Tag Archives: Friends

Gratitude Friday

1. Lunch with good friends, wise conversation and joyful laughter.

2. Brene’ Brown on Oprah’s Lifeclass. I stumbled on the live streaming version of the first two sessions the other day. So good.

3. Plenty from our garden. We are in the sweet spot where we pick this many tomatoes e v e r y day.

harvest4. Three day weekend AND payday, falling on the same weekend.

5. Making reservations for a month in Waldport. Maybe it seems too early to be making firm plans for next summer already, but I didn’t want to risk someone else getting “our” house.

Bonus Joy: my little family.

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Gratitude Friday

1. Hiking with Eric and Sam. One of my favorite things with two of my favorite boys.

2. Connecting with friends. I know and love some really amazing women, smart and funny and courageous, and whether they are making me laugh with a Facebook post, sending me a sweet email, sitting next to me at a movie, wowing me by posting an amazing picture on Instagram, inspiring me with some brave move, sitting across a table from me sharing an ideas, or leaning in to listen to one of mine, I am so so lucky to have them.

trailsign023. Eric, the pies he makes me, hugs he gives, texts he sends with pictures of Sam, pictures he takes for me while he and Sam are out hiking, the sound of him asleep next to me. He’s my favorite.

4. It’s August, and everything here is still so green.

5. The surprise of a baby bird.

Bonus Joy: Sam, who continues to give me a place to put all my dog love.

Gratitude Friday

1. Creatures great and small. The butterfly that let me take its picture, the bees feeding on my flowers, baby geese and ducks, the heron standing on the edge of the pond, the two moose Eric saw while he was hiking, the two deer we saw on our walk one morning with new antlers covered in velvet, the dog at the gym who wiggled with happy when I pet him, and my Sam.

2. The side front flowerbed, the first one I planted on purpose, the strip of ground between our driveway and the neighbor’s property line. It’s maybe about five years old now, has shifted and filled in, presented the surprise of Rocky Mountain Bee Plants and a Golden Raintree seedling. Some of what has happened there is organic and some because of my intervention, is wild and intentional, and I love the way it looks, gives me hope that with time, effort and attention, the rest of the front yard will grow and develop in the same way.

3. Cucumbers, zucchini squash, and lettuce from our garden. And even though the strawberries didn’t go as well as we’d hoped, Eric ate one the other day, the only berry on any of the plants, and said it was the best he’d ever eaten.

4. Paid work. I had to go in the other day and it didn’t totally suck, and I do like getting paid.

5. Internet friends, people I met online, some I’ve been lucky enough to then meet in person, who are all REAL friends, people who show up when it counts, make me laugh, inspire me to keep doing good and taking care of myself, a genuine tribe.

loftylookoutBonus Joy: Time away, in the green and the quiet, the ability to schedule blog posts so that even though I might be gone I’m not gone gone, no internet so I can unplug for a bit without even having to try, time and space to do nothing but stare out at the view.

LoftyView

Gratitude Friday

1. Hiking. Woke up this morning to no Dexter. No cuddles in bed, no happy dance while I made his breakfast, no invitation to play with his baby. I am realizing with him gone how much he did to lift my mood, bring me joy, every moment I was with him. He was just such a happy dog, full of so much energy, even with cancer. We couldn’t stand to take our normal walk this morning to Lee Martinez Park without him, so we went to Big South and hiked for four hours instead. It was a beautiful hike, good to be somewhere different.

2. Samson. Eric and I took turns on this morning’s hike walking the dog, the dog we have to share, the dog who has brought us out of our grief over two losses now (he came to live with us four months after our Obi died), Mr. Sam. I can tell he’s trying so hard to know what to do, now that he is the only dog, and I’m making sure to do what I can to love him double and let him know that it’s okay, he doesn’t have to do anything, just be the goofy loveable dude he’s always been.

3. Home to Heaven, kind and wise caregivers like Dr. Cooney who will come to your home to help you let your loved one go, to release them gently from their suffering, all the while asking you all kinds of questions, letting you tell stories about how they came into your life, what you love about them, giving you all the time you need. Other than a brief moment when we thought Dexter might throw up (his belly hadn’t been feeling too good all day and the sedative made him feel a little woozy), it was an easy death for Dexter, peaceful and gentle, and I am so grateful for that.

