Gratitude & Attitude – Dreams of Cora Jane, Fresh Raspberries and Cattitude!

I always have a lot to be grateful for and I do my best to remind myself of this daily. I actually have a daily reminder on my Google calendar to keep my perspective in check. It pops up at 8 a.m. each day, as a text message, and it says, “Just breathe. You have already made it through the most horrific, heart-breaking, unimaginable experience. Nothing in your life will be harder than the death of your child. So, don’t waste time on the trivial bullshit and always look at what you have and who you have in your life and be grateful for all of it.” I read this message every single day and, admittedly, some days I have to go back to it about 20 times to continually remind myself not to let the little things bother me or get under my skin.

A few days ago, I spent the better part of a day overthinking a situation to do with derby and, when I woke up the following morning and turned on my phone, up popped my usual message and I knew, instantly, how to stop myself from spending one more second trying to think of a solution for my derby conundrum. I literally put my phone down, took a breath and said to myself, “That was a lot of time wasted on something that isn’t actually important at all.” And, yes, I often talk to myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ย Just like that, with a little reminder, I was back on track again and feeling relieved and happy.

Adversity puts the important aspects of life into perspective. It keeps me in check and stops me from whining about things that are really, in the scheme of things, truly trivial.

However, I still have my moments where things get to me and this is where a dose of Attitude comes in. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today’s Attitude goes out to:

  1. People who, despite the law and despite the fact that fatalities are on the rise due to people’s complete ignorance of this law, STILL INSIST ON USING THEIR CELL PHONES WHILE DRIVING. I have a couple friends who insist on using their phones (to check messages, talk on the speaker phone, search for music in their music list, etc.) while driving. ย I always want to shout, “WTF is wrong with you? Do you not care that you have a passenger (or your KIDS) in your car who you could kill because you’re distracted? Do you think the No Handheld Devices rule is in place just for shits and giggles?” But how do you say all of this to a friend whose car you are driving in and not piss them off or make them feel attacked – even though you have every right to be concerned for your safety? It’s always a no win situation. So, I’m saying here, “Stay off your phone and pay attention to the road while driving. I want to live. I have been through too much shit in my life already to bite it now, in a car with you, because you were distracted by a ‘must see’ text message.” If you must have access to your phone, get a Blue Tooth like other responsible adults. I almost always turn my phone down or off when I’m in the car so I can’t even hear when someone calls or a message pops up. The only time I leave it on is when I’m a passenger or when I’m shooting a wedding and expecting a text from the Bride or Groom, in which case, my brother is usually in the car with me to check it. It really does boggle my mind that people so blatantly ignore a law that has been put in place because so many people have been killed while on their phones or, worse, have killed other people, because they’ve been distracted while on their phones. Nothing – NOTHING – is so urgent that it can’t wait a few minutes for a person to pull over to a safe spot on the road and check the phone if they absolutely must check their messages or return a call. NOTHING.ย F#$k!
  2. People who are so full of negative and toxic energy that they never hesitate to point fingers at other people and accuse them of starting drama, spreading negativity and creating a toxic environment. I am so done with people like this. It’s called Self-Awareness people. Find some.

Phew! That feels so much better!

I can’t wait to dish out some kick ass Gratitude!

Today’s goes out to:

  1. Dreams. I used to dream a lot before Cora, but now I only dream once in awhile. However, I have had a recurring dream since about three days after Cora died – once or twice a month- and it is always exactly the same. I’ve spoken about it once before in a previous blog, but I’ll recap it here for those of you who haven’t read that one. In the dream, I am back at Children’s Hospital and I know that we have just left the room where they unplugged Cora from life support and she passed away. I can see the nurse, Susan, inside the room and she is holding Cora and motioning ย for me to come in. When I get inside, she hands me the rotting corpse of my baby girl and, for some inexplicable reason, I am naked and I put Cora’s corpse up to my breast and she begins breast feeding. As she eats, the rot disappears and she quickly returns to the beautiful, pink baby she was when she was born – eyes open, wiggling around, alert. At the end of the dream, even though it crushes my heart, I hand her back to Susan and know that I can’t take her with me. I leave the room extremely sad and feeling lost and spent, but strangely calm and grateful that I had a little more time with her again. Last night, though, the dream changed for the first time ever. It was all the same except at the end, when I was preparing to hand her back to Susan, she shook her head, pointed to the door, and waved me away. I kept Cora cuddled close to me and I walked out of the room with her this time. I woke up feeling lighter somehow. I have no idea why my dream has suddenly morphed into something new and unexpected, but I have learned to just roll with the unexpected and take what I can get when it comes to days when my shoulders don’t feel weighed down by grief. So, today I am grateful for dreams. I hope they continue to help me feel lighter. ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. My garden. Yesterday, while I was standing in my garden, eating raspberries off the bushes with my dog (who also loves them), I felt very grateful for my green thumb. I love my garden and all the delicious goodness it provides every day in the warm months! I have a bazillion cucumbers right now too and can’t wait to eat all of them. Yum yum yum!
  3. Orange Julius Caesar. He has the biggest cattitude ever and he basically lords it over our other cat, Charlie (who, according to Greg, has seniority and shouldn’t have to put up with bullshit from a younger cat who was rescued and should understand his place in the world), but I still love him to pieces. He is hilarious – especially when he and Juno play tag every morning and wrestle in the yard. I’m fairly sure he doesn’t realize that playing tag and wrestling with a 60 pound dog is probably not in his best interests, but it is very entertaining and makes me laugh every day. I don’t care what people say, cats are some of the most entertaining creatures on the planet – especially ones with cattitude, like our OJ! He also really enjoys stalking butterflies in the garden and I’ve seen him jump five feet straight up and grab one with his paws. He has mad cat skills too!
  4. Lifelong friends. I have a few friends who are lifers and no matter what happens, no matter how often we see each other or speak to each other, we are always there for each other. That’s something to be grateful for every single day.
  5. Laughter. I really am grateful that I can really laugh again. You never know how much you appreciate laughter until you lose the ability to be happy or see humour for a year or so. ๐Ÿ™‚
  6. Banked Track Roller Derby. I am super grateful that the SS Rodeo acquired a banked track and that I am playing on it this weekend. So much fun and such a good learning experience. Woot!

Have a great week, my friends. I wish you all enough…

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