I have fibromyalgia. Some of my days are good days, and I feel as strong as I ever was, stronger even, in some ways. I can climb all the metaphorical and literal mountains that I used to climb. Other days, I feel so fatigued, it’s as if the weight of all my former aspirations and dreams and losses have manifested into 10-pound weights that are hanging all over my body. I fantasize about lying down on the floor and resting. I never know which day I am going to have, but I have more good days than I used to have.
Maintaining and cultivating a Jewish household is important to me. Naturally, everyone has different ideas of what that means, but celebrating Jewish holidays is a cornerstone of what my Jewish household means. We will celebrate other holidays at other people’s houses, much like we celebrate another person’s birthday though it is not our own.
One of my dear friends called me and said, “I have a crazy idea. You can totally say no.” She then asked my husband and me to come visit for the weekend to help out with a Latin club event on a Friday. Instead of saying no, we packed up the car, hauled along my husband’s student teacher, bribed our foster kiddo in the trip with the promise of visiting a horse show, and drove 13 hours to Atlanta. Yep, we drove 26 hours over the long President’s Day weekend and missed a day of work or classes each to help out with a Latin event and then sightsee in Atlanta. Totally crazy. Definitely nerds.
I understand that animals live and die and that chickens are no exception. Usually, on our little suburban homestead, chickens die very purposefully: to be eaten and to make room for new layers. Of course, I care for the chickens that we eat though a few of our chickens are jerks. On the flip side, a couple of our chickens are pets and have earned themselves a name. Yesterday, my pet chicken Ianigena died of unknown causes.
As a former Latin teacher who is married to a Latin teacher, we can get pretty nerdy on a regular basis ’round these parts. Just yesterday, I asked my husband a question, and he responded in Latin because he was thinking about Latin. That’s just how we roll. Teenagers, however, don’t usually roll that way. They did this weekend. Sure, they weren’t spouting off Latin, but they were focused and attentive (while ignoring their phones!) to clean grit and grime from Roman coins. Yep, Roman coins.
My husband and I often talk about zany things when we’re hiking a trail even if we’re more likely to hike in silence, admiring the general splendor of the outdoor world. Our hike up to the South Rim in Big Bend National Park started as a zany day.
My work on gratitude this month may seem like a 30-day short-term project, but I am laying the foundations for a lifetime of grateful happiness, not a month of it. I may not always begin my day by jotting down a few things that I’m grateful for right alongside my to-do list as I have the previous two weeks, but I can envision myself continuing to cultivate a more grateful and loving attitude daily.