Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Too many to count

I know it might be the "thing" to do this week, but I'm feeling thankful. For the last while I've been thinking about it a lot. I'm sure that the upcoming holiday season has a lot to do with the course my thoughts have followed. We all know that we should be thankful all year long. That's so very true. At the same time, it's been on my mind a lot lately, so I'm going to spend at least one post, maybe the whole week listing things. It's going to be big things, little things and things in between. Then...when there are days that don't seem like so much fun or tempt the ungrateful thoughts to prevail, there's a list here ready to be referenced.

Here are just a few of the things I'm grateful for-(in no particular order, other than the very first)
~family. I'm grateful for all of them. Parents, siblings, siblings-in-law, great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. I have a lot of family and wouldn't choose to have it any other way. They are a blessing, each and every one of them.
~my bed.
~water-for drinking, cooking, cleaning, watering plants, bathing, swimming, running through when it comes out of a sprinkler, playing in when it drips out the clouds (boy do I miss the warm rain in Liberia right about now), listening to as it flows and falls over whatever course it may.
~the ability to be in touch with/reconnect with people online.
~my job.
~a raise at a time when many get none, take a cut, or are losing their job.
~God's Word.
~the opportunity to eat every day, not to mention the luxury of more than one meal a day!
~Perrin Lake.
~a home.
~weather in all it's beauty.
~the ocean.
~friends-new friends, old friends, friends all over the world, friends right down the street, friends that love you even when you show your bad side, friends that know just how to make you laugh when you need to and are happy to hold the Kleenexes while you cry.
~differences of opinion.

Well, I can see I'm just getting started. I have to pack so I can leave for Michigan for the holiday weekend right after work tomorrow. That means I need to take a break from the attitude of gratitude and pack.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas before Thanksgiving

Yesterday I went to the post office. For several reasons, a few moves a couple years ago, leaving the country for 3 months last year, etc, I use a PO Box rather than a physical address. It's also handy because I don't need to check my mail every day or worry about theft. There's also the fact that the post office is right next to Target. Need I say more?

The holiday season has begun at work. Toward the end of the year a lot of people tend to have extra time off work. They've also frequently met their insurance deductibles, which means that it becomes a good time to get that nagging knee, shoulder or carpal tunnel taken care of. That means that during a time of year when most people are getting time off from work or school, an outpatient surgery center kicks into high gear. It was a long, busy week. I got off work yesterday and was just worn out.

Before going home I decided I should go to the post office to see if there were any bills that needed tending. I had also placed an order or two, so I was curious if they had come. It felt like Christmas had arrived early!!! Well, at least the opening packages part of Christmas. That really is not what Christmas is all about. Maybe I should say it felt like my birthday had arrived early. Anway....there were no bills! Not one! There was one letter with some results from bloodwork I had drawn over a month ago. The results were good. That was the first part that eased some of the fatigue of the week. Then came the packages....

I got a new bathing suit. Let it suffice to say that I'm pretty excited to say that I've been swimming laps enough this year to wear out a bathing suit. If the new one took too many more days I was going to get removed from the Y for indecency. Next in the bos was my brother's birthday gift. I'm pretty sure that I'm as excited about his gift as he will be. The next package was a CD. There was a Christmas tape our family had when I was young. I've made at least two copies over the years because I loved it so much that I didn't want to be without a copy if the tape ever unraveled. I had looked online and even called the number on the website for the recording. "Sorry. You can only purchase that recording as a cassette or an album. We've had requests for CDs, but we will not be making any." Poo! Well....a week or so ago, I was looking for something else on Amazon and lo and behold, there was my Christmas CD. I don't know what made the difference, but apparently they finally got around to changing their minds about making a CD. It cost $23.99 for that CD. I'm certain I've NEVER paid that much for a CD. I wasn't sorry a bit. I figure if we work lots of extra hours around the holiday a treat is warranted. My family doesn't know it yet, but their copies are on the way to their houses!

Thanksgiving is coming. Yesterday it felt like Christmas had come before Thanksgiving this year. Not only because I got a few packages, but also because I love the carols on the CD I got. By the time my trip to the post office was over I forgot all about my tired feet and need to unwind. I love that little things can still be such a boost. I saw a quote a couple days ago that said that happiness is enjoying the little things. It's true.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Quit!

Believe me. I say that in the best way possible! In a time of economic uncertainty, I'm more grateful than ever for my job. In fact, we had a staff meeting at work on Monday that was prefaced by a visit from our company's CEO. More than one person was a little nervous that there would be downsizing. Not so. He had some interesting things to say- about the economy, the state of our jobs, and even some investing tips.

Let me begin by saying that I'm not normally a quitter. I can't even quit reading a book once I begin. I feel an overwhelming compulsion to finish what I started. I don't necessarily mean in one sitting, but I can't just put it aside. Ask my Mom about Anna Karenina. The quitting had to do with the conversational French class that I've been taking. I was in way over my head! The hint about a "conversational" language class is that it assumes that you've already studied the language and are just needing a brush-up. Oops! That wasn't real clear. I have taken a beginning conversational French class that was painfully elementary. Seriously. A third grader would have been bored. Apparently the jump to intermediate was bigger than anticipated. Last time I went to class we had "graduated" to an entirely French speaking class. Haha...when the professor speaks for 10 minutes and you understand 2 words, that's the first clue that you should just quit wasting your time and go to the Y instead. That's what I did this evening. It was so liberating!

My last post talked about the fact that I was barely treading water. Let me say the next part loud and clear. God is Good! There have been lots of bits of scripture that have spoken volumes of encouragement and blessing. For numerous reasons, things are looking up. That's a great thing to be able to say since the beautiful leaves of Autumn have fallen away, it's getting dark earlier and earlier every day, and the thermometer currently says 37 degrees. Probably all 3 people that read this will want to smack me, but I'm one of the crazy people who is actually sincerely enjoying the drop in temperature. I love winter! Bring it on.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Treading Water

That's what I feel like I'm doing this week. I wish there were a way to type while I'm driving because that's when my thoughts have been the most organized and decipherable. Life has simply caught up with me. By the time I'm done with work and the expensive errands (dentist-need a crown; garage-brake service, oxygen sensor , oil change, yada yada yada) I've been running lately, I come home and am ready to fall into bed.

My cheerfulness has nothing to do with the election. I'm honestly just glad it's over. The ads, arguments on facebook, heated conversations in the break room at work, and constant news coverage were just a tiny bit excessive. Not a whole lot, just a little. I was pretty upset with the fact that my vote didn't seem to count due to a clerical error. Apparently I voted by absentee ballot even though I didn't request, receive, or complete one. Hmmm.....I filled out a "provisional ballot", but the guy that "helped" me was so scatter-brained and unorganized that I sincerely doubt that my paper ballot will even make it to the election board let alone get counted. I'm going to follow up in the next couple days as soon as I have time at work or get out early and don't have to go spend $300 at Saturn of FW. Convenient that the hours to call with questions re: my ballot are 8-4:30.

So...I've not posted much lately. This is not exactly an upbeat few paragraphs. It's just honest. I'm worn out and not doing a good job of catching up. One of the best things I've read in the last couple days is this.

"I will lie down in peace, and sleep;For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.Psalm 4:8"

That's what I need to do. Go to bed and sleep in peace. Thank you, LORD, that You have a brand of peace that has nothing to do with the economy, jobs, leaders, or any sort of stress life can throw at us. In the morning I'm going to find the right side of the bed, make a list, and tackle things one at a time. That usually works best. Do what you can. The rest will be there tomorrow.