July: Attitude of Gratitude

 

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Most days I write down five things I am grateful for, big or small, subtle or apparent. I archive and post the list monthly. This is July 2014.

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having the day off (thank you Captain Canada!) — the hot weather — finishing my run — lots of d0-nothing time — that my husband took my daughter to see fireworks while I went to bed.

 less sugar  — reading funny commentary — not having to wear so many layers — coffee visits — picking up my kids.

emails with photos from travelling family — the man who held the door open for me –the extra bag I brought to buy groceries — my favorite yogurt  — my favorite yogurt on sale.

slow day at work — leaving early — clean floors — enjoy my dinner — my coach recognizing how tired I’ve been.

running with my husband — taking it really easy — lots of rest time — kale from the garden — lots of me time.

my son’s humour — his positive energy — his help with groceries — not being so scheduled — sleeping in.

green lights in traffic — healthy choices for lunch — giving my daughter options she could accommodate — being patient with my feelings — chocolate.

my son’s exuberance about his cooking camp — recognizing when I am overwhelmed (even if it may not appear like it) — being mindful — finding parking.

an easy run — a (legs only) dip in the ocean — dogs and their funny personalities — dogs on the beach — spending time with my kid.

the way newspaper stuffed into your shoes really helps to dry them out faster.

eating the last bite of something delicious and knowing it was just the right amount.

going for an easy, sunshine-y run — taking the time in my day to take care of me — being able to also fit in activities for the kids — riding the train — afternoon rest.

chocolate and almond power bars — running with friends — living in such a scenic and accessible place — mango popsicles — beach time.

 sunshine — yoga — predictability — decaf coffee — an end to the day.

resisting temptation — strength in choices — accepting me now — my son’s comment when we were brushing teeth “boy, I have a handsome smile!” — my daughter’s steps towards independence.

 a day off — a good “float” — that to lose weight means I need to be okay with where I am now — pants that fit — familiar strangers.

lunch with a colleague — that people are not as scary as they seem — that I do seem to have a “work” persona — running for fun — lemonade on a sunny day.

a better night’s sleep — reminders of the past — realizing I made it through some of the experiences I’d forgotten out — how much the kids are enjoying their summer camps — fresh kale.

still taking the time to be easy on myself — starting to feel better physically — patience — trusting that things will change — trusting that things can change.

the quiet of early morning — how predictably delicious my breakfast tastes — a good trail run — sunshine — beautiful scenery.

a few extra moments at the end of the day — easy traffic — the boy’s positive attitude — getting weekend laundry done — summertime meals.

a new cleaning lady — good neighbours — blue sky — a small kindness with big rewards — feeling sore from my run but immensely satisfied.

patience for challenges that I cannot relate to — longer evenings — my husband for feeding the kids — making time for my workout — an unexpected glass of wine.

making vacation plans — simplifying plans — taking the time to do what I want — running shoes — feeling present during my run.

running errands at lunch — doing nothing in the evening — letting go of tentative plans and not feeling obliged — the upcoming forecast — chocolate milk.

longer runs — having water on my longer run — not feeling great, but still feeling accomplished — fresh salad — espom salt baths.

trail runs with great people — the view from the peak — a haircut — watching buskers with the kids — still having a few hours for Sunday nothings.

the kids up early — the kids getting out of the house on time — finding money in my wallet — the free coffee on my rewards card — the giant potato my son grew.

my husband’s texts —  a planned workout — a modification to the planned workout — seeing old running friends — seeing kids in their pajamas when I get home.

the thermostat being fixed at work — being able to do both a run and a gym workout — the kids enthusiams for their job — not having to make dinner — summer running clothes.

my son’s explanation for what a wedding is: “that thing where they kiss” — bananas — finding a shortcut in traffic — warm summer nights — finding inspiration in how others overcame adversity.

June: Attitude of Gratitude

 

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Most days I write down five things I am grateful for, big or small, subtle or apparent. I archive and post the list monthly. This is June 2014.

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 taking a little longer to get my running shoes on — smelling the sunshine among the trails on my run — the yoga class that helped ease my stiff back — the yummy spring rolls I had after yoga — realizing I had a well-timed physio appointment the next day.

 getting up earlier to get ready for the day — leftover spring rolls to pack for lunch — my physiotherapist and the relief she gave me — feeling put back together again after my treatment — also feeling completely wiped out and being able to have a quick nap.

focussing on what I want, rather than what I fear — taking the time to give myself time — how strong and in control I felt during my hard run — that I planned and did my run early — getting both kids to different soccer fields on time.

the relief I feel when I know I have a day off — seeing my daughter being recognized at the school assembly — feeling good after my gym workout — the washer and dryer who do all the work  — the relaxed feeling of knowing that tomorrow is a planned day off.

being able to take a day off to deal with school disruptions — being able to close my bedroom door — that although my run felt horrible it still gave me some mental peace of mind — the garden sprouting — watering the garden.

 a quick day of work — lemon water — friendship — sunshine — laundry baskets.

sleeping in — that although I had plans I didn’t have to keep them — going back to bed — my husband’s care and support — skipping my run to take care of myself.

feeling better than yesterday — that although my run still feel tiring, it was enjoyable to be out in the sunshine — the good podcast that was right on topic — the delicious raw/vegan wrap after yoga — being able to eat my wrap alone.

having enough time in the morning — making dinner for us all to eat together — winging the coconut/cornflakes/chocolate chip cookie recipe — having the cookies turn out better than expected — no homework.

