I had a very difficult week. At a visit to the dentist I thought was a conscientious inquiry about a sensitive tooth, I discovered I need much more extensive work than I would ever have dreamed. I won’t be discussing the gory details here or in the comments, but suffice it to say that I’ve been on a steep learning curve this week about what it means and what kinds of choices i will have to make, and what kind of price tag I’m looking at, along with a return to putting mouth care at the top of my priority list.
Since going to the dentist is among my least favorite things, topped only by having the dentist find something wrong, I thought this might be one of the worst weeks I’ve had in a long time. And yet, on Friday afternoon, as I dozed on the couch with Romeo, listening to a summer thunderstorm roll in, I realized with sharp clarity that despite all this, there had been many times this week I was very happy–and none of the ones I could remember were BEFORE I got the bad news at the dentist.
Perhaps it’s my leisurely reread through The Nature of Personal Reality that helped me to such a realization, with its matter of fact assurance that our beliefs about ourselves and our reality can be changed by no one but ourselves. Yet it isn’t necessary to read channeled material to consider such things. Nearly anything can be a prompt. For instance, one of my friends on facebook has fashioned herself an 8 day gratitude challenge, which she invited a few other friends to join her in. At the end of each day she’s posting what she is grateful for that day on her wall.
It’s easy for me to find things to be grateful for. That’s never been my challenge. Just thinking of one thing creates an almost instant mood shift. But happiness can seem more elusive. Maybe it’s that I guard it more carefully, am hesitant to jinx it, so I “put it in the mouth of the wolf,” as an old Italian saying goes. But suddenly, as I listened to the approaching thunder crack its mighty whip, I was energized by the MANY times I was happy in a week I had begun to assume (and describe) as only difficult.
I’ll list some of them here, in no particular order. And I hope it helps prompt you to remember what made you happy this week, no matter what else took your time and attention.
-At the dentist: after the full mouth x-ray session was over (I was grateful for their equipment which emits a third less radiation than the standard), I was so tired that I thought I would not be able to get up out of the chair, let alone walk home. But then after a while during the exam I felt myself rally and knew I could walk home and enjoy it.
-When I saw the “Easter Island” kleenex dispenser with a Kleenex coming out of its nose in the consultation room and I laughed out loud. Then when the dentist came in we both laughed out loud about it all over again. He said although he hates wasting the kleenex, it’s the best thing in the world for putting 3 year olds at ease. I liked him instantly for that.
-During my whole conversation with the x-ray technician about care products. Just appreciated her style and honesty–and the free Spry gum she gave me
-When Romeo poked his nose up through the arm of the dentist chair to see if I was alright after the dentist touched a sensitive spot in my mouth.
-When the receptionist offered to take care of him while they did the x-rays so he wouldn’t get any “scatter” x-ray, however slight.
-When I discovered it’s easy to eat quinoa, even when my mouth was at its most sensitive
-When I discovered that I LOVE quinoa topped with a generous sprinkling of carob powder, a dash of cinnamon, and a splash of almond milk.
-When my left handed self figured out how to load the right handed soap dispenser in the dishwasher.
-When the young couple and their baby that used to live in my house came over to visit. While we grown-ups visited and dreamed up some ideas about the rain chain we will construct for my new rain barrel, their 10 month old son sat on the ground at his mom’s feet intently examining the marbles, rocks and shells that came out of the jar with some of the ones we will wrap into the rain chain. It made me very happy to see him enjoy himself so intently, something in each hand at all times.
-When my pizza dough, already resting in the fridge for several hours, took the forgotten bit of added salt needed for a proper rise into itself so neatly.
-When I saw how lovely it looked the next day when it was all ready to go in the oven.
-When I realized this zucchini slice looked like a spider web to me.
-When my trusted herbalist friend gave me some clove oil and a whole list of good things to do and eat, along with her love and support, based on our long years of knowing one another so well.
-When I saw a woman I know on the street after my dentist appointment who told me she wanted to buy my watercolor “Twilight Crescent” hanging in the library for Art Walk (see above). I so enjoyed her lovely words about my other paintings at the co-op show last winter, and also those she shared with me about the beauty of hay, after telling me how much she liked my Haystack of Light painting, which had sold to someone else. She owns one of my rainbow paintings and she said, “Now I’ll have a rainbow and a moon.”
-When I ran into my friend at the co-op and we sat on the bench outside the store and just talked for a while.
-When I went into the store after that and met a woman while i was staring at all the tooth care products who had been through worse than I’ll have to go through and the kind perspective and recommendations she gave me.
-When I got silly while asking my friends who work in produce if they were going to get any fresh figs in.
-Whenever I had a nap or night time cuddle with Romeo, warming up my feet or spooning into my legs. Best cuddler ever, human or not.
-When I decided to wear my watermelon-colored pants.
-When I finally solved how to frame a drawing I did for a friend.
-When I ate my lunch “with my son” while talking to him on the phone.
When I did my sun salutations early in the morning and the sun was “right there” with me at the window in the front bedroom.
-When I heard the thunder and it ushered in these and other times of happiness in a difficult week.
Your turn. Can you remember your times of happiness this past week?