Gratitude – July 26

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Today I am conscious of my treasures, I have had a truly lovely day full of them.

Here is my gratitude list for today:

  • This morning a good friend of mine had an art show to sell some of her work.  She’s a very talented abstract painter and I have coveted her beautiful work for a long time.  Today, I was able to buy two of her prints (she was selling her work for ‘love contributions’, so buyers paid what they were able to) that I plan to hang in my office at work.  I can’t wait until Monday to see them on my walls.
  • Another good friend of mine went with me to the art show, and she brought her two lovely teenage daughters with us.  I had so much fun with them!!  My friend is one of my closest confidants, and I always feel comfortable talking to her about everything.  I am grateful for the connection that we share.  I thought that perhaps it might be a little bit difficult for me being around teenage girls when I miss my own daughter so much.  But it didn’t turn out that way at all.  I enjoyed being around girls that age again.  They laughed and talked and sang along to the songs on their iPhones that I had never heard.  It was a happy, lively energy that I have really missed.  I’m so thankful that I stayed in the moment and appreciated it for what is was rather than dwell on my past hurts.
  • After that I went with another of my friends to Michael’s to buy frames for my new prints.  It was my lucky day there!  All of the frames were half-off and I found two that were perfect.  My friend and I had a fun time chatting and hunting for stuff for new craft projects.  Again, I was grateful that I was able to enjoy the time with my friend and stay mindful of the good time I was having.

Bernadette's prints

  • I came home to a nice dinner that Austin made, and spent some time with my stepson before he had to leave to go back to his mom’s.  I love the dinners that the three of have together.  It’s really the only time that we use our dining room table (Austin and I usually eat in the living room while we watch shows) and the conversations, while eventually always turning to something gross – I guess that’s what happens when there are two boys at the table – are more focused and meaningful than the typical ones throughout the weekend.  I really like that, and I am grateful for it.

So, my Saturday was filled with friends, fun, family and beautiful things.  How was yours?

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Finding the silver lining

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Today I am filled with gratitude.  In fact, it’s my theme for today.  In the rooms it’s said that you cannot be in fear and gratitude at the same time, so today I choose gratitude.  I really have to be mindful though, because there is a lot going on in my life right now that scares me.  Staying in gratitude isn’t something that comes easily to me, I’m naturally a worrier.  But I have found that if I focus on the good things in my life, then my fears subside somewhat, and having them lurking around the corner is better than having them stare me in the face.

One of the first times that I used gratitude to combat fear was at the suggestion of my sponsor.  I was dealing  with some of the wreckage of my past, in a situation that I found scary because I didn’t know what was going to happen.  As I sat in a waiting room, I was filled with anxiety and worry and remorse.  In the middle of the shit storm of panic and fear, I called my sponsor.  As I poured out all of my worries and woes, I expected a little bit of sympathy and reassurance.  Instead, she told me to stop what I was doing and write down three things about the situation that I was grateful for.  What!?!  I wasn’t grateful for any of it!  It was a crappy situation, caused by a crappy alcoholic (me), and I couldn’t see anything good in it. But being the direction-following sponsee that I am, I said okay.  I sat there, while waiting to meet my fate, and thought about what I could possibly be thankful for.  It took a while but then it hit me –  things could’ve been a whole lot worse.  That’s something to be grateful for, right?  More thinking.  I was facing something that, in my drinking past, I would’ve avoided and hid from for as long as I could.  Two!!  The last thing on my gratitude list was easy:  I was grateful that I was sober that day.  As I sat there thinking about those three simple things, I felt better.  And the meeting that I was so dreading turned out alright.  Imagine that.

Today, when I make a gratitude list, the things I’m thankful for are much more evident to me.  I try to find something good even in the worst moments.  I’m not always successful at the time that I want to be, like last Friday, but in the end I’m sure to find something worth thanking God for.  Right now, amidst all of the upheaval I’m dealing with I am so very grateful for my friends.  I don’t have a lot of them, but the ones I have are exceptional.  I’m grateful that I have a job, even if I’m super stressed out with work.  I’m grateful that the days in which I experience joy outnumber the ones that I don’t.  And I’m grateful that on the bad days, I’m able to muddle through…sober.