Monday, November 11, 2013

November Blog Hop - Gratitude

Gratitude.  We see that word a lot in November especially.  The United States celebrates Thanksgiving, so for that month on Facebook, many of us list all that we have to be thankful for.

I am not a hugely positive person.  Sure, I am grateful and thankful to those who help me on a day-to-day basis.  I am quick to say thank you and be genuinely grateful of those who surround me.  But I rarely sit back and count my blessings and appreciate what I have in life. 

I always whine about my career, my body image, my family, my relationship, where I live.  I get tired of money issues.  I am sick of having health/pain issues.  I am really unhappy in my job.  So when it's time to show how grateful I am for the pleasure of being alive, I sometimes fall a little short.

I have tried so hard to "fake-it-til-you-make-it."  I have watched and read The Secret and I "get" how like attracts like.  I do feel like there is something to putting out positivity in the universe.  However, I also get that life can suck sometimes and you need to be able to vent.  Apparently, though, I've made venting my full time job, and, as I get stretched into too many directions, I find less and less positivity to share with the universe.

It's very easy to fall down the rabbit hole.  I have a bad day at work.  Go home and my boyfriend and I have an argument because I'm already grumpy.  I go to bed in a bad mood and don't sleep well.  I wake up even grumpier and skip my workout.  My body is unhappy, so I'm in pain.  I get on BART and there is a delay, which infuriates me.  Then I arrive at the job I hate to start the process all over again.  Someone hurts my feelings at work and I start in on the chocolate (or even better, the anti-anxiety medication).  I feel guilty and start beating myself up.  Then when I get off work and go do the things I enjoy, I'm so far gone, I don't have as much fun.  It happens over and over again every week.  Sure, I try to pull myself out but some days it's almost too late. 

So what *am* I grateful for?

I am grateful for the family that supports me.  I'm grateful for my dad and everything he does for me.  I'm grateful for his girlfriend, Barbara.  I'm grateful for my mom and my siblings.  For my beautiful nephew.  I'm grateful for the amazing women my brothers married.  I am grateful for my grandmothers -- as they both battle health problems and I watch helplessly, unable to make them feel better.  I am not always an easy person to get along with.  I have opinions and I am often not kind when people want to engage in an argument.  For that reason, there are many family members with whom I will never speak again in this lifetime.  For those who "get" me and tolerate me, thank you.  I love you. 

I am grateful that my grandmother has been doing so well now that she is out of the hospital.  The first few visits in the rehab rest home were scary.  I thought she had days, maybe a couple of weeks.  She wasn't able to get up on her own and required a wheelchair everywhere she went.  But now that she's home, she's doing pretty well.  She's kinda sassy but I wouldn't expect anything less.  I appreciate my brother and his wife for being live-in caretakers.  I know that isn't easy.

I am grateful for my sister who has a severely disabled son.  When so many people would have given up and sent him to live somewhere else, she does everything she can to take care of my nephew and keep him in her home.  They are really sweet to watch --  they have their own language.  He is almost nine years old but he cannot walk or talk.  She has to do everything for him.  She has a major back injury and carrying a 50 pound "baby" is really hard.  Many people love the baby stage, but she has essentially had an infant for nine years.  That would have broken a lot of people but not her. 

I am grateful for my boyfriend, Rob.  We have definitely been on a roller coaster over the last four years as he has finished his doctorate in clinical psychology and has started looking for a "real" job.  Now that he's done with his dissertation and is ready to work on those "post-doc" hours (the precursor to taking his licensing exams and truly being done with this process), we are finally going to be in a position of not living paycheck to paycheck.   He may have to move away for awhile to make that happen, but I feel like we are working hard on our relationship.  No person and no relationship is perfect or easy, and I have certainly learned a lot of lessons in this one. 

I am grateful for my Twirly Girls family -- thankful for Mama Bel especially, and Rita for starting this adventure with me -- and my extended pole family all over the world.  I am also thankful for my local extended pole family at Poletential: Christina and Ellen, especially.  Pole has introduced me to a lot of amazing people.  There are too many to list and I would be sad if I missed anyone anyway.  I am also grateful for the opportunities pole has presented to me:  To write blogs and articles for The Pole Dancing Shop, Vertical Art and Fitness Magazine, Pole Spin Magazine and Pole Dance International Magazine.  To interview pole stars and other dancers, both in written and video form.  To travel to pole events and hang out with other people who love pole dance and to be inspired by them.  I am very excited to be part of a growing coalition of pole bloggers, the Pole Dancing Bloggers Association.  I am also grateful for my fellow board members, Valentina, Sheena and Nina, who are helping me strive to be a better writer. 

I am grateful to my friend, Yolanda, who gets me and my issues surrounding my weight and working out and food and working in the legal field and just being a grumpy asshole.  She gets it and she puts up with me.  She picks up cute clothes for me because she knows I can't dress myself if left to my own devices, and she goes to yoga with me in one of the most beautiful buildings in San Francisco. 

While I'm thinking about it, I'm grateful for yoga -- especially Yoga on the Labyrinth in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.  You might think that a room of 200-300 people in a huge, cold church might be kind of an isolating experience but it really isn't.  Yoga is one thing my body requires to live.  If I had to give up everything -- cardio, weight-training, pole...I couldn't give up yoga.

I am grateful for my friend, Robert.  He is one of my best cheerleaders and it has been a pleasure watching him grow as a pole dancer and a person.  

I'm grateful to have a job, even if it's a job I don't care for.  I know many people are out of work and looking desperately.  I appreciate that I am able to pay my bills every month.  I know many who can't.  Even though BART makes me angry, I am grateful to have an inexpensive and fast alternative to driving into San Francisco every day.   

I am grateful for all of the other awesome people in my life I haven't already mentioned -- again, I hate to mention names because I know I'll forget someone obvious and it will result in hurt feelings.

I am grateful to Keith of Tri-Valley Bodyworks for fixing my broken body.  I only wish I could afford in both money and time to see him more often.

I am grateful for Marisa and my new Chunky Girl Comics family.  It is another adventure to add to my growing list of "that really just happened!"

I am grateful to Nic Judd for having spiritual chats with me on Facebook. 

I am grateful for a home to live in, a vehicle to drive, clothes to wear, food to eat...  I see my "homeless Robert" three or four days a week after work.  He is begging for money, although he doesn't scream at people or jingle a cup at me.  He doesn't accept non-sealed food (don't even want to know what happened to make him realize he had to require that).  I will give him cash every once in awhile or buy him band-aids when he shows me a scratch.  He always comments on my clothes or asks how the secretary'ing is going.  Just last week, he asked me if I used an electric typewriter over a manual one, because those manual typewriters just jump too much.  He is very sweet, has the most beautiful blue eyes and a very big, toothless smile.  So I am grateful to him for always waiting for me before I get to BART to say something nice to me and give me a smile.

So even though this is a pole blog hop, I did want to show my appreciation for all of the corners of my life.   I appreciate pole for helping me fill those corners with more adventure than most people will ever see in a lifetime.  If you would like to join our blog hop, please click the link below, read the other blogs and then add yours to the mix!

Grateful for pole friends - thanks for this, Lea!  (Aeriform Arts, Los Angeles)


  1. This made me smile! And i love seeing your yoga shots from the cathedral!

    1. I'm so glad you enjoy them!! I'll be there tonight. I keep wondering if it's disrespectful to do handstands in a church. lol

  2. This made me smile and cry a little. You know I cry in yoga. I am thankful for you!