Not sure where the rest of y’all find your inspiration to write but for me it often comes up while I’m either showering or walking down the street – both totally inopportune times to stop and write, so I’m trying to at least react somewhat quickly after that and get my thoughts onto screen (and paper, but y’all don’t see those ones)…
When you’ve been wading through shit, you know that you’ve got to deliberately seek out the things that ARE good in the world, and call it out. I was practically Letterman-ing a top ten list in my head ten things that I’m grateful for today. Here goes, in no particular order of importance…
- Beyonce’s entire Lemonade album. Fuck yeah. From Sorry to Hold Up to the one even my husband will appreciate that she does with Jack White, it’s fucking awesome. I’m not late to the show, but late in calling it out on my blog how it continues to be awesome. What a fucking anthem for so many reasons. I can look back at moments in my life and use those lyrics to articulate so many feelings I’ve experienced – all the while blasting it loud in my kitchen or in my headphones. Yes, I said fuck three times. No, that’s four now. Anyhow. Sorry Adele, Bey is the only one this year.
- Being able to shave my legs for the first time in 20 days. I know, many of y’all out there disregard this in the winter – or even full time – but it’s always been a choice we have, and when you lose the ability because of back pain to even reach your calves? It’s a goddamn celebration when the razor gets revived. Now I won’t say it was the sexy lean-over-the-legs and coo at the camera style of shaving, as it was more like “oh damn I can finally put my leg up on the stool in the shower and if I bend my other leg down a bit and lean just so, my arms can pretty much scrape this forest off my legs”. Two and a half weeks with no shaving? Aw hell no. That’s now in the past. I put on jeans to celebrate No Itchy Legs Against Denim and…Holla!! Next goal? Clipping my toenails…whoa…I’m an ambitious woman.
- 25 gauge needles for my DEIVF intramuscular injections. Oh honey I’d never known they had ones thinner than 22’s available for this purpose until reading recently on a forum that this was possible. While I’m pretty tough getting these shots for so damn long, this was a nice re-entry (har har) as we kick off the mock cycle for our 6th and final attempt at the embryo thang. Feels like plucking an eyebrow hair instead. Yay for little things.
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pastry Flour. Not the yellow-ish all purpose flour we use for pancakes, but their new pastry flour mix. My husband bought it the other day by accident and since I’m in forced-GF land as we see if it helps shut down my exploding number of thyroid antibodies, I figured I’d put it to the ultimate test yesterday – making gingersnaps. Well goddamn, they are just exactly like regular flour – no weird ass GF taste of fake flour or weird texture. Exactly the same. YUM. We ate a bunch with hot cocoa then I gave the rest to the fellas at the body shop who fixed my car
- Getting our Christmas tree the day before a snowstorm. Our car was ready at 5pm on Tuesday…literally the last chance we had to get ourselves a Christmas tree before they go into clearance status at the tree lots since the next round of snow and ice was due the next day (and came as expected), with freezing temps expected to stay through the weekend. So we headed down to a local nonprofit lot whose proceeds go to fund scholarships for local North Portland high school students, found a sweet 7 foot Noble Fir and within an hour were back home enjoying the evergreen scent and decorating it with ornaments collected over the year.
- A slowly-but-surely healing back. Enough to go for a walk in the snow with my sweetheart? Yes. Enough to sit on the sofa for 10 minutes? Yes. Enough to, last night, finally have one full night of sleep without waking up in tears? Yes. Enough to reach without fear, bend without caution? Not at all. But compared to where we were at the end of November? I’ll take it.
- LOST marathons with my husband. Can you believe he’d never even heard of the show? I was obsessed with it during its original run, and finding it on Netflix has been great TV during those cold winter evenings snuggling on the sofa.
- Work that has allowed us to be where we are today. 2017 will mark five years since I went out on my own and built a business. It’s been unpredictable but overall very, very successful and while we’ve got a long way to go to get to where we should be as 40-somethings when it comes to retirement savings, we have been able to finance our attempts to start a family, from fertility treatments to adoption. And along with that, being a solopreneur has allowed a level of flexibility that I wish everyone was so fortunate to have, from time to spend in my garden to being able to match my schedule with my husband’s, which before I went solo would never have happened (since retail and office hours rarely coincide).
- A home for the past 10+ years. When it’s below freezing and the windchill is in the teens? To come home, turn up the heat, sleep in a warm bed, and have plenty of food to eat is something most of us take for granted. I bought this house when I was single, a year after my divorce from my first husband was finalized, in a market that was very similar to today’s, with all the money I had in savings used up to get my new life started here in this little 1925 house in the city. I’ve done everything to keep this home, keep this security, from the days of recession layoffs when I rented out every room I could to pay my mortgage, to creating a simple, minimalist life, from urban homesteading to 8 years of car-free living to bike commuting and more. Living this way and working my ass off has kept me safe and warm, and for nearly three years, has included the man I love at my side. Which leads to…
- My sweet, wonderful, beautiful partner in life. I am grateful every day for my husband who has been my rock, my best friend, and the one who finds ways to make me smile every single day. I could write for days, but this really sums it up. I am thankful for this man and this marriage we have that is stronger than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. He’s my heart, he’s my strength, he’s my love.