June 28, 2022 (29?) – a return to my 3 things.

I tell people all the time that starting my daily list of 3 things changed my mindset and ultimately the course of my life. Gratitude has amazing power.

I liked posting them online bc it somehow helped me to be accountable. These last weeks I have gotten away from posting them because I published my own gratitude journal on Amazon and now write in that every day. But I enjoyed the positive feedback from others when they would express their own reflections on gratitude.

So today I am on a bus in London, riding to Portsmouth to take a ferry to Normandy. I am grateful for this travel opportunity; I am grateful for my freedom; I am grateful for all of the armed forces, past and present- for their families, for their sacrifices, for their courage and patriotism.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and can make your own daily list of gratitude. It might just change your perspective – or even your life.

A poppy in Portsmouth, England.

So, I wrote the text above the image on the morning of the 28th. Now it is 12:23am on the 29th and I feel the need to add more. As I attempted to board the ferry I took my second fall of this trip. My knee just buckled and I collapsed. I felt kind of badly for the little guy trying to pick me up, bless his heart. So, I’m on day 3 of a 14 day tour and I’ve fallen twice in two days due to my left knee – and oh did I mention – I have a boot on the right foot due to a stress fracture.

This is me in Portsmouth before the Ferry to Normandy. After my first fall in London I bought a knee brace thinking that would solve the problem. Wrong.

So, in these wee hours (and for most of the ferry ride) I am feeling a roller coaster of emotions. Gratitude and perspective, my go to saviors, seem to be battling embarrassment, pain, disappointment, and a big one for me – being able to accept help from others. I have hurt several other parts of my body by falling twice and trying to walk has me all out of wack.

I am facing some really strong demons alone in this hotel in Normandy. God seems to think I’m ready. I trust Him. You see for more than 20 years I’ve been made to feel ashamed when I need help. That’s a tough one. Enter humility.

I was utterly embarrassed being wheeled off that ferry in a wheel chair. Humiliation hit even harder when I was so afraid I would fall again, rather than step up on the bus I turned and burst into tears. I was ashamed to accept the help. And afraid no one would really catch me if I tried and failed. I did step on the bus and several people helped me. I am surrounded by so many kind and generous genuine people who want to help me. I need to let go and let them. Why is that so hard? Trust.

Well, this moment I am grateful that I am alive and thriving in a world where kindness and love abound, truly; I am grateful that many of these folks who were complete strangers a few days ago are stepping up to help me as if we’ve been through the trenches together; most of all I am grateful for my little group that I’m leading on this tour. (I use that term loosely at the moment). But their support, positivity, bright outlook, genuine loving care for me tells me I have value. I know – I should already know that – but to see it in their kind faces and feel it in their arms as they literally hold me up and to hear it in their voices as they try to soothe me or cheer me up – what a ginormous gift. I am so grateful for the people around me right now. …in France.

So – Fields of Poppies originated on one these tours and now is at the forefront. God bless all that read this and I hope you can hug someone today for me! Tell them their worth – and don’t let go of the embrace until they do – that’s how you know their love bucket is full.

May 19, 2022 – 12 days ’till closing.

3 things – I am grateful to have Baby Bird in the nest for a few days, even if she is too busy to hang out.

I am grateful that, by the grace of God, in 12 days I will close on the sale of my home and I am assured my final order for divorce will also finally be signed by the judge – Praise God. It’s been over 2.5 years and I think the stress has aged me 10 – but I have never been more at peace.

I am grateful for my dear friend who celebrated her birthday today. She means the world to me and I would be lost without her.

#choosejoy #gratitude #3things

On Wednesdays we wear pink…

Tuesday, May 10 2022 – 3 things

I am so grateful for fun memories with my kids. My daughter and I dressed as Regina George and her mother one year for Halloween. Our costumes were totally lost on the crowd we were with but we loved it.

I am grateful for frozen peas because they are the best way to ice my back.

I am grateful for the beautiful day we had today. I so love the spring.

#choosejoy #gratitude #3things

Mother’s Day Eve – 3 things

May 7, 2022

I am grateful, oh so grateful, for the 3 greatest loves of my life. Alexis, Michael, and Rachel. My children. They do their best every day, as we all do … I am so proud of each of them and will forever be blessed by their love.

Happy Mother’s Day.

#choosejoy #3things #gratitude

May I Return to my 3 things.

May 1, 2022

This weekend I watched my friend of 23 years say goodby to her husband within 10 days of a cancer diagnosis. Total shock.

Experience, strength, and hope – these are the 3 things I am grateful for tonight as I put my head on my pillow, because they are what my friends, what my people, offer me to hold me up. And it’s usually provided with a bucket of faith. I am grateful for my health and my healing so that I can, in turn, hold up others.

