Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 16,759: Bite-Sized Morsels

There is a lot to be learned from caregiving mode. Anything that I set out to accomplish these days needs to be in bite-sized morsels, started and finished quickly, or tolerant of being picked up and then put down again on a moment's notice. It has wrestled me into relaxing about my processes, both professional and personal. And it has coaxed me into greater playfulness in my sketchbook journal, with which I tend to be unnecessarily regimented under normal circumstances. I have an infatuation with the vibrant creaminess of water soluble crayons and worked on this drawing like a jigsaw puzzle throughout last weekend. I would step into it and then have to step away again, but it gave me joy to know it was in progress. Art therapy, indeed.

It's all about showing up, even momentarily, for the things that are meaningful to me. I may not be able to give everything my extended and undivided attention right now or in the foreseeable future, but a few minutes here and there does make a difference. I am exploring other ways to apply this flexible, bite-sized approach to all areas of my life and discovering that almost every task, project and goal can be broken down into micro-increments. So simple and yet color me astounded at this revelation.

What has necessity and/or life's changing tides taught YOU recently?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 16,758

(No Instagram filter here ... it's untouched except for cropping.)

Fred's caregiving continues. Yesterday, we had a home visit from an angel ... Tammy Wynn from Angel's Paws. She will assist us with keeping Fred comfortable and preparing for his transition at home, when the time comes. We can call her any time of day with questions, concerns or to come over as needed. Knowing this gives us tremendous peace of mind, so we can focus on loving on Fred and enjoying the remaining time that we have with him. His pain medication is helping a lot and there have been recent days when it seems like we have our boy back. But we are realistic about how this will play out and do not want him to suffer, so we are prepared (as we can be) to be ready when the time comes to let him go. In the meantime, we are living in this rather solemnly awkward in-between. Waves of sadness frequently catch me off-guard and start to sweep me away. I falter. I flail. But somehow gratitude always comes to the rescue and manages to keep me afloat.

As Fred grabbed a nap beside me, the morning sun came streaming through the living room window upon me at just the right angle to create this magic. For a few moments, I was annointed by the light. Through it I am reminded and assured that everything is going to be okay. Moment by moment. Hour by hour. Day by day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 16,753 Gratitude

Every year, we setup three window boxes of impatiens on the brick ledge outside of our living room windows. They are sheltered by Grandmother Sycamore and bathed in the morning sun. Every year, at least one crafty spider sets up housekeeping and weaves her funnel between the window and the box. The flowers become a sticky trap to future snacks. This particular web is rather breathtaking in its resemblance to a tornado. Deadly beauty, indeed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 16,751 Gratitude

Recent days have been spent gratefully caring for this sweet boy. We adopted Fred in July, 2001. He was smart enough to suck at racing, so he could come and live with us. He's 12 years old now and his body is wearing out. He is taking Rimadyl and Tramadol for pain and receiving Reiki from countless caring souls. It's day-by-day around here. We celebrate every two steps forward. We make peace with every one step back.

There is nothing like caregiving to bring you into the moment. You can't afford to be anywhere other than where you are, doing what needs to be done. But a sixth sense is also demanded, to know what needs to be known. It can be exhausting and worrisome if we let it. It can also exponentially expand our love and gratitude. There is no better opportunity to understand the deep meaning of the word grace than when we are in the thick of it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 16,735 Gratitude

Things for which I am grateful today ...

Lillies that bloom annually, without fail, despite outright neglect.
Writing an entry in my sketchbook journal and letting that be okay.
Sabra Supremely Spicy hummus to which I am addicted.
A strong practice at yoga class tonight.
The arrival of August -- summer's fair warning.

We are on course to match if not break the standing record for consecutive days (17) in the 90s. The air is thick and the sunlight is searing. Squirrels and birds line up at our patio fountain for a drink and a dip. Cicada song can be heard loud and clear indoors. I will long for this scene in January. I bask in it while it lasts.