Behaving gracefully is what we do when we are doing our best, manifesting that inner person that we hold as our ideal self and who we hope we can always be.
Every day brings plenty of opportunities to choose who we want to be. Life chips away at our ideal self. It picks at any bit of us that can be reached with a sharp word, a look askance, a sneer, a criticism.
How easy to just let it all go and avoid the struggle to be what other people, those you love and who love you, want you to be and what you want to be for them. Round and round, only the bumps of those few who think that grace is pure weakness. Meanness, triviality-laden and sour of spirit, they do and demand and take exactly what they want.
I am tired. I am worn out doing the right thing. I am not giving up, not letting go, but I am so damn tired. Just as I have decided to say 'no' to the dark, the fear and the passive, I am saying 'yes' to grace.
I am staying on the high road. I earned the right to be here.
That said, yesterday was not horrible, and I mean that in the nicest way. Coffee with friends turned into breakfast. A splurge, yes, but in that moment I was so weary of watching every single penny and I perused, ordered, ate and was satisfied. It was a very nice time, oh, but ordinary life stuff seems, well, it seems trivial and selfish and entitled, and I know that none of it is any of those things.
The things that interest my friends never bothered me before. They all travel and shop and go to the movies, see plays and concerts. All of that, except for a movie or two a year, have always been out of my budget. My traveling consisted of a couple of senior bus trips. My shopping is the charity shops and hanging out and watching my friends shop, which sometimes included a side trip for lunch. I never had the money for a social life, and when I did break out and do something, like those bus trips, there was always hell to pay when I planned them and when I returned.
I am trying to avoid feeling envy. I think myself to be a good and true friend and good and true friends rejoice at their friends' good fortune. I can rejoice with the best, so I do. It is just that even though I was a more joyful rejoicer before, I have to try a bit harder now. So, I am having trouble figuring out why I keep feeling these little twinges of envy. Not only for the trips and all that, but for having an ordinary, less fearful life than mine.
When I was still in my other life, I did not feel even the teeniest smidgen of envy or jealousy about anything. Now I do. It makes me feel small and mean-spirited. I hate it. I struggle. Lordy.
Time at my daughter's was divine, as always. There is not anything better than little boys who run to fetch one another, yelling "grammy's here...grammy's here...grammy's here!" Or a son-in-law who stops lawning (what the boys call mowing the grass) to give me a hug and a daughter who throws her arms around me for hugs and kisses. Because, you know, your baby is always your baby, even if she grows to be taller than you.
She loved her Ottlite, which she can use for her sewing and crafts, but mostly for when she studies at home. She has been using the chandelier light at the dining room table, and that set-up certainly worked, but it was a strain on her eyes. Now she has this full-spectrum light with a base that will hold all of her study stuff as until she finishes her degree and can be used to hold the craft and painting tools she needs. I was ecstatic when I found it on sale and I think she really likes it, too.
She and the boys filled a basket with some beauty stuff I would never buy and I love them. There was also some reduction sauce for meat and, best of all, a large bar of Godiva. And, oh, as for the beauty items, my son-in-law shopped for them the last time he was in England, and included a large tin of tea, which the shop folk told him was the Queen's favorite. And, he added, "See there...it says hearty breakfast. Who doesn't like breakfast?" He says things like this to me all of the time, with a straight face and it just cracks me up.
My daughter received one of her favorite presents. Lego. Yeah, those little stacking blocks that you can assemble into anything. Anything. She gets a set for nearly every occasion. When I left, she and all the boys were at the table, sorting out blocks and instructions and having a great time. Lego time is something they do several times each week, as it is an intimate activity that is tons of fun and brings them even closer together.
It was a nice day and I am pretty sure that I did not offend anyone. I just never know what is going to escape my filters and drop into conversation. I really was tired. I got drive-through food, greasy and delicious on the way home. Played with CoolCat and fell asleep on the sofa. I woke twelve hours later. Fell asleep an hour later, for another four hours. I have been up since then and since I have an appointment with my doctor in the morning, it will soon be antihistamines, zombii book, and bed soon.
Tiring, but it was a day full of grace, mostly unintentional, the natural kind that flows from one heart to another. Today, alone, was not half bad, either.