As I sit here this Saturday morning writing this Fun Day Sunday essay, I have much to be thankful for. Unfortunately, it is not the tooth filling that just fell out after my biting down on a bit of breakfast sausage. Seriously? Yup, and I swallowed it before I knew it had popped out. Ha! That’s the way of life–the good comes with the bad, the sausage with the tooth filling. And in my attempts to always look on the bright side of things, that song came to mind. Here is the video “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life Sing-Along” by MontyPython for you to enjoy (with lyrics) [(1) video below; and image right]:
I realize that people could sometimes think that my cheerfulness might: a) be chemically induced (chocolate or fruit works), b) indicate that I am seriously deranged (I’ll let you decide, Ha!), or c) be a put on. Maybe, to that last one–being cheerful is a daily cap that I put on. I haven’t always been this cheerful. Life for most people is not a bed of roses all of the time. And I have had my share of grief to overcome. Bullying which has gotten so much press of late, is not a new concept. And as a chubby gal growing up, I received my share of taunts and teases. “Whale” yelled at me by teens in a passing car as I was playing tennis with my brother comes fleetingly to mind. I would like to know how a girl 25 pounds overweight a whale? Hhhh! To his credit, my brother yelled back at the teens, “a__h____”.
There was also the more serious incident when some teens tried to chase me down with their car as I walked across a parking lot on my way home from high school. I frantically tried to dodge them and run out of the way, but they kept turning their car toward me every time I changed direction. I finally stopped running and closed my eyes–waiting for the inevitable thud and pain when the car would hit me. But they whizzed past me–so close that my hair blew up. And I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t report them to the police–I was too embarrassed, wondering if I had somehow deserved to be treated like that. Of course, I didn’t deserve to be harrassed–no one does. You see, then–as now–making fun of fat people is one of the last socially acceptable prejudices. Though it is NOT appropriate–nor is it really socially acceptable. I know that my being chased down by a car is a chilling memory. But I had to get it out there. It is part of my life. And opening up about some things is very freeing. And maybe by my sharing my experiences, someone out there who is going through a rough patch will realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
But for a loving and supportive family and friend network–they are my greatest blessing–that bullying incident might have been my undoing. But I resolved then and there that I would not be beaten, nor diminished any longer. So I did not let the experience of my being bullied or slighted in these and other ways during my life define me. I learned to refocus on the positive and to redirect my energies into my studies and my friendships while building a life for myself. My inner sense of my own self worth has served me well in life. And confidence is always an appealing character trait to one’s self and others.
I didn’t intend to get this deep on a Fun Day Sunday morning. But for all of you still struggling to find the path to cheerfulness and a positive outlook in life, I didn’t want to insult you by being flippant about it. Being cheerful is hard work sometimes–and it is not for the faint of heart. So as a window into my cheerfulness processing methods, I thought that I would take you on a stroll through some of my recent life events, activities, and situations that I have turned around and made positive–or that I am still working on them. Here are my recent blessings, if you will (in no particular order):
1) The creative writer vs academic writer issue is still nagging at me. I love my online creative writing–RA forum adminning, blogging and my story telling! And everyone has been so wonderful to me about my creative writing and artwork! I have even started to share my stories with a wider audience on Wattpad as Gratiana Lovelace [(2) and Gravatar at right]. So though my dissertation proposal academic writing is in limbo at the moment, I have to think that what is meant to be will happen. What will be, will be. And I plan to be at peace with it either way.
2) TMIA–too much information Alert! Only a few of my underpants fit me any more–most of them just fall off me. Ha! That’s due to my weight loss from my using the CPAP breathing machine at night [(3) see item 8] and now also from swimming laps everyday, etc. And even though I wear a long spanx like body girdle to hold me together–the skin reduction surgery can’t come soon enough for me, but I have about 70 pounds to go–it is still more comfortable to have clothes that fit me underneath it. But the store that I used to go to for my hefty honey clothes closed its branch in our town. So, I’m going online–with the style number in hand–and making a clothing purchase. Buying clothing online will be a new experience for me, I smile and type gleefully. Also, most of my other clothes are too big on me now as well. So I will make another trip to the seamstress to have them taken in–which is much cheaper than buying new clothes. Snap! But I do have some everyday clothes that fit my now two to three sizes smaller self. Either I am wearing these clothing items again–smaller than I have been in 15 years–or I bought the item with the hope of wearing it someday. Hope rules! Snap! Snap!
3) My regular readers/visitors to this blog know that our much beloved doggie Sophie [(4)] passed away on July 10th after a two month battle with bone cancer. Here are the links about her diagnosis and her passing. We had adopted Sophie in 2005 only two weeks after our other doggie Missy had passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack–it was after Hurricane Katrina had happened and so many doggies needed loving homes. And having Sophie to love and be loved by helped us grieve for Missy. But now with Sophie’s passing, our other doggie Max (4 yrs old) has helped us through our grief–as we have helped him [(5) Sophie left and Max right]. But it has been rough going. As I prepared to head back to work the second day after Sophie died, I gave Max my usual leave taking farewell and I looked back at him. He stood very tensely in is crate/lair staring at Sophie’s empty lair 2 feet away from him. My heart sank, knowing concretely that he felt the loss of Sophie as keenly as we did. Sophie’s paw print we received in the mail two weeks ago from our Vet is another loving remembrance that we have of her.
Okay now, my tears are welling up as a I type this, and I mean this to be an example of how we’re transforming our loss into something positive. We always intended that we would get Max a new companion animal. So to honor Sophie and her lessons of loving companionship, we will love and bring into our home a new second doggie soon. And I want a smaller sized true lap dog this time–no more than a 25 pound dog. So last week, I finally went online to our local Humane Society [(6) and logo at right] from where we had adopted our other doggies. They had a few cute doggies’ pictures and descriptions online, so last Saturday my hubby and I went to take a look at a few of them. They were adorable, but all of them were going to be about 40 pounds when they were fully grown–Max’s size–twice the size of what I wanted.
But on our way out of the Humane Society, we spotted a cute tri color (black, brown, and white) female beagle puppy (a very skinny 9 lbs) being held by one of the receptionists. It turns out this female beagle is being fostered by the receptionist until she is old enough to be adopted–the beagle is only 4 months old. But we put our names on the interested list for her anyway. Well folks, we got the call Friday after work that the beagle might be going up for adoption soon and would we like to come see her? Would we? Of course! So, we quickly finished our grocery shopping for our potluck portion (fruit) for our niece’s family birthday party dinner to be held Saturday night and we sped over to our Humane Society. We spent a good 30 minutes playing and hugging the little beagle puppy [(7) right] getting to know her. She is spirited and loving–and she fits in my arms. Heaven! I have wanted a beagle for twenty years–but every time we would go to look at dogs to adopt, no beagles were available–but other doggies claimed our hearts. So on Saturday afternoon–two hours from when I am writing this essay–we will take Max to meet the female beagle puppy to see if they can get along. It might take more than one meeting between the doggies to determine if bringing her home with us will work. So, our fingers are crossed! I will let you know next Sunday how it turns out. I know, I am such a tease. Ha!
4) We are still using only my hubby’s car to get around town–for the last three months. You might recall that my 10 year old car literally blew a gasket in May 2012 and it has been parked on the sidelines at the dealership repair center ever since–primarily because it would cost a boat load of money to repair it, which might not be cost effective. But the up side is that though I have to take my hubby to work in the morning so that I have the car to go to work with–and pick him up–it facilitated us joining a gym where I now swim every morning that is one block from where he works. And though taking him and picking him up from work adds extra trips onto my day, having only one car decreases our gas costs–because my hubby’s newer car, if 4 years old is still considered new–gets better gas mileage than my car did. By now, we’re quite accustomed to being a one car family–so we might just sell my old car for what we can get for it. And hopefully that also means that we have lessened our carbon foot print. Snap!
5) Oh and my tooth filling that fell out this morning? Well, the bright side is that I have my regular 6 month tooth cleaning appointment scheduled for this coming Wednesday when they can repair it–and in the mean time I can put some over the counter dental spackle in the small hole and chew on the other side of my mouth in the meantime. Snap!
So dear readers/visitors, what are your examples of life happenings that you have turned into positives and/or blessings?
(1) “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life Sing-Along”, a video by Monty Python (with lyrics) was found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrdEMERq8MA ; this song was from “The Life of Brian”; for more information about Monty Python, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Python ; the Complete Monty Python’s Flying Circus dvd cover image was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Python%27s_Flying_Circus
(2) Gratiana Lovelace stories are now found on Wattpad at http://www.wattpad.com/user/GratianaLovelace ; here is the link for my Gratiana Lovelace gravatar, information about the Renoir painting “At the Concert” (1880) is found at http://impressionism.kimbellart.org/exhibit/saints
(3) I talked at length about my improved health in using a CPAP breathing machine overnight in my post “Grati’s Bucket List, 6/27/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #217)” (see item 8) that is found at https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/gratis-bucket-list-62712-gratiana-lovelace-post-217/
(4) My Sophie’s diagnosis post is found at https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/as-beautiful-a-spring-day-as-i-will-ever-see-a-poem-by-our-doggie-sophie-51812-gratiana-lovelace-post-188/ ; my Sophie’s passing post is found at
(5) Sophie left and Max right image https://gratianads90.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/sophieandmaxondeckp1010719jul0812grati.jpg
(6) The Human Society of the US is a wonderful organization with branches all across the US. Their main link is found at http://www.humanesociety.org/
(7) Cute female beagle puppy whom we are considering adopting from our local Humane Society. I left my hand cropped into the picture so you could get a sense how tiny she is–9 pounds.