So much to be grateful for
“Live each day in gratitude.”
It’s not just a platitude to me. It’s an integral part of who I am and how I try to live my life. Each and every day I remind myself of all that I have been blessed with, of the multitudes of joys, large and small, that make up my life, of the many, many ways my friends, family, coworkers, lovers and online acquaintances fill my life with happiness.
So, usually, today isn’t any different than the rest of the year for me.
This year is a little different though. My life has seen a lot of changes the past 11 months and I’ve had some sadness to deal with. Deaths in my family and Ad’s, my beloved dog dying, my daughter moving away (both physically and emotionally), the potential loss of my job. My son and I have had some conflict and Ad and my relationship has changed in subtle ways that have made me mourn the “way it was” just a bit, even as I have accepted that, yes, relationships change. I have had to face the aging of my parents in a way that I never have had to before, and in so doing, my own – and my other loved ones’ – mortality.
So yeah, not a banner year for ole Jade.
And yet…so very many things, even in the midst of sadness and uncertainty, to be grateful for.
And I’m not just talking about hot three-way sex. (Though there’s that too.) ;-)
- When my sister died, I got back in touch with her son, my nephew, whom I had not spoken to or seen in 20 years.
- It was also in those dark days, as I wrestled with my own conflicted emotions over her and my relationship and what I was feeling about her death, that I realized (again and again and again) how much I love W, and how blessed I am to have him in my life.
- My daughter moving into her new place (only 15 minutes away but…a world away in so many ways) has been rough. I miss her more than I knew I would. And yet…I am so proud of her, so happy and proud to see her moving forward into adulthood.
- Along with the physical distance, is her newfound emotional distance. This isn’t a bad thing, she’s just expanding her world, and cutting the apron strings. Part of the that new world includes a boyfriend. I have begun to wonder if I will ever have a moment alone with her again…! And yet, god, I am so happy to see her so in love, so happy.
- The job thing…ugh. So freaking scary! And yet it forced me to make some choices and take some chances, once of which resulted in me having a whole new “side” career, and the other in me taking a chance and asking for something I have wanted all along at my job: to work remotely. Which permission, btw, was granted this past week, and which may lead to some other amazing, wonderful things in my life, one of which is the freedom to travel much more extensively, something I have dreamed of for as long as I can remember.
- All the anxiety about loss of income made me take a hard look at my finances – and I didn’t like what I saw. But that’s what it took to make me take control again. It’s painful, but necessary…and guess what? It feels good to regain control.
- The arguments with my son, while painful (I hate conflict!) made me recognize that I can be in conflict, and stand my ground, and survive. They made me see my own strength, and that I am a good parent. And also reminded me of the good things in my relationship with my Ex, and why I loved him (and love him still) as well as solidifying my belief even more that the end of a relationship doesn’t have to be this big, ugly thing. Relationships can end for the right reasons, allowing the participants to move forward in healthy ways. And still be in good relationship with each other.
- I made some huge strides forward in making goals and keeping them, and in doing so faced down a very private fear: that something drilled into my head over and over by my Ex-MIL (I “never stick to anything,”) is actually true. I think I am finally moving past those negative tapes, and perhaps creating some new, positive ones, of my own. Also? All those short stories published and out in the world!
- As a result of the job thing I am also finding a way to move past another insecurity: that of being alone. That’s still a work in progress. BUT…I am filled with gratitude that I have finally found a way (and the courage) to grab it by the horns and wrestle it to the ground. and CONQUER it, damn it.
- I also rediscovered my friendship with my younger sister, through, of all things, kink. No, she and I aren’t getting kinky together(!), but in opening up myself and my world to her when she asked about BDSM, it opened a door to communicating again. Baby steps now, but…yes, gratitude for even those baby steps.
Okay, that’s all with the schmoop for now! I’ll be telling you about some other, sexier stuff that made me grateful later. ;-)