Healing, Running, & Sleeping In

Yesterday, I talked with my dear friend who had open heart surgery last week. It was wonderful to hear his voice and even better to hear that he would likely be discharged to day. I’m grateful for the success and healing and grateful to have him in my life.

It was unseasonably warm yesterday, and will be today as well. I got out for a long run (6.88 miles) and enjoyed making my way through the neighborhoods. I am grateful to be able to run. Running has changed my life in so many ways. Even though I run solo, it has made me feel more connected to my community because there is something about being in the community rather than viewing the community from behind the car windshield and doors.

I slept in today. In the past I’ve often felt guilty about my propensity to sleep late. There is a mythos around the early riser in this modern world and I don’t buy into it, but sometimes it’s hard not to feel guilty because there are so many messages that we receive about being the early bird. However, I know that my body needed the sleep and I’m grateful for it. I’m also grateful that because I slept in, I can sit my Adirondack chair in the sunlight as I type this out on my phone before posting it.

Have a great Sunday.

Neural Pathways, An Old Photo, & a Warm Day Ahead

I’ve been reading the news this morning and even after only a short 39 minutes I am feeling overwhelmed. I’m grateful for this daily gratitude practice which has really made a difference in my outlook in this difficult time by rewiring the neural pathways in my brain.

My iPad’s Photo’s widget showed me a photo of my dear sweet son from five years ago when he was almost eight. It was shortly after I started my recovery journey but I can see in his smile that we were having a great day at the park. I’m grateful for the reminder that I my decisions impact others.

Living near the Chesapeake bay can provide for some interesting weather phenomena. Today we are enshrouded in fog because the air temperature is warmer than the water. While it concerns me greatly that it will be nearly 60 degrees nine days before the winter solstice because I know that climate change is the cause, I am grateful to have a warm day ahead of us and plan to get outside.

Healing, Conversations with My Son, & Longer Days on the Horizon

I am grateful for the human body’s ability to heal, which is nothing short of miraculous. The fact that our bodies can repair damage and rebuild themselves never ceases to amaze me.

I am grateful to have taken a walk with my son today. He told me all about the computer that he wants to build for his gaming setup. We discussed the fact that the graphics card he wants is hard to find and that buying it from someone who is charging more than retail is not a good way to go, and he agreed with me even if he doesn’t like it.

I am grateful that we are nearing the winter solstice. I dread the shortened daylight hours as they approach during the fall, but we are getting close to the point where things start to turn around. By January 21st, we’ll have light nearly a half hour later in the day and by February 21st it will be over an hour longer than on December 21st.

Calm Acceptance, Averted Disaster, Fretboard Fluency

I am grateful for the thirty minutes I got to spend in the phone with my friend yesterday before his surgery. It was good to hear his voice, registering the calm acceptance of the situation in his voice, and to be able to offer him support.

I am grateful to have received the news that my friend’s surgery went well. I tried not to worry all day yesterday but my life experience sets me up to anticipate disaster. Disaster averted.

I am grateful for my guitar lesson last night over Zoom. Within the first few minutes I was laughing and enjoying myself. My teacher is really accomplished and willing to work with me on any style. I am starting to see things on the guitar that I never understood before — the interrelationships between chords and scales as well as different chord shapes. Lots to unlock on the fretboard.

Kindness, Compassion, Skilled Hands, & Prayer

I am grateful for the kindness and compassion of others. A dear friend is having open heart surgery today and the outpouring of love from others for him and his wife has been grounding.

I am grateful for skilled hands of surgeons and operating room staff. I know that my friend will be well cared for by a team of people who I will never meet.

I am grateful that we live within driving distance of one of the premier heart centers in the world and that my friend will receive the best care possible as a result.

I am grateful for prayers. It may be surprising that an agnostic believes in the power of prayer, but I’ve learned that prayer need not be religious. Prayer takes many forms including asking for help, setting intentions, and being present and mindful.

Conversations, Alpacas, & Dirty Jobs — Gratitude 12/8/2020

I am grateful for authentic and candid conversations. So much of our day to day interaction boils down to inauthentic idle chit-chat. When we can have a truly vulnerable conversation with another human being we develop compassion and empathy and are living more fully.

I am grateful for my weekly trips to the local farm park where my son and I take care of alpacas. I wouldn’t want to be a farmer but I do enjoy tending to these creatures once a week and getting some mud on my boots. It keeps me connected to the earth and reminds me that we are all interconnected.

I am grateful for my earliest jobs, cutting grass, shoveling snow, stacking hay, mucking stalls, and flipping burgers. I learned a lot about the value of hard work in those jobs. I also learned why it was important to do well in school, so that I could earn a living with my brain instead of my back.

Gratitude 12/7/2020

I am grateful for bicycles. I have loved my bikes as long as I can remember — the baby blue banana seat Raleigh, the red Huffy BMX, the red Huffy Ten Speed, the white Haro Freestyler tricked out with pink mag wheels and white tires, the green Bridgestone MB6 hard tail mountain bike, the orange Specialized MTB with a suspension fork, my blue Cannondale road bike, and my finally my Turquoise Yeti full suspension MTB. I have loved them all.

I am grateful for bike helmets. I’ve had my share of wrecks and broken a few helmets and I’m sure I’d either be dead or severely damaged if it weren’t for my helmet.

I am grateful for the feeling of being alive as I fly down the street or trail balancing on two wheels, the feeling of the seat between my legs, the pressure on the pedals, and the wind in my face. Nothing brings me closer to my inner child than riding a bike.

Gratitude 12/6/2020

I am grateful for the 20 minutes and 53 seconds that I got to spend introducing my son to Pinky and the Brain this morning. We watched it on Hulu on my iPhone and he laid his head in my lap. Time like this is rare with him as he’s almost thirteen.

I am grateful for the long nap I took lying on the bench of the bay window in the living room yesterday. Napping is my superpower.

I am grateful for the Book of Joy from His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams. It has been an absolute delight to read about their week long meeting in 2015 and their discussions of joyful living, especially in this strange and difficult time that has been 2020.

Gratitude 12/5/2020

I am grateful for friends. I have a lot of friends who I know in real life but I am also blessed to have some really great relationships with people I have never met thanks to the internet. It may be hard to believe but I’ve had some of the best conversations with folks on Twitter.

I am grateful for this morning’s run powered by coffee and the Spotify playlist “Indie Kicks 150-155 BPM” which helped to make 5.5 miles feel almost effortless. It was only two and a half years ago that 90 seconds of running led to feeling like I might fall over dead.

I am grateful for honeycrisp apples which have become my healthy snack. They are so very sweet and delicious and I feel zero guilt about them as a treat.