My Leap List

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


     Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday.  I hate everything about it.  It brings back bad memories for me and I dread it every year.  It's ironic that it is my daughter's favorite holiday.  To help me stay in a positive mindset for her holiday, I am thinking about all the things I am thankful for in my life - big and small.
     The first great thing is music.  I love music.  Upbeat songs put me in the mood to face a new challenge, exercise, or clean my house.  Sad songs console me when I'm feeling lost.  When the Fibromyalgia flares up, I actually feel physically better after I listen to music for awhile.  When I can't sleep, my I-Pod comes to bed with me and sings me lullabies.  When I feel sad and can't find the words to express my feelings, the lyrics that capture the perfect feeling get stuck in my head until I make a note of them and see what they are trying to say.  Music enriches my life in a million different ways every day.
     My friends are amazing people.  I am a very shy person and it is hard for me to make new friends.  I have been blessed with incredible people that help me every day.  They make me look forward to going to work each day.  They send me positive notes and well-wishes in person, through Facebook, and e-mails.  My friends make life worth living and I am thankful for every one of them.
     My kids are the best part of my life.  My life used to be black and white.  When they joined my life, I suddenly had color.  As they grew, they taught me to see shades of gray, so I could be a better person.  They give me faith in humanity and a reason to keep going when I want to give it all up.
     My job is amazing.  I love teaching.  I love the kids.  I love seeing them grow and watching them become better thinkers, better readers, and best of all - better people.  They teach me new things every day.  Just today, they taught me compassion, patience, and perseverance.  They teach me more about life than I could ever hope to tell them about English or reading.  I am thankful I have the chance to have a job I love.
     I am thankful for writing.  It has literally saved my life and saved me from myself.  No matter how horrible or wonderful life is, I can get it all out in writing, see it, assess it, and move forward with a fresh take on everything.
     I am thankful for my bunny that lets me slow down and enjoy quiet time.  When I am most rushed, she nips at me or eats the carpet or any of the other things she does that I have to pay attention to.  Then when I go over to her, she nuzzles me and asks to be petted.  When I stop and snuggle her or nuzzle her ears, I feel my blood pressure and heart rate slow and I feel calm again.  She helps me smile and enjoy the little things in my life that are actually big things.
     I am thankful for my Fibromyalgia because it has made me a compassionate person.  I have learned empathy for others that struggle with disabilities.  It has also helped me focus on what is important in my life.  When I faced losing the job I love, it helped me focus on enjoying the things I do have in my life.  I am still not perfect at this part of my life, but I am glad I am working through the lessons.  I am also VERY thankful for modern medicine so the pain is tolerable most days, even though it never goes away.
     I am thankful for my sister and my brothers.  Whenever I am struggling, they come to my rescue.  Some days rescue is a care package of music and soup.  Some days it is a surprise gift of flowers, Christmas Minions, or Thanksgiving doughnuts.  Other times it is a phone call to make me laugh or let me cry.  Sometimes it is taking my kids for a special day when things are hard for them.  They are the ones in the background that support me so I can keep going.  I couldn't do most of what I do without them.
     I am thankful for art that brings quiet to John's tortured mind when he battles depression, bipolar episodes and Schizophrenic hallucinations.  He makes me appreciate the quiet moments.  When he laughs, the kids and I stop and laugh.  We all love those rare moments and happiness permeates our home.  Watching his struggles has made my kids caring and non-judgmental people.  It has made all of us stronger and more thankful of the good times we have with him.
     I am very lucky and have much to be thankful for.  I raise my glass to all of you that help me in so many ways that can't be expressed in one small post today.  I love all of you more than you will ever know.  Happy Thanksgiving.

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