Sources of Joy – Fabulous Day 50
Today was a day of very pleasant surprises.
Those who know me forgive me for a number of things automatically. These characteristics include a reluctance to accept compliments graciously and an independent spirit which makes it difficult for me to ask for help, or accept offers of help. I mean, how often have I asked someone to lift something heavy if I can manage it on my own?
This does not mean that I am never gracious when complimented, or that I never accept offers of help, or never ask for help. It just means that it does not come naturally to me.
Conversely, I generally think nothing of dishing out compliments and insisting on helping in various ways at almost every turn. In any case, I still have not got the balance right, and asking is hard.
It was indeed a personal victory in the asking department for me that for starters, I was able to tell people who could help me that I could no longer cope with caring for João. I was even convincing to the extent that respite care was arranged very quickly indeed, once the ball started rolling.
For once, Allison was not “fine”. Since João is currently in the home being very well looked after, when people ask me how I am, and expression of utter anxiety crosses my face, and stays there long enough for the asker to notice. The reason is that I cannot utter a convincing “fine” at the moment, but explaining why this is, or evading the issue by responding a “so-so” or “okay, thanks” is not always a viable option, particularly since it goes against the grain so.
The truth is, my life is undergoing change. I feel different on several levels about many things. I also know that I am not good at managing change. I have certainly proven this repeatedly to myself during the last 10 days. Uncertainty is not my forté, and never was. I am not afraid, for the core of me remains the same; I simply do not have the clear vision to which I have become accustomed; the vision which constantly drives me forward.
I have been working on accepting things as they are, and being calm, and not struggling, or forcing things.
I cannot take direct responsibility for the wonderful things which converged on my day, but I was certainly delighted to receive every single one of the gifts which came my way.
It started of early this morning (well, 09h00) with the gift of food. A bag full of really interesting and useful groceries that I will definitely eat. Included in the bag was a gift of cash. The food alone was enough to spur me into action. I washed all the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, and cleaned the interior of my neglected fridge. All this, so I could put the food received neatly away. When I looked in the envelope containing the money, I was blown away. Generosity, with a sense of humour, because the envelope bore the words, “For the disco”. Now, that’s style!
At lunchtime, I made myself lunch, and sat with my tray running synonyms for delicious through my head, and thinking of alternative, less rude, ways of staying “I feel a bit of a tit sitting still here all on my own eating”. I was still stumped on the latter exercise by the time I had finished, but felt much better having ingested a whole heap of nutritious food. I cleaned up and returned to work.
Then the phone rang. It was the courier asking where exactly he should deliver some books addressed to me. I live in a road with no name, and in a house with no number. I arranged to meet him at that well-known landmark, the “square” in Alfontes, “in five minutes”. Well, I was there in five minutes, in real clothes, looking normal.
The parcel contained the book which is being translated by a colleague from Portuguese into English. I am going to be editing the 77,000-word translation, and have already read a goodly part of the Portuguese text in Word format. I am excited about the job. I like working with this translator. The conditions are great, as is the client. This will be my “part-time summer project” on the combined subject of wine and art. The translator asked the client to send me another book – in English – on a related subject. The two together weigh the same as a small child (per the hold-on-hip test). That’s three complimentary books in two weeks. I love books, but when I gave away almost my entire collection when we emigrated, I decided I would not acquire any more. Then I translated a rather large one myself, and got a complimentary copy of its predecessor, and one of the translation, I gave up on the idea of book austerity. The images in the wine and art book are integral to the text, and each page fascinating. An intentionally dim and blurred photo shows how thick my summer project is (about two inches!):
I received another phone call in the morning with the news that a local charity is going to assist by contributing towards the fees at the care facility. A most welcome surprise indeed. On Friday, I received another – unsolicited offer of assistance, merely, it would seem, to reinforce the message that for some reason (or because of a number of reasons), I deserve a break.
Before a three-hour stint this evening of lifting and shifting boxes to relocate the things in the charity shop where I volunteer, I have booked my car in for a new cylinder head gasket and a bit of skimming of said cylinder head. Unavoidable really. I shall not have my car for the whole of next week. I expect I shall be enjoying a bit of walking and reading then.
Whether deserving of any or all of the above, all I know is that I sure had a happy day!
P.S. My previous post elicited a comment that these Sources of Joy blogs are creating a real awareness of happiness in someone else’s life. Good!