On Being Grateful for my Life!

I have been working pretty much non-stop since mid-March, sort of.  OK, I have had two weeks off in total since then.  I had a week off in-between jobs and recently had a week off for my Birthday.

I am working in areas I have never worked before.  I have done some work for social services, and I am currently working in a Nursing Home.  Although different, there are many similarities.  What they do have in common is extremely low pay.  However, I am not complaining as it means I don’t have to tap into my savings as much.  I am really enjoying my current assignment.  I really wanted to leave the first day.  There was no-one to hand over and I didn’t have a clue where to start or what to do.  But then I stared into space for about 5 minutes and ping, I had a brain wave and called the head office.  Within 3 weeks I was down with all of the financial stuff.  Each day got better.  It was one step at a time.

I was actually offered the post that I am in, but it really isn’t financially viable long-term.  I make marginally more than what they are actually paying and one days wages out of five pays for my petrol.  I wouldn’t mind this job if it was nearer to home as it takes me a long time to drive to work.  In the meantime, I have owned the job and am getting everything ready for when the new lady starts.

My colleagues are also amazing women, and men (but there are mostly women).  I am going to miss them when I leave.  However, I feel that I have made some nice friends, and that is always a good thing.  I also have some very good references!

Since I have worked for the Nursing Home, a couple of the residents have passed away.  The main part of my job is administration, so I very rarely have anything to do with the residents.   I have only spoken to a handful.  Most of the residents are not very mobile or they are confined to their rooms.  Saying that, it is still very sad when someone passes on.  It is the family that really suffers afterwardes.  Unfortunately, there is only one way that the residents are going to leave.  In the time until then, the staff try to make things as nice as possible for them.  The chef makes lovely food. Who cares about calories at this stage of life?  It might be the only nice thing to experience before they go.  I was worried about what type of Nursing Home I was going to be working in, but this place is really lovely.

Working in a place like this makes you think and puts many things into perspective.  I have huge admiration for the nurses and carers.  They work long hours and do a sometimes thankless job.  The managers are doing their best to make sure that everything is running smoothly without losing focus on customer care.  My job is to make sure that all the finances and administration processes are up to speed.  I am afraid that there is still a lot of catching up to do in this area, but we are getting there.

If there are some down sides, I try not to think about them, after all, I am only temporary and am working on being grateful for what I have, which is a lot.  Hopefully, something better will come after this.  It usually does.  This job does put things into perspective and I am grateful that I still have my health and don’t have to rely on others to look after me.

I just have to tell my kids to start saving up as it isn’t cheap to put your parent into a home. 🙂

Merry Christmas Message 2011

As 2011 draws to a close and we all get ready, or panic, for the holiday festivities, I would just like to pause and reflect.  There are many people who will not be enjoying the holiday celebrations and I would like you to send some kind thoughts to them.  And I am not talking about people who are just grumpy and don’t like Christmas or don’t get along with their families.

Take a minute of your time and tell someone out there that they are not forgotten.  (You can say it in your head)  It doesn’t have to be anyone specific, but I am sure that we all know someone who could benefit from some kind thought.   There are a lot of conflicts and injustices taking place out there in this big world of ours and many people are suffering.  A lot of them probably live near you.  Suffering doesn’t stop for the holidays.  What good will a thought do?  Well, thoughts become things as they are made of energy.  It is not a coincidence when you think about someone and you bump into them on the street or they call you.  If how you think can change your life, then what can your positive thought do for a complete and utter stranger?  Just something to think about.

Because others may be suffering, does this mean than I am not going to enjoy myself over the holidays or for the rest of my life?  Heck no.  Right now I feel particularly grateful that I am in good health and have loving people around me.  We can do a lot for others around us just by being pleasant and kind and having a smile on our face.  Try and be the kind of person that you would want to hang out with.  A brief, positive interaction with a stranger can make a world of difference, for you and/or for them.  Happiness and the pursuit of it is our right.  It is even written into the American Constitution. 🙂  Suffering is not a virtue.  It is a sure sign that something is not right in our world.

And for those of you who think that I don’t get grumpy, or angry or a little bit down sometimes, well, just ask my exes, or my kids.  I’m only human.  However, once I start listing all that I am grateful for, it cheers me right up as I realise how much I have in my life already.  This allows me to be more generous, maybe not so much with my money as I am not working full-time, but I can be generous with my time and a kind word if needed, and by taking stuff to the charity shop (they made a lot of money off of me in gift aid last year!).  And that is how I plan on making things better in my world.  It works for me.

I will be having a quiet Christmas and hopefully a boisterous New Year with a loved one.  My kids are with their Dad, so I might get to see them with Skype.  My parents really don’t do technology, so it will be a phone call, which is the next best thing to being there, but that was before Skype. 🙂

I want to thank all of you who have been reading my blog and hope you all have a wonderful holiday, whichever one you are celebrating.  And for all of you who are having difficulties, I hope that love and joy will find you.  All the best. xx

Burning the Past and Painting the Future

This is what I did Saturday.   Before I did that, I grabbed everything except my handbag with my wallet and house keys and went off to the workshop with my friend following behind me.  Doh!  We stopped for petrol.  It was when I went to get my handbag to pay for the petrol that I realised I left my bag at home.  Crap!  Fortunately, my friend owed me money for the workshop, and she paid for my petrol.  The sat nav made me crazy and I took a few wrong turns, but we all got there with plenty of time to spare.  The workshop was wonderful, but exhausting for me.   I came home, knocked on my neighbour’s door and got the spare key.  No problem.  I didn’t worry about anything all day as I knew within myself that all was going to be ok.  Besides, I had backup.  My neighbour came to the workshop too and she gave me the key to her flat as she was staying with another friend that came to the workshop.  Don’t you love how things work out like that?

One of the things we had to do in the workshop was to draw a picture of our future as we wanted it.  Easy peasy, but more of that later.  The whole experience exhausted me.  My head was bursting full of ideas for new paintings.  It felt as if my head was going to explode.  I had insights into my life and actions that I didn’t know about before.   I am at a very interesting point in my life where I have so many choices that I almost feel immobilized.  I say almost.  It is as if I can see into the future, but I choose to remain in the present and see what happens.

So that was Saturday, Sunday was another day and I decided to do ‘nothing’ all day.  That involved doing laundry, watering the plants, planting a new climber, sunbathing (for the first time in months!), and reading a book!  I also went out to tea at my local and listened to music and caught up with some salsa friends and met new people.  I also re-painted my future. (really, more about that later!)  How is that for a lazy summer’s day!?

I also decided to burn my past!  Literally!  I have had a couple of heavy boxes of paper that have represented divorces, mortgages and other stuff that represented my life for the last ten+ years.  Shredding was a nightmare.  I thought, ‘I have a chiminea, why don’t I burn the stuff that has been hanging around in my hallway for the last year!?  So that is what I did, and am still doing!  Lookie see!

Crap to burn!
Burning the Past

I couldn’t burn it all in one go, and am doing the rest this morning.  The ashes were still hot.   I am burning so much anger and resentment from the past.   It is very therapeutic.   I know that when I have burned every single scrap of paper, I will be even more free than I was before – and I will also have fertiliser for the garden!

Now to painting my future, at last!  Here is the picture!

My Future

It isn’t supposed to be fine art, merely a representation of what I want in my future, and is in the centre of my inspiration wall in my office.  The other things on my wall all link into this picture or are there to inspire me.  Anyone can do this.  I had a flyer from an exhibition I went to on a board in my old house.  It was there for 10 yrs. and was of a painting I saw.  At the time, it was too expensive for me, but I knew one day I would have one of this artist’s paintings.  Now I own five, including the original painting I saw that was on my inspiration board!  Maybe inspiration is the wrong word to use.  I might start calling it my manifestation wall.  I really do think that if you can visualise what you want in your life, it will come, eventually.  Putting up a picture merely brings it into the present to make sure you don’t forget about what you want and to help you take steps to reach your goal.

By looking at my picture, you may think ‘hey, she already has a house by the sea!’  Well, I live less than a 10 minute walk away from the seafront.  I would love to look out of my window and look at the sea everyday without getting out of my house!  I am one step away from that.  Although we have lovely summers here in Eastbourne, I still live in the UK and the winter can be a bit grim.  I would like to live with sunshine year round.  I could do with more cash.  A job would be nice.  Notice that is the first thing in my picture.    I am ready to go back to work and earn some money.  The tree represents many things:  Roots, security, communication, knowledge or information…I am sure I will think of some other things, but I felt I needed to paint a tree.  Lastly, a loving relationship.  I painted two naked people looking out to sea with a sunset and butterfly.  They are naked because they are open and free.    The butterfly signifies a new beginning and I just needed to put it in there.  So my future is looking very good in that picture.  My present is also very good and I am very grateful for what I have now.  I don’t feel I am lacking anything, I would just like to tweak things and have a bit more of what I have already in a different environment.  This picture inspires me and shows me what is going to come to me, eventually.

So, what do you see in your future?