Being Thankful Isn't Only For Thanksgiving

Thursday, January 17, 2013

One thing I have noticed for quite a while, especially over the past year, is how God and Goddess have been bringing us through difficult times.  And I'm not talking difficult times like  "Well, crap, I can't afford to do this and this frivolous thing."   I mean difficult as in  "How the hell are we going to afford this bill and the rent?"

As much as things have, overall, felt better since I got to come back home to Colorado, it has still been a far cry from easy.  It'd be too long of a story to go into everything, but we've had a lot of moments where I've been flat-out ready to panic wondering how the hell we were going to get past the latest scrape.  We managed to recently get past another one as we've been trying to get past this last financial hump before Druid starts pulling in regular paychecks again and our FAFSA arrives.  We had no idea how we were going to pay our rent because of how the job situation has gone for the both of us recently.  Hell, my mother and step-father had ended up helping us with our December rent.  But when things did not go as anticipated to be able to cover January's, my Panic Button got set off once again.

Sometimes it's easier to keep faith than it is at other times.  And I'm not going to lie:  A good portion of our situation was brought on by choices that didn't turn out to be so savvy after all.  Admitting to ourselves as such, I believe, was definitely part of beginning to get our act back together once again.  When it became clear that our finances were not going to be able to hold as had been thought, I struggled to find a job.  That job didn't go as well as hoped and I ended up having to try to find another one.  That becomes unavoidable when that job decides that they're going to cut your hours down from 40 to, first 28, then 24, and then down to 16.  That just wasn't going to work.  Druid struggled to find work too and thought that taking on a paper route would be a good remedy to the situation.

It didn't work out that way, especially because the company that he worked for had blithering incompetencies that had me wondering how the hell they'd managed to stay in business for so long.

The long and short of it, however, is despite how much of a clusterfuck things have been, Druid has found a much more stable job working once again in security.  He, being the better with money out of the two of us, has constructed a much more viable budget for our upcoming semester that I am confident that we can stick to and even be able to put money back into savings.  Now all that's left is getting through this last bit of difficulty before we get the financial boost we've been waiting for.

As I said before, rent was the most frightening of the difficulties.  However, we were able to get some one-time help from our local Human Services office (thank you, Goddess) and that gave us the leg-up we needed to be able to get by on that bill until February, which is when things will pick up.  Now the only other bill we have to worry about is our electric bill.  I have no idea how we're going to manage that one at this time, but all throughout this hardship, I have seen the signs that Goddess and God have not forgotten about us.  I dare say they are hoping that we have learned our lessons from our mistakes.  I think we have.  And because we have been working so hard to remedy them, I believe it has made them even more willing to help us get through.

One thing I have striven to learn throughout all this is recognizing these blessings and signs and remembering to be thankful for them every day.  Life may not be easy right now, but there is always something to be thankful for.  There is always a sign that the Goddess and God are close by and that they haven't forsaken us.

For instance, yesterday I was feeling particularly discouraged about this last pain in the ass situation.  I went to go check the mail and found that there was nothing there but a parcel slip that said I needed to go pick up the package at the apartment office.  That immediately lifted my spirits up as I had a good feeling that I knew what it was.
On a previous entry, I'd mentioned some Pagan children's books that I'd been wanting to get as soon as I could afford to.  Well, I'd gotten a comment from one of my readers who said that she had one of the books that I'd been wanting as well as a few others.  That was a couple weeks ago and then I received the books yesterday!  That was such a help as it immediately cheered me up to be able to look at these books!  It also felt like a sign to me that we're not forgotten and that, even when things feel shitty, there's always something to find joy in and to be thankful for.  Thank you so much for the books, Anne!  I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your giving them to me!  Receiving the books yesterday absolutely made my day!

Something else I'm thankful for and excited about:  After so many years of trying to find a group that I can learn with and obtain my degrees through, I believe I may have finally found that group.  There was an event this past weekend called The Paths and Traditions Fair put on by a few local groups, particularly one called Cro Dreoilin.  Its purpose was to bring potential students and potential teachers and groups together.  It's not easy to find a group or coven to learn under or join.  Even trying to use Witchvox doesn't always prove successful.  So to have this opportunity was very exciting!

