Gratitude: Live it. Learn it. Feel it.

Well, I just completed another nine hours towards my latest degree pursuit! Woo hoo! It’s my birthday! It’s my birthday!

No, really. It is my birthday, or at least it was a couple of days ago.

My 42nd passed without much ado. Little Dog got me the old school Pac Man game for Gameboy, so I spent my birthday night trying to play it. Turns out, I suck. I am an embarrassment to my game genius son, who has been the go-to guy for video gaming strategy since he was about 7.

In other news, I finally had my follow up mammogram. I had to put a funky zipper looking sticker on the scar from the last surgery, but alas, no nipple BBs. (Holla Muller!) Best part? I remain cancer free!

My sister is also cancer free! Not that there was ever any doubt in anyone’s mind. My dear hypochondriac sis had convinced herself, in her own mind, that she did, indeed have cancer. Why, you ask? Simply because the tech made an innocuous comment about an odd spot on her x-ray. You absolutely positively cannot do this with my sis. No amount of rational talk could convince her that this did not mean cancer. Finally, after a week of anxious phone calls and hysteria, probably after she already had the casket ordered and the lid open and ready, she went back to the doc, who told her (Duh!) the spot was nothing but an anomaly.

It got me to thinking, though. I just do not worry about death too much. I mean, it would suck and all, but then really, how would I know? I would be dead. I will not waste my time living with a fear of dying. Anyway, you know the old saying: Tell God you have a plan, and he laughs!

It is true. I had a plan once. I was gonna go to law school. I got all my crazy partying behind me, embraced undergrad studies, and then, in what was basically my senior year, I found out I was pregnant.

So, I made another plan. I was gonna do the “right thing” and marry RB; be the “perfect” wife and mother, and live happily ever after. God really threw his head back at that one. He probably even turned to the angel beside him and said, “Is she for real?”

It took me almost a decade to give up on that plan. Not that I didn’t try to make it work. But when your get up each day dreading what your life has become; when you are ill more than you are well; when you have no respect for the person you see the most; when you’ve forgotten what true love feels like, and when you feel like you really have become one of Eliot’s
Hollow Men

… it’s time to reassess.

So I finally decided to just enjoy life without any ultimate plan. These days I pretty much do and pursue what I want.

I do not even plan ahead for dinner, lest the gods start snickering.

But it’s been really cool. I find myself accomplishing more and more because I allow my self to pursue my passions. I travel when I want, see who I want and walk away when I need to. I’m not longer caught up in the societal “shoulds” of our world. Do not get me wrong: Goals are great. But when we become so caught up in the pursuit of the goal that we cannot be mindful in the moment….well, that’s not what I want my life to be about.

I cannot say it enough people: It is all about gratitude for the life that we have.