I started this month off with the best of intentions for my Gratitude Challenge. I have completed my gratitude challenge two years in a row and I thought that this year it would be a breeze to complete as well.
But there was a glitch in the matrix.
Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit and I was in a funk for a full two weeks. I was paralyzed to write any entries. Wait, scratch that…I was paralyzed to PUBLISH any entries. Believe you me, I started a ton of entries that will never make it to the blog. Some were angry. Some were melancholy. Some were trashed after a few paragraphs. But really, I guess I was just overwhelmed with this thing we call life. I was going through domestic issues at home with the helpers, trying to meet the responsibilities of being a mom, self imposed deadlines of writing, and for about a week and a half I couldn’t do anything more than look through pictures and stories of the damage that Tacloban sustained.
I was angry, but I didn’t want to perpetuate any negativity. I was sad, but I wanted to try and remain hopeful in a situation that looked hopeless. And then I felt silly, sitting in my air conditioned room, typing at my desk, in my house which was unaffected by the storm…passing some kind of judgement, and crying for people whom I had never met. So, I did what I could, in a small way, packing what I know we could spare and what would help the victims if I donated. Somehow, packing up clothes and shoes, blankets and towels which we didn’t need, no matter how small, made me feel better. I had discussions about “having enough” with my kids…about entitlement, and about doing your part. I talked with Nino about things that we could as a family not just this time to help out, but in the future as if committing to something regularly with the kids as an activity to teach them to be responsible community members would somehow be doing my small part as a responsible community member too.
And then I exhaled…and I let go…I let go of it all. The negativity, the anger, the judgement (of the gov’t) and the hopelessness. Because I know that it would do me NO good to hold on to any of it.
So-now…my second post back after what felt like a really long hiatus, I NEED to be grateful. My 40th birthday came and went without a Birthday POST! It was only a little more than one year ago, when I started blogging to begin with! Remember? That’s why I started all those give aways! To celebrate my birthday AND to celebrate my blogiversary!!!
Back home my friends and family are celebrating Thanksgiving. We aren’t having our Thanksgiving dinner until Sunday, but I wanted to share 40 things (because I’m 40 now) that I’m grateful for today, so that I’m with all my people celebrating today, in spirit.
I’M THANKFUL FOR:
- The LOVE AND SUPPORT of my Husband-Nino continues to support me in pursuing my interests and my growth as an individual, more importantly-I thank God we were able to find each other when we did. (Thanks Jo and Gerry) 😉
- Laughter, specifically BELLY LAUGHS and most especially from Gellibean
- Miguel’s sense of humor
- Gellibean’s DESIGNER genes
- Sorority Sisters’ Support (which stands the test of time and distance)
- Walks on a beach of any kind…salt water too.
- REALLY good coffee
- Dark Chocolate (OK…Chocolate of any kind.)
- CARBS (I was hungry when I started this post.)
- Smartphones with calendars (or anything that helps me organize my crazy life)
- The love of my sisters who encourage me…and my brothers TOO!
- The smell of crisp, clean, & fresh laundry
- The Safety and Sanctuary that my home provides
- Diego’s raspy voice
- Gia’s resourcefulness
- Freshly Cut Grass
- The SMELL of FALL
- Santa Claus (the joy that he brings and the wonder he represents)
- my faith and spirituality (which continues to grow with my children)
- My parents
- The opportunities that have been presented to me in the past year
- Fresh baked cookies (especially if from Gia)
- The beauty of a sunrise…the dawn of a new day, the opportunity to do something different…
- The power to choose, most especially because I live in a country where many women don’t have choices
- the gift of GOOD HEALTH.
- High speed internet! (he he he…especially for blogging!)
- CHEESE. All kinds. melted, shredded, blocks of it.
- MUSIC, and the ability one song has, to transport me back to a time and place in my life…
- FAMILY. Aunties, Uncles, cousins, sisters, brothers, MY LOLA and MY NANA, distant relatives too…they have all helped somehow shape who I am today.
- DIY projects that express my creativity
- HUGS AND KISSES
- Freshly cut flowers…colorful flowers…
- Friends. (new friends, old friends, SoMoms, Co-parents, neighbors, childhood friends, BFF’s too)
- The community of SPECIAL NEEDS parents, both ONLINE and DSAPI