It's a time to be with family and friends and reflect on the things we are grateful for. Here's why I'm thankful...
- Family who listen and encourage me. We all need a little unconditional love in our lives.
- A husband who respects me, is honest with me, trusts me, treats me as an equal team partner and encourages me to be independent and be myself, however quirky that is. I treat him the same way.
- Friends I can depend on and who I can open up to. They know I am there for them too.
- Not everyone I know is 100% healthy but it could always be worse.
- My Celiac Disease diagnosis. Yes, really. All those tummy aches were NOT all in my head. I never knew it was possible to feel this good until I went gluten-free.
- Having accepted that we all have limits and sometimes this means saying no or slowing down when things start to feel overwhelming. Denial of this in the past has meant hitting nasty walls and being forced to stop and rest. If I'm like a sponge, I'm a fully saturated sponge right now with no room to absorb anything extra like current affairs including ISIS or Ebola. That's not an excuse, it's just a temporary coping mechanism where I let everything extra flow over the top without absorbing it. I can't take on any more worries than I currently have or I feel like I will drown. Maybe next week. I remember being obsessed with Meech Lake Accord, 9/11, H1N1, and SARS.
- Being addicted to nothing: not drugs, not alcohol, not smoking, not gambling, not shopping, not sugar, not chocolate, not coffee. Freedom.
- Having stepped outside of my comfort zone to pursue my passions including going to university, traveling, pursuing fitness challenges, exploring multiple career paths, meeting new people, not allowing myself to remain stuck in a rut and more.
- Independence. I live in a country where men and women can drive, own property, make their own reproductive health choices, vote, work, have freedom of expression and of association. I'm happy to have lived on my own so that I can appreciate all the little things that being in a relationship make that much easier. I never want to take that for granted or be taken for granted.
- Not waiting for things to be better before living my life. This is as good as it gets. We are supposed to have items in our inbox to deal with. There will always be chores to do and as soon as they are all crossed off, others appear, whether I put them there or someone else does. The trick is to fit something enjoyable in every day. You never know when your last day will come. Don't try to get everything in order first before you do something you enjoy or you may never get to it at all. If you found out today that you had one month left to live, are you doing the things that are most important right now? If not, why not? Start now.
- I'll be turning 45 soon. Sometimes I wish it were 55 or 65 or 649 so I could retire and travel more or volunteer or train more. Whenever I have a day off, it is jammed full and very busy. I'm pretty sure if I didn't have daily goals to accomplish, I would be a bit lost. Life is what it is and I try to make the most of it every day.
- A job that allows me to not have to clip coupons all the time and that allows me to eat healthy food and embrace an active lifestyle. There was a time when I scrimped together $50 to replace a broken basement window and that was a really big deal.
- A job that allows me to grow and continue to learn new things and try new challenges.
- Financial literacy. This means living within my means and not carrying credit card debt beyond what I can pay off each month. I shop second-hand and consignment. I own a car that I will drive into the ground over the next 20 years. We take vacations we save up for. Hubby makes, maintains and fixes things. I do too. Well, there is a mortgage but we are working on that.
- Sometimes I look back and think I could have lived more simply and made other choices more true to my values but when you are married, you make compromises and want your partner to be happy too. I can't imagine ever being able to retire but I don't want to work forever. I see myself living in an 8x8' room eating macaroni on my mattress on the floor as my retirement. It worries me. That's where the 649 plan comes in, except that I never buy tickets. Have I mentioned I worry and fret too much? Fine Fettle Frets. Right.
Words of Wisdom:
In the past week I have heard a few gems and taken them to heart to reflect upon...
- Don't be afraid to say no more often.
- Honour your top priorities. If it's not an absolute yes, then it's a no.
- "Never apologize. Never explain."-- Winston Churchill (also, never justify.)
- Respect yourself. You're the best judge of what's right.
- When you don't know what to do, do nothing until it becomes apparent what is the right thing to do. It is not our place to insert ourselves in someone else's life when they aren't asking for help, even when it is well-intentioned.
- Honour your resistance. Sometimes no action is the best action of all.