Tuesday, May 31, 2011

When I couldn’t sleep… (Warning…this will get sappy)

…as a little girl, my mom would always say “Count all the things for which you are thankful.” (actually she’d say count everything you are thankful for….but she also told me never to end a sentence in a preposition. So I modified!) Since I was never the most patient child, I’d outfox her and report back…”I’m done! I’m thankful for everything and everyone!” She told me that was cheating. And she’s right…I cheated myself from recognizing just how loved, lucky and fortunate I am. Most of you know that I’ve been feeling pretty well blessed over the past several months and it all was illuminated around the time I received my Invitation to serve in Peace Corps Albania. I continue to seek opportunities to express just how honored I am that you are in my life.

This past Thursday, at the Peace Corps Albania Group 14 official Swearing-In Ceremony, I was overwhelmed with gratitude again, making an oath to my country and to myself. So just in case I’ve missed somethings or someones….today, I’m counting and I am thankful for:
• Getting goosebumps when I hear the Star-spangled Banner
• My familje pritese, the Kateshi’s for their hospitality, patience and humor
• Fellow PCVs who value relationships, integrity and hope
• Dad, for teaching me the importance of frugality
• Mom, for teaching me the importance of kindness
• Ryan, for helping me expand Steeler Nation into Steeler WORLD…Yinz better believe it!
• PST Staff who worked their tails off to keep us safe, healthy, educated, informed and ready for the next steps. (Now you can finally exhale! You did it!)
• Fields of wildflowers with Tom Petty singing in my head like a soundtrack to life
• Childsplay and Oh! The Places You Will Go!
• The Ganman for furnishing me with great Flashlights (they are handy!)
• Ornela and Vjollca for helping me mesoj Shqip/learn Albanian
• Bashkia colleagues who will help me while I help them!
• Letters, emails, FB posts and phone calls from home…and to home
• Small World Moments like Kristine, the Johnson Family and my Landlady
• My REI Backpack and all its snaps…Thank you AZ crew!
• Yoga practice inspired by Leah
• “my little lotus flower” and other Demmer pearls that stay with me
• Site mates who check in, go out and enjoy akullore/ice cream
• My westward walk to work each day that has me walking toward home
• The scent of Orange Blossoms
• Subtle reminders of Finding Joy….everywhere
• Each of you reading this…especially those of you who know just how much I cherish our friendship. Give me time….and I will get your shout out in here too! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Peace, Love and Still Counting

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