Tough Times but focused on Gratitude

I said that I would write about gratitude and here I am, because I am grateful. Since my last blog a lot has happened. Got a horrific cold and have stayed with two people, the first on a friend’s couch while she was out of the country, and now I am with a family whom I  don’t even know, other than the son, an acquaintance, who invited me to stay. He was out of town when I arrived and I admit that felt awkward for all of us. I have a bedroom and for that I am grateful, also the use of their computer so I can write this blog. I am well fed. I kept a journal of things that I am grateful for, based on the book “A thousand Little Gifts” even as I was losing things. It helps me to see that all I am grateful for are gifts from God. If you prefer universe, I am ok with that. Although I have not kept up the writing, I have kept a mental check and will add to the journal later.

I will be honest, my faith in God has been tested, especially when the person who gave me the eviction notice, a professed person of faith, thought with his head and not his heart. I was able to think that someday I will thank him for the eviction and losing my furniture. I was happy to breathe, to walk and to be able to buy a bus pass for the month.

I have found a place with no questions asked about my income or references from my last residence, both of which were  roadblocks. I move in next week. It lacks upkeep but promises character.It has good light for a basement. Being in an old building there is more counter space in the kitchen than my last two places. It is small so I don’t need  a lot of stuff to fill it with but I can get a table for the kitchen area and another table for making art supplies. I can embrace simplicity and focus on art and photography. That is my intention, we shall see what happens. Last week I couldn’t think about plans.

My brother sent me money to help pay for rent and damage deposit, a huge amount when it needs to be paid all at once. Also he is helping pay for furniture and is particularly concerned about me having a comfortable bed. I am grateful for a loving family who have my back despite being thousands of miles away.

I don’t know how many of my  friends read my blog, but I am so grateful for their acts of kindness.

Thanks to Janet who gave me the left-over muffins after the church service. Sandi who sat with me and we tasted jelly-beans, guessing what the flavours were, the two of us giggling like little school girls full of mischief and high on sugar.

Frank, who helped me move a carload of boxes and encouraged me to get motivated and get packing. Melisa and Laura who helped me move my boxed possessions to a friend’s and Larry who helped me move most of the stuff to the garage where I am now.Barbara, who escorted me to my appointment to get my cortisone shot, and treated me to lunch, and she is financially strapped herself. Vera,  who lent me money, took me to a theatre to see “The Little Prince.” after having me over for lunch, then she dropped me off at a park so I could shoot photos of the birds and get my nature fix which, in my priorities, comes in the category of “needs.”

A long walk in nature during my favourite time of year with my friends Bernie and Nolan, collecting leaves, climbing hills and spotting trains and disagreeing about who was interrupting whom …then letting it go.

I have lots of gratitude. While things are important, friends are more important. We get so busy with acquiring things and meeting deadlines that we forget hospitality or taking time to be with friends and family.

I promise myself to do my best to be present, to pick up the phone to say hello, to give encouraging words and to take time to be with those I love, as well as strangers. Sometimes all it takes to lift someone’s spirit is a smile.

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