The best song lyric to describe what I’ve been feeling lately is from a musical I’ve never seen but worship the lead in everything she does, including her recent stint on Glee.
Idina Menzel, the goddess herself, sang, “Something has changed within me. Something I can’t explain.”
Our family goes through a depression whenever there is a huge adjustment. How effortless it was to get used to having R home when he was in recovery. How quickly we were at ease when we came home for a couple weeks in July for L’s birthday. How excited we will be when he’s home for a week this month.
Alas, there can be no rainbow without clouds. Or rain for that matter. [Note: There is a blog I follow called Rain into Rainbows. Give me 24 hours to figure out once again how to post the link. ]
I recognized that a few weeks ago.
Last month I found a book called “Simple Abundance” at a used book booth at our parish festival. Flipping through it, I saw there was a brief essay for every day of the year and I thought, “Hmmm. Why not?”
I forgot about that book that I bought for two dollars until I decluttered my room. My room that included clothes the children outgrew, toys that were salvageable, and too many teaching aids. All intended for Goodwill, mind you.
That night I opened the book and read a handful of essays, one of which described keeping a gratitude journal. I remember a few episodes when Oprah talked about keeping that sort of journal but never did.
When I remember and am not exhausted out of my mind, every evening I write down five things I am grateful for in my gratitude journal, summarize the highs and lows of my day in a few sentences, and read/reflect on one of the daily meditations from “Simple Abundance”. I can say with utmost certainty that I experience a deep, restful sleep those evenings.
Since starting the journal, I feel like I slow down, purposefully looking for things I can be and am grateful for, and living with purpose. The other day when R blew out a tire and had to pay over a hundred dollars to replace it, I listened. Didn’t bitch and moan about the cost, about how much we have (or haven’t got) in our bank account, about something that happen to anyone at any time. I was grateful that it happened on base and no one got hurt.
Would I have had that reaction last month? Who knows? I do know that I don’t waste another moment of my life taking anyone or anything for granted.
Keeping a journal is not everyone. So I beg the question, what rituals center you?
I did not make it to the gym as you can see by the pics above. I’m not beating myself up over it. I’m not going to feel guilty either. The weather has dropped at least twenty degrees without warning. But I suppose fall weather doesn’t need any warning because it’s fall. Luckily my personal goal is to jog ten miles a week. Did I forget to share that? Anyhoo, I’m almost up to seven miles this week and I have the weekend to catch up. Tomorrow is Friday, glorious Friday, in which I have a sub job in… wait for it… my middle daughter’s class. Should be interesting, fun, exciting, scary, nerve-wracking, hair-pulling, and Starbucks-inducing all at the same time.
Luckily I’ve got most of a peppermint mocha in the fridge for tomorrow. I have found that while I still have a healthy (for a six foot tall man) appetite, there are less voracious moments. I’m not sure how to explain that. I am definitely a stress eater, particularly when it comes to matters of the heart, the kids, my husband, etc. When I have these moments, I feel empty and the only thing that can temporarily satiate those hungry-for-anything-but-food moments is when I’ve stuffed myself full with food I cannot recall. So yes, it exists but not with the frequency and faux appetite that it once was.
Huh. Highly profound at 10:30 in the evening. I suppose that’s what happens when I limit my Red Vine intake from a handful to… (gasp) two.
I brought my laptop fully charged to my sub job this morning in case I had free time.
And I did!
Signs that I knew it was going to be a productive writing day:
1. this particular classroom had a wonderful and talented special education aid who really knew these kids and helped me immensely! I thanked her profusely and asked her why I even bothered to come to work. Yes, she was that good. No, I was not offended that she took charge over some activities.
2. this particular school had a minimum day and had dismissal over two hours earlier than a regular school day.
3. this particular school office had nothing for me to do after the kids were dismissed. Yes, I asked because technically I am supposed to be there until 3 pm and I’ve gotten to know which schools are sticklers for that rule which I do not oppose at all. I just try to avoid sub jobs at those schools, lol!
4. my friend agreed to pick up my kids and let them play at her house with her kids for an hour or so.
5. there was not a long line at the grocery store because the worse possible time to figure out when you’ve run out of milk is in between bowls of cereal. Yikes!
6. my peppermint mocha was served in a the signature red cup. Ahhhh… fall is here.
Expected Word Count for Day 3: 5,000
Total Word Count for Day 3: 5,458