Sunday, December 9, 2012
Finding the blessings in less …
For Thanksgiving, a friend, Laura Hegfield, gathers together people’s thoughts of gratitude and posts them all in her blog, weaving them together in different colors, to create a Mega Mobius Gratitude Quilt. As a writing prompt, she provided “In this moment, I am grateful for …” It’s such a beautiful gathering of people’s thoughts, their joys, their struggles, their hearts. I look forward to it each year. I hope you take a moment to visit her blog and enjoy the Quilt. Here is my contribution:
I light a candle in the darkness of my little office. I inhale love, I exhale gratitude. And I think “In this moment, I am grateful for …” The blessings simply flood in, like water flowing in and around things, seeking the open spaces within me. Grateful for … learning how to live with less since I was laid off in May, how not just to live with less but to be satisfied with less, to be filled with less, to find the blessings that abound in less. Where before I might pay someone to do some things for me, I now learn to do them for myself. The dishwasher has been broken since June; I find the blessings in washing dishes the way Thich Nhat Hanh describes it, feeling the slippery soap, the edge of a plate, the warm water; gazing out the window and watching a little bird or the breeze in the trees. In this moment, I am grateful for less.
I admit that it’s been a bit of a struggle to learn this lesson. I live on less than half of what I’d been making before May. I’ve given up getting my hair colored, the occasional mani/pedi. I watch my budget very closely, feeling exultant when I stretch $20 worth of gas a full week. I carefully consider whether I can spend $2.04 for a cup of coffee, knowing that $2 is actually coming out of my savings, which I am reluctant to deplete.
I may not be able to enjoy the extra little frills of life that I used to, but with careful budgeting, I’m able to pay my bills and meet my obligations. I find free things to do with friends, spending time gardening with one, a walk with another, a day at the swap meet (we had free passes) spent browsing and talking, knowing neither of us could spend anything, free from even considering it. I’m learning acceptance and ease in these circumstances that I find myself in. And, I have hope that this won’t last forever, that I’ll land a job again where I’m paid decently again.
Everything is temporary. Everything changes. The ability to change and flow like water is a lesson that I’m blessed to learn.