It's November. And I'm all thankful and junk. I mean I AM thankful. For lots of things. I'm doing the daily list of gratitude and all that. But today, I want to share a different list with you. And don't act like I'm the only one who has this list. Here's my list of what I'm not thankful for:

Bad Children on Planes

I jumped on a 6 hour flight and had two kids behind me (possibly twins) kicking my seat the entire time. Oh and they were also screaming and yelling loving words such as "STUPID" and "IDIOT". They couldn't have been more than 6. The nanny did not have them under control. At. All. The parents were living it up in first class while I endured the kicking and yelling. I have choice words for those parents but then again, I don't want to be Judgy McJudgerton.

Random Allergic Reactions

I was in Seattle last week (more deets on that later) and lo and behold, I end up waking up to arms and legs that look like I possibly slept snuggled up to a beehive. Not. Cool. I might've resembled an addict as I scratched my arms though the only fix I wanted was a technology fix from my new Surface Pro.

Doctors Offices that Don't Understand My Urgency

I get back from Seattle still itchy only to call the doctor and be told too bad so sad. There was a time when I used to call and Mary would answer the phone. I love Mary. Mary knew who I was and if I called with an issue that had to be seen right away, Mary would try her best to fit me in. Even if I had to wait. I finally got an appointment for Friday only to wake up late. And since I was going to be more than 15 minutes late (I called to let them know), they cancelled my appointment. Can we talk about how many times I've waited for 45 minutes to see the doctor?

Monsters Inside Me

Have you guys seen that show? I think it's on Discovery or something. One of the first episodes they showed was about a parasite that can live in your eye. It's called ocular toxoplasmosis. I was diagnosed with this little gem way back in 2003, I think. I noticed I went to read a book and got a blurry spot smack dab in the middle of the page. And it wasn't my contact.

Turns out that this is what you get from cat poop OR from under cooked pork or unclean salads. One in 3 of us have it and it's dormant. Mine woke up that day and has woken up a couple of times since. It wakes up when I am super duper stressed and my immune system isn't as strong as it should be. I need to go on a round of antibiotics for it. But of course, the retinal specialist is currently booked til January though I have a tentative appointment for two weeks from now. By then, I might be unable to see out of my right eye but, who cares, right? See previous rant about doctors.


So I'm pretty sure all of my health issues are related to stress. I could save the time and money and do a self diagnosis but, what fun would that be?

I realize that in order for me to be healthy and happy, I have got to let go of some things. And that's okay. I can't keep going 100 miles an hour and think it's not affecting me. I need rest, I need a day off. So I am starting to say no to things.

In the coming months, I will be saying no to more. I have decided that I will take off the first term of the new year. And I will have to let my type A personality chill because I won't finish my degree in 2014. A blog, a business, a household, school, volunteer activities and a child? That's a lot to handle. While I have better tools today to help me manage what I do, I realize that I will be good to no one if I'm burned out and sick.

Say Yes_Coelho

In Conclusion

So while I'm unthankful for all of these things, I am VERY THANKFUL for the constant blessings I've been given, the opportunities that come my way and I'm thankful that I have grown enough to be okay with saying no and with understanding that I can't do it all, all the time. I was reminded this week that in order for me to take care of those I love, I have to take care of myself. That's a non-negotiable from this point forth.

What's on your list? Tell me, tell me, tell me.

Mami's Prayer: Surrender

We went to the beach today. It's been a while. I was grateful to see the ocean. I don't know if it's because my soul was brought into this world on an island surrounded by clear blue water or if it's all coincidence (and you know I don't believe in that). But, the ocean gives me back a little piece of me whenever I step into it and a little piece of God whenever I step out. As the day started fading, thoughts of mami came to me. Connected forever by clear blue waters. Summers where the beach was the main event.  Stories, laughter and relationships built within the grains of sand. I started praying as I sat on the wet sand, the waves tickling my feet. Clear blue skies above me, the horizon picture perfect.

I am not sure what I was praying for. I know I was thankful for that moment. For the peace that only the ocean can bring to me. At one point, I wrote the word MAMI in the sand right next to me. After a very short time, a wave came in, caressed my hand and swept the word away from me, mirroring my mother's life on earth a little too closely. As we drove home, I cried as the unshaped memory of calling mami to tell her about the day at the beach formed in my head. I wondered if she was there.

Then, I looked out of the window and, shaped in the clouds I saw it. A frog peeking out of two other clouds. I smiled. Grateful for the reminder that mami is always watching over us.

My prayers turned to strength and to more peace. To resistance. But mostly, they turned to a deep desire in my heart to do right by her and right by the God of the universe. To surrender to whatever path has been laid before me. To allow Him to guide my steps (this is a constant link through my praying day).

Tonight, I had a long talk with my beautiful sister about family stuff. Things that need to be dealt with but haven't. I was drained. I cried on the phone, heavy hearted. And I prayed for answers.

Then, one of my friends on FB posted this link. You may feel however you like about public figures. But the one thing that I cannot deny is that I am drawn to spiritual folk. I happen to think Oprah is one of them. So tonight, I was reminded of the word surrender in a slightly different light. Reminded to guard my thoughts along with my heart. Or perhaps to not guard them at all. I guess it depends on how you look at it.

I love the story she tells for many reasons. I'll let you find your own if you choose to watch it. In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be praying. Let me know if you have a special request and I'll send it up right along with mine.

You might also enjoy Losing Oprah...