Thursday, December 06, 2012

A Grateful December – Day 6 – Civil Rights & Liberties

"In North America we have so many civil rights and liberties.  Consider the rights we sometimes take for granted."

Can you believe that it wasn't until 1960 that all women in Canada were allowed to vote? Can you believe that it has been much less than a century since women have been considered "persons?"
Those facts are quite staggering to me.  I'm thankful that I can't wrap my head around the fact that these were things that needed changing.

Do you know what else floors me each and every time I think of it?  I can't even conceive of a world where I would have to scrimp and borrow to take care of a medical condition.  I don't even know how to key it.  I can't imagine saving up money to afford to have a baby.
We are living in a charmed continent where hockey lock-outs, new furniture stores and Black Fridays consume our minds.

We're a lucky bunch, and I am thankful to realize it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A Grateful December – Day 5 – A Tough Job

"Realizing that any job could be a tough job for you turns this theme on it's head. Maybe it's being a teacher or a doctor that you would find hard. Maybe it's working in a field or being a customer service rep for an airline.  Appreciating that it takes all kinds of talents to keep this world going and having gratitude for those who do the jobs we would find difficult brings us all a little closer."

I am constantly amazed at the many skills and passions people bring to the table.  As time goes, I have begun to believe that there is no job that is missing a passionate worker towards its fruition.  A number of years ago a co-worker and I had completely opposite tasks we looked forward to - and dreaded.  We decided to let each other know these tasks, and where we were the missing puzzle piece, we offered to take on the other's dread chores.  My goodness, the joy that came to work following that discovery!

Learning to speak to what we did and didn't love was half of the key to making our workplace better.  The other half of the key was learning to believe when someone said they loved something that didn't make sense to us was the other.

 Since working through that a decade ago, I've been able to identify similar co-workers in new work situations.  The really interesting thing is that it is a safe bet that once you've found 2 or 3 tasks to swap, there will be many more to follow.

 I'm thankful that we all have such varied interests.

 I'm thankful that I had such a great co-worker with whom to learn this.

 I'm thankful that my heart was open to learning.

Monday, December 03, 2012

A Grateful December – Day 3 – A Special Nature Spot

“Being connected to nature is one of the most healing and awe-inspiring endeavors of our days. Please take a minute to mentally revisit a special nature spot or park that gives you something to be grateful for and share it here.”

I remember specifically learning how amazing it could be to find a special nature spot within a city.  I was living in Brandon.  It was spring, and the river was just beginning to thaw.  My employer did the ‘come here’ hand wave and we piled into his vehicle, and took me to the shore of the Assiniboine River.  There were big cement locks (?) in the river, and the ice was breaking up and crashing over the locks, spraying onto the banks.  There was one cement pad/block where you could stand and feel the mist on your face.  That cement block became my journaling spot.  During the rest of the spring / summer / fall, you could hear the river rushing by, feel the heat of the sun and smell the green of the park behind.

I hope that spot continues to bring that little bit of outdoor peace to many people.  I am thankful that I had the opportunity to enjoy it.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

A Grateful December – Day 2 – Storms

‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ ~ Vivian Greene.

My step grandma is 97.  Amazingly she has been living in her own home up until a week or two ago. She had some surgery, a week and a half ago.  She’s surely been on my mind.  (And, to assuage any concerns, she is back in our home town, recovering nicely in the local hospital.)

I’m thankful for the newfound abilities to shift my thoughts into how lucky I am to have had this woman as my grandma.  For the first 15 years of my life, I had a really neat grandma.  I would suspect that had I known her further into my life, I would have learned where the bulk of my creativity originated.  She made crafts with my brothers and I, she knew how to make us feel like co-conspirators, she once gave me a smile that rocks my world when others give me the same smile.  After she passed away, my current step-grandma and my grandpa married.  Because she’s always known my grandparents, she’s been able to fill in some of the missing stories that our natural grandma may have shared.

I’ve found myself considering how thankful that I have had TWO amazing grandmothers when most people have... two amazing grandmothers.  ?  And then it also struck me that even though I’ve only had one set of grandparents, my heart is still considering me lucky for having had such great ones – absolutely no consideration to the fact that I never knew my mother’s parents.
And so, today I find myself grateful for this sweet and kind woman – a woman who is an amazing model of how to live a kind and loving life.  And I am thankful for the storm to give me time to consider how fortunate I am.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

A Grateful December – Day 1 – Wild Card

Post potluck preparation, and elbow deep in ground beef, I considered how I was going to complete the Day Challenge of my December.  (Using  I’d already decided that if the day didn’t fit, I was just going to post something else.  My thoughts moved away from the original Day 1 plan – to honour the month past.  They moved into the honest grateful mode that has been groomed by my previous 30 day challenge.

Today I am grateful for the wild card of chance that brings people together.  Today, you see, along with two handsfull of others, I was invited to a big birthday party.  It is through chance that we twenty or so know one another.  In reflection of the first round of classes, I have encouraged others to this session – secretly holding back the fact I would like everyone to sit in this woman’s class.  Sure, we’ve all learned to play ukulele.  The secret, though, that I hold back is the way that you will feel after being in this woman’s class.  I am grateful for whatever it is that she has... and whatever it is that she shares, that builds the souls of those around her. 

I am also grateful for the new friendships that we are investigating, getting to know one another bit by bit.  No one in a hurry, probably no one with a whole lot of extra time.  Slowly but surely we are becoming a really neat group.
If I were building a timeline of life experiences for others, this would be the type of wild card I would deal – and I would watch the joy in their hearts grow as they let go to enjoy all that life can bring.