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Mon May 6, 2013, 09:12 AM

A lovely blog post by a fellow DUer...

and Wishadoo! member. Original blog post HERE.


I remember a lullaby my mother sang to us when we were tiny. It was a popular song, written by Irving Berlin and sung by Bing Crosby, called "Count Your Blessings", from the movie "White Christmas". The words went like this:

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep
Counting my blessings

When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep
Counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep
Counting your blessings

That has been our family's focus for as long as I can remember, and it's something I've strived to do every day of my life. Some call it prayer or giving thanks, and it is that as well, but I like to think of it as getting my perspective back. There are days, and we all have them, that I feel like the world has conspired to beat the hell out of me and is succeeding. Then, when I have a moment to get calm and think, I realize what I do have: first and foremost, a loving family and friends who care what happens to me, and the list goes on from there. And it's true, I get so caught up in naming all my blessings and the people/events/things I'm thankful for I do usually nod off to sleep.

In case you weren't aware, we, like a lot of families, are going through some pretty rough times right now, so it's a challenge to remember to count my blessings, and sometimes I forget. As a very kind gesture, a friend on Facebook suggested a book on clearing money blocks to help us move what feels like not just blocks but a freakin' brick wall keeping the money out of our reach on the one side and keeping the bills piling up on the other. The book starts out in the first chapter with instructions on keeping a detailed record of every single incoming penny. Everything. Even if you find a penny on the sidewalk, you record it. The reason for that is to force yourself to see that there is usually some kind of money coming in most of the time, and remind you to be grateful. True gratitude, and the ability to express it, is in and of itself a blessing worthy of being counted.

So the first week, I did exactly as the book said: I wrote it all down. It wasn't until after the week was up that I realized just how much had actually come to us. For example, I received a card in the mail from my cousin, and she had tucked a gas card in with it. I wrote that down. The local grocery store gives what they call "fuel perks" for buying specific items every week, and that week it just so happened that not only was every item issuing fuel perks on the list of stuff I needed, but it was also on sale, and I received 40 cents off per gallon for gas. I wrote that down. Someone saw our Wishadoo Wishlist and sent us some money. I wrote that down. My cousin (the same one who sent the gas card), paid for the storage facility where we're putting Mama's stuff from her house we're cleaning out. I wrote that down. She also loaned us some money to pay our gas bill. I wrote it down, even though I'm paying her back this week. There were a few other things -- found $20 in a jacket pocket, and if it hadn't turned chilly enough to need a jacket I wouldn't have found it until autumn probably -- loose change that I quickly put in the change jar -- that type thing. The point is, it really did help me to remember to count my blessings.

Another instance, and this one is weird, but still fits, is my sense of smell. I have always had a very keen sense of smell. In fact, most foul odors repel me to a greater extent than they do most people, while most pleasant aromas I can smell more easily than most people. When we were kids, my brothers used to tell everyone the my super power was the ability to sniff out anything like a hound dog. A little insulting, but undeniably true. I've always been particularly repelled by the smell of urine, which is pretty ironic, considering the people I care for now all have continence issues, and urine is a part of my daily life. One day I was helping my mother get bathed and dressed and noticed the urine odor was really bad -- worse than anything I'd ever smelled -- and a little voice told me that was definitely not a good thing. So I made an appointment with her doctor, and sure enough, she had a raging bladder infection. She, having Alzheimer's, had no way of telling me that she had symptoms. If I hadn't noticed the change in the smell she may have ended up in the hospital. Again, counting the blessing of having a sensitive nose.

Now I'm going to work on making the connections with other events, circumstances that, on first glance, seem much less than pleasant, and turn them into blessings so that I can count them and write them down. It's a good day for it. Chilly and rainy outside and we're indoors, warm and dry. Blessing to you all, and thanks for reading my blog.

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