"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Run Illuminated

Today I am grateful for my physical capabilities, for air to breathe, and food to eat. 

My husband Darcy and I are just two weeks out from our next marathon, so yesterday's long run of 15 miles or so was a "shorter" long run. From here, we will taper and rest our legs. The excitement and anticipation build for me with each day we get closer. It's partly about traveling to new places to run, but it is also largely about the run itself. Marathoning is in our blood and our hearts.

We look forward to new scenery for marathon #13, but we enjoy nature's beauty on our runs in and near our community too.

I paused to take this picture on our run yesterday. The long human shadows visible are those of Darcy and I. 

As the sun illuminated the trail ahead of us, running illuminates my life in so many ways. It is one of the greatest blessings and joys in my life. It has brought me out of dark times and dark moments over and over again. It has brought me out of the shadows and into the light. One step at a time. One mile at a time. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Back Where You Belong

Today I am grateful for the chance to be of service to others. I am also grateful for recovery and the second chances we all get in many ways.

Yesterday on my way to work I heard a song by 38 Special that I have always liked. It is titled "Back Where You Belong."  You can listen to it here. It came out in 1983, when I was a senior in high school.  It's a love song of sorts, and a catchy tune.  The title is catchy too. Back where you belong.

That is how I felt yesterday after a rocky day on Thursday. My mindset was back where it belonged. My priorities were back where they belonged. My hormone levels were back where they belonged.

The rest of my day just further helped me get back to that better place, that place where grace and peace can be found.

The school I work at gave students the day off yesterday and faculty and staff went to various sites and did service work. I really appreciated the group of people I worked with. 

At a domestic abuse shelter near our school, we cleared weeds in some landscaped areas, enjoyed good conversation and fresh air, and made a noticeable difference.

Last evening I spent some time with other recovering people, and again was reminded of the gifts of sobriety and recovery.

To be of service. To endure rocky times. To look for gratitude in the midst of it all. Try it. It will get you back where you belong. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Oh the joy . . .

Today I am grateful for a new day, a fresh start. I am grateful for air to breathe, a roof over my head, and clothes to wear.

I wasn't feeling all that grateful yesterday. Oh the joy . . . of hormonal fluctuations.  I was "a bubble off of plumb" and just a wee bit edgy and irritable. My mental acuity was dull at best for much of the day. The joys of menopausal times.

And then I think about other women who have had breast cancer who never made it to menopause, or were forced into early menopause because of surgeries and/or treatment.

Life is good. Hormonal fluctuations and all. Life is a gift.

Oh the joy!  Of a new day, a fresh start, a more even keel.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Its Own Blessing

Today I am grateful for Darcy's safe business travel and for time with our grandson Leo and his emerging personality.

The "Word for the Day" from www.gratefulness.org yesterday was:

"There are many things to be grateful "for" but, as I ripen with the seasons of life, the many reasons blend into a sacred mystery. And, most deeply, I realize that living gratefully is its own blessing." 
(Michael Mahoney)

I appreciate the words used by Michael Mahoney. How fortunate we are to be here, ripening with the seasons of life. Some never get the opportunity to ripen.

A sacred mystery. Let me live in the curiosity and wonder of that mystery. With faith and fortitude.  

Living gratefully is its own blessing. It doesn't mean everything is going my way and all is right with the world. It does mean that right here, right now I have much to be thankful for.  That energizes and motivates me. Onward!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Teeter totter

Today I am grateful that although Sam hurt his finger in a football game yesterday, that nothing is broken and it isn't serious. I am also grateful for the lamps in our house and the warm light they provide.

I teetered between extremes yesterday. Overwhelmed at times. Gratefully serene at others. 

I took my list of 5 things to be grateful for and did new lists a few times throughout the day. It brought me back to center.

And the word teeter couldn't help but bring a smile to my face as I couldn't help but think of the teeter totter we had growing up. We had plenty of fun with it, and also a few bruised backsides and a few fights to be sure. It was simply a long plank over a piece of piping, as my childhood mind recalls it.

Simple, but plenty of fun. That was when life's ups and downs were about playing. As we get older, life's ups and downs become something else and aren't always fun.

Yet, gratefulness keeps both the highs and lows in perspective.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Today I am grateful for my recovery from alcoholism and those who support me in my daily efforts.

I am also grateful for a sense of balance.  At least today I recognize how balance feels and I have a desire to reside there more. Peace and balance reside HERE.

This morning, however, I am not feeling very balanced. I feel more like I am teetering.

I sense an unsteadiness. I am swaying back and forth between a healthy perspective and an unhealthy one.

Right here, right now, five things I am grateful for are:

1. early morning quiet
2. fresh coffee
3. our dog Oliver
4. cooler morning air
5. being able to walk

There. Less teetering. More stability. Onward!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Peace Resides HERE

Today I am grateful for a nice evening and clear skies to observe the lunar eclipse yesterday. I am also grateful for my physical capabilities.

I want to send a special "Happy Anniversary!" out to my sister Zita and her husband Randy who are celebrating 30 years today! Wishing you thirty more :-)

In the frenzied pace of recent weeks I have lost hold of peace many times. The only way to return to peace is to be in the present moment. That is the only place peace can reside. Right here. Right now.

Peace is lost when I forget to let go of the weight of yesterday and/or I start piling on tomorrow's weight yet today. My job has felt especially weighty lately. Priorities need to be recalibrated.

A simple pause. A breathing in and a breathing out of precious air. Eyes open to the beauty all around. Ears hearing what is making a sound right now, not yesterday, not tomorrow. Right now.
The water in the fountain. An engine in the distance.

And the incredible lunar eclipse-supermoon-blood moon I could sit and watch on a beautiful evening.

Peace resides HERE.