There is something to be said for daily gratitude. It enhances our life and makes us more positive. It helps us to put things in perspective.

I’ve never for one minute missed my old house in Texas. I was just thinking about that yesterday. I do sometimes think longingly about my beautiful pond and garden spaces.

Who Doesn’t Like The Outdoors?

That’s probably because I was married to someone who loathed the outdoors.

One of the first things I admired about him were his perfect hands. Long slender fingers with nary an age spot on them. Hands that I’d wager had never dug in the dirt. I doubt he’d ever had to scrape soil from underneath his fingernails.

There toward the end, as soon as I’d hear that damned garage door grating up, I’d stop whatever I was doing and head outside. He might come out and say he was home. But he wouldn’t stay long enough to build a sweat.

Of that I was certain.

When Love Goes Bad:

And during the brief times when he actually came outside, I got to where I would never turn to face him. I kept my eyes on whatever I was doing, my words trailing behind me as if to imply, I’m so busy doing something that I can’t take the time to turn around.

I guess that was rude. It was what had become of things.

Avoidance.

How much time I wasted, that’s what I regret now. But with my “glass half full” mentality I finally acquired, I don’t let myself dwell on things like that.

The thing is, none of us is perfect. Mistakes are what shape us. Without them we’d hardly know what gratitude truly is, the depth and breadth of it.

Being Grateful:

I’m grateful for my little place in life. I’m grateful that I finally had the wherewithal to break out on my own, terrified as I was, heart beating like I was being chased, as I left that place behind.

I suppose I was being chased in a way. By the thought that that was it. That my life would just continue with him and feel as barren as an empty field. The thought that I’d possibly never feel true joy again.

The whole thing would just go dismally on until one of us died.

That finally forced my hand. Knowing without reservation that that would have been the true tragedy of it all. Just letting that barren field completely go to seed.

I have hands that are wrinkled, ropy with veins, and thin. My knuckles stand out as though I’ve spent the better part of my life using them to punch a wall.

And my fingernails are whatever they are at any given moment. I don’t take pains to make my hands pretty.

Gardener’s Hands:

Because I have gardener’s hands.

My hands dig in dirt with regularity. I often have to dig dirt out from under my fingernails.

I no longer measure my worth by what a man thinks of me. That kind of mentality is long behind me now.

I simply live my life and am grateful for each day.

I know now that you can find happiness most anywhere. The trick is to be looking for it instead of seeking negativity around every corner. If happiness is what you want to see, then by and by, you’ll end up finding it.

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” – Eleonora Duse

 

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  1. Brenda, thank you for sharing those very personal thoughts and feelings. I’m so glad you finally found the courage to leave that unhappy marriage and to make your life over into a happy and contented one.

    My husband left me quite suddenly, having become involved with someone else and for a while I was so hurt and angry and bitter. But, then I realized that by focussing on those feelings I was only hurting myself and that it wasn’t up to me to punish him. He would eventually receive the consequences of his actions in some way or other. So, then, I just began to focus on the positive things in my life and move on. It wasn’t a straight path by any means. I “back-slid” a lot, but eventually it became easier and easier. And finally, I decided to regard him as a flawed human being as we all are and think of him with compassion. I knew for my own well-being I had to forgive him, so by the grace of God, I was able to. Then, his moment of rejection came when his new wife asked him to leave. I truly felt sad and sorry for him. Today, we are at a place where we are more like friends than anything else and can even enjoy our four grandchildren together on outings and birthdays, etc. I am so grateful that I have been able to leave the bitterness and sadness behind and enjoy my life. I wish the peace that brings for everyone who struggles with rejection and loss.

  2. Brenda, Been reading your blog for a while now. Just wanted to let you know I find such support in your words. I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer last year and had to have a hip replacement due to it- who knew breast cancer spreads to bones?

