grief, Uncategorized

How To Not Be The Same Person 2 Months From Now

Now that all the pies are baked and the turkey is ready for the oven, it is time to give thanks.  However, some of you may believe you have nothing for which to be grateful.

I know some of you are working your way through the grief of:

  • loss of loved one
  • unemployment
  • the holiday season
  • all of the above

Gratitude still has a place even in those awful circumstances. I know it is tough as I have gone through all of the above separately and at the same time.

Not Home Alone

For those of you going through unemployment, you are not alone.  I am right there with you as I am unemployed once again.

On November 13th, my job as a loan officer, teller and collector ended.


The credit union and I were simply no longer a fit for one another and fit is the number one thing potential employers look at in a candidate.  Seeing you working at their company is more important than your ability or experience.

So while I am not thankful for being unemployed, I am thankful for the opportunity unemployment brings, along with the blessings bestowed upon me since unemployment began.


One of the ways I am working on keeping my mood up is a gratitude journal.  No matter what the cause of your grief, a gratitude journal will help you shift your focus. Your journal does not have to be anything fancy.  It can be something as simple as a legal pad.  This is something I wish I had done during my first year of widowhood.

“For Your Eyes Only”

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and write down 5 things you are thankful for every morning.  It is alright to write the same thing for different days. There does not need to be any rhyme or reason for that which you are thankful.  This journal is for your eyes only.

Doing your writing first thing in the morning will help you face the day with the right mindset.  Keep writing and you will slowly but surely beat back the grief monster. You will be taking a little chunk out of him with every gratitude statement. The grief monster does not want you grateful he wants you wallowing in self-pity.

There does not need to be any rhyme or reason for that which you are thankful.  This journal is for your eyes only.

Two Months From Now

My friend Lisa Ryan’s favorite quote is:

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

I understand why it is Lisa’s favorite quote. Sarah is right.  You will not be the same person when you consciously give thanks every day because your mind is focusing on gratitude and not grief.

Michele’s Gratitude Journal

Here is a page from my journal.

I am grateful for:

  •  My friend Lisa Ryan
  • God’s Faithfulness
  • Chocolate
  • Rommie
  • My Car

 Your Turn

 So write in a gratitude journal as a way to work through this holiday season no matter what is causing you grief and continue through the cold bleak month of January.

Who knows, by keeping a journal you just might find that Spring comes early.


How I Get A Good Night’s Sleep

While working on this post, I came across the following quote:

“The tree that is beside the running water is fresher and gives more fruit.”Saint Teresa of Avila

It describes how I feel in the mornings – fresher and able to be more productive in the day.

How did I get to feel this way?  Read on.

My Vision

For years I envisioned a sea green cottage with white trim and shutters, sitting on a cliff over-looking a waterfall.

Most details of this vision were quite clear. As you entered through the front door, you stepped into a foyer.  On the left was the living room, straight ahead were stairs.

The living room floor was hardwood and on the left wall was a fireplace with over-stuffed chairs positioned in front of it.  As you walked through the living room you came into the kitchen/breakfast nook area.  A sliding glass door, off the nook area, lead to a patio with a  nice view of the falls.

The only thing the falls had in common with Niagara was the horse shoe shape.  But the falls did not take up the whole horse shoe only the middle part.  A steady stream of crystal clear water poured over the cliff into the river below.

However the best view of the falls was from the master bedroom which ran the length of the cottage.  To get there you walked up the steps across from the front door. On the back wall was a bed and on either side were bookcases and French doors. The doors opened out onto a balcony that overlooked the falls. On the balcony were white reclining chairs and a round table with an umbrella in the center and four chairs around the table.


I could never figure out the meaning behind what I envisioned. I doubt I will ever have a house over-looking a waterfall. With my luck the cliff would erode and my house would slide down into the river.


Then several weeks ago I read an article about sleeping with the sound of a waterfall or ocean waves playing.  It does something to the Theta brain waves resulting in a good night’s sleep. (If I can find the article I will post a link to it.)


I have on my Kindle “Relax Melodies Premium” which I downloaded several months ago.    One night I put on the waterfall sound and set the time for 1 hour. I slept alright but nothing to brag about.

One night I slept very well and woke up refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated. Then I heard a noise and realized I had forgotten to set the timer. Sleeping with the waterfall on all night was the key.

Now every night I sleep with the waterfall sound on and am amazed at how well I sleep. If this keeps up I just might turn into a morning person.  (Mom is laughing at that thought, as I was not a morning person even as a baby.)

I  have more energy and stamina.  It feels as though I can take on the world. Maybe all these years my mind was trying to tell me something.

Grief & Sleep

This is one of those things I wish I had known about 5 1/2 years ago when Joe moved to heaven.  I wonder what impact sleeping well would have had on my first year of grief? My weekends consisted of mostly sitting around conserving energy so I would have enough to get through the next work week. Would I have been more productive both at work and home during the first year if I had slept better?  We’ll never know.

Sleep & Job Search

I also wonder what a good night’s sleep would have had on my job search. Would it have boosted my confidence? Would it have had an impact on my networking? Would I have performed better in interviews, resulting in being gainfully employed sooner? Again, I will never know.

All I can do not is move forward and use this new found energy, desire and stamina to live up to my mantra “Make a Joyful Impact.”

What I Thought I Needed For Sleep

I thought I needed a man in bed in order to get a good night’s sleep – turns out all I needed was a waterfall.           😉


I recommend sleeping with a waterfall either via Kindle or a sound machine. I was able to easily fall back asleep after my neighbor on the corner had a party a couple weeks ago.  Their laughter woke me up a 1 a.m. but I shortly thereafter I was fast asleep.

If you follow my recommendation, may you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world every morning.


Guess what has been the image as my laptop’s background for months?

Waterfall On My Computer
Weekend Wisdom

Weekend Wisdom: Reach Beyond Your Grasp – M. Blaine Smith

Today’s Weekend Wisdom is brought to you by M. Blaine Smith, author of “Reach Beyond Your Grasp, Embracing Dreams That Reflect God’s Best for You – And Achieving Them”

Expose Yourself!

I will derive unspeakable benefit from exposing myself as fully as possible to people who view life positively and my own life dynamically.

Chapter 11

“Cheerleaders and Mentors”

Be Opportunistic!

The setback I’ve encountered is a God-given opportunity to learn, grow and become more successful; it may even indicate that success is just around the corner. 

Chapter 15

“Responding to Setbacks”

Dream On!

“I’ll contribute most greatly to my happiness, health and effectiveness, by staying strongly committed to growing, open to new adventures, and focused on fresh dreams and goals, for as long as I’m physically and mentally able.”

Chapter 17

“Keep On Dreaming”