Tag Archives: moments of gratitude

Feel Good 5 Friday … on a Saturday Night..

3 Jul

Rebounding.

It takes a lot of out of you.  The energy of getting back up when you’ve been knocked down takes some extra umph.

Back in the day when Showtime ruled the hardwood floors, Chick Hearn crushed the airwaves. The game was in the refrigerator, the door was closed, the lights were out, eggs cooling, butter was getting hard, and the Jello was jiggling … and there was AC Green. Magic was well …  Magic with no look passes, and clutch shots he helped ignite a comeback when they were down by 5 with 10 seconds to go. Worthy was the finish man, catching those no-look passes and taking them to the basket. Kareem was the Skyhook champ, couldn’t beat him. Michael Cooper wore the long socks and nailed three-pointers from anywhere around the perimeter. Anywhere. He was money. And then there was AC Green.

The Rebound Man.

Sure. Kareem had plenty. He was the Big Man. But AC was a forward and he was still battling.

Up in the air fighting elbows, and over the shoulder fouls, there he was grabbing the rebound, boxing out, putting it up for two on the offense, or sending the outlet pass for a fast break or an offense about to storm the other side. He battled in the paint, he battled outside of it. He rebounded.

He was not the biggest on the team but he fought on the boards.

I remembered AC and the work he put in just recently. Rebounding takes a lot out of you and sometimes you don’t even know if you have anything left in the tank. The patience and grace you got may have run out by 11 a.m. on some days and then you realize you still have a long ways to go. You’ve given up on the day. That’s it. You want to just lie down on the couch for 24 hours until time resets the day for you. Sometimes I feel like that. Just sitting there with some dark chocolate Kit Kats and taking deep breaths and hoping for a miracle.

But most of the time you have to make your own magic happen. Just the way it is and resetting is step one. But that’s hard when you’re feeling dejected, and just not feeling an ounce of gratitude, can’t find nothing in that reserve. Giving up on the day feels necessary. Just logical.

But sometimes breaking your day up in quarters might help. Morning, Lunch Time, Afternoon, and Night.  Just because one quarter went bad doesn’t mean the entire game is lost, it may in some instances, but you still have three quarters to bounce back, to rebound.

You’re still AC Green.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. I know. Believe me. Two kids, distance learning done, Summer Break in full effect, tight budget so you’re job hunting while working on an independent project, in addition to having family that isn’t really supportive or uplifting. This type of negative environment could be difficult to survive. The everyday stresses compounding with personal setbacks make it difficult to find the daily gratitude. Some people turn to different outlets to survive. Alcohol. Smoking. Those are popular. But because my uncle died of cancer, and he didn’t smoke, and my Dad passed away of lung disease, brought on by second-hand smoke, asbestos, or who knows what, that’s not a cool option for me. Alcoholism runs in my family so I don’t turn to it in troubled times. I got random bouts of profanity in the solitude of my locked car, exercise, nature, and music. That’s what’s in my tank. 

Then sometimes I think of AC Green. Still rebounding in the 4th quarter because the game isn’t over.

I got one quarter left in me. That’s what comes to mind and then soon enough I find bits and pieces of gratitude moments. Blueberry pancakes.  30-minute Pearl Jam yoga with Denis Morton in the morning.  Strength workout where I find a faint sculpting of my arms in effect. Dark Chocolate. Gas in the car. Giving a ride to my neighbor. 80’s music on the way there. 70’s on the way back. Entering a contest. My team winning tonight after nine innings. Clean sheets and the cool side of the pillow.

And sometimes that’s just enough to cross the finish line.

Buen Camino, my friends …

 

 

 

 

The Police – De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

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Carlos Vives and Ricky Martin — Cancion Bonita

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CCR – Have You Ever Seen The Rain

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Electric Light Orchestra — Mr. Blue Sky

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Donna Summer — Last Dance

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Gratitude With Diane Lane on Valentine’s Day

15 Feb

You know, I was never one for elaborate celebrations or grand gestures of love on Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked being the highlight of someone’s thoughts and getting some chocolate, or a nice card with hearts on it. I still liked knowing that I was on someone’s mind.

And I never made a huge deal of it so as not to put added pressure on whoever I was with at the time. But a card, a nice meal, some chocolate, some laughs, and a genuine hug that expressed heartfelt connection and intimacy was all I needed.

I look back now and remember times when I was younger and felt lonely, when grandiose productions of others professing their love made the loneliness bigger. I remember the Aquatnet days wanting that candy gram and plastic flower to be presented in class, you know, from that special someone. Now they have it on Facebook or Instagram for the whole world to witness this romanticism. Some people share just to be genuine and open up their book of life, letting us read a small page of it, others do it for showboating-look-at-me reasons, cheapening the heart and romance.

When you’re younger these things seem important.

But I realized how gratitude on Valentine’s Day is just as important as love.

I may not have gotten the red-carpet treatment, but I was able to share moments of life with people I loved. Babysitting for a friend over the weekend so that they could have some kid-less alone time and feel like normal people again made me smile. Getting a card with the best kindergarten spelling and Crayola Crayons masterpiece from my daughter filled my heart. Playing Valentine’s Bingo, cupid’s arrow, making kids at school smile and being helpful in my kids’ classroom hit the spot. Eating a steak dinner, I didn’t have to cook for myself brought a smile to my face. Finishing the night with a small band, playing some good tunes, while sipping a margarita felt nice. Ending the night with Haagen-Daasz chocolate ice cream and watching Netflix a definite plus.

A day and night filled with non-Facebook worthy moments, but special nevertheless.

During all this, I was reminded of Diane Lane in that movie Under The Tuscan Sun. I love Diane Lane. In the movie she talks about how she wanted a house, a home, dinner parties with family, being with people she loved, kids running around, laughter … that would have made her happy. Fast forward to the end of the movie when someone asks her if she remembered what she wanted when she first moved to Italy. Does she remember? She smiles as it hits her. She had a house, a home, dinner parties with people who had become her family, people she loved and that loved her, kids running around, not her kids but kids that brought her joy anyway, and laughter. She realized she had it. Happiness. They both smiled.

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🙂

Valentine’s became a day of gratitude, grateful for all the small acts of kindness and love that gave the sun more shine. It could have been a regular Tuesday for anybody, but it was my Valentine’s Day adventure, and I felt love from those that mattered most.