No Need to Bow

I opened my email the other day, and courtesy of a meditation group I follow, I was given a task to do: for every letter of the alphabet, write down something that you are grateful for.


At first glance, I balked

What the heck my next thought was

Okay, let’s do this.


I don’t usually take orders from my email. However, after dealing with the remainder of my inbox and a few other tasks, I returned to make my list. It’s at the very end of this post. Before you read any further, you might want to make your own gratitude list. See what you find.

Not only did my A to Z list lay it all out in black and white, I was blanketed with that early morning peace I crave.

Awareness. First word.

In thinking on it, awareness has always been my road to truth and victory. Sometimes it takes me a while to find it. The awareness, the truth and the victory.

I ended up thinking back several years, just about this time of year, to a conversation with Bobby and Terry, brothers of one of my closest friends. We pretty much grew up with each other. A photograph of them sits on my desk. As usual, like it seems we always did, we were talking about life and different challenges we each were each facing.

We sat in the warm sunshine that poured into Terry’s itty-bitty cottage through the glass slider that opened up to a sparse meadow off the back deck. Bobby was perched near the fireplace and a wall full of long playing albums. Joni Mitchell, or maybe Joan Baez, someone like that, played in the background while we chilled.

Bobby the elder, always the one to keep us real, casually led our conversation with laughter, reminiscing, philosophy and strings of truth telling.

”Kathy Thomas,” he said to me. “You’ll be fine. It doesn’t matter. Every time life lets you down, you get right back up and do something different – and you always make it better. You really are the Queen of Reinvention.”

We all face challenges in life. If we’re lucky, and smart, we learn that it’s what we do about those holes in the road that makes the difference.

The positive spin I’m wishing to sell here is the awareness that there’s more to life than our negative experiences. Abandonment in its many forms, news of the day, covid, the death of a loved one. We cry, we sit, we mourn and we learn something.

With a fresh awareness, we can discover how we’re growing into the people we want to be. We really can get up, dust ourselves off, and make a new start of it. It doesn’t always happen overnight. Generally, it doesn’t. Honestly, who knows what’s around the bend?

One thing I do know, is that what’s next would never amount to planning for another defeat. Who does that? Plans for defeat? No one I know. We plan for victory, hopefully remembering that failing to plan is planning to fail.

Being aware of what’s around us, who’s in our world, and our actions in it can all lead to a better life. If we let it. Leaning on each other to remember that we’re valuable human beings is the gift that keeps on giving. And when we seemingly have no one to lean on, being our own best friend is truly the best gift we can give ourselves.


So simple, really. I don’t know what made me think I should write a whole paper on it.


With Bobby’s blessing

My crown still rocks on my head

Tilted yet gleaming.


Like I said, so much to be grateful for. 



awareness babies covid destiny elephants fun gardens hijinks islands jetties kids love me nuts oats painting questions roses sandwiches tenderness undoing victory wishes xanax youth zoos


You may wonder why covid is on my gratitude list. The past several months have taught me so much, reminded me over and over again of what is important in life. Love, life, and a little laughter, even while longing for a better day.





Published by WriterPaints

I write and I paint, I like to see what I can do with a camera. I hike and bike and travel. In warm weather, I swim. I'm a listener and I read. I'm a proud member of I'm lucky to have great friends, a large and beloved family. I enjoy my own company and manage to be happy most of the time. I love the outdoors.

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  1. Inspiring reminder of the significance of overcoming life’s challenges via friendship, family, and self “awareness” Kathy. I felt myself there in Terry’s place with you and Bobby, discussing philosophy and sharing the genuine love of the gathering.

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