Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks Giving

Another tequila sunrise
I recently revisited an article that a Hospice nurse had written.  She compiled the five most common things said when a person is close to their death.  I won't list them here, but certainly we all know that "no one has ever said they wished they spent more time at the office".  And indeed, this was one regret that was shared by, not surprising, most men.  They regretted not spending more time with their children and feel they missed out on all the most important moments in the life stages in their children's lives.

But the one that really struck me was that many people said they wished they had chosen to be happy.  Really?  As though, in this final moment here on this earth, all these people recognized that happiness is a choice.  One can simply choose to be happy.

From the day I met Dave he had told me "I choose to be happy for the rest of this life."  And these are not empty words for him; he truly does wake up with a smile (most days) and tends to turn the bad in his day around and finds the positive in it.  He chooses, every day, to be happy.

I love him for this.

I have never stated it this way, but I realize that I am a person who also chooses to be happy. I have always labeled it "grateful."  Because I truly am grateful for so much in my life and in my every day.  And it is this attitude that seems to allow for the worst experience to become an opportunity for growth.  The little shitty things in the day become a "test" ... "OK Mary, you going to cave to this shitty little thing or you gonna take this and understand what's in it for you?" ... and with this decision, to take the bad as a chance to recognize my mistake, I try to grow from it.  This, in many ways, is choosing to be happy,  because ultimately that shitty little thing has become something to be grateful for as I navigate the "test" and move on.  The belief that things happen for a reason opens a whole new approach to the negative.

I just need to state that I understand I am blessed because I have the ability and the resources to be able to look at my life like this.  There are those who walk among us who have been dealt a lousy hand in their life. I never take for granted all that I have.

On this eve of Thanksgiving day I hear many people stating what it is they are thankful for.  I know that no one feels this only one day in the entire year, but it's not such a bad thing to take this long weekend and really note what it is we are grateful for, happy for, in ones life.

And so, I'm going to share just a few of the things on my gratitude list today:

Today, I'm glad it's raining.  It's pouring actually.  A part of me wishes it was snow, but that makes traveling treacherous for everyone.  And because it's so miserable out there I really don't feel the need to go for a trail run ... my knee is hurting me anyway and needs the rest.  So this rain gives me the permission I need today to take it easy.  I can stay inside and bake and cook my contributions for the family feast tomorrow.

I'm grateful for this little thirteen year old dog who is smelly and has ugly fatty tumors popping out more and more.  Who has a lot of joint pain and moves slow and hobbles across the room at times.  But she has been here for me through some of my darkest days.  And even now, as arthritic and crippled as she is, if I ask her to go for a walk she lights up and with a big smile she will journey out with me down this camp road.  I have needed her company on some of these days, and she offers it freely with no conditions.

The last few days I have been a bit .... shall we say, moody?  There is much in my life to be moody about; feeling a bit homeless and out of sorts with the house still under construction, trying to navigate the wishes and routines of working within the practice of  another person after running my own private practice by myself for 16 years, not being able to find anything when I want/need it.  But this morning I also realized that some of this sadness is, once again, related to Jim.  He creeps in when I'm not really expecting it.  This morning it's been nice to label it as, "OH! the grief beast is here again!" And I know it's OK, it's OK to still grieve the loss of this man.  But today I am also incredibly grateful to him.  He taught me how to really love.  He showed me that it didn't have to be perfect, or pretty, but if it was honest and open then love would thrive.  And because he taught me how to love another human being so deeply and completely I was able to recognize it when it knocked on my door this second time.  I knew what I should feel when I told another person, "I love you".  And I am so grateful for this, and to know that I did not turn away from this gift of Dave Lovejoy who has walked into my life and understood that he and I could choose happiness for the rest of these days we have together.

I'm grateful that I have never bowed to what "should be done", and always listened to my own spirits calling.   And today, thanks to Jim, I live by the code, "no regrets."  When I know these days are done for me I want to be able to look back on it all and know that I took that risk, I said yes more than no, I played as much as I worked, I stopped and took the time to connect with others and that I chose to be happy.

Today, if more tears should fall, I will be grateful for them, for all that they mean to me and all the love that flows with them.

Perhaps being happy really is a choice we can make.  And, perhaps, it really is this simple.

Loving you all back ... and be safe in any travels you embark on today,

1 comment:

  1. Mary, It's so amazing to join you in this new world of your's and see the beauty through your eyes and photos. THANK YOU! Love, kristine