Out of all Seven Hundred and Whats-it daily posts I’ve published here, yesterday’s post was one of the most difficult to write.
I needed to write a post about some cheery occasions — my 62nd birthday AND the home team’s Super Bowl victory AND a day off from work — BUT I wasn’t feeling very cheery.
Why wasn’t I feeling very cheery?
Don’t get me started!
Too late. I’m started. Now I need to show you this list:
- I was very sleep deprived.
- I was recovering from the flu.
- Snow was piling up outside, in a major way.
- Not to offend any snow-o-philes among you, but I’m at a point in my life when I am — despite my preference for non-judgmental living — HATING snow and cold (especially when I’m not feeling well).
- There was very little appetizing food I could find.
- I felt physically lousy.
- I was “alone” when I was writing, because my son was with his father and my bf Michael, who also seemed to be coming down with the flu, was asleep upstairs.
- Even though I am often praised for my “good and brave attitude in the face of difficult experiences,” I seem to be “primed”– in certain ways — to be disappointed on my birthday (and you can read here how this played out last year).
- Let’s face it … just like anybody else, sometimes I’m just a
(I found this image I needed here)
Also, because authenticity is so friggin’ important to me, I needed to somehow write yesterday’s post from a real and authentic place.
So, yes, I had a particularly difficult post-writing assignment on my plate yesterday. And, even though that post, when I read it now, seems fairly simple, I know that it needed HOURS of slow and arduous slogging. (Much like what we New Englanders need to do, these days, to get through all the friggin’ snow there is.)
Now, I’m not complaining about the effort I needed to put into yesterday’s post, nor the result. As is true with every one of the Seven Hundred and Yikers daily posts I’ve written here, it HELPED me to write it.
So what post would it help me to write, today? What else do I need to do, here?
Above, when I linked “Cranky Yankee” and “Pissy Missy” to my post last year about “Stinky Pinkies” (the game I used to play in my family, growing up), I couldn’t help but notice the main title there: “Gratitude Attitude.”
Gratitude Attitude is always something we need, isn’t it?
So here’s the gratitude list I need, right now. I’m grateful that:
- My childhood friend Deb, who now lives in California and reads this blog, took the time to call me yesterday, at a moment when I was feeling especially blue. It was just what I needed.
- Many, many other people reached out to me with birthday wishes, through all sorts of media. It was just what I needed.
- My sister called and we had a long, helpful talk about (a) our late parents and (b) why I so easily feel completely alone, powerless, unlovable and frightened even when I’m safe and loved. It was just what I needed.
- Even when I was feeling at my lowest yesterday, my instincts for healing were there, and I composed this list:
Things I REALLY Needed to Hear When I was Young, But Didn’t
You have an amazing mind.
You are smart.
You are beautiful.
You do not deserve to suffer alone.
You are kind.
You are talented musically.
You are funny.
You are graceful.
Every part of you is welcome.
You do not have to be perfect to be loved.
It is okay to be angry.
It is okay to be sad.
It is okay to be afraid.
It’s okay to be impatient.
I will protect you.
I will fight for your rights.
I need to be clear, right now, that all of this is no indictment of my parents, who were wonderful people. As my sister pointed out in our conversation yesterday (and as I constantly need to re-discover, throughout my life), my congenital heart condition and time growing up in hospitals (without my parents presence) resulted in my “sensitivity” and tendency to feel like a
I also have a tendency to repeat myself and to be easily distracted, and I’m distracted now.
I need to show you this:
Eeeeek! Snow!!! Not exactly what I needed.
Actually, those photos were taken earlier this morning. Here’s the reality outside, here and now:
Yay! I’m getting what I needed! I’ll be able to leave on time today, to return to my work as a group and individual psychotherapist at a Boston hospital.
Which reminds me of my gratitude list, which I had started, above.
Here are more things I need to add to that list, before I leave for work:
Things that rhyme.
The PERFECT birthday card, from Michael. It was just what I needed.
And also, thanks to Michael — I got the PERFECT birthday dinner:
TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE!!!!!
Now, I need a tuna noodle tune to share with you all, but this is the best I can do:
Thanks to Deb, to Michael, to my sister, to my parents, to everybody who reached out to me yesterday when I needed it, to hot tuna of all kinds, and to you — of course! — for all you might need, today.