little sarah Big World

Tag: gratitude

After the Storm

After the Storm

The fields flooded near our house, where we like to go for brisk morning jogs or after dinner walks. Where you can see Mt. Fuji on a clear day.

Flood / Light

But today it is all golden sunshine and metal-tipped waves in the vast ponds that have settled in like a second summer where crops used to be.

I have no idea how devastating the waters are to the farmers, in this late Autumn season. I can’t help myself from marveling at the beauty.

Metallic Waves

Chad tells me that this isn’t the second typhoon of the season, just the second time they’ve cancelled school/work about it. In fact, there have been more than a dozen this year. Angry skies with lots to say.

Newspapers report 17 dead and over twice as many missing. For us it was much more benign–a day off of work, strong winds, heavy rain. Eating and reading and cooking and talking. We did yoga and went for post-storm runs.

After the Storm, Earlier

The strangest part was the middle, its eye, which was sunny and clear and calm as anything. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was all over, never suspecting the looming clouds and violent gusts ready to return, full-force, before tapering off again. A corner, a tear escaping, then eyes shut, eyes open, sparkling and renewed.

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Life is Good

~OR~

Lately

I haven’t been sleeping enough. Not even close. I am running on the fumes of excitement, newness, closeness, and friendship.

Which means that I spend a lot, a lot, of time smiling. Blushing, giggling, doubled over with laughter. Riding my bike with the wind rushing past and my head in the clouds.

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Getting By/A Little Help/My Friends

Sitting on Eric’s bed, even though he’d offered me a chair, because I wanted to curl up, legs crossed, hug my knees.

“I just don’t want to eat anything,” I tell him. “I get shaky, so I know it’s time to eat something, but the taste means nothing to me. It just seems like the worst idea.”

I break, start to cry, and he comes over, kneels down to hug me, my wet face resting against the warm length of his upper arm. Just then Iz comes in, all sweetness and light, saying, “I brought you a smoothie, Sarah,” which makes me cry harder and laugh at the same time.

We all three of us hug. I drink the smoothie. Talk about running with Eric.

Feel a little better.

(Thank you)

Luck Be a Lady

~OR~

Gratitude, Re-Examined

Sometimes you get what you want. Sometimes, after a really rough year that culminates with you sitting in bed,  crying, and your friends have to come and sit on the bed with you and force you to talk and eat things…things take a turn for the better. Sometimes you go from sleeping next to the coal shoot to having your own studio; from having shitty friends, to no friends, to amazing, caring, devoted, silly and wonderful friends. Sometimes you go from working all the time and resenting everything to working a good amount, saving up money, and totally digging your job (most of the time).

Sometimes you think you are going to have to make yet another Big Decision, and you are totally prepared to face it, to do the grown-up thing, cancel that darned South American adventure in favor of a stable job and a fulfilling life in a small(ish) town (to see that integrity wins over desire, as Ms. DiFranco might say)…but then instead you get everything. You get to keep that job, the friends, the life, the boyfriend, the apartment.

At least, that’s what’s been going on with me. And I feel guilty. For getting what I wanted. For things working out.

I want to say that it was hard work. That I deserve the life I have because I’ve worked for it, suffered through years of tedious jobs and flaky friends, and I’ve always sought better for myself. Or maybe it’s my Positive Mental Attitude, I tell myself–I’ve willed this better, more sustainable, more fulfilling life for myself by staying positive, dancing when I’m down, and letting things go.

And this is all true–I’ve worked hard and tried to stay positive, tried to grow from adversity–BUT if my current, pleasant situation is due to my own self-love and PMA…then why the guilty feeling?

Well, because. Because, Friends. Because sometimes, self-love is not enough. Sometimes good vibrations and an honest day’s work aren’t enough. Sometimes not even patience, not even just waiting out the storm, can explain the sunny skies.

Sometimes you have to admit that your hard-earned good fortune is really the result of the love, energy, and effort of others. That your many blessings you receive are the cumulative result of those who care about you and going out of their way to make your life better and easier, for no reason other than being outstanding human beings who want the best for you.

And then what do you do? How do you relieve that nagging guilt? How do you let yourself feel that you deserve this?

Well, I guess you just do your best. You keep working hard and looking up and trying every day to show that you are forever grateful to those who’ve taken a chance on you and your happiness.

You say Thank You.

You say: I don’t know if you still read this, D, but thank you. Thank you so much.

Then you move on.

Great + Attitude = Gratitude

…sort of. I majored in English, not Math, Friends.

Things I am Grateful for Today:

-Trees in bloom

-My amazing, supportive, and amazingly supportive friends

-My job, and the sunny dispositions of my coworkers

-Salads

-Daiya Cheese

-The work-out room at work

-Afternoon naps followed by hot chocolate and a quick walk

The Dainty Squid

-Randomly catching a movie for free last night

-Making it to work on time

-New Opportunities

And, for your viewing pleasure, I most humbly present a turtle ballerina, garnished with pond flora: