Join me in this, for today: Tell me about one thing that bothers you. Describe one thing about which you would complain if you could. Your one thing can be large or small. Make it something immutable over which you have no control or something minor, that you can change with effort and focus.
But when you’ve done that, share two things for which you are grateful.
One peculiar manifestation of my CNS deficit involves my hands. They do not work unless and until I fully waken. I have to move them for ten or fifteen minutes before I get out of bed in the morning, working them against something stable like a wall or the mattress. The induced movement alerts my brain, I guess; or maybe triggers muscle memory. Once I get the engines revved, my hands have moderate strength. I’ve broken three or four fingers over the years, and one of my wrists. My knuckles swell with the aftermath of these injuries. If I forget to remove my rings and hairpins before sleeping, I struggle to rescue myself from the pain of metal against scalp or the grip of silver on bony fingers which drives me crazy.
I can’t change the disability which plagues my hands. I have to live with it, but chart this on the mild end of the hardship continuum. I inwardly grumble but then retreat, reminding myself that a person without shoes still fares better than one without feet.
There; I got that out of the way. Now for the two blessings.
I worked a half-day yesterday, then went to do an interview for the Park’s blog. By the time I pulled into my lot, fatigue had overcome me. I sat in the quiet of the car for a few minutes before I struggled to the door of my house.
What I saw there erased the tiredness clinging to my bones and gladdened my heart. Someone had tucked a little brown bag into the space between the screen door and the door jamb. I can guess who; but the note carefully written on the bag had no signature. Instead, it announced its contents: Sunflower seeds from the garden. The gifter had harvested, dried, and distributed the tasty little nuggets from tall flowers rising above the Delta Bay Community Garden.
I helped start the garden last year but haven’t been able to help much with the planting or tending since a small surgical procedure in August. The general anesthesia threw me into a tailspin; and a hard few months without much exercise followed. Young and healthy neighbors have done the work, and share the bounty. My heart swells with happiness.
Then, this morning’s breakfast gave me an unexpected second shot of cheer. I took down a mug that I don’t usually use and poured my morning coffee. I realized that this vessel, which I purchased at a garage sale, comes from Starbucks. As I scrambled eggs, I mused over memories of happy Saturday mornings in Kansas City with my friend Penny Thieme. We met in whatever coffee shop tickled our fancy. After she got a part-time gig at Starbucks, I’d often join her at the end of a shift. We ruminated over our weeks, solved the problems of the world, and explored ideas for creative efforts. Sometimes we cried. Often we laughed. In the spaces between, we just sat in comfortable silence. I cherish the memories of my coffee dates with my amazing sister Penny.
So: One step backward, two steps forward, on my never-ending #journeytojoy.
Now, it’s your turn. Comment below this entry or send me an e-mail: email@example.com. But remember: One complaint; two blessings. Go.
It’s the sixth day of the sixty-seventh month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.