Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gratitude

Conscious that I have managed to appeal to a handful of people who actually read this blog, I lay in bed last night thinking 'what will I blog about tomorrow?'

I thought 'I could reveal my odd secret that even though I am no longer pregnant, I still sleep with a pillow between my knees because it is so darn comfy' - but figured it would take all of a sentence to do that - and ta-da - a sentence is indeed all it took!

Then I thought 'I could write about my short lived experiment of actually getting up before my kids in the mornings' - which when my kids are involved, is a 6am kind of thing - I did it for a week and in the first few days it was nice having a peaceful half hour to an hour of drinking coffee and eating my toast (and getting to eat the whole slice myself!). But, since I didn't actually use that time to get anything done, when the babies awoke we were back to drifting from one poorly planned chaos to another - yesterday nursing a headache to boot. I thought 'sod this - I need my sleep, I'll try this again when my kids stop waking me up at night!' - which should take me to retirement age I'm guessing.

My main thoughts however, as I lay in my comfortable bed, in my safe, comfortable house, with my two healthy children, and my wonderful husband were those of deep gratitude. Having watched most of the Idol Gives Back special, I cried 'til my heart was sore at the conditions, the sorrow, the hardship, and the injustice faced by so many in this world - the program concentrated on Africa, and issues here in the USA.

I was born in Zimbabwe, and lived the first two years of my life in Zambia. The daughter of a teacher and a bank official - even though our life was modest enough, we lived richly compared to some I'm sure. I get very sad at the state that Zimbabwe is in today, once known as the 'Bread Basket of Africa', Mugabe is responsible for the dreadful deterioration of the country and starvation of many of his own people. I had the opportunity to go to South Africa a few years ago with my parents, and we would have visited Zimbabwe but I declined since I do not want to visit while he remains in power ( I have the distinct notion that he'd make me less than welcome anyway).

Maybe this is why Africa 'calls' to me in particular when it comes to requests for aid. The corruption and suffering in African nations is heart wrenching and I wanted to get up this morning and make my donation - so I did, at Idol Gives Back.

I feel so grateful this morning for my cosy life, for my childhood, for my health, and that of my family, for the fact that it is possible for me to stay at home with our children, even though there are definitely days when I'd gladly head off to work for some peace and quiet - or on those days when I succumb to materialistic desires and wonder if going back to work would allow me to get x, y, or z, I am profoundly grateful that we have the choice, and the means to stay at home. I am grateful that we have the freedom to choose how we live our lives, and we have opportunities to improve our lives, and those of our children.

In the midst of this gratitude I am struck by the responsibility I have to help those in trouble, or those whom are struggling in some way. As a small step I made my donation this morning and so I'm adding my voice to those pleading last night on American Idol. If you have not yet given a donation - please, please, please, click this link and do it now. Help those mothers, those children, those families, here, and in Africa - and as Eric McCormack said 'if everyone who voted for Sanjaya, gave just one dollar, it could do so much good' - how true!

Thanks!

6 comments:

Velveteen Mind said...

I didn't see the show, but the Sanjaya quote is perfect. No kidding.

Having been on the receiving end of generous aid from strangers after losing everything in Hurricane Katrina, I appreciate this effort. Katrina was a b*tch and took away every last material possession we had, but she gave us the gift of charity. Not just receiving, but truly understanding the importance and power of giving.

We now give back any time we can and plan to make it a forceful lifelong habit. We're trying to instill this habit in our boys early, as well. The feelings giving evokes on both ends are priceless.

I'll look into your link. Thanks for posting this. I always forget your ties to Africa.

Life As I Know It said...

Thanks for posting this. Puts things in perspective, which I needed today.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Brillig said...

This was such a great post. Thanks for helping me to remember how great we have it and how grateful we need to be.

Shauna said...

Fantastic post. Thanks for the life-check.

Lisa said...

I have the same odd secret. And I haven't been pregnant in 15 years. ;)

moodswingingmommy said...

What a nice reminder for all of us of how lucky we are. I'm checking out your link now.

(I still do that with my pillow, too, and have been doing so for 4 years, since being pregnant with my first. :))

Looking forward to your photographic Makeover Monday evidence, too ;)