The gifts within the loss

I wrote earlier about this, and it’s been percolating for a while. At first I thought, “How in the world will I find a gift in the loss of my parents?!” It seemed so ludicrous, after all. But here’s what I think.

Losing Mom and Dad in a matter of months rocked my world. The gift is that it was horrible, and I survived. I’m surprised, I guess, that this feeling of inner strength has emerged. The mantra that keeps surfacing is “What’s the worst that could happen?” implying that the worst has pretty much *already* happened, so I’m good. Things that use to bother me just don’t matter, and problems seem so trivial. It’s very liberating and leaves much more time to focus on things that are important, like family, friends, and happiness. Another gift is that I think WWMDD – what would Mom and Dad do? But it makes me remember Mom and get creative like she was. It makes me remember Dad’s business sense and ways to deal with situations.

I realize there are a zillion people who have gone through much more devestating things in their lives. But this is the worst thing that’s happened to me so far, and if I can learn and gain something from it, it’s good.

So there are gifts in the loss.

First trip to Goodwill in 2008

Last August I set a goal of ridding myself of 365 things that I no longer need. Or never needed in the first place. Or whatever, ha ha! I figured one a day would be fine. And not just running willy-nilly through the house, flinging stuff left and right, either. Well, I took more stuff to Goodwill. I think I will make my goal!

3 cookie tins
4 picture frames
3 votive candle holders
2 strings of Christmas tree lights

New total: 271

Fire!

After nearly two years, we finally burned one of our burn piles. This opens the path to a) moving our single car garage, b) pouring concrete, c) prepping for a *real* garage, and d) getting a basketball hoop. Aaaaahh! We’ll burn the other one later, after we get more rain. C.’s brother, who recently got promoted to captain of his fire department, brought over 4 teenage “junior firefighters” to help make sure things didn’t get out of control. They got credit for training hours, and we put on a good spread for them too. Very nice!!

Before:

During:

After:

Pack leader

At a friend’s recommendation, I caught a few episodes of “The Dog Whisperer” which is a very dramatic name for a show that’s got some good, basic principles for dealing with your dogs. In short, the host, Cesar Millan, says that dogs aren’t human, so don’t treat them as such. Treat them like dogs and use a pack mentality. Calm, assertive energy apparently goes a long way, and if you treat your dogs like you’re the mom and they are kids getting a little out of hand, it’s easy to keep them in line. Exercise, discipline, affection – in that order. He says he “trains humans and rehabilitates dogs.” I’ve tried a couple of things with our dogs and am getting results, so we’ll see.

In applying that to my life at large, I have decided that calm, assertive energy is called for at work, and with the family. At work I am *tired* of some of the crap that goes on, so I am declaring this year to be the Leader of the Pack year, where I do what I think is right and good, and if people don’t like it, I will nip them back into line. ha ha!

More on this as it progresses.

Updated! New count

Donated:

1 yoga mat
1 yoga bag
1 purse
1 wallet
1 pair of shoes

Addendum – but wait!
We just cleaned out some crap from the shed, yahoo!
3 scrap metal bars
1 broken light fixture
1 GE power cord – we don’t know what it goes to
1 broken spray bottle
3 weird electrical things (solenoids or something)
1 dustpan full of screws, bolts, nuts, and other metal pieces – about 50+ I’m guessing
And about 15 other things I don’t know what they are
There’s probably more, but I couldn’t stop to take notes so I am just giving myself an arbitrary number.

Second addendum:
We gave two boxes of smoked Alaska salmon to T. who really, really loves it.

New count: 246

The best part about cleaning out the shed is now that C. has sorted through that particular pile, it will be like a snowball effect and we can really, REALLY go through the rest of it!!! I’ve been waiting TWO FREAKIN’ YEARS for this, ha ha ha!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!