Day 205 “The Best of Times”

My dreams drag me back into my past; into lives and loves long forgotten, and my mind follows, driven by nostalgia, full of hope. Last night, it was my former husband, inviting me back to the marital home, needing my help, and I naively following, thinking all is forgiven; life moves on. We don’t make it past the local variety store, and a few old neighbours before I realize that I am mistaken. There is no innocent intent here, only an attempt to use me once again, and the rage surfaces propelling me out of the dream into the light of a new day.

Why do we always associate “the best of times” with the past? Is it easier to look back and gloss over the unpleasantness, focusing only on the good? Why can’t we then do that in the present?

I cannot remember a time when there was not some sort of stress in my life, and yet, undeniably, always an accompanying joy. Today is no different.

Struggling to come to terms with a chronic illness and the life changes that brings, on the back of a year of health hell for my husband, there is stress and times of frustration, however; our love for each other has grown proportionately, with a new depth of caring and compassion. There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not grateful for this man in my life, so that even in the darkest moments I know that I am blessed.

These are the best times, if I am truly honest. These very days in which we wish things were different: wistfully dreaming of another time, a brighter future. There are no better times than right now.

So today, as the sun shines through the window and blows off the nasty remnants of my dream, I sit at the edge of the bed and ponder the perfection of now (or the “perfect imperfection”, as the popular song says) and make a commitment to myself to embrace the day, whatever it brings.


Day 128 “Gratitude”

Thor has fallen again.  It seems impossible to fathom, but there it is.  Ten months into his healing, he has re-injured his leg, requiring surgery once again. The damage is more extensive this time, and will take longer to mend.

My husband is angry and discouraged by this recent setback, and I cannot fault him.  He rallied through seven weeks of radiation, and maintained a positive attitude through the first surgery, but this time he is not bouncing back.  Everything he does seems to tire him.

As a caregiver, I too am exhausted.  This time has been emotionally, as well as physically, draining.  With the diagnosis of cancer, the doctors had warned us that our quality of life would change, but we could not have imagined this.

Yet, as I drag myself through the extra responsibilities that I have right now, I cannot help but recognize the gift that my husband has been in my life.   With each passing day, my gratitude deepens.

Thor is normally a high energy man, who unassumingly takes on many tasks.  He gets groceries, helps out in the house, and thoughtfully makes a point of showing he cares.  He has been a rock for our children, and tirelessly fights for justice for the many people who employ him.  He asks for little in return.

I realize now how much Thor does for all the people around him and hope that the little I am able to give back right now suitably expresses my gratitude to this wonderful man.

Attitude Check

Energy flows where attention goes, is a principle of Huna.  It means that whatever we focus on we create.

Every spring, facing the end of my current teaching contract, I feel the tug of anxiety in the pit of my stomach.  I begin to doubt myself, and see only the impossibilities around me.  I wonder what will happen to me if they don’t hire me back, and I look at the colleagues who will be competing against me for jobs, and grow increasingly certain that I do not stand a chance.

“It doesn’t look good for next year,”  I recently expressed to a colleague.

“Hard to tell,”  she responded.  “Things turn around.”

I went on to explain to her why I didn’t think that would happen this year, and convinced her that I may have a point. We both parted in gloom.  Misery is contagious.

I began to read negatives into conversations, and convinced myself that I was neither valued nor wanted.  Then I decided to change my attitude and act as if I was appreciated and valued.

And guess what?

People started to tell me how appreciated I am, and many expressed hope that I will be able to continue in my job. I feel valued, and for the past two days, have felt a release in the tension.

Attitude is everything.  Gratitude is key.