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"What memory are you grateful for?" is today's gratitude prompt.
I remember when...
This isn't a long-ago memory (though sometimes, it feels like it!), but it's one that I'm extremely grateful for.
I'm grateful for the memory of the day we got our house keys.
For the first time in my life, and in Hubby's life, we weren't renting - our monthly housing payment went towards making something ours.
This wasn't exactly just a milestone in our lives. It was a freaking miracle (that was followed by another miracle - but that's a story for another day), and something we desperately needed.
Where we were living wasn't just tiny, it was downright dangerous. We had the weekly visits from the police, to get the key to gain entry to the upstairs apartments. We had mold, leaks, and floors that were developing holes. And Sam frequently had slugs crawling in through the gaps between her walls and her floorboards.
Yes, the landlord knew about it. Yes, we frequently talked about when he was coming to fix it. No. In four years, nothing ever got finished.
The problem is, rental options are few out here where we live. And with Hubby's job, Daughter starting public school, and a very, very long (over 30 minutes each way) commute, we needed to stay local.
You might remember me talking about our 100 Days project (linked below), and the things we were trusting the Universe to deliver. One of those things was a new living situation, and the pieces fell into place one after another. The timing might have been coincidental, but from where we stand, it wasn't.
But before I could have my house, I had to get myself into alignment with what I wanted and learn to be happy, right where I was. I've heard several people talk about how long the escrow process can be, but honestly? Ours felt like it took forever. It did, in actuality, take four extensions on our contract, to get the deal done.
The secret lesson that makes me grateful for this memory?
I had to learn to be happy right where I was, despite the crappy situation, before it all came together.
You read that right. I found a place within myself, where I could work with where we were if we didn't get the house. It wasn't what I wanted (not by a long shot), but I could make it work. I spent hours each day, walking through our tiny, crumbling apartment, with it's falling ceiling and unfinished rooms, and find permanent solutions for inventory storage, privacy for my writing space, and ways to make the very uncomfortable futon more tolerable on my pain days.
I'm not understating this when I say that within 48 hours of my making that choice (because frankly, folks, happiness is a choice, not something that just happens), we got word that everything was done. We were approved. Here's the date of closing. You can get your keys on this day.
So, bring it back around to disability, Jenn. Right?
The house we bought? It was a challenge to myself. It has a narrow staircase up to our bedroom and my office. I could barely get up the stairs once when we looked at it - but I fell in love with the office space, it was super close to the beach, and it's not far from where Hubby works.
The memory of that day, when we got our keys, was the start of a self-challenge.
I challenged myself to get healthy enough to walk the beach every day, including the quarter mile each way to get to the beach and across the dunes. I challenged myself to get healthy enough to be able to run up and down our stairs.
Every day now, I wake up, thankful that the rain doesn't bring a deluge in my office, thankful that Sam doesn't have bugs crawling over her bed or mold in her room. Thankful that I can hear the ocean because it's so close.
Not every day here has been good. I spent the first two months barely able to move. July brought more challenges with road trips, RWA conference, and uncontrollable swelling in my feet. But August?
August was amazing. September is shaping up to be even better. I've lost almost 30 pounds, am working on getting my inflammation under control, and conquered a walk to and on our nearby beach. The last time I tried a walk on the beach, Hubby drove me to the trailhead, then almost had to carry me back, because my back hurt so bad.
Yes, I have bad days in my nice little house near the beach. But I also have some really, really amazing days, and I'm making progress that's becoming visible.