50 Happy Things for 2015: Bloggers Unite in Flood of Gratitude

My first Ragnar leg--1 of 3
My first Ragnar leg–1 of 3

Hello! I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to join a group of bloggers who are writing the 50 things for which they are grateful. The trick was we had to write the list in 10 minutes (adding pictures and links came later and did not count toward the total time).  I had no trouble at all coming up with so many things to be thankful for. Life is rich. I live in a beautiful place. I have a solid support network, good friends, a loving family. When times get hard, I try to remember these things. I started the list off with some of the things I repeat to myself on mornings when running is challenging–I am grateful for my body parts that all work as they should.  If you’d like to join in on the gratitude blogging fun, you can find instructions at the bottom of this blog. Enjoy!

  • Strong legs
  • Healthy heart
  • Good lungs
  • Massage therapy with Kristi
  • Physical therapy with Clare
  • My regular therapy therapist
  • The time I have every day to run
  • The beautiful trails in Bellingham

Chuckanut Trail
Chuckanut Trail–Summer

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Chuckanut Trail–Fall
  • Anna and Taylor
  • My house and home

Taylor, a few years ago
Taylor, a few years ago

Anna, a few years ago :)
Anna, a few more years ago
  • Dungeness crab
  • The Red Wheelbarrow writing community
  • My brother and his family
  • The opportunity to go to school, again
  • The road trip I took this summer
  • Beautiful days on the Oregon coast
  • The trip to Mexico this summer with my brother and niece

madeline_me_mexico
My niece and me in Salulita, Mexico

My brother and my niece, in Chacala, Mexico
My brother and my niece, in Chacala, Mexico
  • Being Freshly Pressed
  • Writing
  • My writing friends
  • Being asked to read my friend’s memoir
  • Money in the bank

The Skedgers (two of us, anyway) at a write out
The Skedgers (two of us, anyway) at a write out

jeep1
The Jeep

Bellingham Bay Marathon, Finisher Medal and 4th place ribbon (in my age group)
Bellingham Bay Marathon, Finisher Medal and 4th place ribbon (in my age group)

Some of my Ragnar team, after the Chuckanut Foot Race
Some of my Ragnar team, after the Chuckanut Foot Race
  • Sweet computer skillz
  • Christmas Eve with the family
  • Friends from school
  • Marge, for letting us stay in her home this quarter
  • New friends
  • Old friends
  • Carpools

The labyrinth at the AROHO retreat, Ghost Ranch, NM
The labyrinth at the AROHO retreat, Ghost Ranch, NM

Pearrygin Lake, Winthrop
Pearrygin Lake, Winthrop
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Anna's new car!
Anna’s new car!

To join in on the fun:

If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos.

To join the bloggers who have come together for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the link at the bottom of this post. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List.

Please note that only blog posts that include a list of 50 (or an attempt to write 50) things that made you feel Happy or 50 things that you are Grateful for, will be included. Please don’t add a link to a post that isn’t part of this exercise. 

http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=592585

Q is for Questions (or midlife ramblings)

QSome days my life feels like one fat question mark. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Who am I doing it for? Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Who do I think I am?

That last question, that one comes up a lot: just who do I think I am? I hear my mom (sorry Mom) asking me: “Just who do you think you are, young lady?” I hear (probably imaginary) voices whisper “Who does she think she is?” I spend a lot of time wondering that as well, and this too: “When am I going to grow the hell up?”

I imagine that my questions are not mine alone. I believe that most of us have these sorts of doubts about ourselves and our mission, our Quest (to use a Q word), here on earth. What would it be like, I often wonder, to be sure of myself, to be certain in my worth, my value, my purpose? How can people be so goddamned self-assured (or self-righteous)?

Myself, the older I get, the less sure I become. When I was in my twenties, I knew everything. I answered questions with great authority even if I didn’t know the answer. I could stand in front of a classroom of people most of whom were older than me and spend an hour or two discussing writing. Now I’m more than twice that old, and I’m having anxiety attacks about leading a 20-minute discussion with a classroom full of people half my age on a subject I actually do know a lot about.

What the hell happened to me? How has my life come to this place of uncertainty?  Have I chosen the correct path? Will the decisions I make today come back to haunt me in a year or two?

Me, in front of Shakespeare's birthplace, Fall 1987
Me, in front of Shakespeare’s birthplace, Fall 1987

Just today I told a friend about how, when I was 19, I went to Europe,  traveled across the continent in the dead of winter, alone and with no concrete plans, no hotel or hostel reservations, no pre-purchased train tickets. Fearless, with only a copy of Let’s Go Europe and a few American Express Traveller’s Cheques. Now, I can’t imagine being that carefree, that trusting of myself.

Last weekend, I had lunch with my nearly 25-year-old daughter and told her about my summers during college working as a forest fire fighter. As I regaled her with tales of bad-assery, I kept thinking to myself “Were you crazy?” and, conversely, “What happened to that girl? Where’d she go?”

Maybe it’s just the menopause talking. The hormones (or lack thereof) could be out of control. My therapist said to me the other day (as I was complaining about hot flashes and throwing myself onto the fan in her office) that perhaps this is the time in my life that I will know myself the best.

Maybe menopause doesn’t make us crazy, she suggested, but helps to clarify things. Maybe only now will I begin to discover just who I think I am. Perhaps the only way to learn is by asking questions. Maybe the answers lie somewhere in the uncertainty, in the spaces between.