Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Today is the day before Thanksgiving. I'm working today but it feels like it should be a holiday. Having a hard time getting my mind around work but got to get it done.
Last year there was a Santa Challenge at my gym and the prizes went to the people who attended the most group fitness classes between Dec 1 and 23rd. I jumped into it and won the first prize, which was a 4-month free membership. I attended every class I possibly could and had a couple of people who were hot on my tails. Altogether I did 50 classes in those 3 weeks! It was a killer believe me. I still go to some water aerobic classes, but hadn't been to the gym classes since the challenge ended. People have kept asking me if I'm going to do it again this year and I keep saying I don't know. It was a big big challenge and I was really tired by the time it ended after doing 3 classes or so a day and one on Saturdays. Luckily there were no classes on Sundays. This week I decided to do a couple of the gym classes to see if my hip could tolerate it. My hip did fine, but my legs are really sore!! I do a lot of other exercise including starting to run, walking, hiking, weight machines for upper body, water aerobics. But apparently there are muscles in my legs that are not getting worked! So whether I do the challenge or not, I really need to do these classes a couple of times a week.
Here's a couple of photos from my work picture ID. One was taken Dec 2008, about 8 months before I started working on getting healthy. The other a couple of weeks ago when I insisted I needed a new ID. The quality isn't great because I scanned them in from my badge but you can definitely see a difference.
Can you guess which is old and which is new?
Now for a few words on gratitude. We do need to think about the things we are grateful for in our own lives, and I posted some of mine earlier this week. But do you ever stop and be grateful for things in other people's lives that aren't so directly connected to you? For example, I was thinking the other day about how grateful I am that my sp friend Tempest272002's husband survived a life-threatening illness. I only know her from on here, and I do feel she is a friend. But my life isn't as directly connected to her as to my immediate family. What happens to her doesn't have the same effect as if she were here. I would be so sad for her if he hadn't survived, but even though my heart would break for her, it would'n't change my day to day life. I hope you understand what I mean. But I watched for her posts of updates on her husband and have been so grateful for each positive outcome. Or maybe you have a favorite charity that you don't receive direct benefits from, but you are so grateful when they receive funding to help them keep providing services. These are just a couple of examples. But do you really stop to think about how grateful you are for these miracles or whatever you want to call them in the lives of others. Not to stop and say so and so won the lottery and I'm jealous because it wasn't me, but to be truly grateful for whatever blessing came to someone else. Think about it and I'll bet you'll be surprised about what you come up with.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I said yesteray maybe I would add some more today. There have been some randome thoughts rattling around in my brain about other things in my life, besides the basics listed, that I have to be grateful for. This may end up being a little different as I ramble on here.
1. I read a blog by someone else that talked about life being too short and the times we've missed because we let time slip by. This blog particularly talked about people who died before the writer got to see them one last time. I had an experience like that when a friend who for a while was like a sister to me died suddenly from a brain aneurysm. We had drifted apart because we were busy with different interests in our lives. Reading the blog I thought about the fact that I wish I would have made more effort to stay in touch. But in this gratitude blog I want to say how thankful I am for the years I did have her as my "sister". We went through a lot of different things together, including leaving a religious group that really bordered on being a cult and supporting each other when all the people who had been our friends wouldn't speak to us. We went through divorces and child rearing and single-parenthood for a period. She was such a special person in my life, and got to see sometimes the depth of my pain in certain situations more than I've ever let any other person, and I saw hers as well. We laughed and had great times together. So I want to say I am so grateful for having her in my life for th time I did, althought it wasn't long enough.
