I’m grateful that my quality of life has improved dramatically with my new job. Instead of being gone for a week at a time, getting limited sleep to only spend 24 to 48 hours with my family and many times having my days off be stuck at a crash pad, I’m having more consistent time at home with my girls. This is what I’ve been praying for. Thank you Father.
I’m grateful that I was able to be home for my older daughter when she got her wisdom teeth pulled. I’m glad Mom was also available in the morning so she could hold our daughter’s hand before oral surgery. I know my daughter was comforted knowing Mom was there and I’m grateful our schedules worked out so we both could support her. I’m also grateful that my daughter allowed me to take videos of her recovering from the anesthesia and that we had a good laugh later on. And a special shout out to her younger sister that was supportive and helped her out when Mom and Dad had to return to work.
I’m grateful for spaghetti. Last week I had viewed a mountain out my hotel window and wanted to run/hike to the top. I figured that it’d be in my best interest to make sure I had eaten some carbs the night before. I didn’t want a repeat of an experience I had about three or four years ago where I ran out of energy on a run during an overnight. Thanks to two nights of spaghetti I was able to complete my almost 12 mile adventure without any problem.
I’m grateful for a very nice evening with my roommates and their 4 month old son. My daughter was still a bit off due to having her teeth pulled that morning, however, we had a wonderful dinner together, great conversations, lots of baby time, and played video games. I’m hopeful we can continue having nights where we all hang out enjoying one another’s company.
I’m grateful for my mom’s creative nature. My mom always had multiple crafts going on at one time. Her hobbies changed periodically. One minute it was ceramics, then it using fabric to make door hangers, and next it was plastic canvas patterns. She always worked on these while watching her three hours of taped soap operas. They gave her so much joy, especially when she gave them to our family as Christmas presents or birthday presents. Her favorite gift to give was a monthly holiday door hangar for someone in the family who just had a baby.
What’s interesting as I reflect back is to realize that this is where I get my love of cross-stitching. I do this with books on tape, while listening to podcasts, watching a movie, or sometimes just having a conversation. I do these when I’m commuting in the back of an airplane or riding the bus. I do it while sitting in the waiting room for a doctor’s appointment or waiting for my therapist.
My first project was a large eagle flying over the water with a mountain range and sunset in the background. The symbolism in that piece was that the eagle was my Higher Power when I resisted the idea of God. Flying over the natural landscape from a bird’s eye view was the calming space I learned about during my 2nd month in recovery. A piece I started when my wife first asked for divorce was a Thomas Kinkade painting of Beauty and the Beast. I put that one aside shortly after I wrote the blog The Beast is Human. I’ll return back to that one after I finish the one I’ve been working on for 9 months for my older daughter. It’s a large Broadway pattern that will eventually be framed.
The difference between my mother and my projects was that she could finish hers in a week or two. Mine, well they take me a few years to complete. Nevertheless, I got that creative side from her. I learned that cross-stitch allows me to center myself, become grounded, and brings me joy. It’s a way that I nurture myself. Without realizing it, my mother planted a seed as a young boy that taught me self-care as an adult.