Some of you know that I go to Naranon meetings regularly because one of my boys is an addict..in recovery now for several years, but an addict is an addict for life, and so I maintain my connection for my own emotional well being. With addiction, there's typically SO much to feel upset about, maligned or victimized by. For obvious reasons! Addiction sucks and it touches, negatively, everyone who's connected. It's easy, and normal, to think "why me?" or other such victim type thoughts. Something we do in Naranon from time to time is practice Gratitude, that feeling of appreciation or thanks for something. It's hard to feel gratitude when you're being victimized by addiction. Hard to feel appreciation when your life is in the toilet because your loved one is bottoming out, or stealing from you, or in jail, or homeless, or any of the other countless things that can happen when drugs take hold. Still, it's beneficial to focus on the things in life we're grateful for, happy and thankful for. And in Naranon, we do. The recent death of my DIL, and its impact on my grandchildren, and the problems and issues that has resulted in caused me much grief and upset, and so it was a good time to remind myself of the many things in my life that are good, and that make me happy, and that I'm grateful for. Too, I thought it would be a good exercise for all of us who'd like to participate, so I challenge you to post about things, large or small, that you're grateful for in life. 1. I'm grateful for my health. For most of my life I took my health for granted, never gave it a thought. It's only been in the last few years, as I've seen peers felled by various issues, ailments and conditions that I've begun to realize how lucky I am that I am completely healthy at my age. It's allowed me the freedom to pursue the physical things I'm interested in and to be able to be fully present in the lives of my grandchildren, and play and share the many physical activities they're involved in, and to be able to continue working at a job I enjoy which is also physically demanding more than it's not. 2. I am grateful for my children, grateful that all 5 of them are healthy themselves, especially when I see friends and acquaintances whose kids are suffering from various health issues. Mine lucked out! Also under the heading of children is my deep gratitude that I have such a close and loving relationship with them, that they not only allow that but contribute to it. I'm a lucky Mom. 3. I can't mention my kids without immediately progressing to being grateful for my grandkids too, their health and well being And particularly with the older ones who are dealing with teen angst, I especially appreciate their tolerance for my insistent presence in their lives, whether it's actual or virtual. They put up with my shenanigans! 4. I love my friends, and am grateful for each and every one of them. I used to take friends for granted, much like I did my health. They were just there, y'know? But I've learned how valuable friendship is, how fun it is to share common interests, how much strength I can borrow from a friend when I'm in need, how friends have been my soft place to fall, my port in a storm, my solace when I've needed those things so desperately. Thank you to my friends here...you've all been all that, and more, to me, and I'm grateful for each of you. 5. Grateful for my clients..I have a wonderful bunch of people I work for. I've been with some of them for 20+ years now, and in a couple cases I'm working not only for them, but for one of their children too who I've seen grow up and graduate college and get married and start a family of their own! I've been privileged to be on that journey with them. 6. At this moment (and every morning) I am very grateful for coffee 7. I am grateful for dance. For dancing. For the music that I love to dance to, for my dance partners and the instructors I've had along the way, and the studios and venues I've danced in. I'm more grateful than I can say for its therapeutic value, for the boost it gave to my self esteem, confidence and self worth when I needed that boost so desperately (but didn't even know I needed it!) and for its contribution to my continued good mental and physical health and well being. 8. I am grateful for spring, and fall, my two favorite seasons. The older I've gotten the more I've realized how much those two seasons in particular energize and revitalize me. In the spring I get to go out in the garden and dig in the dirt, and in the fall I get to be amazed and uplifted by the riot of color and the nip in the air. 9. I am grateful for technology. For all its frustrations, it's allowed me to be in the lives of my loved ones even when we're far apart. It's enabled me to expand my work to be of more useful service to my clients. It's streamlined my very busy life in ways that have maximized my time and level of efficiency. And besides all that, it's FUN! 10. I am grateful for my dogs, for their constant presence in my lives and for their unconditional love, no matter how much they've been ignored at times when I was wallowing in my own miseries. They never held it against me, never gave me a hard time, never once did anything other than shower me with love and tiny sloppy doggy kisses every time, mindless of whether the last time had been just been 10 minutes before or two weeks before. They've seen me through so much, and no matter how wretched I've felt, 10 minutes on the floor with them letting their little bodies jump and snuggle and bound all over me, vibrating with excitement and love, has been instant therapy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What about you?