This may sound like a really weird to be thankful for, but it has saved me a lot of money, and allowed me to enjoy crafting and cooking things for my family that I would never have tried otherwise. While my grocery bill has increased, our eating out has decreased and our time together in the kitchen and around the table has increased. The Cubs are learning how to plan and prepare meals. I am getting patterns for things that I love to do like knit and crochet. I have come up with fun crafts for us to do.
So while it may be something that is not a traditional thankful topic, it has really enriched our family.
Today I am thankful for the return of my “little brother” from basic training. He actually returned on Friday, but today was the first time that I got to see him. While he has been gone, his new wife and I have been able to get to know each other better. Today we spent about an hour talking and joking and reconnecting. I am so thankful for people in my life, that though we do not share genetics, accept me as their sister and love me with all my flaws.
Never will you here me be grateful for hills, especially if I have to traverse them on foot! But today I did traverse an enormous one on foot and I am grateful for it. A group of men and women from my church went down to the southern part of my state to visit a farm and chapel for some fellowship and prayer. As we walked up the hill and paused at each statue representing the various Stations of the Cross I took time each time we stopped to appreciate and praise God for the amazing display of color, interrupted by the green patches of pastureland that dotted the hillsides. I am amazed how each state, even though we share the same tree species, has its own color displays each fall. And, with the stretching and tightening of muscles on that hill, in the cool fall air, surrounded by people who share the same faith that I do…I was inspired to once again start to walk.
Remember that mind game I played with myself?
I went for a walk last night (note to self, go walking when it is NOT dusk – irregularities in the sidewalk are much more evident!) and I walked for 20 minutes!
I stretched last night after the walk, but my hips are still very tight. I slept really well last night to boot. It was also nice to walk around the neighborhood holding hands with Daddy Bear and just enjoy time together. We found the cubs and were greeted with hugs from the little one and continued on our walk. The nice part about the cubs being a bit older is that I don’t have to figure out how to keep track of them while I walk.
Next goal – at least 10 minutes again today……
The end of the week is here! Only a few more hours and it will be the weekend and time for some family fun. The Cubs are extremely active and are always asking for things to do. But last week the Cubs asked if we could just have a day where we stayed in our PJs, watched TV and played games. After the last couple of weeks I thought that was a good idea. So that is what we did last Saturday. We had a movie marathon, we played some cards, the Cubs did some drawing and played on the computer a bit, and we took naps. It was wonderful. As we approach the weekend the Cubs are once again asking what we are going to do. Since we have some plans that are not all that fun for them I have been brainstorming what to do during the small amount of time we have to spend as a family that is free of obligations. One thing they love to do is get outside. They love to ride bikes, to play on the play set, and to just spend time looking at things around them. The Cubs have been exposed to such riveting activities as looking for things in the clouds like animals and other shape. They also love to find pieces of nature – a bird’s nest, a bug husk, or anything else that most of their friends would think are gross. You see, Papa Bear and I firmly believe that Cubs should learn to use their imagination, to explore, and to just be kids. Unfortunately the weather this weekend is not going to cooperate with their desire to explore the great outdoors – I would prefer the Cubs not donate digits to frostbite. So I am on the hunt for some new activities for them to do indoors. It looks like I am going to be hitting up Pinterest to find a new craft, and we will pull out some favorite games. Other than that, my Friday Fun is going to consist of once again basking in the company of my family and cherishing these moments when the Cubs actually want to spend time with us.
I was looking at the stats of this little blog, wondering if I had more than 4 readers and looking to stroke my own ego that someone out there was actually even interested in this blog when I found a neat little place that showed where readers were located. I clicked on it and up came a map of the world. Wow! I have people outside of my country reading this? I thought I would be doing good to find anyone outside my zip code! Then I looked at what countries had pinged off my blog – Indonesia, Argentina, and a few other small countries. While I understand that these hits were probably just the pings of a blog crawler from a spammer, a simple but for me profound thought occurred. Here I am sitting in my middle class house in one of the richest countries in the world concerned about what I would have to cut OUT of my diet and what activity I would have to INCREASE in my life to get to a healthy body composition while my blog was getting hits from countries where people are happy to even HAVE food and they would love to be able to sit down and rest during the day. It made me ashamed at how all consuming I think my problems are when there are people who would gladly take my problems just so they could survive.
This does not change my goal of getting healthy. It does not change the fact that I have to continue to make very real choices that are at times hard for me to make. But it did change my outlook. That extra helping of carbs I am craving…. instead of bemoaning the fact that I have to deny my desire, I need to be grateful that I have more than enough. When I dread getting dressed to workout, I should be rejoicing that I have a sound body that works. When I complain about parts of my job, I need to be thankful that I have a job that does not require me to put my life in danger for pennies.
I am still working on defining my little goals. But now I need to change my focus from can’t to can and from dislike to grateful.