Days #11, 12, 13… of 31 Days of Gratitude

If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you’ll know that I can be a bit forgetful about keeping up with posting. It isn’t that I don’t want to. I really wish I could just plug into my brain and upload all of the thoughts I have, but then I feel that you’d all run screaming for the hills.

So while I don’t intend to write out 13 different blogs to cover Days 11 thru 24, I will list below those 13 things I am grateful for in one swoop (keeping them short – I’m promise). So here we go…

Day 11:  I am grateful for being raised in a household where I learned about love, hard work, appreciation instead of hate, bigotry and selfishness.

Day 12: I am grateful for the things that I often take for granted. My eyesight. My hearing. Even, despite my size and physical “disabilities”, I can still walk, drive my car, watch my favourite movies or listen to my favourite bands. I can enjoy watching the sun set, hear a baby’s laughter, or a cat’s meow.

Day 13:  I am grateful for whatever God-given talents I have. I can’t sing a lick – okay I can but no one wants to hear that – but I’m half-way decent at drawing, and I’m told, not a half-bad writer.

Day 14: I am grateful for my sense of humour. I’m sure others might protest – I’ve been told I’m a bit dry and can often be a tad sarcastic. No! You don’t say!? See…but I love to laugh, and make others laugh. As far as I’m concerned, if you can make me laugh, I’m already half in love with you.

Day 15: I am grateful for my mom’s cat Oreo. He helps to keep my boy Finny entertained and not so lonely since my Ginny left us in April. While he can be a royal pain in the ass sometimes, I know that Finny likes to have another buddy around to play with – or fight with – depending on the hour of the day.

Day 16: I am grateful that my job and experience has afforded me a decent wage where I don’t have to live pay check to pay check like so many others must. If I want something, I can get it, though I do try to limit what I want, to what I need.

Day 17: I am grateful for having had close family in my life while I grew up as an only child that I never felt alone. Some cousins were with me often, our families spending a lot of time together – and they always were just “there”.

Day 18: I am grateful for having had my dad in my life, even if for only a short time. As I get older, I remember less and less about him. And I was only eleven when he died, so much of my years with him I was too young to remember anyway, so I have to rely on family and photos to remind me. But even though he was taken from us too soon, I am always grateful for the years that I did have him. He was the best.

215925_1031250395325_5823706_n19554206_10208013042557693_7174055561985117162_n

Day 19: I am grateful for having had the opportunity to visit the places I’ve been, especially Rome and Athens. I’ve always been fascinated with ancient things – Rome and Athens being just a small part of that fascination. But having been able to visits those cities and many others in my life so far, I feel blessed. And there are still so many more places I want to see.

Day 20: I am grateful that I have always had a roof over my head, food in my belly (too much, in fact), warm clothes in the winter, and a comfy bed to sleep in. So many do not, especially at this time of the year when their very survival depends on the things we take for granted.

Day 21: Along with Day 20, I’m also very grateful for running water, working toilets and showers, and shiny appliances to use to make plenty of food. Too often we get bogged down in our lives, worrying about this or that, that we forget about those who have nothing. And I hate that I have to be reminded of this far too often.

Day 22: I am grateful for having some of the same friends in my life for the past 30+ years. They have been with me through the good and bad, the ups and the downs, always willing to lend an ear, or offer a hug…and even to bring the tequila and the shovel. These friends have seen me at my worse, and yet they’re still here. I love them all.

Day 23: I am grateful for YOU. Sure, some of you are family and friends, even some of those I mention in previous days of gratefulness, but I don’t know some of you personally at all. Yet, many of you have taken the time to not only read my posts, but have followed me throughout this journey and my many ramblings, and you’ve stuck around, supported me and offered me words of encouragement. You will never know how much that has meant to me, but I am very grateful for it all. And YOU!  So thank you, my friends!  Red Heart on Twitter Twemoji 2.4

Day 24: As I sit here on Christmas Eve, the condo is quiet because my mom’s been sleeping now for several hours, I feel somewhat lonely. But I know I’m not. Not really. It’s hard to explain. I’m sure you have all felt like this; maybe even now as you read this you feel lonely. But just as I remind myself, please remember that even if you’re in a room full of people, you can feel lonely. Keep people you love and care about in your heart, and you will never be alone. Trust me.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. 