4. Kind, generous friends. I’m not talking about just my local people, I mean all of you out there, people I barely know or have never even met, all of my kind and gentle readers and friends sent us so much love and support yesterday and into today. Knowing we are so loved, being sent so much good energy, made things much lighter — I did not have to carry this sadness alone. We absolutely were not alone in our loss, and I am so so grateful.

5. Eric. I have no idea how I would have made it through Dexter’s (and Obi’s) cancer and loss without him there to support me, to suffer with me, to cheer me up, hold me when I cry, cry with me, help me make the hardest of decisions. Having the right partner, a good fit and a good person, is such a blessing.

Bonus Joy: We didn’t make it a whole week this time, but still I am so grateful for our final days with the sweet Mr. Dexter. These are the last two pictures I ever took of him. I miss him so much, but I’m so glad he won’t have to suffer anymore.

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Gratitude Friday

lilacs

1. Spring. The green of it, the bird song, baby foxes, blooms, gardening, cool weather and rain, warm weather and sun, sitting in the backyard with the dogs and a book, the rush of the river full and fast with melting snow, the long summer stretching out ahead of me.

This is best picture I could get of the three fox kits — they were playing with some small bodied animal they’d caught, running and pouncing, wrestling and chasing each other so that almost every picture came out a blur, and I could only ever capture two of them at a time.

2. Pie. Yesterday I bought a blackberry and raspberry pie at our local market made by My Mom’s Pies, and it was delicious. Oh my. Pie. *sigh*

3. Beaver’s Market. The local market I referred to above. It totally reminds me of the store where/when I grew up, Ditter’s Store, a small neighborhood market. They are about the same size, and both well known for their meat counter and local products. I don’t buy all my groceries there because they are too small to have a very good produce section, but I go as often as I’m able.

4. Love bombing. Writing a post or a letter that offers support and comfort, buying someone a cup of coffee, having a conversation, really listening, following my first thought, my instinct, my gut, the call of Big Love, being able to spread love, ease suffering. And it goes both ways — I got love bombed this week too, a surprise package in the mail and a “voice mail” that included a ninja poetry reading and a lovely soundtrack.

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5. New tires on my car. To be able to buy them without having to worry about how to pay or how we are going to afford it. To have a husband willing to go take care of the purchase for me, who takes care of me in a million other ways.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. He’s still happy to be here, loves to eat and take walks and bark at stuff and play and roll around or just lounge in the backyard, all the things that make Dexter who he is. However, his nose is bleeding more frequently and there’s been lots of sneezing and general stuffiness, causing me enough concern that I postponed my trip to Oregon to visit family. Dexter is welcome to stick around as long as he wants (when diagnosed, he was given 2-3 months and it’s been almost 11), I’m even putting a cherry tomato in the back garden so he’ll have his own plant if he’s still around, but we won’t keep him if his suffering gets to be too great. Until then, I am enjoying every minute, filled with love and gratitude for our life together.

A Special Wishcasting Wednesday

sky

Most Wednesdays, I do a wishcast using a prompt provided by Jamie Ridler. This week, she’s pausing while her Mom deals with a health issue, to be present for that, to help and support her. Rather than skipping the wish, I decided to use it for something special, important.

I wish for healing and comfort. For Jamie’s mom. For Jamie and her siblings as they surround her. For my friend Ann who has cancer and is trying to make some difficult decisions about finances and treatment options. For her partner. For anyone who is dealing with a health crisis and for everyone who loves them, I wish for their suffering to ease, for them to be filled with a sense of well-being.

As I was leaving the gym this morning, after practicing yoga with Ann, after hugging her and telling her I love her, both of us shaking with tears, after reading Jamie’s post about putting everything on pause, I looked up at the sky. I took a picture so you could see what I saw, but what you don’t know from the image is that the birds were singing all around, mad with love for Spring, and something about that comforted me–that and the big blue over my head, the vast love and space that exist no matter how many hard things happen.

May all beings be happy.
May all beings be well.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be free from suffering.

