Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Counting Our Blessings

Job lay-offs are sudden and often unexpected.  Even if fears of being laid off are "entertained" prior to an actual lay-off, it seems that denial protects us from ever truly dealing with the realities and  fears that go with  actually being unemployed.  Of course, we all entertain brief thoughts of “what if”, and then somehow try to envision just how strong we would be.

We are learning fast  how to survive.  My husband jumps at any chance to work, even if only part-time and not being healthy enough to go out and work myself, I pray as though our life depended on God and then cut and sew like everything depends on me! This combination of praying and then working as hard as we can has always seemed to work, albeit, we sometimes work harder but not always smarter!

There are, however, dark nights of the soul when fear and anxiety seem to take hold and I struggle to think and plan what is next. I have found this to happen when I am too tired to really be up to solving small issues let alone big ones and how big our problems can seem during such times! I have recently realized that it is best to count our blessings instead, and remember other times when things looked bleak and tiny miracles seemed to find us, making life brighter again.  I am also learning that “acting if” and “faking it till you make it” are strategies needed when my faith is shaky and all seems bleak.*

I have always considered myself a mentally strong person and my determination never lacking, but sustaining such attitudes, especially with health issues is very hard, and perhaps impossible. Never did I envision that age and illness, much less cloudy thinking would be my partners when I faced such trials of life.  No wonder seniors fall prey to scams and lotteries.  Gambling appears a real solution when the chips are down.  I smile and count my first blessing, that I haven’t succumbed to desperation, as I have in the past (see my previous blog).

So number one blessing: I am NOT desperate YET.  Number two: the sun will come up again today and push the darkness and gloominess away, and it won't cost me anything, except a little less sleep and effort to reassure myself that there is enough means for tomorrow, and there is number three.  And number four: I still have a lifetime of collected materials and scraps and notions in my craft storage room and number five: hands eager to make special creations to delight my heart and soul and hopefully those of others as well.

What about food and shelter and heat?  They are needed too.  Today I have a roof over my head and just as my stored materials, I have a reserve of fat and no hunger yet.  There’s six and seven, and eight: I have many quilts with scraps to make more, so I have heat as well.

Number nine: I have a store on ETSY and the love and support of my husband and daughter to keep my wares posted, and number ten: purpose to my day, to stitch and create, no matter my present physical limits keeping me from my careers in nursing or teaching as before.

Ten blessings and I haven’t even gotten out of bed yet!  That’s enough to start my day and I’ve always said, “Starting is half the battle”.  See my friends, if you are like me and facing what appears to be overwhelming challenges that weigh you down, look around. What are your blessings?

Each day starts anew with enough light to push away the darkness and with much prayer, God’s grace and a bit of my own effort,  there is enough for today, and a day filled with purpose besides!  Mustering a bit of  courage and “acting as if” or “faking it till we make it” and we will  and you will too! And number eleven: the lilacs are in bloom again.  Could there be anything nicer? Can you smell them?
*Credit to my good friend, CC, for this great advice!