Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It is all about Gratitude and Perspective while standing in a pile of Manure surrounded by fans......

the first of november i brought a decorative jar to the kitchen table and planned to have our family write things they were grateful for on a piece of paper and put it in the jar.   that never happened.   life happened and i felt as though i did not have a thing to write down and place in the jar that day.  we seem to be in survival mode every day, and that does not allow a lot of room to think of much else.

 after that the jar was pushed aside.   yesterday i looked at it and thought that i needed to put it back downstairs....maybe next year.   

not only are things still hard here for our family, but my sister and her family are walking through their own hell and yesterday just as my sister had picked her self up from the latest bit of life and dusted her self off,  the rug was yanked from under her yet again.   i sat up last night feeling all the ick i knew she was feeling.   i know these feelings.   i have felt them and the wounds have not yet started to heal.   i wish i could do more for her, i wish i could say hey look, see it will get better....but we are not at that point in our journey as of today.

every day i give thanks from the moment i step out of bed. it has become habit.   some days though the gratitude seems empty and i feel like i am going through the motions.    

eight or ten years ago i began a shift.   i decided to take notice of those things in me i wanted to change.   it has been quite a journey.   it seems i have taken the scenic route and detours, but i can say that i can look back and see progress and change for the better.   

this morning as i was doing laundry i thought to myself how it never seems to end.   the clothes in the laundry basket multiply like bunnies.   but i caught myself giving thanks.   i am so grateful that i have laundry, tons of it....because that means there are people i love that live in our home that dirty the laundry, use the towels, wear the endless pairs of socks.  i am so very grateful that i have a working washer and dryer.   i have spent many months at the laundry mat, and just last week the belt and pully broke on our dryer.   i am so thankful my hubby knew how to fix it.    that stack of dirty dishes in the sink means we had food to eat.  if you know me, you know food has been a luxury the last few years for our family.   i realized i had given thanks without having to think about it.    i began thinking of the long list of things we don't have, as well as what we do have.  for everything i thought of we did not have, i made myself think of what we do might not be what we want, but we have.  

our carpet needs to be ripped out and replaced, it is awful....i want hard wood floors, but i don't have to vacuum the ugly, nasty carpet, i get to.  perspective.   

on the days the menieres beast is kicking my butt and i struggle with cooking, cleaning, arting....i give thanks that i am GETTING to do those things.    again, perspective. 

as i was taking photos of some mind numbing, yet soothing zentangling i had done yesterday i was amazed how the image changed as i turned my drawing pad.   it was all perspective.   i turn the drawing pad one way there seems to be valleys, turn it another way and you see the hills, or mountains.   

at this angle i see a down hill walk through valleys.......

at this angle i see an uphill struggle with lots of hills and mountains.

today i used the same technique as last night while zentangling, but today i wanted to try to manipulate the lines in to certain patterns or shapes.   i found that as i added more and more lines i was not able to force the lines to go where i wanted them to....they followed the path of the line before it.   each line i added was an echo of the previous line.  it began to drive me nuts,  i could not force the pattern.   if i wanted to make a big change in direction i had to pick the pen up and start a new series of lines.   all of the sudden all of the self help gurus, pastors, preachers and teachers.....what they had been saying made sense in such a visual way.   there are times in life we need to stop fighting the direction we want to go in, stop trying to swim upstream against the current,  and let go, let God take care of it, and at the same time we have to quit making some of  the same choices we have in the past that have not been beneficial to us.  we need to pick up the pen and turn in another direction.   

monday my daughter informed me she needed to make 60 mini pie crusts for the littles at the elementary school she works at.   even though she has watched me make pie crust since she was a little her self, she asked about the ingredients and if it would be hard.    yesterday she went and bought the supplies and we, i, began making the pie crusts. 

 i had to give up what i had planned to do yesterday to help her with this.   while i was working on this i had been silently giving thanks.  i was thankful she wanted my help, that she enjoyed working with me on this, that she was alive and well.  we almost lost her last january when she became septic after an out patient procedure in the e.r. .  at one point in the evening she apologized to me and i asked her for what?   she felt bad i was doing this for her.   i told her i loved being able to do this....someday soon she will be on her own, living her own life and i will miss this.   she told me she would be mad if she had to give up her evening to do something like this.    it is all about perspective...and gratitude.    

there are days when i feel like i am standing in a pile a manure surrounded by fans....and it is hitting those fans fast and hard and i really am up to here with gratitude and perspective and i feel like i am losing faith because that other better door has not yet feels kind of sucky and hard.   i go find my quiet, dark place and cry and then pick myself up and dust myself off and know that things are getting better and someday, when i get to the other side of all of this yuck, when i can look at my life from a different perspective i will see what it was all about and see why things happened the way it did....and for that i am grateful.   

i have discovered the most about me, the way i feel, think, process life through zentangling.   i do so many forms of art, but this one has taught me the most about me.   for that i am so very grateful.   

here are a few pics of my zentangle line therapy i have done over the last couple of days....

my hope for each and every person out there is not that they have something to be grateful for, but that they can see what they have to be grateful for.