Today I have decided to take Gratitude by the Horns! I am going to ride that beast until I get thrown off, stomped on or dragged around the arena of life! So take that bad times, difficulties, struggles, tragedies and anything else you want to throw my way. I am and will always be grateful for EVERY single difficult, wonderful, hurtful, beautiful, devastating and enjoy full moment of my life!
I began this journal on May 1, 2012, determined to put my blessings in to print so that on days I struggled I could go back and physically see the gratitude of the blessings in my life.
But as life would have it, on November 27, 2012 my world changed forever. Most people would have said I was heartbroken but the truth of the matter I was soul shattered.
My heart was broken and my soul shattered so deeply that the only thing left of me as a person was a small bit of powdered dust that was once me.
I held on to that particle of dust that was me, and battled to one day become the person I used to be.
That never happened.
It was such a powerful event that I walked away changed, no longer knowing who I honestly was.
I still fight daily to not allow that one day of my life change the person that I am or want to be. I am not the same person I was and maybe that is better and maybe it isn’t.
There are still parts of me that I recognize and are familiar but there are parts of me that I have no clue who this person is.
Life is to be lived day by day and that is how I manage now.
I am angry and ashamed with myself to believe that I allowed something to have so much power over me that I could no longer find gratitude in the blessings of my day.
As I sit here and reflect on the past few years I realize so many beautiful memories haven’t been given their proper place in this journal, and I realize now how tragic that really is. But it is what it is.
I can’t take back yesterday and change it, I can only take control of today and make it what I want it to be.
I received an email today where this journal was discussed and reading that, it sparked a new life in me to work harder on being my authentic self.
I can’t change what happens to me I can only control what I allow it to change in me.
Today I am grateful for being reminded that I am more than my heartache in life.
Band Aids are designed to make boo boo’s feel better. People sometimes ask me how I manage to be so happy and positive most of the time. Please note the most of the time that is crucial information. So I decided to share some things I do on an everyday basis or just part of my routine in life.
I know most of you will think how silly or simple this is, and maybe it is, but it helps me and that is what is most important. You know what they say don’t knock it till you try it, and then knock yourself out.
I made the comment that this was not a “cure” but my sweet friend Jackie reminded me band aids save lives.
I am not a Pro Positive Person or a Pro Negative Person either; I am just a realistic person who does what she can to make the best out of any situation that may arise in my life or my life in general.
We all share so many survival tips in dealing with doctors, chronic illness, and medicines or in dealing with the difficulties in our lives. So I am going to share my survival tips in dealing with my spiritual being and the emotional side of me.
Before you make the judgment of yeah well you have no clue how hard my life is, or that is easy for you to say remember I have been in a place so dark, I attempted suicide, and I have survived many tragedies and hardships just like everyone else, but I have decided to use as many band aids as I can to make me feel better.
Every day I open my curtains. Rain or shine. I figure if I can’t be outside and be a part of that world. I can enjoy it from the comforts or my home. I love looking out the windows and seeing the beauty of nature.
You know those cool coffee mugs, the kids give you… Number one mom, Nanny’s are great, You will always be my friend because you know too much… yeah those, the ones you have up on the top shelf cabinet. Dust those suckers off and use them! Every morning I have coffee in one of those colorful and silly mugs, what better way to start the day, but by reading My Mom is like a great bra, supportive, never leaves me hanging, makes me look good, and is always close to my heart.
I also buy a fancy flavored coffee creamer, and use it every other day. The flavor of the month is York mint patti. It is silly but there is just something wonderful about sitting on the front porch, side porch, back porch or any dang place I want…. Sipping on rich warm coffee mixed with mint flavor… it’s just a small treat I give myself. Can’t wait for next week’s flavor!
I love the smell of cookies baking, or warm cinnamon nothing better than the smells coming from the kitchen; unfortunately I don’t bake often, mainly because I don’t need it!
So I keep a Scentsy warmer in every room of the house, and every morning I turn them on, and a couple of hours, everyone says dang that smells good! When I get ready to go to bed I turn them all off and in the morning I pop them out of the container and put a new smell of the day on! That way you always smell something and it is never the same. I put them in baggies and save them for another time. I love the warmers because of the safety factors and the fact that they are beautiful to look at.
When I can I buy the smallest bottles of bubble bath I can, so that way I can have all different type of smells. As silly as it sounds, I make bath time a big deal, not shower time but bathtub time!
I always turn out the lights and make sure the scentsy warmer is on and use bubble bath to soak in the tub in soft lighting and wonderful smells. I close my eyes and think about the ocean or day spa, or something wonderful and let my surroundings take over. It is one of my favorite times, my hubby laughs at me but sometimes he will turn off the light and just use the light from the warmer, MAYBE one day I can get him to do a bubble bath! I try to make it a “treat” me time.
Life is hard and for those with chronic illnesses it’s rare we get treated, due to pain, no time or money is short, so for me the little things like this I do, make up for that.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
Today I am grateful for being able to pursue my dreams and the fact that I still have them.
I wanted to share one of my favorite prayers with you.
Help Me Thanksgiving Day Prayer
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion, and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
-Samuel F. Pugh
For most people today is a day of thanks.
For me it is a day of giving.
Today I am grateful to be blessed with so much to be thankful for and thankful to be blessed with so much to be able to give.
It’s funny what started out to be one of the worse things of my life in 2002, has turned out to be the greatest days of my life. Every 4 to 8 weeks I go to Baylor Medical Clinic to have my remicade infusion. Over the years the nurses there have become like family to me, they are a wonderful group of women.They have listened to my stories of my family. They have listened to me brag about my accomplishments. They have comforted my fears and wiped away my tears, but most of all they have allowed me to be me, the real me. The one who worries about tomorrow, the one who wishes sometimes she wouldn’t wake up, the one who wants to help everyone, the one who will fight no matter what. They have been my strength, my courage, and my hope. They have been my mother, my father, my spouse, my daughter, and my friend during the past 10 years of my life. I owe it to them for making me the person I am now in my life with Ankylosing Spondylitis.
I know they have my back, especially when they call and say Hey we are having AS Awareness shirts made. Today I surprised them with the shirts I had made for them, and their AS wristbands.
When I told them I had a surprise for them, Genie, my hero, came in on her day off to visit with me. I brought her copies of the Spondylitis Plus magazine which features the Faces of Ankylosing Spondylitis, along with Genie and I.
Next remicade appointment, we will be having a family portrait made!
Today I am grateful for Genie, Sam, Tina, and the rest of the crew whose name escapes me at this moment, but will be added. There are no words to express my gratitude for these remarkable women.