Thankful Thursday | May Twenty-Sixth
Spring has truly sprung here in south central New Hampshire and it's magnificent. We were pretty enamored with fall last year (if you remember this post), and spring has been just as magical, in reverse.
Which is why I've been a bit more quiet than usual here on el blog. I have ideas for posts coming out of my ears (especially in the shower, where the think factory really explodes oh-so-stereotypically). But after the emotional and physical ups and downs and round-and-rounds of the past six+ months, I'm focusing solely on input until I feel inspired again. And the input that surrounds me is filling my wells fast.
May has been about stopping to smell the roses, or the tulips and lilies of the valley, more literally. Pausing to listen to birds sing, and breezes blow as trees slow dance, gently rocking back and forth. Yes, really. Watching squirrels run up and down trees, and water flow in streams again. Sitting at the lake with new girlfriends, watching our children explore and bravely dip into the water as rays of sun break through clouds behind them. Snuggling with my daughter, or sitting on the deck listening for woodpeckers and owls. Laughing hysterically at the things that come out of a three year old's mouth as she, too, blossoms in the environment surrounding her. Sleeping, early and as much as possible. Cooking and eating thoughtfully. And caring for myself whenever I think of it, whether than means putting on a little lipstick for a brighter smile, remembering to wash my face before bed, taking my supplements (more than twice a week), or encouraging myself to move my body a little each day.
I started teaching a kid's dance class called, "Dance Party!" (I should really say hosting the class, because I turn on the music and let them dance as their bodies want to, without structure or rules) and soon, I will be teaching a more structured, choreographed weekly dance class for women in my little town. And because of both of those things, I've been poring through new music libraries to find tunes that make my butt wiggle and loving the sensation of being moved by music again.
Back to the basics. Only accepting input that refills the vault and recharges the batteries, and it feels so good. May has been a beautiful month, and now, as we transition into June — my birthday month — I feel a lot of hope again. Hope and gratitude.
This week, I am grateful...
For the motivation to begin my Rosetta Stone Spanish course (and to finish it this summer).
It's been a long time coming. Like, a long, long time. I've intended to learn Spanish ever since I fell in love with a man for whom Spanish was language numero uno (even though English is an equal second for him). My Ex always told me, and I always knew it was true, that I was missing out on a part of him and a full understanding of his culture by not knowing the nuances of his language (there are far more nuances in Spanish than there are in English). More than once, language was at the root of a disagreement; not, like I said, because of inferior English on his part. But because he would lack the words in English (because they don't exist) that he needed to explain something in a way he would be able to in Spanish. Meanwhile, I would see something one way, with the one word at my disposal. I gifted myself a new language this past Christmas, and now, six months later, I'm motivated to ensure that this part of my daughter's culture stays alive within her, and to share it with her (and, um, also so that she cannot have conversations with her father that mommy doesn't understand!). I am really excited to begin this journey, and am loving how it feels to move my mouth in new ways, to hear the difference in sound by twisting my tongue differently and most importantly, to stretch my mind. The ability to speak French has opened innumerable doors for me, and I'm thrilled to open myself up to even more through a third language.
That my daughter is in school one extra day per week for the next three weeks.
It was an immeasurably huge gift for Amalia's teacher to find space for her one additional day per week for the rest of the school year. Somehow, three mornings is so different than two mornings, as selfish as it may seem (and sometimes feels). It's not. Because alone time, as I said in this post, is really the best thing someone can offer to a newly single mom. There is so much I am processing, so many tanks that need refilling, and a lot of thinking that needs to be done in order to move forward into what's next. I have lots of writing to do this spring and summer, and realistically, solid thinking and writing can only be done effectively during the very few hours that an adorable little person is not saying, "Mama!? Mama!? Mama!?" every fifth second. So thank you, Roz, and thank you, Universe. Mama's really grateful for this one.
For the return of positive feelings.
Like hope. Like caring about myself. Like patience. Like sexiness. Like peace and calm. Like joy, small as those pockets are here and there, they are at least here and there now. Like gratitude. Without these feelings in the repertoire, a person's spirit will starve out. And I was getting close to feeling completely dead inside a year ago. But I feel myself coming back, just like the signs of spring outside my window.
For learning again.
Not just Spanish, though that has sparked the deep thirst in my brain for new information. Beginning in two weeks, I will be taking a photography course — and probably an intensive workshop or two — with the New Hampshire Institute of Art over the summer. Photography is a passion of mine that's always remained present but unattended. Recognizing my eye, my Ex bought me a gorgeous camera the Christmas before my daughter was born so that I could capture her life through that eye. It was definitely one of the best, if not the best gift I've ever received. I've taken a couple of photography courses, one of which you read about here, to learn how to properly take advantage of such a gift, but I'm thirsty for more. I practice constantly, but need the reinforcement and repetition of the basics, and more advanced tactics, to move forward in my skill set. So I am super thrilled to spend one evening each week this summer honing that skill and attending to that passion to see where it takes me.
For my parents.
This one deserves its own blog post (and is on my long list of "to-do" posts) but for now, it simply needs to be acknowledged that nothing happening in my life right now would be possible without my parents. With few questions, they have lovingly opened up their arms, their home, their possessions and by extension, a community here that has provided so much to my daughter and I in the effort toward resetting our hearts and minds. My daughter is too young to properly express her feelings about all of the change in her life to us. Because of this, what my parents have done for her could go unacknowledged. But without needing to explain anything, their support has given my sweet girl a home base with a sense of safety and calm, a new network of friends and community, and a steady and unyielding stream of love that has allowed her to blossom with true joy. Her smile these days expresses what she is too little to say with her mouth. I would not be sane, or experiencing positive feelings, or opening myself up to learn and grow, or even be able to be grateful without them. I was in a very bad place when I arrived on their doorstep. Probably the worst of my life. And knowing they are here for me unconditionally right now, placing no pressure on any aspect of my being, is healing me in every way possible. It's true, time is the great equalizer. And they are giving me the time to come back into myself and soar again. There is not enough thanks and gratitude in the world to offer them, but I offer everything I've got!
Okay, Your Turn! What Are The Three Things You Are Most Grateful For, Right Now In This Moment? Please Share In The Comments Below.