earned points and told me the final cost. I was in shock and delighted with the new number. It was going to cost me less than a pair of my orthopedic shoes.   I literally threw up my hands and rejoiced. The world definitely wants me to go on this retreat. I was on a spiritual high.   

My body was still exhausted. I relaxed the rest of the day. My friends reached out to check up on me. I felt loved and cared about. I felt less angst than I had in the morning before meditation.   

There were a few urgent texts and calls last night. We dealt with them the best we could. Setting boundaries has been a life saver for my emotional well being.  I am grateful for the wisdom of my therapist, my friends, Kim, and my search for knowledge. 

This morning I did a few chores with new energy. I felt better than I have in a long time. My flare is still present and I hurt all over, but I am feeling better with my IC symptoms. My mood was better and I can see the pity party coming to an end. 

I had an early Kim call after taking care of a few house things.  It is a high point of my week to talk with her and to be guided by her. We are trying a new time of the day and it will hopefully be good for both of us. I asked for guidance on a few things going on in my life and as usual, she helped tremendously.   

I decided to venture out to the big world today. Other than doctor appointments I have been fairly housebound. I went to the grocery store to get some ingredients to make myself some approved comfort food. I texted my spouse to see if he needed anything but he did not reply. So I purchased food to make dinner for him and artichokes, spinach, and cheese for dinner for me. I had no pain while driving. Still pressure, but I will take a no IC pain day anytime. I am used to my fibro pain. I know how to deal with it. I am grateful for making progress on the IC pain. 

I am grateful today was better than yesterday. I am hopeful tomorrow will be better still. I am grateful for the energy to make dinner. I am grateful for completing an outing without pain. I am grateful for taking the step to make an appointment with my acupuncturist tomorrow. I am grateful for having the tickets for the retreat purchased. I am grateful for feeling more like myself. I am grateful for having my problems and not someone else’s. I am grateful for moments of joy.

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Day 319 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – More of the same – There is always something to be grateful for.

Today was more of the same that has been my life for a few weeks. Again a lack of sleep due to constantly needing to get up. More visits to doctors. More waiting for them to see me. More procedures. More times being told what it is not. Repeatedly being told that this is a process of figuring out what it is not to confirm what it is. I am tired of more of the same.

But it is also more of the same in that I am deciding to try and be grateful for the things I have control over. I made dinner again. This last week I have been trying to make meals that bring me comfort. One night I made mac and cheese. One night I made enchiladas. (The doc said no more of that.) Today I made two labor intensive lasagna dishes. I made the sauce last night and it simmered all night and much of today. Mine of course had spinach and olives added. My spouse does not enjoy these things. I enjoy cooking when I do not have dozens of things to do.

I thought once I was retired I would cook more. My cooking makes me feel retired. Yippee.   I want more of the same often.

I watched an awesome movie last night on the recommendation of two friends. It was on Amazon Prime so I did not have to pay for it. The Bookshop is a British film with an interesting set of characters. I figured out some things that would happen ahead of time and others were a real surprise. I want to enjoy more films just for the fun of it.   

I am grateful to be trying to get back to an hour long meditation. For quite awhile I was incapable of maintaining an uninterrupted hour. On my call with Kim tonight I had an epiphany. While I may not be physically able to maintain an uninterrupted hour always, I do have my own time to do multiple meditations in a day. So my goal now is to do more of the same as my body and mind allow.     

I am grateful for the progress I am making and I want more of the same.

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Day 303 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude -Finality – There is always something to be grateful for.

Today started as last night ended with meditation. I was hoping for some finality to feelings of fear. I can’t say the current fear is gone forever, but is is drastically reduced from how I felt yesterday. My circle reached out to me on purpose and on accident. My fears lessened perspective was gained. I realize that the finality of my suffering is more in my hands than I had realized.   

A huge finality I needed occurred today. I went to my school and gifted a microwave to my former core-mates. I gifted two large rolling bins to my work husband. I gifted a pretty set of dishes to the school. I gifted a beautiful set of dishes to a workmate to find a home for. I dropped off my school computer, my school keys, my school iPad, and my last ties to my job. It felt good but the finality felt strange too. After all I wanted to be a teacher since 2nd grade. As I left campus and returned to my car I was smiling. I am grateful for the changes in my life. I am grateful that as one part of my life is over, new yet unknown dreams are unfolding.