Goodness, I’m Grateful.

Fire PitThe beginning of a new month has always been a bit of a landmark for me. Those of you who know me, or follow my blog, know I’m big on goal setting and that I’m working hard to figure out monthly budgets and patterns. I used to have a friend who woke up on every 1st of the month and said the same mantra to start fresh, “I am so lucky to start again!”

On my drive to work today, I felt overwhelmed by the abundance in my life. I have so many things to be grateful for. While our house still needs a lot of love and attention to make it feel settled, our backyard has begun to feel like a little slice of heaven. We hung our new hammock a few weeks ago, and this week we got the fire pit set up. Tonight we’ll add two more Adirondack chairs and the CharBroil grill I’ve had my eye on for a few months. My dad was eager to help with the grill, so as an early birthday present he sent me a gift card to Lowes. This morning he texted me, “It’s your lucky day. CharBroils are 10% off at Lowes!” Wow. What an unexpected blessing.

Just a few minutes later, before getting my act together and getting to work, I was sorting through coupons to bring with me. I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed to run my errands later. In the stack, was another 10% off coupon for Lowes, that doesn’t expire until the end of July! I also found a million other coupons that will help me get things in order this weekend. Sometimes, it’s just the little things that brighten a day.

Meditation_2016.06.29There are days I feel like the bug stuck to a windshield, defeated and deflated. I worry that the world is fighting me instead of working with me, and that I’m perpetually trapped in this cycle of trying and failing. But last night I sat on my mat and did a meditation style flow, breathed in and out and found balance from within. I grounded myself within my own reality, and changed my perspective with the power of thought. The world is not working against me. It is underneath me, supporting me and holding me up when I need the care. The air from this earth feeds my body, my blood and my spirit and allows me to breathe easy. This world wants me to succeed, and if I believe that then it is true. We are only as happy as we make our minds up to be.

Sitting by the fire last night, I told Aaron how much I think about his grandfather. Grandpa Ron passed just this winter, and I truly believe it is because of him that we ended up in Pittsburgh. He’s the one that started his family there in the 60’s, moved from New York to start a career and build a life with his beautiful wife, Ginny. They raised their boys there, and this winter when he passed, the family gathered here to remember his life. “I wish I knew him before he was so sick,” I told Aaron last night. He laughed, and told me Grandpa was a little bit tough to be around before the Alzheimer’s. But I can’t shake the feeling. When the University of Pittsburgh called me in late January to ask me about a job I had applied for months before on a whim, we were literally packing our bags to head to the funeral. I told the woman on the phone, who is now my boss, that I’d be in town in just a few days, would Monday be too soon? We pushed back our return flight just one day.

And then everything fell into place. By the time Pitt was ready to make me an offer, Grandma Ginny had decided it was time to move out of their home. Aaron’s generous parents offered it to us, for low rent and ample help. They renovated before we even moved in, stripping wall paper and pulling up carpet to reveal the beautiful hardwood floors underneath. We’ve worked on the fence to make it dog-proof, mulched the back garden to improve the yard, and now we’re making it our little hiatus with added bonuses.

W don’t make a ton of money, but we have more than enough to live on. We don’t have the fanciest house or the nicest car, but our cars run and bring us where we need to go and our house keeps us safe, dry and warm. We’re happy and cozy and safe, and goodness I am so grateful.

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