When I was writing a Grateful post in the spirit of Nie every night it was easy to make a quick list. Now that my NieNie post comes once a week, the list would be far too long. So, the format needs to change. I am giving it a try this week (bolding the general followed by enumerations), but if you have any ideas as to how I might best format my WedNieNie'sDay posts, please make a comment and I'll take your ideas into consideration.
This week I am Grateful for:
Being Busy. This week has been a whirlwind of classes, homework, housework, nannying, and visiting with friends and family. Some view being busy as a burden, just an endless parade of places to be and things to do so one can cross those items off the "To Do" List. In one word, drudgery, I guess. I am learning to view being busy as something to be grateful for. In the past I have become crazed when busy because I was saying yes to just about everything and everyone, somehow finding a way to fit everyone in, meet the needs of everyone. Recently I have realized that in meeting the needs of others I was neglecting myself and that by taking on so much I was not able to fully enjoy, or give my all, to any of the activities or people I was spending time with. My "New Busy" is a good busy because it is more balanced and everything I am doing and everyone I am spending time with brings me joy and contributes to my personal growth, makes me a better person so that I can go out and further spread that joy and have more of myself to give.
Classes. Going to class is like an instant recharge for me. No matter how my day has gone or what is on my mind, when I get to class my energy is high and my brain is fully engaged. I get excited and I voice my ideas and talk with my hands (I am Italian) and I am continually pleasantly surprised by my capacity to learn and to expand. I am also fascinated by my professors and classmates and what they have to say. So, to be in a space where I can learn and grow with and thanks to fascinating people is a gift.
Homework. If my high school self could hear me now she would think I was a freak. "Grateful for homework?" I can almost hear her say as she wrinkles her nose in disbelief. Yes, high school self, I am grateful for homework. I love looking up math terms and realizing how much a part of EVERYTHING math really is. I love reading packets of poetry and then, of my own accord, looking up the poet's biographical information just because. I love staring at a blank page, emptying my mind, and watching my hand move rapidly across the paper as the words flow and a poem is born. Yes, high school self, I really am grateful for homework.
Housework. "HOUSEWORK?" I can hear the collective blogger world exclaim. Well, yes. Why? Well, because in a time of economic uncertainty I have a house to care for. As foreclosures abound and banks collapse and the governmental bodies struggle to agree on a solution, I have a house to care for.
Visiting Pre-School. There has been a change in my nannying schedule which means I will be taking one of my charges to and picking him up from pre-school starting this coming Monday. So, this past Friday I got to go visit pre-school to meet the teachers and learn the dropoff-pickup routine. Visiting pre-school brought back such wonderful memories of my days with Ms. Lois and ... I want to say Ms. Jan(?).
A Girls Night. On Friday I went out for dinner and a movie with my friends Tanya and Nicole. It was nice to slow down, have intelligent conversation mixed with a little teasing and goofing around, see a movie that the men in our lives would never agree to go see, and then go home to find the man I love waiting to greet me affectionately.
Grammy's 87th Birthday Party. Grammy has Alzheimer's disease, but she is still alive and aware and sometimes willing and able to speak. We have a very large family and everyone wanted a chance to sit with and talk to Grammy. I spent my few minutes holding her hand, telling her how beautiful she looked, letting her know how happy I was to be celebrating her on her birthday, and kissing her cheek which is still so soft and smooth. My father, her son, was sitting on her other side and she gazed lovingly at him the whole time we were sitting with her. I talked to her anyway believing that though she was not looking at me the words were sinking in somehow. I'm grateful for the moments I was able to share with her and hope that I will be blessed with a long life like her and surrounded by family no matter the state of my health as I age.
Sangria at the Sports Bar. I am a teetotaler when it comes to alcohol, but every once in awhile, once or twice a year, I have been known to allow myself one glass of Sangria. Sangria is citrus'y', fruit juice'y', and refreshing. I first had it at a Girl's Night my friend Jennie hosted. We squeezed the lemons and limes, sliced the fruit, poured in the wine and chilled it. She has since moved away and, sadly, we have lost touch, but when I sip Sangria once or twice a year I think of her. The sports bar my husband and his buddies go to is owned by a Portuguese man named Tony. I found this out on Sunday while we were sitting around the bar watching football. Portuguese Tony makes a mean Sangria. So good that maybe I will make it a point to visit again a year from now.
Catalogs arriving in the mail. When my husband and I bought our condo (bottom floor of a two-family turned condo) this past spring the catalogs came rolling in. I have spent the past few months calling the numbers on the backs of the catalogs to take us off the mailing lists. The environmentalist in me is soothed by the knowledge that she is doing her small part to save trees. I have a confession to make Environmentalist-Part-of-Me, the Dreamer-who-loves-the-little-things-in-life part of me can't seem to cancel the Anthropologie catalog or the Crate and Barrel catalog. The pictures are so pretty and the things in the pictures are so pretty and it is so nice to get mail that does not remind me that I am an adult with responsibilities and bills to pay. I love sitting down with my two catalogs and cutting out my favorite things, the things that make me most happy, that inspire me so I can put them in my Things That Make Me Happy binder or tack them to my inspiration board. Simple Pleasures.
CJane, Lizzy Writes, and AliceKind. NieNie's sister and Christian's sisters' blogs never fail to inspire me. Their courage, strength, faith, love, sense of family, and way they live their lives in general never fail to amaze me. Thank you, Ladies, for the example you set and for being so open with the blogging community about such personal events going on in your life and your feelings surrounding those events. I, a complete stranger, am more grateful to you than you will ever know.
Threads of Love. Candice found me through CJane and commented on my blog to let me know about this project she is doing for NieNie, Christian, and their children. A beautiful act of love. I am heading to my favorite fabric store when I go into Boston on Friday and sending a package to Candice over the weekend. Candice, thank you for further confirmation that there is so much good in people.
Fall. Foliage, cool air, warm sun, enormous moon, pumpkins, gourds, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, hayrides, apple picking, cozy sweaters, knee-high boots, scarves, apple cider are all part of Fall in New England. When seasons change I feel closer to, more in tune with the earth, more aware of and grateful for its bounty.
I could go on and on. I have so much to be grateful for.
Prayers and positivity to Nie and Christian & family.
Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite <3