Sunday, November 29, 2009

The return of the Sunday Grateful

So, it was Thanksgiving a few days ago and its been a really interesting week of sneaky blessing lessons.

I started the Sunday Grateful blog inspired by Too Much Perfection...but my ADD kicked in after awhile and I wasn't particularly consistent. But the fact is, life really does seem to go better when I remember to be grateful for things, to acknowledge what is working in my life and keep my attention less so on the things that don't seem to be working.

This week a few things happened to really illustrate that its best not to judge your life so much. Religious people say that God has a plan for us. I've never bought that phrase. I'm pretty certain that God is pretty damned busy and doesn't have individualized plans for the billions of us on this planet...but that's for another day.

What I DO believe is that God, or the Universe or whatever it is, responds to our thoughts and behaviors as we dictate. And that sometimes things just happen. They might seem one way at a certain point, but later turn out to be something else.

Case in point: In January of this year I was evicted from my home of 10 years. That apartment signified the end of a 2 year period of time when I was essentially homeless and living on friend's couches and spare rooms. So, when I fell a little behind on bills from medical expenses and then when I unexpectedly became jobless for a year and a half and I was struggling to catch up on rent, you can imagine that finally giving up was a huge and painful decision for me.

I had failed to take care of myself. I had failed to be a grown up and meet the most essential of obligations, rent payment. A struggle of more than a couple of years that I surrendered on.

It sucked. I was down on myself, down on the world, particularly down on the management company that owned the building that was essentially moving ahead because a payment had been and they decided to stick to the letter of the agreement so they could renovate the apartment and install bad plumbing and wiring and charge 4 times the rent I was paying. But the bottom line was that I was a failure.

Jump ahead to last Tuesday and I get an email from a friend of mine who lives across the street from that old apartment. The building is on fire, people are jumping out of windows to the firemen below, smoke and flames are everywhere. Bad wiring is the culprit according to the fireman my friend talks to. My apartment is one of 6 that are decimated.

Suddenly I feel pretty damned lucky and the fact that I lost a lot of stuff in the hasty move I had to make pales when compared to the thought of losing EVERYthing.

Then on a smaller note, this Friday as my brother, his new girlfriend and I are waiting for the bus home from Atlantic City, we are cold. He has to be at rehearsal in NY at 6, I need to be at work at 5. We wait for the bus. It arrives, but its been to two casinos before hand and only has room for 4 more passengers...we are the 10th, 11th, and 12th among about 40. The next bus will make me late for work.

Greyhound decides to supply a second bus. This is not uncommon practice, but in Atlantic City the bus ride is a gamble like anything else and there's just as much chance we'd have been sitting out there waiting for the next bus, which might have been just as crowded.

So the new bus arrives, completely empty, which means that with everyone on the line, we still have a lot of room and can stretch out... a near impossibility most times. AND, the normally 2 and a half hour ride to NYC is 2 hours and 10 minutes. So I am actually earlier than expected. Which reminds me that the trip from New York to Atlantic City and ultimately Cape May, is normally a 4 hour trip altogether and was 3 hours. Totally good fortune all around.

You never really know what's bad or good in the moment. There is only what is and what isn't.

So, I'm grateful for what is. And I am grateful for the first step toward a wisdom of ceasing to judge my life in every given moment and to simply live.

No comments: