Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mission Possible - Being Grateful

JOYPic by mngl on Flickr

The mission from the
Joy Rebels this week is to 'personalise' gratitude and discover what makes our world rock. (I might be getting a bit Zen and crystally in my old age). There are truly reasons to be grateful even when the world seems to be spinning out of control. It's time to focus on the positive, slap myself out of malaise, realise how wonderful my life and the people in it really are. I'm enjoying this assignment at Landcom. I'm writing policy and procedures and I find it easy and logical. Despite the low wage, I'm settling in and hope they keep me on a little longer. Since work gives me intellectual joy, well yeh . .I'm pretty cool with it. But still getting depressed and focusing on the negative . . . I'm really having trouble shaking it.

So that's the yukky stuff out of the way . .but as with all things, I have much, much, much, to be grateful for, bucketloads to be thankful for so lets see if this self-affirmation stuff is working:

I am grateful, no 'joyful' that I live in a free democracy where the biggest whine is whether gays should marry or women should be allowed to wear the hijab at school. I don't mean to trivialise these issues but we have free health and education for those who need it. Social security, good quality inexpensive food and freedom of speech. A multicultural society, a country that made it to Federation without a Civil War . . and whilst it's not perfect, I live in a free, liberal, socially democratic country where I can say what I like and vote with my feet. And so can everyone else!

I'm grateful for the ties that bind my family. Whilst they’re stretched a little at the moment, our blood will always be thicker than water

Unlike almost 30% of the globe, I have a roof over my head, a warm bed, food in my belly, running water and a flushing toilet. I am eternally grateful that I did not have the bad luck to be born in places like Darfour, or Afghanistan or any number of war torn and God-forsaken places where people are cold and hungry or exhausted and beaten.

I am eternally grateful for my daughter’s ability to talk sense, reason and optimism when I am wrist-slashingly depressed. It doesn’t happen often but it has happened a lot lately. She sees sense, the other side of the story, the glass half full and is proactive in providing solutions to what sometimes seem like insurmountable problems. Of course they're not. I just need her to keep telling me that I am worthy as my disbelief in my self-worth continues to manifest.

I'm grateful for a strong son whose physical labour (even if it comes at the price of the occasional temper tantrum) helps to keep my environment neat, tidy and under control. Both of us hate doing things alone so it’s hard to pin us down for a day of tidying and fixits but when it happens, it’s cheerful and cooperative and at the end of the day, ultimately satisfying. Next weekend, weather permitting, one more irritation - my incredibly messy yard and his incredibly messy bedroom will be sorted - until the next time of course!

I am also very grateful for robust health despite the fact that I abuse my body dreadfully. I know so many who suffer and those who care for them whether it's from chronic illness or pain. Many of these sufferers and their carers are much younger than I but never complain. They put up with their agony, face their demons and continue to be an amazing source of inspiration to me and others. As I age, I will never complain about my creaky knees or failing eyesight.

Not as exciting as some but I am grateful for my life experiences. Some have been negative and devastating. Others have been exhilarating and breath-taking. My life experiences have been ying and yang, they have given me balance. I am in that respect a true Libran with an ability to weigh the good against the bad. To see both sides of the argument and to develop empathy for others because in many cases, I have tasted a little of what they are going through!

I am also grateful for sunshine. And apart from the past month which has been uncharacteriscally grey and wet, the sun shines more often than not. Sunshine makes even the most gloomy outlook seem a little less so. It warms more than the skin, lights up my life and gives me a reason to be happy about my station in life.

I am very grateful for friends who persist with me despite the fact that I am largely a social recluse and often renege on invitations to go out (mostly due to finances but partly due to the fact that I just can’t be bothered much of the time). They persist, still call, drop by, call or email and I am forever in their debt.

I'm also grateful for younglings and oldlings who find the time to Twitter, email, talk to me on Skype and give me their perspective on life the universe and everything. For me, there is no generation gap. I have friends still in their teens and friends in their 80’s and that is a marvelous thing. I am indeed fortunate and as I heard a colleague today say 'Oh, leave all that computers stuff for the youngsters!" I couldn't but think that he was missing out on a whole world of challenge, information and communication.

Finally, I'm grateful for cheap wine! Yep, it has been my solace in the evening and barely dings the budget at $6.00 a bottle! Cheers!

And much friendship and support to Mrsupole who is undergoing shoulder surgery today, may your reason to be fearful turn into a reason to be cheerful and to Steph who is recovering slowly over at the Biopsy Report, to GrannyMar who's waiting for her new hips to swivel! To Gledwood who suffers from addiction and depression. To e who suffers so, that she's awaiting a new wheelchair to make life bearable. To Ebony, a young woman of colour in a very white place who has self-doubts but is so beautiful and talented and funny, to SubTorp who is a devoted carer, to K8 who loves her Laughing Boy but will never hear him speak . . .to Susan who has kiddy challenges through Autism . . . to the Merry Widow who's missing a daughter so far away, to Thommo and TheBoss who now are empty-nesters, to my long-suffering children who put up with my rantings and ravings and are indeed my joy . . to so many of you, who have a much harder time than I but exude joy and gratitude and love, give advice and consolation, humour and goodwill . . and last but by no means least to to Renee and iBeati who struggle with cancer every day but manage to be so inspirational cheerful and full of gratitude and joy that they make me look truly ungrateful. And you my friends, are indeed my joy! Ok I'm stopping now, you'll all need bigger hats if I keep this going.

So my little army of Joy? What makes you grateful, what rocks your world.


Sarah Lulu said...

I have been practising an attitude of gratitude (and of course failing a lot) for the past hmmm year or so ...
it's changed so many things for me ..
SO many things.

I am grateful for every single day.

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* To you my Tuesday Joybeam*!*

Cute little videos like this one bring me joy, remembering where I last left my specs, nature, chocolate ...

but especially after watching orphaned children in Burma tonight, I am full of joy that I know what a blessed and joyful childhood I had.

Miles McClagan said...

I have no angst to bring you other than my own futile search for Youtube clips banned by "the man", so I can be greatful for that!

Kate said...

What rocks my world? My son who got another all clear yesterday after his battle with testicular cancer - my daughter who has finally got the job of her dreams, part of the care team at Rainbows Childrens Hospice - in her words she 'wants to make a difference! They are not just brave but also beautiful people... many other things make me feel good but right at this moment these two top the bill!!!

Ropi said...

It is good that you are thankful for so many things.

Cinnamon said...

Wow this is quite some spiritual exercise!

I don't think I will ever moan again after reading this.

Thinking of Mrsu also, but hadn't realised the surgery was today.

You have given me much to ponder on Baino as usual!

Brian Miller said...

amazing post baino. it's so easy to slip into depression when we focus on what we don't have. had several tough days last week when i could have used a slap in the face. i was rather a beast.

a few things i am grateful for:

my family - they give me so much strength and unconditional love.

my part time job - after losing/quitting my job in february they took me in pretty quick. i really enjoy it and it has helped us make it through these months...new full time job on the horizon it seems, so excited!

my parents - pretty much the same resons as my fam above...

my blog pals/friends - such encouragement. consider them my extended fam...

my health - while i have been through much i wake up each day with breath in my lungs and two good feet and hands. until i lose them, i will use them...

nature - my therapist as i walk among the trees...

my new computer - ah, i was so lost...lol.

my God - for believing in me and thinking of me...

ok i could go on and on, but will leave it at that. thanks for helping me get focused today....hope you find a job soon that fills all your desires, until then may they keep you on in the position you are in...

Ces said...

To life!

Grannymar said...

great post Baino!

I am grateful to be alive and able to laugh!

Megan said...

I'm grateful for so many things it's impossible to list them all. But you are one of them!

laughingwolf said...

blessings to all, baino...

kj said...

dearest friend, there is an award waiting for you on my blog. please come....

subtorp77 said...

Baino, Amen to this!

nick said...

What a fabulous affirmation of life and living! It's so easy to take the good things for granted when the negatives are getting us down. What rocks my world? It would be a very long list, including Jenny, all the cultural stuff, the fascinating diversity of human beings, stunning landscapes, the wonders of nature, physical beauty - where does it end?

Ronda Laveen said...

You DO have a wonderful life. You give me the gift of reading about it quite often. The lack of sun at the time of the year you are in, can cause depression in and of itself. So, it is not all you. If you go without sun for too long and it is catching up with you, get in a tanning bed. The few minutes you need to do it in winter, won't harm you that much. It can make a difference, I know.

It is said that for affirmations to really take hold, you need to say or think them daily for 21 days. Try it and see.

Much love and thanks for the inspirational post, r

California Girl said...

this is a "joyful" post and I feel better after a very tough Monday. Thank you Baino.

otin said...

There was so much heart in that post! You are obviously a caring person!

Kath Lockett said...

Being grateful, like being kind, is often scorned as being wishwashy but it soooo isn't.

After some pretty tough times at the end of 2007 I'm grateful just to be herem, saying 'yes' to any opportunities. And for Love Chunks and Sapphire who make me want to be the best person I can be.

Renee said...

What an eye opening post Helen.

I can understand so many aspects of it and in many ways I can and do feel the same, of course depending on the day.

It is hard to work for a place that you don't know if you are steady or not. Hard to know if you will work the next day or month or year. So I think it is all so understandable.

I am so happy for your daughter too. For your daughter who reminds you that things are better. I am so happy that your son's room is a pigsty because then my son's room seems normal since pigstys are the fashion for 20-somethings.

