Monthly Archives: July 2014

Sweetened and Spurred on by Gratitude (link)

So, do you think there is enough GRATITUDE in our lives?

Below is what Google tells me it is…

  1. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
    “she expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support”
    synonyms: gratefulness, thankfulness, thanks, appreciation, indebtedness;

    “Chip was miffed by his nephew’s lack of gratitude



Is it an individual thing or is it a collective.

I weigh in on that here.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Sweetened and Spurred on by Gratitude

I still have not managed to get the pictures off of my camera, soon.. and I will post the magical trip to bring my son back home.

A lot has been running through my mind, I have a friend who was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cervical cancer… so I promptly called my gyn to schedule my exam and learned that I hadn’t been in the office for over three years. Considering that I am most likely perimenopausal, there is a certain amount of shame in that. I think (*think*) that I may have been screened by my primary care physician in that time, but this is still not a good thing.
Get your screenings people. And your immunizations.
I am not too shy to tell anyone how much I love this new Pope. I find it intriguing that people can even get him to make up some sort of Top 10 list… So there is this.
I was struck by the last line, which I am condensing here “May we be always more grateful…”.
So true, some people do not come to gratitude well… I image that is true about myself as well, since gratitude is something I feel like I am continually working on.  I have been thinking about my facebook gratitude project from a few years ago, it was hard, but that is for a lot of reasons. One of the things that inspired it was someone whom I thought was a friend revealing that they were not, in fact a friend at all…. it was the opposite really.
So, gratitude, still in my thoughts in terms of how to make it part of the abundance of my life… I really and lucky and aware of the privilege of my life circumstances. 
I have been trying to see where I can find the gratitude in the dark things, the hard things, and even the mean and ugly things. Talk about hard!

“Gratitude spurs us on to prove ourselves worthy of what others have done for us.” ~ Wilferd A. Peterson

I feel challenged by this, not that I will be looking at the mean and ugly and trying to find something magical in in, but that I can’t imagine this is going to be easy.
Today, I feel old… my body is full of aches, I feel lost to the self indulgent importance I had in my narcissistic youth, I am hanging on the poorly thought out suggestions people have made to me.
How do I find the gratitude in that?
I need to deconstruct this today thing:
  • I am feeling old – which means I am alive.
  • My body aches, which means I need to listen to it more carefully, but I am aware enough to notice that.
  • I feel unimportant – but I am a mother, wife, daughter and in clear scientific (in the social science way) know that is just not true.
  • Poorly thought out suggestions – I can look deep into what is the truth that is buried in them, find the kernel that makes them sting and identify what I lament, find those and I can work on changing those.

Death by execution

In the year 1865, amidst the dry heat of a territorial Arizona,  Dolores Moore was executed for killing her husband. She was the first documented execution in the state.

Growing up in a part of the world where “Proof of Life” is a part of adult conversations and instructions on what to do if strangers approach you are common, one would think I could be more cavalier about this.

I can’t.

When Squink and I heard on the radio, while driving home, about the prolonged execution of Joseph Wood. My first thought was; “I killed a man today”. As a resident on this state, that is what happened.

I sat at red and green lights on the route home, trying to make sense of the huge responsibility that having a death penalty means. The two people he killed were at the forefront of my thoughts, and this all swirled into one huge confusing mind meld.

As I was trying to see if I had any real  and concrete resolution (a personal one that is) I was fielding questions from Squink about what had happened and why he took so long to die.

I knew nothing about this case, and just looked at a little bit of what is available online so I could feel like I have done enough research to feel comfortable enough to post this entry.

The truth is I don’t have any answers.

Death is very much a part of being human, and death takes many forms and frankly most of them are not pretty… and I just don’t know how I feel about the death penalty… I just know that I am a little sad at the notion that yesterday I, and all my fellow Arizona residents, took the life of someone and I don’t know that it made us any better as a community in the long run.

There is a huge dark side to the complete context of civil service.

Travel day 1

I grew up on planes, not very fond of them, though I like what they do. 
For luck, Schatzy, and I posed before the paintings by the artist who painted me… there is a gorgeous mural mosaic there, but TSA stuff covers it  😦

But, I was tired, and took a selfie while i was waiting to board!

Dulles, made me feel like I was in a sci-fi horror film as I tried to find my way to my next flight
I like Austrian Air though, plenty of leg room (maybe they are taller and have a taller algorithm for seating on a plane?)
Arrived! I can’t tell you how much I missed this kid… I teared up when I finally got to touch him!

I will soon tell you about the huge lengths my in-laws went to, to get me to stay awake as long as possible… those pictures are on my camera and I need to download those! It is quite a tale.

A slow and beautiful viewing of the world by car, plane and foot

I suppose it was a vacation, my last two weeks traipsing off to Austria to collect my Squink and bring him home and thus bringing back a sense of peace of having him in my close proximity.

It was an adventure, from my departure,  to my week with my in-laws (sans their son), the flight back to the EEUU (that is USA, for Spanish speakers) to a week with my mother in a state located in Americas heartland.

Living without your young child for more than one month is a strangely shocking thing, there is the idea that free time will occur, but the truth is, no such luck… if anything there were more demands for my time often coupled with phrases like “… since your son’ isn’t here…”

But, being busy was good, because the truth is that I missed my Squink sooooo much! And the freedom to trot off with friends who are not kid friendly or a wine with friends kind of thing was just not satisfying enough to make up for not having his insight into my daily life.

He came back speaking beautiful German, and considering that I last spoke the language at about his age, I feel like he has been able to bring back some of those skills for me… though I still have to make some pretty amazingly creative sentences to try to communicate with him… I am a bit pleased that speaking with him has brought back some of it, a good thing considering I have not spoken German in about 35 years.

I am also so very fortunate that I trust my mother-in-law enough to trust her with my son for such an extended period of time, though I try not to feel bad that she misses him so much not that he has returned home.

“In the first place, you can’t see anything from a car.” ~ ed abbey (my personal edit: you can, if you must)

As I was heading back, en route to visit my mother on a long trans-Atlantic flight I thought about my upcoming week with my mother… I glanced at the clouds outside and way below the window of the plane, smiling at Squink’s comment that we were flying way above the cloud line… I had noticed that as a very young girl, mentioning that we were visiting my grandparents in Heaven. My mother realized I had noticed this cloud thing and that I had made some connection… what is interesting, though, is that I actually thought Arizona was Heaven… and considering that I visited in Summer… I must have had a broad understanding that Heaven did not necessarily mean reasonable temperatures… and that the living were capable of visiting. I must have been a curiously interesting child.

Anyway, with inner peace restored by the mere physical presence of Squink back in my life, I smiled at that. Squink is rather religious so I wondered if he would have thought the same thing had we traveled as much as I did as a kid.

And there was something so perfect about going to see my mother on the trek back home, there was a ritual aspect to it on some levels; giving him the gift of time with both of his adoring grandmothers.

As such, I took pictures of the journey that Squink and I made, and will have to get those on here for the gentle tale of our pilgrimage home.

“As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.” ~ A. C. Benson