Project Thankful: Reason #62

When I write, I need some form of noise in the background.  The TV, music, a movie…I can’t write without sound.  When I blog however, I need silence.  

Some people can’t stand the quiet.  I’m not one of those people.  For me, I’m grateful for the quiet because it’s in the silence when I’m alone (except for the cats) and the only sounds are my cats snoring and the heat that I can allow myself to fully open up and think and feel things I otherwise keep to myself.  I’ll often talk out loud when I’m alone as well, but I do not think of it as talking to myself because we’re never truly alone; someone is always there, ready and waiting to listen.  

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Project Thankful: Reason #61: In Memory

January 28th marks the anniversary of two very important events: my sister being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes; and my grandmother’s passing.  This year was the 20 anniversary of my sister’s diagnosis, and the 7 year anniversary of my grandmother’s death.

I remember visiting my sister in the hospital, looking at the tubes she had in her as though they were snakes.  I also remember the syringes filled with insulin that my mother would inject her with, and later my sister would inject herself with.  The blood checks, the sound of the tiny point being drawn back before being released, pricking her finger.  I remember all of these things and more, one of the strongest memories being the wish that I could have been the one to be diagnosed so that she did not have to suffer; that I could swap health with her and take away her pain.

As I said, January 28th also signifies the day my grandmother passed away 7 years ago.  She passed away very early on a Sunday morning.  I was a senior in high school, and I remember coming home from the hospital and sleeping for a few hours.  When I woke up, I went to my computer, and I threw myself into my AP Lit assignment, a book summary of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  The next day I went to school even though my mom said I could stay home.  But I went to school, and I told all my teachers that my grandmother had passed away yesterday, and that I would not be in for the rest of the week.  Each teacher expressed their condolences, but there also another emotion they had: concern.  Concern for how the heck I was keeping it together, could be so composed.  7 years later I can answer that question, and the answer is because I was terrified of how I felt, and how I still feel about her passing.  7 years later, and I finally allow myself to feel those feelings.

Sadness, loneliness…just all around hurt are emotions we often try to bottle up.  We tell ourselves to “Stop crying,” to “Get over it,” to try to “Cheer up.”  Sometimes though we just have to feel because if anything feeling reminds us of those parts we try to switch off, the parts we think we put away.  But you can never turn them off or put them away because as much as they hurt they remind us of how much we love the person.

Project Thankful: Reason #60

Hello, readers.  What am I thankful for today?  You!

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Thank you, readers.  Every time I see someone liked a post, commented on a post, is now following this blog, bought a book…basically, every time I notice that someone is reading my material I am overjoyed.  It fuels purpose into my writing, knowing that there are individuals out there who do read my work.  So, thank you.  A very simple saying, “thank you,” but extremely sincere.

The Happiness Equation

Valentine’s Day is creeping closer.  Although I’m single and could easily be all “I hate Valentine’s Day.  Or should I say, Singles Awareness Day,” I harbor no ill will towards Valentine’s Day or my current single status.

I am focusing on me, and part of that focus involves my search for my happiness equation, figuring out what makes me most happy.  In other words, I am working on realizing what things, what areas not only make me happy, but make me unhappy if their metaphorical tanks are not full.  These are definitely part of the equation (in no particular order):

1. Travel

2. Writing

3. Blogging

4. Reading

5. Quality time with loved ones

6. Stability/security (this one is not to be confused with predictability.  For me, stability/security doesn’t mean predictability; rather, stability/security means being sure of my feelings and a general sureness of where others stand in regards to their emotions.  Stability/security is also what I value in terms of my finances).

7. Receiving gifts (And no, receiving gifts is not synonymous with spending money.  A gift is something with sentimental meaning; a pretty rock or shell found on a beach could qualify as a gift as long as there is meaning.)

8. Adventure (trying new things, going someplace new, etc)

I value each of the above areas differently, but they are all part of my personal happiness equation.  Right now, some of those areas have gaps in them, and those voids have been causing some major unhappiness.  So when it comes to my love life, I’d rather concentrate on my own happiness first before getting into a relationship because if I’m not happy with my own life, how will I have a happy relationship with another person?  Love yourself first, have a happy life, and you’ll have very little strife.  That’s the rhyming motto I’m going with.

Project Thankful: Reason #59

I woke up this morning, and I felt the same pit in my gut I began noticing three years ago.  The pit of unhappiness.  Because I have not been happy for quite some time, and this unhappiness is not due to being dissatisfied with one area of my life or even a couple, but over all not being happy with my life.  When I began to realize this unhappiness three years ago, I started taking measures to try to remedy this unhappiness because no one wants to be unhappy, including me.  Fast forward to present day, and I can’t help but accept the voice, the Higher Power at work in the Universe, that says “You’ve done all you could, but stop struggling.  Let go.  I’ve got you.”

When we desire change, perhaps the reason why change rarely comes is on account of our desire for said change.  I have spent my life in pursuit of “want,” and what I have found is that it is a life of struggle.  So I’m going to take the voice’s advice and stop struggling.  

It’s like the scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are entangled in Devil’s Snare.  At first they struggle against the plant, trying to fight to get out of it.  Then Hermione remembers that the more you struggle against Devil’s Snare, the tighter it constricts.  When you relax, it lets you go.

Project Thankful: Reason #58

Yesterday, I spent the day at a friend’s house.  I met this friend in college, and after we both graduated we found it is more difficult to get together than it was in college, as most post-college grads realize.  So when the opportunity arises that I am able to spend time with her and her family, I jump at it.

It’s odd because when you see someone on a regular basis, such as I did when I was in college and saw this friend at least once a week, you do not fully recognize how precious your relationship, your friendship, with that person is.  It’s when you aren’t able to see them as regularly, but when you do see them they pull out all the stops because they are so happy to see you, that you truly begin to value that connection you have with them, and you make the decision to never lose this person because this person embodies all that a friend should be.  And you pray that wherever your individual lives take you, that you may both be within driving distance of one another.  

Project Thankful: Reason #57

Wow, I need to catch up on my “Project Thankful” posts!  By the “wow” reaction I mean I have not posted since Friday.  Eek!

Saturday was a busy errands day.  One of those errands was to procure gluten-free Girl Scouts cookies.  Yes, that’s right.  Girl Scouts now makes a gluten-free cookie, a gluten-free chocolate chip shortbread.

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Before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I would always buy Girl Scouts cookies because, well, they’re delicious and the little girls make you feel like you’re crushing their spirits if you say “no thanks.”  Now, I can again take part in the tradition that is Girl Scouts cookies.  My inner eight year old is very happy.