    The lack of support from my live-in boyfriend of 12 years made me finally realize he had to go. He was never a real gem anyway. It can be terrifying to be alone at age 50 with a debilitating disease, but like you, I have my fur babies. 4 cats and one very active Australian cattle dog. And I never have to worry about trying to keep a man again!

    Keep writing and I will keep reading!

  3. You are WOMAN, You are STRONG. You have come so far and accomplished so very very much…If I lived near you, I’d like to give you a big Hug, and say “you made it”!!!!!!!!!So, I’ll just send you hugs in the mail, you are a role model for so many women…Hugs from Wisconsin…

  4. Leaving a bad marriage is a difficult decision, and quite scary, no doubt. I put up with so much pain and hurt for so many years, cried myself to sleep so many nights, and then I finally woke up and said, I can’t control or change him – the only person I can control is me. That was a wake-up call. From that time on, I took control of MY life and let him do whatever the heck he wanted to. It no longer concerned me. I was planning my escape, and escape I did. I have not for one single night cried myself to sleep, and it’s been about 8 years now. It’s amazing that I let a man control my emotional well being like that for such a long time – I hope and pray my daughters are stronger than that. Kudos to you for finding your own happiness, my friend!

  5. I love how you willingly share such personal thoughts. this post reminded me of when my ex husband and I split up, I pulled out of the driveway following my son in law driving a uhaul truck with all my worldly possessions (haha) and I have never looked back. So glad those days are behind me and I wish I had left much much sooner than I did.

    Now I have a wonderful peaceful life, living alone like you, and life is good.

  6. Beautifully said, Brenda. I’m so happy that you are so content with your life. It took me awhile, but posts like this really have helped me to find my way…

  7. This is a perfect example as to why I visit your log regularly. You do have a way to express yourself Brenda! I’m glad you are able to experience happiness and contentment now.

  8. I try not to deeel on the past/ to painful…. I live a quiet and good life….. very thankful that I learned from my mistakes….

  9. Oh my! I was just looking at my hands this morning and hoping that all these age spots add character. I love the outdoors (well at least when the weather is warm, sunny, and my plants are blooming) and my hands certainly attest to that! I always mean to put those gardening gloves on but most often I forget (and I really like to feel the soil and tuck those little roots in without the gloves).

    I too was in a marriage (for far too long) where I felt sad, anxious, and sometimes frightened. My timid nature (at that time) and lack of self-confidence had me convinced that I could not make it on my own. But, like you, I made the break and never looked back. I remember moving into my first apartment (with my clothing, a few personal items, and not much else), sitting on the floor eating chicken noodle soup/crackers and thinking “YES!” I have since remarried but will never give up my sense of self again. It is wonderful to compromise instead of being dominated (I know there are two individuals in a marriage and neither are blameless; in my previous marriage, our backgrounds and personalities were just too different to blend in a good way).

    Your post today reminds me to look for the positive and to be grateful that I found me!

    Thank you.

    1. I lacked self-confidence. And I still bring this up from time to time because, one, I sometimes think about it. And two, so that my words might be what a woman who happens to be reading that day might need to read to give her courage and galvanize her to make that change.

  10. “I no longer measure my worth by what a man thinks of me. That kind of mentality is long behind me now.”
    If only I’d learned this at 21. Words to live by and I do so now.

    1. I left my negative husband behind in 1980 and never looked back to what might have been. Old dogs don’t change their spots.

    2. If only I’d learned at a young age too! It took me quite a long time and I was 54 when I was divorced and knew I wanted to be single forever.

  11. Gardner’s hands are wonderful. Such a wonderful feeling to be out there with mother nature and God’s creations. I don’t have pretty hand either, but….. so be it! Isn’t it wonderful to be at peace where we live and not always wanting for more. Enjoy this wonderful day…

    1. They are for me. It means I don’t just sit around on my hands. I get outside and try to create beauty. (Just finished cleaning out my closet, so that is a thing of beauty to me right now!)

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