Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Other 75...

On Thursday, Small Success will include 25 people/things for which I am grateful, as part of my answer to my own boast during a conversation, "I could name 100 things to be grateful for in life without breaking a sweat."  Writing an article with 25 things is a long post, so I will try to limit my commentary on those gifts I acknowledge in this piece, as I'm going to try to come up with the remainder to make good on my words.   Here are the first 25 more....

100.  The beach on the Bolivar Peninsula is a favorite place on Earth: The Beach house may not be there, but it's still a stretch of heaven to me both of past memories and present beauty.

99.  My daughter Anna is potty trained.  I am almost down to only one in diapers.  That hasn't happened since before May of 1996.  

98.  Having a sense of humor; it keeps me sane and everyone else laughing when life is insane.

97.  The Rosary:  I cannot say it without discovering something new even if the prayers remain the same every time.

96.  Music:  I love to dance, I love to sing (though no everyone loves hearing me), and so I love good music and introducing my kids to tunes I love.  It is a joy of this world and the next.   We can't have a perpetual wedding feast without good songs.

95.  Good Priests:  I've known many at the various parishes I've attended over 48 years of living, and in many cases, I never got to say "Thank you" for the wisdom, counsel and service they gave me, be it at a hospital, or while in graduate school, or when I showed up out of the blue and very needy on occasion for steel to get through a hard trial.  

94,  Fishing.  I don't do nearly enough of it these days, but it is a great love of mine, to stand in the warm gulf with a line in the water and wait.  It doesn't matter if I don't catch anything, though it's always even more fun if I do, I love it.

93.  Writing.  Most of the time I sit down and discover what I think as I go, but sometimes, I sit with a purpose, and when something I write means something to someone else, it makes me happy for the time I spent.

92. Gardens.  My husband loves growing and tending and creating them.  I love how they look, and love harvesting from the ones he cultivates for us during the summer.

91. My third child loves beauty and romantic love, and she encourages me to look after my appearance, to pay attention to my health, and for me to plan date nights.  She gets the importance of her father and me getting time when we are not on the clock, even if circumstances don't allow for it to be very often.  Still, she has a kind and generous heart, and wants to give us that opportunity when she can.

90.  Money.  It seems weird to write that but I'm grateful for the means to do what we do.

89. People who write brilliant beautiful and funny things, like the Anchoress, Mark Shea, Simcha Fischer, Rebecca French, the guys at Creative Minority Report, Larry D, A Mothering Spirit, Sarah Reinhart and Lisa Hendey.  I know there are tons more and I could keep listing, but this is already a long list post, so I'll just say, there are more and I love them all.

88. My second son in particular, has the great gift of humor, though he sometimes uses it at the wrong time, and he also is very sensitive.  He teaches us to pay attention to what we say at all times, to work on having gentle and generous dispositions, and when things are difficult, to pray more often. He requires I be vigilant (a virtue I lack) in organization, and in anticipating, he keeps me awake, so I don't sleepwalk through this parenting business.

87.  My dance teacher.  She taught me long ago, but the lessons she gave still work. Stand tall, tummies in, chin high, smile, eyes front, you're beautiful.  Tall like the sun, a sunflower, be proud, be strong, be beautiful.  She'd say while going around correcting form.  I can still hear her when I suck in my stomach and straighten my back.

86.  My piano teachers.  I still remember many of the pieces they taught me, and when I'm frustrated or sad, sometimes, words can't get out the feelings, but those pieces on the piano can.

85.  Scripture.  This year I'm reading the entire bible --using a great book, My Daily Catholic Bible, to do so, and the more I read, the more I love it.  

84.  My brother Danny, who sometimes calls out of the blue, and whenever he visits or calls, it is always something that brings joy.  Back when I first became a mom for the first time, he came over and played the guitar for me, making up silly songs about my infant son. I still remember them and the smile they brought to my face when I was coping with feeling utterly overwhelmed by it all.  

83.  My sister Jennifer, who dropped everything to come and help my family when Paul was in the hospital even though she was newly pregnant. (Very Marian of her, but then she is that way).  I love our visits. Last Lent, we called each other each day, I'm sort of hoping we might pick that up again.

82.  My brother Joe --always closest in age to me, and most of my misadventures from high school include him, he challenges me, he lives close by and I love when he brings his family to visit.  I also love that he fills my house with beautiful music on the piano.  I think the piano loves him too, "Finally.....something new!" the 88 keys exclaim.  

81.  Having a gym membership. My mother gave it to me for Christmas, and just as it feels good to work if you've not worked for while, it feels good to work out, even as the muscles rebel against being made to move.  

80.  Teachers from high school who believed I could do something.  I know I didn't think so, and no amount of telling me would convince me, but there were some faculty who saw something I didn't, and somehow, via patience, expectations and persistence, coaxed my brain to work more than I knew it could.

79.  Wild flowers.  They're my favorite, the way they dot the Texas hillsides and highway sides.  I love seeing flashes of red, pink and blue among the long green as we drive by at 65+, such that when I've stopped the car to look at them, they're different than I imagine.

78.  Cuddles from Anna. She loves to curl up cat like in my arms.  I'm enjoying this youngest one even as she continues to grow up.

77.  My son Paul's sweetness.  Yesterday I announced we were going to the store.  He brought me my coat, and when I took it, he high fived me for getting ready.

76. Faith's kindness.  Yesterday, she did the dishes without complaint. This morning, she brought me hot cocoa with whipped cream and cinnamon.  She does little things all the time with great love.  I remain forever grateful for her kind heart.

(I'll post 25 more tomorrow, and 25 more on Thursday).   Count your blessings, they're all part of small success.

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