A few of my gratefullest things

So, I've never written a blog before but Dan keeps bugging me about it, especially since I also still haven't written a bio. It's a slow day at work, or rather, I'm caught up at the moment, so I thought I'd try this.

It's kind of like talking to yourself, which I do a lot of, or maybe like talking to god. I know about the latter because I used to be married to god and would pray on a regular basis, but after the divorce, the only times I really talked to god were in extreme moments of distress; you know, those times when you're kissing porcelain and puking beer from the night before swearing, "Oh, god, I will never do that again!" or when you're late and all you can think is "Oh god, please don't let me be pregnant!" Not really meaty conversations, those, but they kept the lines of communication between me and the almighty open.

But, even those conversations grew less frequent as the years wore on. I learned to drink responsibly and I got on the pill so my two main topics were essentially eliminated. Lately, though, I've found myself missing something. Not god, really; I don't believe in the Jewish-Christian-Muslim god anymore; rather, I miss the serenity that came with prayer, the centering down and calming effect that came with stillness and silence. I don't get a lot of quiet in my life - my choice - I love chaos, but even I get tired of it.

I realized that this summer in my Research Methods class in grad school. I'm attending Concordia Univeristy -very Lutheran, very conservative, very into God. I don't have a problem with that, but it has a been a cultural adjustment for me. The instructor for this summer class has prayed before each session and I've found that minute of prayer to be incredibly renewing. I don't share her faith in a heavenly father, but it's been refreshing to have that moment of stillness, of silence after a hectic day. I find my breathing slowing, my mind focusing. Dan would say it's a form of meditation, of hypnosis, and he's right. But it doesn't matter what it is and it doesn't matter to me that I don't believe in god. I remember clearly how peaceful I used to feel and I crave those moments now. And, in those moments of silence I'm reminded of how very fortunate I am and while I can't give god the credit for my life, I am grateful to the universe, to my family, my friends, to the sun, moon and sky, for the life I have.

Recently, I had to have pre-cancerous cells removed from my cervix - the second time in three years. Sitting alone in the exmaning room before my biopsy, I felt tears and panic start to rise. Instead of giving into them, I began to breath deeply and outloud I "prayed" -reminding myself of all the things for which I have to be grateful.

"I'm grateful for Dan who loves me unconditionally; for April who has made my life better just by being here; for Mamaw and the rest of my family; for my friends who help make me who I am; for a job I love; for the opportunity to be in school; for my dogs; I'm grateful for the times when I was stupid and naive and a bad friend becasue they taught me to be better; I'm grateful that I've been luckier than most people in this world; I'm grateful for heatlh insurance that allows me to catch this disease before it's full blown cancer; I'm grateful for the air I breathe and the hands that I hold; I'm grateful for my life in all it's myriad parts. I'm grateful"

An attitude of gratitude - it sounds so cliche, at least it will if you ever attended a Baptist church; but it's how I want to live my life, so whethter I'm talking to myself or not, I can have a moment of silence that I carry with me and that will speak louder than anything else I write or say.

Attitude Of Gratitude

I love your first blog! It's excellent!

I'm grateful for you in my life.

I think that an attitude of gratitude is a cliché when you stop there and say "I'm so grateful for the external things that are responsible for my life so I don't have to be!"

I think that where it becomes a powerful non-cliché adage is when one is like you and takes it further and says, "I'm grateful for all of the external things that have HELPED me to this point in my life so I'll give back to those around me."

And you do.

You do give back.

You're the most generous person with your heart that I know.