It was at the fair that I met Greyheart.  He was there not overly hoping to find people he'd be willing to teach, but he'd felt that he should at least be there so there was the opportunity.  As it was, aside from myself, he'd found a good 2 or 3 other potential students for his teaching group.  I began talking to him after I'd talked to Chris and Kelly, who are the founders of the Cro Dreoilin Celtic Reconstructionist group.  They were wonderfully nice, but I did not feel called to pursue their group further.

When I began talking with Greyheart and (awkwardly as hell) mentioned that I was there to try to find a group that I could learn with and obtain my degrees so that I could attain my goal of becoming a Priestess, he led me to his table, which had some altar items on it.  "Look at the items on this table and tell me which of these tools is the most powerful."

As much as I stammered at first to construct my answer (you would not friggin' BELIEVE how shy and awkward I'd felt at the fair at first!  LoL  I was ready to put my head through a wall!), I finally answered  "These tools are just an extension and even a focus point.  The true power lies within the Witch his or herself."

That made Greyheart crack a smile.  "I always ask potential students that one.  If they can't answer that one, then I know that they're not really ready for what I would teach them."   I'll admit, I felt like the kid who just got handed a gold star for that one.  LoL!  We talked for a long time and, during which, there were several other people who came up to talk to him and it was quite clear that he is a very well-known, well-respected, and well-liked in the Pagan community.  I already liked him.  I liked how straight-forward and no-nonsense he was.  He didn't beat around the bush as he explained to me how he tends to work things and what he expects from his students and what he expects from himself as a teacher.  One of the things I liked is that he doesn't just teach his students the "White magick" but also teaches them the darker things.  And his explanation was a mirror of what I already believe, which I actually wrote about in my Pagan Blog Project post yesterday.   He believes in his students learning to have a balance, to know their lighter as well as darker selves.

Overall, he warned me that this would not be easy and that there would be times where I will definitely have to reach outside of my comfort zone.  I have no doubts of this and while I find myself with some trepidation as to what these things will be, I can already tell just by watching these other people interact with him (some of them being former students of his) that it will be for my own good that I might reach my fullest potential.

I think the only thing that really made me cringe inwardly was the mention of skyclad work.  He brought that up on his own because his personal tradition stems from Gardnerian, but he assured me that his views on working skyclad is that only if it is absolutely necessary.

"I've not had it be necessary yet, but if it ever were to be, you all would be getting a heads up about it quite a while in advance and, just so you know, I've never had it be necessary yet."

Gods, I hope not.  I can handle most anything, but the thought of having to work in a group skyclad pretty much makes me want to break out in a cold sweat.  It has nothing to do with my personal body image (even though it's not a very good self image, I'll admit).  I'm just a very modest person; modest enough that the thought of having to be naked around other people makes me VERY uncomfortable.  I appreciate the fact that Paganism recognizes and celebrates the beauty of the human body, but still.  I don't even work skyclad at home, even before I ever had kids.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaanywho.   I'm just going to hope that that never becomes an issue.

But, overall, I'm really excited for things to start!  They won't be starting until next month, but I'm going to be counting the days!  This will be my Year and a Day and, at the end of it, I have the option of being initiated as a Priestess in the First Degree.  One thing that I liked is that every student has a different initiation ritual custom-made for them.  I'm already told that it's not going to be an easy ritual.  But I welcome it.  So long as it does not involve anything shady, I'm good.  I can deal with difficult.  But I don't think I'll have to worry about anything unsavory.

Even as difficult as things have been, I have a strong feeling that they're going to get better and, so long as we continue to try to make good choices, they'll stay going well.   In the meantime, I remember to be thankful every day for the good things we already have.


Anne said...

Congrats on finding a teacher.

It's tough, staying the course.
Let me know which one you like best!

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