Saturday, January 3, 2009

Remembering to Be Grateful

There are three stages of a woman’s life: maiden, mother, and crone. I am in the latter category and I’m not sorry a bit. I wish the body worked a bit better, but I’ve no one to blame but myself. Wisdom really does come with age. As a maiden I thought I knew it all already, as a mother I despaired of every knowing what my grandmothers knew. As a crone, I know I don’t know it all, but I’m working on it.

Rereading Sarah Breathnach's Simple Abundance each year is a nice way of reminding myself to bring into my life the elements that enrich my soul. In these times of economic uncertainty it is good to remember that most of us already have everything we need to be happy if we are mindful to bring it into our lives: gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, and beauty.

Remembering to practice gratitude is key to being happy. It may seem difficult to feel gratitude at this time of recession and upheaval. My husband is going to lose his job. I am grateful that he has a pension from his previous employer, the federal government. He will be twice the husband with half the salary, but we are more fortunate than those who are a paycheck away from homelessness. As daughter-in-law Ana said, “We have each other. We’ll be all right.”

In inventorying that which I have to be grateful for, besides reasonably secure income which is only a measure of how society views us, not how we view ourselves, I have my family and friends. I cannot think of anything more important for a woman than female friends. I am blessed with wonderful women in my life in the form of an aunt, cousins as dear as sisters, and very special friends.
Life long friend Nikki

I was not always so blessed. While I’ve always had wonderful female relatives and a life-long friend, there was a time when I lived far away from all of them, when my world shrank to just my immediate family and when I needed friends most there were none at hand. I will never so isolate myself again. It may be that you can meet a friend from the past and take up wherever you left off, but friendships, as in all relationships, are like gardens and need tending. When we don’t they get weedy. Above is a picture of my daughter Amy with dear friend Marion.

daughter-in-law Ana and wonderful friend Jo

So today, as I go about bringing some order and simplicity to my environment, I will remember to be grateful for a place to live and those things (mostly my dear books), but also for having so many wonderful women in my life. Out of practicing these things I know will come harmony and beauty along with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.


Stephanie Frieze said...

Tonight as a special candle made by a friend burns, I reflect on this third day of 2009 and feel gratitude for the end of a crisp Winter’s day well spent accomplishing homey things like walking the dog, doing the laundry, cleaning the kitchen (there’s a price to be paid for having my son cook an Indian dinner).

I am grateful for the warmth of my house and the warmth of my family and a lovely Yuletide winding down. With luck, we will celebrate Twelfth Night with the children, assuming the baby is recovered from his sniffles.

I am grateful for a four-year-old grandson who brings my husband magic rocks tied in a box complete with a magic wand.

I am grateful for one more day at home. Then back to the world.

Lorraine Hart said...

I'm grateful for our friendship and shared love of this life, the shared joy of letting it dance on a page.

much love,
Lorraine xo