merry-christmas-snowman-twinkling-glitter

Regardless, may your hearts be full of love, laughter and song.

dani1

 

Advertisements

Day #3 of 31 Days of Gratitude

Day #3

For Day #3 of 31 Days of of Gratitude, I am grateful for my family. I’ve probably mentioned before that I come from a very large family. I don’t mean immediate – other than a half-sister – I don’t have any other brothers or sisters. But for other family members – I have them aplenty.

I think I’ve mentioned that I always laugh at the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula tells Ian that she has 27 first cousins (go to the 1:25min mark).

To explain why I laugh so much and to put it into perspective, when my grandmother (meme/mimi) passed away in 1985, she had 56 grandchildren (which would mean I had 55 other first cousins), 79 great grandchildren and 15 great-great grandchildren.

That is not a typo.

When your mother is the youngest of 16, the numbers can be “out there”. And that’s only one side!

The only difference compared to Toula’s family and mine is that – unfortunately or not – our family doesn’t spend a lot of time together, at least, as a large group. In fact, many of the cousins don’t even know each other. Some maybe don’t even get along for whatever reason. But to all of them, I’m Switzerland.

Growing up, I was closest to several because our families spent a lot of time together. Over the years, thanks to social media, I’m gotten to know some family I didn’t know before, became closer to those I hadn’t seen or talked to in years, and in general, am grateful for those that I have in my life.

With that many cousins, many of whom were older than my mom, some have left us already. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to know many of them very well. The great thing about my family being so large is that there is so much to learn – about them and our family history. Stories about their parents – fathers who perhaps fought in a war or served in the military – something to be proud of.

So I love my extended family – all those crazy cousins. And while the number likely never went higher than 56 for first cousins, there are plenty more family that have been added over the years, and are still being added today.

And with a family this large, it’s really hard to feel alone. You’d hope they would be there for you, as much as you’d try to be there for them.

Because, after all, that’s what family should really be about, right?

14-1

Blessings to all.

Dani

 

 

Oops…Day #2 of 31 Days of Gratitude

Well would you look at that…I forgot to do my 31 Days of Gratitude for Days #2 and #3. Ugh. My memory.

Every time I did think of it, I wasn’t in a position to be able to write one. And even leaving myself a note didn’t seem to work.

So…time to play catch up.

Day #2

I’m grateful for my mom.

This is likely a given but I know for many people, their mom’s are not in their lives, but my mom is.

She’s been there with me through every trail and tribulation, through the successes and failures, and while I’ve often questioned whether or not I’ve done anything remotely considered proud of me, her support has never wavered.

And I am grateful for that.

Always.

39fe7d13fad9d3aae6d576609ab84a88--pusheen-love-pusheen-cat

Blessing to all for a great week!

Happy Monday!!

Dani

 

 

31 Days of Gratitude

It’s been a good week, friends. Actually, it’s been a pretty damn good week. And I’m grateful.

Grateful for everything I have. Grateful for everything I’ve ever had. Even grateful for everything that has happened to me – good or bad – because those things have made me a stronger person. A person, I hope, people feel is a great, reliable and loving friend. Someone with a big heart, who would do whatever she could to help them. Someone who didn’t take them for granted, and appreciated having them in her life.

So starting today – December 1, 2017 – I’m going to post 31 days of gratitude. Certainly that doesn’t mean that I won’t be grateful after December 31st, but for now, let’s just start here.

If anyone wants to do this with me, please do. I’ll be posting these 31 days on both Facebook (my personal page), twitter @dani052566 and my IG account:  @danielle_reaume

Let’s do this…

Day #1 

I’m grateful I’m still alive.

I’m grateful I’m still alive…

  • to see another beautiful sunny day.

December 1, 2017

  • to appreciate the beauty of nature
  • to appreciate the beauty of the Earth
  • to be here for my family, friends and Finnegan

And most importantly, I’m grateful to be here for me.

Blessings to all…

Love,

Dani

 

 

 

 

No, this isn’t Groundhog Day…

Hello,

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (for those too young to understand that terminology, please Google it), I’m starting anew.

Again.

groundhog-1...

To say this journey has been a roller-coaster would be an understatement. For the longest time I thought that every “restart” was an embarrassment. As in, why can’t I just do it right the first time? Stick to it. Just do it. And while I won’t profess to say that I’m completely over that thinking, I have come to understand that like life, which is filled with so many things that interrupt your path, you can still be ON that path…there are just some detours that get in the way.

The key is to stay on the path, but if you sway off, get back on.

And while it does admittedly bother me that I haven’t been very successful up to this point, I need to keep trying. If I don’t, I won’t be around to entertain you fine people with my witty bantering. And how tragic would that be?

As I posted prior, I am now back home in Canada and I’m settling in more and more each day. It is still some adjustment for me, but I’m getting there. And the one thing I’m finally “there” for is to do something about my weight.

Again.

While I was at my heaviest in early July before the move, I had lost some since, but not enough and not consistently. In fact, I’ve lost and gained the same 5 pounds over the past few weeks and it’s very frustrating.

So why is this time any different? you might ask. Trust me, I’m asking myself. And while I am not going to make any promises, I’m also not going to think about the chance of failure. There’s nothing worse at trying to succeed at something and starting off with thinking about how you might fail.

Talk about setting yourself up for an epic fail!

But this time it’s mostly about frame of mind. And hopefully having someone close to me on the same journey where we can help each other out. This is hard enough to do, but to do it alone is even harder.

No matter what your “thing” is that you need to do – try to find others who will support you, help you, and maybe even walk through it with you.

After all, what is there (for me) to lose…?

Except this weight.

Never let a stumble be the end of your journey…

Broken Pot

So…here I go. Again.

My life is worth living, and I want to do so much more living before there’s no more life left. It’s time.

And it’s not going to be easy. Nothing worth it every is. And I will struggle. I will falter. I will even swear like a banshee…okay that’s a given no matter what…but I will try so very hard to do this.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself – George Bernard Shaw

It’s time to create. Let’s do this.

Thank you for coming with me on this journey, and supporting me. It means everything.

Blessings to all.

Dani

I’m baaack…did you miss me?

Hello my peeples!

dYryW8ZaSYqnr73nuTDr_Tom

I know it’s been some time. The usual “tune” to this blog is that I can, and do, often go some time between writings and I have apologized for that. Often. In this case, I do have a better excuse than not having anything to say, or I simply didn’t feel like writing…

I have had a significant change in my life.

Those that know me, already know this but many of you may not. So…I have moved back to my homeland Canada, back to my hometown in Ontario. I moved in late July and have been busy settling in, taking care of legal matters, and at the same time, have continued to work for my employer training my replacement (remotely). I’ll be doing so until the end of October, at which time I am officially unemployed – for the first time in a very long time.

In any case, the last several months (more prior to the move), have been challenging – both mentally and physically.

While it may not seem that moving back to your hometown is significant to some, keep in mind that I haven’t lived here in nearly 20 years. And a lot has changed during that time. I’m also leaving a job I’ve held for nearly 20 years, and now have to find a new one (at my age!) in a city that – unless you are capable of working in a tool & die/automotive-type industry, a physical labour (<—note the spelling; I am in Canada now) job or a part-time job so they don’t have to pay you benefits – this city doesn’t have a lot to offer someone with my experience. I have been looking at the job market for over a year just to see what was “out there” and I have to say, it’s slim-pickings for sure.

And don’t even get me started on having to relearn the metric system! Though, if I’m honest, I’m not sure I learned it well enough before I moved away! 🙂

217007_orig

So my life has been in a bit of chaos the last several months. Packing up to move back here meant I had to deal with some challenges I’m sure any of you who have ever moved have faced: what to keep? what to donate? what to throw out? where did I get this? why do I have this? And then the physical aspect of packing. And as you all know, being on my feet and doing physical things is a huge challenge for me. And this was a doozy.

By the time I left my empty apartment on my last night in New York, as I headed to my hotel, I cried. I cried a lot those few months. But I cried that night because it was finally all over. All of the pain it took me – mentally and of course, physically – to get through it was finally over. I’m grateful to those friends who helped me get to that point. I couldn’t have done it completely alone, and despite the help, I was still physically and emotionally drained. And so the tears flowed.

But I was also reminded of how being this size impeded everything I did in preparing for the move. The physicality was a huge barrier for me, and there were times that I cried even more because of the pain I was in. My feet. My lower back. My legs. Everywhere. It was a constant reminder of just how out of shape I am. It was a slap in the face and a “you’re a fucking idiot” every time I took a step. I was an emotional wrecking ball and there were times, I admit, I wasn’t sure I could get to the finish line.

Some legal things I had to deal with when I finally arrived back “home” didn’t help either. They weren’t anything physical I needed to deal with, but mentally, I wasn’t yet healed from the few prior months, and I honestly questioned if I had made the wrong choice in coming back. But I really knew I hadn’t. It would have happened eventually, and actually should have happened years ago – after my divorce.

But I survived.

I always do.

So here I am, 72 days after my move back home. I’m settling in. It’s been some adjustments, and I still feel a bit out of sorts sometimes. Like I’m not really living here; I’m just visiting. I’m sure that will pass soon enough. In the meantime, I’m working, helping my mom here and there, spending some time with some family and friends, and preparing to find a job.

I haven’t done any writing and I need to. I’m trying to help a director friend with getting the word out on a project of his. I’m finally finished dealing with the last of matters I had to deal with for moving back here. Things are looking up. Sort of. Kind of. I mean…you know I can’t just be completely positive and say things are going great. Besides that rarely being true, I am a bit superstitious and don’t want to jinx myself either.

Regardless, I made the decision earlier this week that I needed to buckle down more on the weight loss issue. During the months prior to moving, I really wasn’t thinking of that at all – I simply had too much else going on – so I ate indiscriminately. And it showed on the scale. But I was allowing myself that reprieve. Since I’ve been home, I’m eating more veggies and way less “take out” but I didn’t feel I was being serious enough, so I made a few adjustments and so far it’s been a good week.  I’m still not physically able to do much, but getting one thing more under control is helping.

So I’m happy to report that I am down 5.8 pounds (ugh…2.63084 kgs – see it sounds like more in non-metric/imperial measurements anyway!) since Monday. Mind you, I did detox one day earlier in the week but that didn’t do much. And I’ve been dealing with an infection which required me to drink a lot of water (and stop the detox drink) in order for the medications to work better. But I haven’t snacked as much, have had more salad/veggies (and less meat), and even less soda pop.

So, yay me!

afsd

If this move has taught me anything (besides, cripes Dani are you some sort of pack-rat??!), it’s that with my body being so out of shape, there are so many other things that I just cannot do. And that has to change.

I will be honest and say that I’m really tired of saying “this is it!” or “I’m back on track” only to fail. But I’m using that term only because it gives a sense of how I feel, not that I’m necessarily failing. At least, I’m trying NOT to feel that way. Because it’s going to take a long time, and it’s going to take a lot of hard work, and I’m not going to be perfect at its execution, just like I won’t be perfect when I reach my ultimate goal.

Thomas Edison has one of my favourite quotes:

05f311c2afd35f9f0d835b33ffdf95e2

So I am going to fail.

But I am going to keep on…keeping on. Until I find the way that will work, and achieve success!

Thanks for your patience, support and most of all, your love.

Blessings to all.

Love,

Dani

 

What are you grateful for?

Pardon me for ending the title with a preposition. “For what are you grateful?” always sounds so proper, and I’ve never claimed to be so proper. At least, most of the time.

gratitude-journal

As I write this, I’m thinking of a person who entered my life when I first moved to the U.S., way back in 1998. He went out of his way to welcome me, to listen to me and most especially, he always encouraged me to go after my dreams. For many years, he was, in a way, a mentor to me. I was grateful for his encouragement, but also for his belief in me. In my abilities.

For the past many years, this man has struggled with his own health issues – fighting the pain and issues associated with Parkinson’s Disease. It forced him into early retirement. At the same time, he and his wife’s youngest child has dealt with his own health issues – since his birth – and tonight I heard that this young man is in the ICU and the prognosis isn’t good.

No one should ever have to suffer in pain due to illness and disease, but unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. That this happens to even the best of us is very disheartening and heartbreaking. I pray that God looks over this family tonight and can only hope for a miracle.

I often feel that despite my attempts to try to help my family and friends as much as I am able, I can and often am a selfish person. I easily forget other’s problems, forget to ask them how they are – take the time to consider others. I’m guilty of that, for sure. I’m also guilty of forgetting how fortunate I am.

So this posting – while this is my weight loss blog – will not be about my journey and how I’m doing. This is going to be a post about the things for which I am grateful (see…no ending in a preposition there). So, here is my list of the things for which I’m most grateful:

  1. My mother. Having lost my father when I was 11, my mom became my savior and she’s been my rock every since. I don’t know how I could have gotten through some of the things in my life without her.
  2. My father. My dad Gerry meant so much to both my mother and me. I’m very grateful that I had him in my life, even if it was for such a short time. He adopted me as his own after he married my mom, and he was the best father – and man – that I could ever have in my life.
  3. My cats. I don’t have any children and likely never will. In my years alone since my divorce, my cats have been there for me unconditionally. They have made me feel like I am important, and they’ve helped me out of the darkness on more than one occasion.
  4. My family. Like Tula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I have a lot of cousins. More so than Tula, in fact. I come from a large extended family, and I actually am fortunate to have three families that I’m a part of – my mother’s side, my father’s side, and my biological father’s side. I have a great love for my family – no matter how crazy some of them are. But you know what, they’re mine. And I would protect any one of them from anyone that would do them harm. 5ab214406d8e3024452a05466bd3f97f
  5. My friends. I have been fortunate to have some of the same friends in my life for over 30 years. People who have been right beside me in some of my darkest times – and never left. I know that they would have my back, just as I would have theirs. I also have many newer friends – people who entered my life for one reason or another over the past many years – who has proven to have kind, gracious hearts and who have welcomed me into their lives.
  6. My freedom. I’m proud to be a Canadian. I’m proud that I am from a country where my ancestor chose to move to and raise their families. I’m especially grateful for those who fought, were injured or who died fighting for our freedom.
  7. My intelligence. I often joke that I can be a dolt. And there are many times when I do question not only my sanity but also how I managed to get this far in life. I like to think that for what I might lack in sheer intelligence, I at least have a modicum of common sense. Be that as it may, I do feel like I have a lick of smarts. And I’m grateful for that.
  8. My talents. It’s not always clear to me what I should have done with my life as I grew up. The earliest memories regarding a career go back to when I wanted to be an archaeologist. Those that know me would find this a humorous paradox – because while I love anything relating to ancient history, what I don’t like is digging in the dirt. Especially if said dirt had bugs in it. I kid you not. In any case, I do believe that I have some writing talents, and considering that I’ve often questioned what else I might be good at doing, I”m grateful, at least, for those.
  9. My health. It’s almost funny that I state this – given the struggles I have every day with my health. But my grateful for two things:
    • that I’m still healthy enough to do something about getting healthy, into shape and doing what I need to in order to extend my life, and
    • that I’m still alive. I’ve come to be truly grateful every morning when I wake up – that I woke up.  So now I’m working trying to appreciate every day to the fullest. Given the things that other people in my life are going through – it’s a cold wake up reminder  that life is too short and we need to enjoy it and life it to the fullest. Every. Damn. Day.

Might I suggest that whoever is reading this also take a moment of your day – right now – and think about what you’re grateful for. You don’t have to write them down, but if you want to – please do.

Lastly, I’m grateful for you. You – the person reading this. Why? Because even if you don’t know me, you took time out of your life to read this post (or any of my others). I appreciate you spending your precious time – with me. And, of course, I’m grateful to all of my family and friends who continue to support me – through all my ups and down.

So thank you, my beautiful peeples. Bless you all.

Love,

Dani