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Friday, November 6, 2009

Day one - In the Begining...

In February 2008 I ceased to exist. More precisely, the woman I was ceased to exist. It was not a quick or painless death. It took months of hard work and determination to kill her but dead she is and dead she will stay. Quite honestly, I say good riddance. That woman was an alcoholic, foul mouthed, heavy smoking, vacant and nasty shell. She was an absent mother, a frigid wife and an all around negative person. She made her life a mess and chose to wallow in it, but hey, she's dead and the world is a better place for it. I have taken her place.

The transfer of consciousness began February 7th, 2008. It was a dark Thursday morning, not that that's at all important. That morning I was watching, of all things, Oprah. Oh dear, I can hear your audible groan from here but I beg you, hang in there. It gets better. That Thursday morning while watching Oprah, I got this bright Idea. "Let's try to be a more positive person" Simple right? Just stop whining, bitching and complaining all the time. That random thought bubble is what killed her. The old me began to die that very moment and I began to grow. What saved me? How did I give up the booze and 3 packs a day? How did I save a failing marriage and become if not a great mother, at least a present one? Well, that's what my book is about.

That very Thursday morning I decided to enlist two people nearly as dark and moody as myself, my mother and my daughter. I decided it would be a good idea for us to email each other daily with little bits of encouragement, inspirational quotes, daily challenges and positive affirmations. One of the very first quotes I came across is what became my life raft. When realty slapped me in the face and tried to drown me in my regrets, this quote not only saved me, but allowed me to move forward one small step at a time. The quote is:

Cicero: Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

Less than 2 months later, I was well on my journey of discovery and had left both my mother and my daughter behind. Not in life, but in change. We simply stopped emailing each other. I became frustrated with their lack of participation and I became a thorn in their sides. At that time, I was simply not strong enough to carry us all. A year later, in April of 2009 my daughter reached out and requested we start again. She was in a dark time of her life and needed something positive to cling to. Gratitude became her life ring and we once again began to email daily. This time we chose to keep it simple. We emailed each other daily a list of things we were grateful for that day. On days we struggled the list was short. Sometimes consisting of nothing more than "copious amounts of Dunkin Doughnuts Coffee" and on days we soared, they were long and rambling. As I changed I discovered a new passion. Photography became central in my journey and I began to want to share how gratitude was changing my life with my friends so I began to post my emails on Facebook along with one of my photographs I felt suited my list for that day. These postings were used to create the book.

My hope is that you to may find the healing, restoring and transforming power of gratitude.

This is the photo that hooked me.
This is my youngest; we call her our Garden Pixie. In this photo, the reasons for that should be self evident.

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