Category Archives: Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Ringo sprained his ankle on Sunday, so the walks have been super short to give him some rest. Because we couldn’t go far, we went one morning to the CSU Trial Gardens and looked at all the flowers. I had never heard of Moon Carrot, or Hopflower Oregano!
2. Practice. This week was hard. There was grief, heightened anxiety, a dog recovering from a wonky belly and then walking with a limp, so much tenderness and effort, and when I look out the window, real and figurative, there’s so much chaos, so much violence, so much suffering. In Buddhist philosophy, the teaching is that when we practice, we soften towards ourselves and this in turn softens us towards others which makes us feel connected, beholden, not so alone. This can be difficult, for all kinds of reasons, but when I put my effort towards loving as much as I can, as many as I can, as often as I can, on not giving up, it gets easier — soft enough to open, strong enough to stay. 3. “Here we are stretched between grief and grace.” A friend of mine wrote this line and it feels so right to me, here at the end of the world in the middle of nowhere. Every kindness right now breaks my heart, so tender and raw. It’s like hello and goodbye all in one, simultaneously full and empty.

4. Our garden. It’s not a great moment in time to have complex ptsd. My hypervigilance is off the charts. One thing that helps is to look close, notice, pay attention to the small things that are still working — the bugs and the blooms in particular. Today we got our first cucumbers.

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

5. My tiny family. Hopefully Ringo is on the mend after a rough week. Eric got to go on an adventure, climbed Longs Peak. He ran into a herd of elk on the way up, while it was still dark enough that he almost didn’t see them. I was very happy he made it home safe, that it was fun for him, that he’s strong and healthy enough to do such a thing. We promised each other at the start of all the shut downs and sheltering in place that we’d be extra nice to each other, not fight, because we knew things were about to get difficult, and I’m happy to report we’ve kept that promise.

Longs Peak, elk herd, image by Eric

Sunrise on Longs Peak, image by Eric

Bonus joy: kitchen counter love notes, yard time, Rainier cherries, Beyond Burgers, coleslaw, rain (we are in a stretch of 90+ degree weather, so every time it rains, we are grateful for the cool and hydration), good TV (I watched the third season of Marcella and Chris Fairbanks’ new special Rescue Cactus), good books (finishing up the final book in the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, and I think I’m going to have to read everything else she’s written), good podcasts (I’ve been enjoying Mike Birbiglia’s new one, Working it Out), writing, yoga with Jamie on Sunday mornings, clean sheets, texting with my mom and brother, seeing Chelsey and Jon and Liz (all of whom said how much they love our neighborhood), good neighbors, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.

Gratitude Friday

1. Socially distanced meetings with friends. I got to see two people this week, in person, who I love dearly. I couldn’t hug them or even sit close, but it was SO much better than nothing. I’m not sure if it’s the smart thing, an entirely safe choice, but in light of the reality of how long we might have to keep our distance, I’ve been revisiting what I’m willing to risk and what for. I could realistically not see people I love or go to the pool or get a massage for six months, maybe even a full year, but since there is no way of knowing how long we’ll be living this carefully, I’ve reconsidered some things.

I’ve determined that, at least in this current moment, there are four conditions under which I’ll risk exposure: 1. Walking dogs, or rather for now, the dog. 2. Seeing people I love and trust to be careful, outside, socially distanced, preferably wearing masks. 3. Something necessary that can’t easily be accomplished any other way, like plants from the nursery. 4. Things that are lower risk which support my overall wellness, like getting an occasional massage or getting in the pool. This came in handy this week when deciding whether to risk aqua aerobics (which as far as I could tell only had two people signed up) or sign up for two lanes another time when we might be the only ones there. Eric and I determined if getting in the pool was the goal and I don’t care about seeing the people at aqua aerobics, that reserving two lanes was better, and we had the whole pool to ourselves, and the hot tub was open.

2. Our garden. Lilies, delphiniums, coneflowers, and daisies are blooming. We’ve got a baby cucumber, lots of green tomatoes, lettuce, and more kale than we can eat. So far the only life we’ve seen interested in the birdbath are the yellow jackets, but I’m okay with that as long as they leave our honey bees alone. We added a solar powered fountain to try and entice some birds. There are also more dragonflies, butterflies, grasshoppers, and moths than I’ve seen in a long time.

3. Practice. I’ve said it before and it continues to be true: this saves me, over and over.

4. Morning walks. We snuck in another walk close to the river this week. There really were too many mosquitoes and we won’t do it again until they are gone, but I love it there so much that it was a good thing even with the irritation.

Beaver! Image by Eric

Kitchen counter love note

5. My tiny family. Having Eric’s support and companionship keeps me alive. Laughing with him is probably my favorite thing in the world. There’s no one I’d rather be with when things get hard. Speaking of hard, Ringo has had a wonky belly this week. When you just lost a dog, it’s especially difficult when the only one left doesn’t feel good. He’s pretty happy though because his bland diet is rice and boiled hamburger. He’s on the mend and it wasn’t anything bad, so I’m grateful for that.

Bonus joy: Strawberry rhubarb yogurt with granola and berries, Rainer cherries, Dot’s pretzels, a big salad, the swallowtail butterflies in my backyard, our Golden Raintrees getting ready to bloom, texting with Chloe’ and Barb while watching Maria Bamford, hanging out with Mikalina talking about ALL the things, naps, yard time, texting with my mom and brother, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep, stories about people who’ve had COVID-19 and recovered, my friend Liz reminding me of something I said and how that led to something I’d written and how that brought a clarity to something I’m working on and felt like a sign from the Universe, the people who load my car with groceries at the store and the ones who shopped for those groceries and the ones who stocked the shelf with those groceries and the drivers who delivered them and the people who cooked and cleaned and packaged the food and especially those who grew and harvested the food.