committing to something that scares me — that my husband’s work is flexible — that my husband stayed home with the kids — not spending money impulsively — accepting where I am, at least for a few moments.

 the new photocopier that united the office in common frustration — surprise cookies! — drinking more water — the strong and grounded feeling I have after a good gym workout — walking home in daylight.

 my kind psychologist — how much clearer I felt after talking — realizing that expectations are not always motivating — how good experiences make  a stronger foundation than bad memories — feeling more like myself when running.

being able to watch my daughter’s graduation from elementary school ceremony — appreciating how kids change — that I was able to find childcare on very short notice –so many green lights in traffic — the lazy feeling on a Friday afternoon where you can just tell that summer is coming.

 exploring and running on unknown trails — the smells in forest after a fresh rainfall — hot coffee after a thorough soaking outdoors — couch time! — literally putting icing on the cake.

 butterflies — my husband who is also a father —  feeling good before my run — my yoga/vegan lunch routine — that Sunday felt longer than Saturday.

that the kids had a good day — how a clean house can lift your mood — that sometimes we can do things that are illogical or frivolous or both — the garden’s bounty that my son planted from seed — eating chocolate cake.

solving something I had ignored for weeks — meeting up with my weekly run group — running in circles on the track and feeling good about it — that tomorrow I am off work — that tonight is like a Friday.

walking to the gym — a good work out — feeling perseverance pay off — support from my husband — the dedication of our teachers to their students.

going for a run and having ice cream too — good neighbours — more bounty from the garden — seeing the garden grow — watering the garden.

London fog (the drink) — the kids packing their own stuff for the weekend outing — ferry reservations — warm layers — sleeping through the cat’s wake-up call.

visiting with family — eating a picnic dinner in the park — that my husband was with me — getting to bed and being able to fall asleep — trusting myself.

 being a morning person at 5:30am — sunshine to start the race — the mental techniques and support from my psychologist that helped me sustain myself through the race — cel phone: so I could find my ride after the race — making it home on an earlier than expected ferry (again!)

comforts of my own bed — watching my son’s fast-paced soccer game — that my daughter was able to go to her end-of-year class party — coconut yogurt — my foam roller on my tired legs.

my naturopath (she’s such a delight!) — walking back to work slowly — a gentle run through the forest — warmer weather — summer nights.

switching up my workout — a kind friend who went above and beyond for me — getting what I want for cheaper than expected — the feel of the air on a summer night — a day without my daughter.

a day with my daughter — quiet summer-like mornings — cranberry ginger muffin — less schedules — more salad.

more positive changes and support for the kids — being able to go to appointments together with my husband — driving against traffic (i.e. no traffic), especially when I’m late — feeling like the day was restful — Friday night nothingness.

watching early morning tennis with the kids — finally satisfying my craving for pancakes — running later in the day — running with a view of the ocean — more time to myself.

Sunday morning trail runs — exploring new terrain on our run — snacks on the way home — the kids going out — feeling rested after the weekend.

a day off — going out for lunch with my sweetie — eating dessert — picking up the kids early — dinner together.

 

A small constant

Change is something we move through. Like the viscocity of air to water to pea soup it can come in degrees. Some of it we cling to, some of it we don’t even notice. Sometimes we rebel.

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As our school year draws to a close, with it comes changes. I don’t cling to the changes of this last year: the fact that my daughter will be starting middle school in the fall, or that my son will be alone in his elementary school. I accept and know that it will appear before we even recognize that it has happened. Some things just “are.”

Recently my son went home with a friend after school. She had spontaenously invited him home; her mom called me later to let me know where my stray lamb had ended up. It was all good and they had fun. When he got home he exclaimed that he was invited to her goodbye party. I assumed this was an end of school celebration. “No,” he corrected me, “she will be going to a new school next year.” It turns out they are moving out of the province as her dad has a new job. I was sad that this happy playmate of his was leaving. I felt the loss – the loss of their friendship, the spontaneity of their joy, their support for each other – although it didn’t affect my life at all.

A family in our neighbourhood is also moving. Our kids are friends with their kids and they play soccer together. I like the parents — they are kind, considerate, and warm people. When I heard that they were moving I was again disappointed. It would not leave a ‘hole’ in my life, but they had become familiar to me. It was a change that was unexpected and a part of me rallied against it.

My kids don’t really care one way or another. My son rattled off all the kids who’ve left the school over the 3 years he’s been there. It was like blips on a radar. I know that relations formed at this age can last forever, however these relationships are generally based on the present moment.

Sometimes we can’t change what changes. Observing myself I find my reaction to these changes are as though my kids have suffered a loss. I am sad because I think they will be sad. Yes, they will be sad, but it won’t be forever. There is always another friend to play soccer with at lunch time.

With change, I dig into a sentimental box of feelings. Not all of these feelings are true but I attach them to what I thought would always be the same, these situations that are leaving my life unexpectedly. It’s like cleaning out your kid’s closet and when you want to throw out the toy they haven’t played with in years, suddenly it’s the one they cannot be without.

I think what I am craving is consistency. Part of finding that is perhaps not expecting things to look the same, in the same place. Change will always come, yes, but the feeling can move from person or situation as quickly as I allow it.  What is constant in our lives is in the attitude we create with the world around us, regardless of what or who mirror this back to us.

 

*Image was taken from http://thejailbreak.com/2011/05/24/mc-escher-in-legos/