#choosejoy #gratitude #3things

3 thing April 12 – 2nd day of spring break – I’d rather be at the beach!!

I was a wreck – so nervous.

So, day 1 I got sinus surgery and it’s a 3-5 day recovery with 2 weeks of no strenuous activity. I did this over spring break so as not to miss more time in my classroom since the repeated sinus infections that knocked me out so bad doc gave me a Covid test every time, kept me from my job on multiple occasions. Then I got Covid!!! So it’s been a very rough school year.

So here is my list of gratitude I am grateful for the surgeon and health care professionals that did an amazing job of calming my nerves, healing my pain, and giving me tender and full attention. Special shout-out to Chris, the recovery nurse that was generous with the pain meds but more importantly, started singing I am woman…how did she know?

I am grateful to have people to surround me with their love and care as I recover at home.

I am grateful that I call tell the pressure behind my eyes – the one that made them feel like they would just explode out of my face – well, it’s gone. Praise God.

On another note…

I was called selfish and a bad teacher this week by another teacher. I was told I lacked commitment to my students and criticized how much school I had missed, my lessons and instruction. Although she has never been in my room. Nonetheless, it really hurt my feelings. She is a friend. No conversation, no asking me if I’m ok or why my absences have been so many. (See sinus story above).

Hmmmm chronic illness… Choosing to take care of my physical, or mental health for that matter, is not selfish. It’s called self-care.

I have accepted that she was having a bad day, is overwhelmed by her job, and chose to lash out at me. Perhaps even something personal going on as well. Teaching is hard and very demanding and we tend to ignore our own needs ALL THE TIME. So I repeat, self care is not selfish.

Basically? We had a misscommunication as I failed to receive information about a student. That prompted the unprofessional email. Anyway – I’m disappointed she was not made to apologize or did not do it on her own accord – as she also sent this to 2 administrators. I was told it was handled and now it’s a personnel issue and they can’t tell me anything. They printed my email of concern and put it in the file of this incident Total cop out.

I don’t want to reply to her attack in kind. I thought about bringing her flowers and just saying – something is clearly upsetting your life and I hope whatever it is gets better for you .. and give her the flowers. Be the bigger person and give her. Chance to apologize. She’s a teacher – she’s under too much stress – she snapped and had a target that morning and unfortunately it was me. I can empathize. But I can’t accept the personal attack. Standing up for yourself is a part of self care. I cannot let it go unnoticed. She is my friend. This could be just what SHE needs.

I am grateful that I have grown is gratitude, grace, and peace and I hope to continue to help others grow as well. You are never alone. Ask for help. Reach out – someone will reach back.

Have a great day everyone. And be kind to one another. You never know what their struggles are.

#gratitude #3things #choosejoy #selfcare #bekind

April 7, 2022 Daily 3 things after a good night’s sleep.

I am grateful for this new day that can be whatever I choose it to be; I am grateful for the love, care and support of those around me; I am grateful for timers on coffee pots so it’s hot and ready right when I wake up! #choosejoy #3thing #gratitude #movingforwardwithpurpose

April 6, 2022 Gratitude should be spoken.

Today. Hmmmm – today the Lord gave me breath and pushed me out of my bed. I am grateful. Today I had food to eat for breakfast and a car to drive to a job (after a hot shower and fresh clean clothes attained) I am grateful. Today my feelings were hurt. It’s was shocking and made me hide in the corner so as not to show my tears. I am grateful for the friend that stood and listened and the other friend who offered a hug – not because she heard us talking but because she could tell I was upset and she cares about me. I am grateful. I listened to a play with students who don’t like to read aloud. I am grateful for the actors who recorded the words. I went to my second job after a faculty meeting and I was grateful to have a colleague inquire as to my health and day, rather than just walk by saying nothing. I am grateful. I did my job and was told thank you for being here and I heard the genuine gratitude in her voice. I am grateful. I got to enjoy a lovely dinner out with a lovely friend who shares many experiences with me. I am grateful God allowed us to find one another in all this chaos. My son called me. I am grateful. My daughter called me. I am grateful. I worry about the person who hurt my feelings today, who lashed out irrationally and unprovoked. I will pray for her tonight and I am grateful that it is my choice to decide how this will affect me. Don’t get me wrong, it hurts and it ruined my day because until now I thought this person was my friend. I believe she still is but perhaps needs some grace and prayer. I am grateful that I have the power and strength to give her mine, my grace and prayer. I’m in my bed now. I’m grateful for the comfort of my pillow for it has been a difficult and long day. I am grateful for my life. For my mistakes. For my loves. For my losses. For my wins – I am grateful for me. Finally, I am grateful for the medicine I take at night that keeps me healthy. This world is so crazy – speak your gratitude.

3 things: forgiveness; grace; prayer #choosejoy #gratitude #3things