Not Knowing Where to Start

This is one of those posts, kind and gentle reader, that is at this moment as much of a mystery to me as it is to you. All day I have been thinking about what I wanted to tell you, what I had to say, to share, without being sure exactly what I would write. There is a big shift happening in my life right now but it’s not entirely clear to me how this is going to work out so I haven’t formed a neat and tidy way of communicating it. All I know for sure is that I want to tell you the truth.

I finally had an appointment with my new doctor. I have been struggling with fatigue for the past few years, have hypothyroidism and a family history of diabetes, (all kinds, on both sides), am most likely perimenopausal, and don’t get enough rest. I am a highly functioning food addict who has struggled with disordered eating for 30+ years, having gained, lost, and regained the same 20 pounds at least that many times. I want to be free of it, this struggle and dis-ease. I want to be strong, healthy, and whole, with the energy and stamina necessary to do the work I long to do, to live a full life.

Things have to to change. A series of unfortunate incidents with my previous doctors made me realize that I wasn’t being cared for as well as I should be, that I needed to seek out a new perspective, someone who would view me as a whole person (not just a body) and consider all the potential healing modalities available. I chose someone who practices Integrative Medicine, which according to her, “evaluates the patient as a whole. It does not view the patient as a chronic disease, an illness, a list of medications, or a recent hospitalization–but rather as a complex being made up of physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual parts all interdependent and woven together. All of these elements are respectfully addressed in developing strategies to treat illness and more aggressively prevent disease.” Sounds great, doesn’t it?

It was good. But, we have some work to do. I have something to teach her about dealing with people who have a history of dis-ordered eating and self-loathing. For starters: don’t call them obese, no matter what the BMI chart says. And for heaven’s sake, don’t call them obese repeatedly. Call them curvy, solid, voluptuous, thick, full, well-rounded, sturdy, slightly heavier than optimal, weighted down–but don’t call them obese.

Brave Belly

I get it. I need to lose some weight. It’s the same weight I’ve been losing and gaining for years. I already knew that. I get it. It’s there, in part, because I am an incredibly sensitive and porous person, without natural thick skin or any other kind of protective barrier between myself and the energy of my environment, the suffering of every person I encounter, the meanness and brutality of life. I am easily hurt, and I eat my feelings. This in turn makes me bigger, more stable and substantial, heavier, harder to knock down, safer, calmer (at least in theory).

What she said hurt me. I’m pretty sure she thought I was confused about my situation, didn’t realize it was serious, and that this “truth” would motivate me to change. In reality, it sent me into a shame spiral. Thank goodness that same afternoon I was leaving for a retreat with Susan Piver, had a safe, supportive space to go in which to process what she’d said. I truly believe that without my practices, the support and wisdom I have access to, she would have only made things worse with that one word. I’m hoping the next time we meet, I can effectively and kindly communicate this to her so that she is better able to help the next person like me, a person who might not have the support, the tools I do to process and cope.

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For now, I get back to the work of educating myself. Along with Susan Piver, her support and wisdom and our shared practice, I am so grateful for the work and friendship of Rachel Cole. Both of these amazing women, (along with such writers and healers as Geneen Roth and Tara Brach), remind me to always approach myself, my struggles, with gentleness, to give myself space and compassion. In this way I can face this transition, which is going to be so difficult, with wisdom and lovingkindness–because this is so much more about loving myself than about what I do or don’t eat.

I can also count on the people in my life who love me to support me, encourage and help me, to make me smile, to laugh. Like my trainer, who after hearing what my doctor had said was extra encouraging to me when we worked out, telling me much more often than normal what a great job I was doing, (seriously, it was adorable). And my husband, who told me “we’ll figure this out, you’ll know what to do, and I’ll help you,” who loves me, is more concerned with the size of my heart and how much I love him back than a set of numbers anyway, who won’t judge me when I eat a cinnamon roll the size of my head. And my courage circle and other friends who reminded me of how much I am loved, of my real value, my truth worth. And my friends who gave me recommendations when I asked them for a kind and gentle therapist who works with dis-ordered eaters.

I can find and accept help, but more importantly I can trust myself.