Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's the Little Blessings


This week has already been a crazy busy week to the start of a CRAZY busy month that lays ahead.

But I sit here reflecting on quite a few things and my mind is just swimming with so many blessings and joyous things that I HAVE to get them out or I might literally spontaneously combust with enthusiasm and optimism. And heaven forbid someone get hurt from positivity ;-)

Where to start?!

First I'm going to be 23 in a two weeks. Um when did this happen?! Like literally, I didn't even think I'd make it to 21 and I'm almost 23. Where has the last almost quarter century of life gone?! It's a good thing I guess. I'm so excited to be 23 and to have a great year. My 22nd year came in a weird and not-so-wonderful time of my life. At the time I was having huge family issues and the whole Eric situation was out of control. 22 was marked by those huge problems. But I'm welcoming in 23 with rejuvenation. My loving family is surrounding me, my dating life is very blessed currently, and my drive for my future is back with a ridiculous vengeance. I can't wait to see what blessings God has in store, as well as what lessons and transitions in my life come forward.

God worked another little blessing today in my life. He literally has been dropping these really small blessings and confidence-builders in my lap not to mention new things to do. I live paycheck to paycheck, quite literally, but I am able to pay all my bills. I do this all by working tons of little odd jobs. Recently he's been dropping all these things that involve technology, PR, and talking to people in my life. Things of which I would never label myself as great at but rather proficient. However, I have all these opportunities popping up left and right.

Well today my mom asked me to come to a meeting with her. My parents own an apparel shop that specializes in custom apparel in both embroidery and silk screening. I've worked for them from the time they started the business in our garage. For a year I was assistant production manager, whereas now I just sort of do oddball jobs as well as digitizing for letter jackets. They are trying to get a website up and running so my mom dragged me to a meeting with a guy who designs and builds websites. At first I didn't think I'd be of any value but turns out my familiarity with the internet really came into play. Somehow, the conversation turned towards our mutual faith in God. And at the end of the meeting, we all prayed together!! Ok INCREDIBLE!! Seriously how often does that happen?!

I will be babysitting another little girl with CP in the next couple weeks quite a bit and I can't wait! I love knowing that because God made me able-bodied I can help others :-) It's one of those things I really enjoy in life. I'm a bit nervous as any new person you meet with special needs you need to get to know but I'm really excited to use my abilities to help someone else out, as well as Ethan's family. These kids really need love and care, just like everyone else. I've realized that so many people shy away from anyone with special needs or disabilities. They are scared of them. I can understand why, to a point....because they are different and fragile. But really they also aren't...and they are ALL characters!! And now I get the opportunity to get to know this amazing little girl who faces challenges every day that are so much greater than me yet she keeps going.

I really wish that every person got the opportunity to work with someone different from them. Because we all learn how blessed we are in our own lives. And that's important to keep in mind all that we have and to not take any of it for granted, especially that of being "normal" and healthy.

So I have a couple little kiddos I'm teaching how to swim. I used to teach swim lessons out the wazoo in high school. We had a boat growing up and my mom started me at lessons at the age of 6 months. She said as long as we had a boat we had to be in swimming lessons. She even kept me in level seven (the top level) and had me repeat it time after time, even after passing it, because of her rule. I was ONLY allowed to stop repeating the stupid level when I joined a local swimming team in middle school. Of course I didn't compete (I was shy and hated competition and any focus being put my way in any sort) but my mom paid for me to practice with the team every day for six days a week. Then I joined the high school varsity swim team as a freshman and literally it was just natural to get my lifeguarding license and work at the local rec. In turn, I started teaching swimming lessons, both group and private and did it for years. I still teach swimming lessons to families if they need be. So I have this set of siblings I'm teaching how to swim. One is five and fearless and pretty natural in the water. One is seven, a genius, overthinks things, and is deathly afraid of things that aren't comfortable or natural.

My philosophy for swimming is that if a kid can learn to be comfortable and confidant in the water, they can do anything. So I put an emphasis on teaching them how to be comfortable in the water via emphasizing survival techniques (technical techniques are secondary to increase endurance) and then I boost their confidence by tons and tons of positive reinforcement and showing them that THEY were the ones who are swimming and doing things on their own!!

The first day starting out the seven year old couldn't float and just sank like a rock. He hated the water, had no confidence, didn't want me to let go of him at all. Tuesday they were both swimming lengths on their own doing backstroke across the pool!! Then this morning their mom was telling me how she took them and a few other classmates to another local rec and her kids were confidant in the water and were the only ones of the group able to be in the deep end (mom was a little hesitant at first but got used to it after watching them)!! Amazing!! It's nice to hear that two more kids are able to enjoy time in the water because I basically taught them how to be comfortable in the water and gave them confidence to know they can be on their own in the water!! They do not have perfect strokes and may never be on swim teams but it's two more kids not afraid of the water :-)

And lastly, my little Ethan is doing just spectacular. He is starting to say "nnnnn" for my name :-) How precious is that?! Despite his odds, he's a little ball of sunshine all the time and has the stamina of a freaking Olympian. If ONLY we could all be that way!!

Ok so I'm going to stop letting the sun shine out of my butt for now ;-)

I really do hope that whoever is reading this is having a wonderful day and that you can look at your life and see those amazing little blessings. Believe me, there's a fair amount of strife and worry in my life, some hard things and thoughts, and some really confusing/troublesome times. But all in all, I love my life and am so thankful to God for all that He has provided me with....including but not limited to my health and my positive attitude.

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