Thursday, November 19, 2009

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, not because it reminds us of the pilgrims landing in Plymouth and after much loss of life came together in harmony with the Native American Indians shared a feast and gave thanks to God, but because I need to be grateful everyday.

Twenty-five years ago during the summer I met somebody near and dear to my heart at the time she was Kathy and I was Cathy (now we both go by Kathleen and Catherine). I left my home in suburbia and went to a state run facility that was less than ideal. I was talking to Kathy from a pay phone
and she said, I want you to do something. I was listening. Every morning, I want you to write down 5 things you are grateful for, "FIVE THINGS!!!" (If you know me personally then you also know that everyone on my floor, the floor above and below probably heard me). This was so foreign to me, I could feel my ears turning red and I probably said something like I probably can not even come up with 3. Kath said let's do the first one here on the phone, just tell me 5 things you are grateful for. I don't know what I said, I am pretty sure I made it through the list and I am sure that being sober and my cigarettes were on that first list. Why? Why did I need to write this list every day? The answer "Grateful drunks stay sober." Well, that was the point I wanted to stay sober. I think the phone call happened in September of 1985.
It was hard at first. A real struggle to come up with 5 things every day, but I was willing and soon I was writing 10 then 15 and eventually up to 20 things that I was grateful for each day. I kept up this discipline for about 2 years. I've gone through bouts of writing a gratitude lists and on occasion I still do.
When our children were small on Thanksgiving we would ask them what they would grateful for and Dan or I would write it down. Once they were able to write, we would write our own lists and then read them out loud to one another. It is so important in this life to be grateful. It has been said, "When you invite gratitude to your pity party the party disappears."
Here are some things that I am grateful for today:
That my girls get to spend some time together this week.
My son is a young man who knows how to work hard.
For my husband who has the gift of mercy (good thing for me I can be a real pill at times)
For our vehicle (we are sharing one presently)
Our newest abode in Shrewsbury and the view of the sunrise from here.
For the God who is there
For the Bible which is the Word of God
For Jesus, His grace, mercy, lovingkindness and LOVE
Being able to read and write
Being able and willing to come along side other people

There is so much more than that to be grateful for today. My heart is glad, my house is warm and life is not easy but thank God it is never boring.
I am well please to have been given the gift of knowing about the importance of gratitude and I need to get back to it. Sometimes it is really hard when life becomes hard to remember that there is always something I can find to be grateful for like the breath in my lungs.

Take a good look at your own life and acknowledge those things that cause you to pause and say, Thank you God.
When you sit down for your feast next Thursday take a few moments to express some gratitude.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Wall came down
November 9, 1989
Don't know much about history
Today is the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin wall. My home page on my web browser is the BBC, a news organization with a more global outlook than most American news source. The picture on the home page caught my attention. At that time I didn't know very much about the difference between East and West Germany. I don't claim to know much more now 20 years later. East Germany was a communist and oppressed country, that was the extent of my knowledge. Recently I watched a film, The Lives of Others
It is a foreign film with subtitles. The setting was 1984 and it was an education in government activity of East Germany. The film was eye opening. It also carried the universal theme of the love of human beings for each other and the sadness of a life lacking in love. On the anniversary of this historic event, I recommend you watch the movie with your older teens. It is both moving and enlightening. And your kids will think it is much better than a textbook version of a look into the history of East/West Germany. It has real people, real drama a look into what really happened in that part of the world, not just some extracted facts, dates, and places. History is best told through a story by someone who lived through that time in history.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

If you go to Google today this is the picture you will find. Sesame Street is celebrating it's 40th birthday, which puts me in the launching audience catagory. Oscar was my favorite character probably because he was both green and grouchy. I was tickle by yesterday Cookie Monster
Google. It is just fun. I love when Google dresses up their logo and when you click on it, you get more hits about the what the current art represents than there is time to read.
Here in my final week in Marlborough, any writing that I will be doing will be for my NanoWrimo novel. Since I have more readers than commenters, and some who are vocal about wanting me to write more stuff. Thank you for reading and your patience.