Gratitude journal? I may have skipped over it yesterday, but while I was vacuuming up enough dog hair to make another dog (from the deep recesses of the corners, edges, and under the easy chairs), I had the conscious thought of being grateful to have a house to clean; a dog that sheds as much as she loves us, and a good vacuum to clean the mess.
We’ve had a dog just about the entire time we’ve been married. The companionship they offer is incredible. Some are more independent than others, and some are needy. I think since ours are used to us being home, they really are happier with us being with them. It’s ok with me.
Today, I’m grateful for warm clothes and a warm home. I have things available to make me warmer if the house is cold. I have warm winter coats that helped me through many winters. I am fortunate to have always been able to afford one for myself and each of my kids when times were hard. One of my brothers always gave me a local grocery story gift certificate for Christmas. It was for $100. I was blown away, especially when the store had specials just after New Years Day where you could buy a package of meat, buy one, get one free. What a deal to get to use. I’m grateful for those times, also.
I’m trying a different grocery shopping service to pick up. I’ve used Walmart; I’m not pleased with them. I’ve gotten moldy sliced cheese (in a see through package), moldy turkey sticks, and lettuce with dark brown spots on it. I’ll see if Target is any better. I was pretty spoiled, just picking up groceries during the pandemic. The hard part for me is always carrying them inside and putting them away. My back is always out of commission for a couple hours afterwards. It’s a given anymore, and I’m grateful it’s not out of commission all the time. I can still do some things.
And in the midst of all of this, I’m looking at some of my daily readings for Adult Children of Alcoholics. Reading these help keep me thinking in the right way; working to become a better person. Remember, old, inaccurate, negative opinions need to give way to new, precise, positive realities. We all have enough, are enough, and can learn to give enough. The key to all of it, is to make sure we give to ourselves first. As ACOA and women, we tend to think of self-care as selfishness. Wrong! It took me a very long time to learn if I don’t care for myself, I’m no good to anyone else.
Once we firmly grasp that concept, there is no limit to the good we can do, the positive seeds we can plant, and the good feeling we can have by caring for ourselves and others. We will learn where to spend our time and where not to. This expression of sanity and recovery is shown by creating boundaries, caring for ourselves, caring for others, and ridding ourselves of the negative thinking we were raised with. It’s just not how to live our lives. Take a risk, step out, you’ll find many happy souls cheering you on! It’s a great feeling once you believe you deserve it.
As you go out into this world on a Monday in November, know you’re doing good for others by doing good for yourself. As they say on the airlines, put your oxygen mask on first, then help others. It’s OK. Share what you have. Throw your best fighting weight against the negativity. It has no place in our lives. Acknowledge it and destroy it. We can make a difference in people’s lives. Reflecting positivity back to everyone we meet. It’s a gift that keeps giving. See you again tomorrow! I’ll leave you with the words of Audrey Hepburn.
“Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being for another human being’s suffering. Not a career. Not wealth. Not intelligence. Certainly not status. We have to feel for one another if we are going to survive with dignity.”