Tired, But Grateful

Grateful

What a week it has been! At times, I felt like a fish out of water, gasping for air. I kept telling myself, “Just make it ’till Friday and then you can relax!” Well, Friday is here and I’m tired, but feeling extremely grateful. And, since it’s the last day of the month (and I have at least 31 things to be grateful for today), here’s my gratitude list for the day in no particular order:

1. My sobriety. I celebrated 9 months on Tuesday. No words can describe how grateful I am for this blessed sober life.

2. My son who “graduated” from preschool. He is kind, sweet, affectionate and his smile always melts my heart.

3. My daughter who graduated from kindergarten. She is strong, caring, independent and described as “hard-working” by her teacher. She inspires me to be a better person.

4. Teachers. God bless them. My children have been extremely blessed to have amazing teachers who teach them, guide them and inspire them to be their very best. It is a God-given gift to teach preschool and kindergarten because after spending two hours in a class of 20, I’m ready to pull my hair out!

5. Friends and family. Those who encourage, support and help guide me on this journey.

6. My husband’s work. That he is able to have a career that keeps him busy, that he enjoys and that allows for me to stay home and be available to our children. For this, I’m extremely grateful.

7. Dishwasher. You don’t realize how much you depend on this time-saving appliance until it breaks. And, to those repair people who can come to your home, take it apart and get it working again. Greg (appliance man), yesterday you were my hero!

8. Sun. After MANY days of rain, I’m ready for some vitamin d!

9. Summer vacation. No “real” schedules and convincing my kids that I “get” to sleep in until 6:30 instead of 6:00. Hey, I’ll take what I can get!

10. Blogging community. You guys rock! It still amazes me that I am part of a community of people who I have never met, yet who I consider to be true friends and confidants. Very special.

11. AA. My people who are always there, no matter what. Who know me and accept me just as I am. Where I learned how to live again.

12. My sponsor. She just celebrated 10 years of sobriety and I adore her. She is kind, gentle, yet still continues to challenge me by her suggestions and thoughts on life and recovery.

13. Hope and faith in God’s plan. It’s what keeps me going when I feel completely and utterly lost.

14. Daily devotionals. I read them every morning and when I don’t I feel like I’m “missing” something. They keep me grounded and give me perspective and remind me that I’m part of a bigger plan – God’s plan.

15. Music. The kind that speaks to you, that you can turn up in the car and sing at the top of your lungs (which is a good thing for me and everyone else because God did not bless me with a singing voice!). I’ve been obsessed with Pink, Rihanna and Bruno Mars lately, which is strange because I’m usually a country girl but whatever. Like I said, it’s about the music.

16. New life. My best friend gave birth to a healthy baby boy last week. He is beautiful and reminds me to slow down, and cherish all the little moments.

17. Coffee. Need I say more?!

18. My house. I’m a homebody at heart and I love just “being” at home.

19. My flowers and garden. I love watching them grow and find great joy and peace in taking care of them, especially in the evenings when it’s quiet and all I hear are the birds “talking” back and forth to each other.

20. Hummingbirds. My mom and grandma loved hummingbirds and am always reminded of their presence when I see one.

21. Jesus. His words remind and encourage me to be kind, patient and forgiving.

22. Netflix. My husband and I have been watching the Ken Burns’ documentary “The West,” which reminds me just how good we have it today and the extreme endurance and bravery of those who came before us.

23. My lived experiences. Despite the ups and downs, I have the ability to reach out to others who still suffer and to reach back when they reach out to me.

24. The men and women who serve our country. I’m constantly amazed and extremely grateful to those who would leave their families and miss milestones like birthdays and kindergarten graduations to protect my freedoms.

25. Facebook. Love it or hate it, I’m grateful it gives me the opportunity to share my life and story with family and friends who I would otherwise not see.

26. The rain. While I may complain at times, I’m grateful for the nourishment it brings to the trees, plants and flowers.

27. Prozac. For me, it’s like insulin to a diabetic. I need it to help me function and without it I would be crazier than I already am! For those in recovery who don’t think you should take anything, even antidepressants, well, lets agree to disagree.

28. The gym. I’ve been taking my kids to the daycare at the gym since they were two months old and I’m still extremely grateful for the opportunity to have “me” time.

29. Good books. The kind that suck you in and encourage you to stay up way too late. I’m planning to read more of these over the summer!

30. Goodwill. The take anything, they sell everything and they support a wonderful community of people. I could spend hours there.

31. Diet Coke. Because sometimes, despite how horrible it is for you, you just need one.

Feeling the Music

Record Player

For Christmas, my husband got me a record player. Yes, you heard me right, a record player. Well, I actually ordered it, wrapped it and put it under the tree, but in any case, it was a gift from my husband. Why in the world would I want a record player? See, when my mom died over six years ago, I inherited all of her records in addition to all of my grandparent’s records. Besides smelling a bit musty, they were in pretty good condition. So, I hauled them home and put them in a basket in the office. And, there they sat for some time. Once in a while I would go through them, remembering all the hours I spent playing around on my grandparent’s turn table, fascinated by the whole process of needle to record and then music – amazing!

I grew up with music. My mom’s cousin worked for Merle Haggard for many years so I remember a lot of classic country at my grandparent’s house, which made sense with my grandma being from Texas and all! My dad introduced me to classic rock from an early age. In fact, the very first song I remember singing was that Police song that goes “little black spot on the sun today” or something like that. My mom was really into folk country/rock and introduced me to the greats like Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris and Nanci Griffith. To this day, my favorite artists aren’t those of my generation but those who I grew up with and was exposed to at an early age.

When I came across a great deal on a new Crosley player on Zulily, I knew I had to have it. Being the great guy that he is, my husband even surprised me with a few new records to go along with it – Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Van Morrison (you see what I’m talking about?!).  Now, when I’m in my office sewing, working on the computer or crafting I can play one of my records and instantly be transported back to my grandparent’s living room or a sunny day at the house I grew up in with the stereo blasting and six-year-old me dancing in circles singing along – not a care in the world.

Music is a connection to our past. It’s often what keeps the memories alive when everything else is gone. I’m still grieving over my mom’s death, but listening to her Beach Boys record or an Emmylou Harris song she loved lets me feel close to her, connected to her.

In the new year, I’m going to try to sit back, relax more and feel the music. I encourage you to do the same!