2. My father passed away when I was 8 years old. My mother remarried a few months later to a family friend because I think she was scared to death to raise to kids by herself in the early 60's. My stepdad was a lot older than her and have never been married at age 51. He didn't know what to do with an 8 year old stepdaughter and a 5 year old stepson. And they had my little brother together, who he adored because he'd never had a child and I think for a long time he didn't think he ever would. But my stepfather loved us more than I ever realized until I was grown. He was proud of us when we accomplished things, although I didn't realize just how much until later when I would hear from others the things he had said about us. He didn't know how to tell us he was proud of us or that he loved us but he did. He worried when we were sick. He worked hard to support us at different jobs. He was married to my mom for 25 years before he passed away. He took care of her and was good to her. So I'm grateful for this man that came into our life, took on the challenge of stepparenting at a time when there was not the information there is now, and he took care of us.
3. I like to go out hiking a lot. I mentioned that I am grateful to live where I can do things in the outdoors even frequently during the winter. I hike alone with my dog. I hike local trails that have people on them but not a constant stream of people so I know that people will be along but I have a lot of solitude also. It might be 15, 20, or 30 minutes between people but usually not longer than that, so I know if I got hurt or something someone would be along soon. The areas I go have cell phone reception and I always have my phone. BUt I'm digressing here to assure everyone I hike alone safely so I won't go into all my other precautions. What I wanted to talk about in my gratitudes here is how much peace I find in the quiet and beauty of nature around me. When I was a teenager we lived the equivalent of a few blocks from some state land that was designated as a game preserve so no hunting was allowed. I had a horse then and spent hours and hours out there, both with friends and alone at times. I still go hike those same trails now, many years later. But that peace that I found in nature is something I started years ago. I'm so grateful for the green grass in the summer and the brownish grash in the winter months. For the evergreen pine trees we have a lot of. For the open air and the birds flying above and the squirrel or rabbit I see once in a while. For the feel of a cool breeze on me when the weather is warm. For the little streams that might run after the summer monsoon season or in the spring if there has been a lot of snow higher in the mountans. Those are the times that can make me feel sane again when insanity is running amok all around me in the rough times. And in the good times those are the places and feelings that make me just feel pure joy at being alive!
4. I am grateful that I have been given the gift of patience with people that others doj't really want to be around. I wrote not too long ago about Obnoxious People at the Gym and talked about this woman that gets on everyone's nerves, including me for a while. But then I learned to listen to her and be more patient with her and be a friend to her. Today she came to the pool and started talking to me and was very upset about different things that had happened recently, in the past week or two. Some family issues and financial issues, and topped off with getting a ticket while driving to the gym today. We all know how pressures can build up and then one little thing is the final thing that sends us over the edge. The ticket was it for her. I listened to her talk for about 45 minutes while I was doing some exercises. She had a friend she said that had invited her to have dinner with their family on Thanksgiving, then told her that plans had changed and they were going to go out of town for Thanksgiving. She doesn't have anyone else to go with. I can't solve all the problems, and because I'm going to my daughter's and don't even have any idea of what time it will be since she has to work, I don't feel comfortable inviting someone. Besides my son-in-law is an overgrown teenager and I don't even really like to be there. Although I couldn't solve everything for her, I was able to just be a listener as she poured out a number of things. She said again she would really like to just go out to lunch some times and I do intend to do it with her. Money has been really tight this past couple of weeks (months actually) but hopefully within the next week or two we can do it. I'm grateful that this person that I started out trying to avoid I have actually been able to reach out to in some ways and befriend.
5. I am just grateful for life! To be alive with all it's ups and downs and challenges and heartaches and joy and rewards, and everything it has to offer! I don't want to die! If it were my time, then it would be my time. But there was a time when I suffered from really deep depression and didn't want to live. Living was very painful emotionally and I wanted peace. That was a number of years ago. Then gradually I had some healing and took some control of my life and I didn't want to seek that escape anymore. But it still took longer, until just over the past year, when I've really been able to say that I want to live and live to the fullest! I don't know if that makes a lot of sense but it is a big turnaround over a number of years to come to this place where life is really truly to be treasured, even with the good times and bad and the ups and the downs. I am grateful that I have this gift of life for today, and for each day that I'm given it.
Okay, enough rambling on. I said this would be a little different than yesterdays list.
Hope you all are having a great day!
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