You are so going to make it, I know it, no matter what you have clear vision and will always make it to the other end.

Love Renee xoxoxo

River said...

There's a lot to be said for happy thoughts and positive affirmations. I also have many things to be grateful for.

ebony said...

I've started to think more positively. I mean I hardly have anything to complain about. Why should I make things up.... This post is lovely. I'm thankful for you Baino :D! But... what happened to the boy in the video. Did he become a kite or what? I really liked the song and the video too!

I really need to make a list like that!

Marianna said...

I'm grateful for...blogger because it gave me the opportunity to know that somewhere in the world there is a wonderful human being like you:)


Jay said...

Oh, so many reasons to be grateful!! Family are certainly one of the best, health too!

I'm glad you're enjoying your work - that's a big plus.

Me? I'm grateful for greyhounds, particularly the lovely Sid, who is behaving impeccably on his first night and day home! And I'm grateful that both of my sons are settled with good women, and keeping their heads above water (in one case, just, but he's doing it). Looks like a wedding will be on the cards soon, too!

Candie Bracci said...

What a beautiful post Baino!Thank you to remind us to be grateful for what we have,it's so true!
Grateful to know you and all of you!I feel it too!Have a wonderful day Baino!Wishing you more to be grateful for to come!:)

Ribbon said...

I'm grateful for the ability to share and learn.

You're a star Baino...

thinking of you with a big smile

Baino said...

Sarah you're very good at the gratitude thing perhaps because of your faith. I am not a 'believer' but love those who are.

I love that song Annie so simple and makes me smile . . .I was and am very blessed for being born into the family I was.

Miley . .one day . .a serious response. You, me, coffee . .or vodka and red bull at Syrup

Kate wonderful news. No parent should survive a child

Ropi indeed which is why I'm thankful for your correspondence and that you forgive our misunderstandings.

Cinnamon, so nice to have you back and it takes some effort to realise that we have much to be grateful for.

Thanks Brian. I'm with you on all of those except God who I think left this planet many years ago. I guess I find God in different places.

Ces . .cheers cheese . .you sound like George Michael! Choose Life!

GM we are kin. Oh yes! Whether you like it or not!

Thanks Meg and you and the Cahalan Clan are a source of joy to me too. I was really surprised that Padraig befriended me on Facebook. You are an inclusive family.

Wuff you are a man of few words. I'd like to know you better frankly

kj thank you. I am grateful to call you friend.

Yeay Subby, you are so sweet and caring and definitely one of my Joy Army

Nick,you and Jen are perfect. Ying and Yang

Ronda Laveen . .what can I say . . a day in your spa would solve nearly all of my angst ..I so have to try coning. Thank you. I think your kind of spirituality might really help

Cali . Life can be a biatch or a blessing and sometimes it's really hard to differentiate between the two . I love that Brandi set these Missions . .it makes me think outside the square.

Yea Otin . are you single? Rather like a man in a hard hat and a warm cimate? Leave your muddy boots outside.

Well Kath you have much to be grateful for too and you're such a lover of life the universe and everything. You're very spesh. Smoohchies!

Renee, what can I say. I have no problems, no issues compared to you. You are brave, articulate, strong (on the surface) and I admire your coping ability above all others. I'm almost sorry that I met you because you make me feel like a total ingrate. Then I'm thrilled that I met you because you're so inspirational.

What you a have taught me is that life is not insurmountable. Hope is eternal and I'm not going to let the fuckers get me down! Are you really as nice as you seem? Bless.

River, every time I go into Coles I think of you. There's a particular lady on the express checkout who is gracious, beautiful and pleasant. Are you sure you live in Victoria?
Ebs babe . . sometimes it's nice to have someone half way around the world to be your agony aunt and I'm happy to be so.You're a sweet and talented young thing. I have high hopes for you.

Marianna that is so true. I hope to meet many of my blogger friends in the not-too-distant future an hey . .a few days on Santorini sounds nice?

Oh Jay. So, so happy that Sid's home and yes, it's a great joy to know your kids are happy and settled. Adam's all loved up. I just have to find someone for Clarebear, she's really ready for Mr Wonderful.

Ropi said...

That's OK Baino, but do not advertise it! You destroy my awseome Iceman, Iron Chancellor image and you replace it with the gayish emotional. It would be a catastrophe to me.

i beati said...

amen again and again..

Valerie said...

I keep seeing your name and thought it was time I looked in. I'm glad I did too, that was a very thought provoking post.

kj said...

"getting a bit Zen and crystally in my old age?"

i'd say so, baino, and none to soon. this is an incredible essay on all that is true and good. and why not start noticing and affirming the little miracles all around you? you already know how i feel about you: you're a four star keeper and one reason of many for that is your willingness to show up and dive in. in many ways you remind me of renee.

keep it up, hells. you happen to be one of the stars in my shining sky...