Saturday, August 1, 2015

Who or What Do You Appreciate Most in Your Life?

One character trait I possess is tenacity.  I might bitch and moan about something, like living in Rwanda most days, but if I commit to someone or something or some higher force or a direction in life, I am "all in".  Sometimes I kick and scream but if I say I will do it, it is done.  Period.

Take Mr. Andy Headspace for example.  I am fighting the meditation, but I am committed.  I'm "all in" Andy, no matter how much I appear that it is of no value and I think you are talking zen gibberish.  I slogged my way through the 30 volume set of "Creativity" and then decided, since I was apparently so angry, according to my sister (who lives in Germany, and has power and water, and a cute weiner dog and makes great cupcakes, is pretty and younger and has a bad ass husband so life is perfect...yes, that sister), that I might try the shortened mediation series of Appreciation.

Curse you Mr. Andy worked.  It does not mean we are friends.  It just means I can tolerate you, Mr. Perfect Zenman.

During the meditation I breathed, counted to 10, thought about 15 gabillion other things and then..."Who or What Do You Appreciate Most in Your Life?"

All week I thought about that question.  It made me want to start doing yoga with Obed and the boys again.  I wanted to just take it in, to appreciate all Obed has done in the last three years with developing the yoga and massage program for this team and also Eritrea and Ethiopia.  I laid there during relaxation pose and was so thankful for Obed, for his desire to make a new life after racing, to help his teammates, to lead the way in a completely new discipline.

I sent my mom an email after weeks of quiet irritation. My mom gave me the wherewithal to do what I do.  She encouraged me to be strong, independent, a free spirit.  Although I don't always agree with her choices--like I'm sure she always agreed with mine!--I appreciate her.  I need her to be around for a very long time yet.

I told my husband how much I appreciated him last night after a motorbike trip into Kigali for business.  Seriously, there were at least 30 near death experiences during the day.  I am not exaggerating.  Rwandan's have a serious death wish on the road and yesterday was the worst day I've had on the back of his motorbike in 6 years.  That includes the collarbone break in Tanzania in 2009.  On the way home I had my new TomTom watch on which registers heart rate.  Normal heart rate....65....every time someone was in our lane, passing on a blind corner or simply cutting us off....spike to 95.  

I appreciate my ex-husband.  He ships all our gear all over the country, pays my bills and is our biggest Team Rwanda fan!  He could have remained angry at me for the rest of my life, instead, he was the good man he's always been and understood this was what I was meant to do with my life.  I am one lucky girl.

Yesterday I met with a friend, Kelly Bean, in Kigali.  She is here to check in on the programs she runs with her non profit, African Road.  She cannot go to Burundi, another country she works with, because of the recent election violence.  Last week, about 36 hours before she boarded a plane we had a FB conversation about how I was suffering, once again, from compassion fatigue.  She asked if she could bring me anything.  I said it was too late for this journal I wanted but not to worry.  When I met her yesterday and chatted about everything going on, she said to me, "How are you doing?"  She said it, meant it and I felt it.  As I was leaving she gave me a care package with two journals and a coloring book and pencils...and chocolate!  I told her I want to channel my inner KB...calm, nurturing and loving.  KB doesn't yell, and never appears frazzled.  I am always yelling and frazzled!  Her gift, her friendship means the world to me.  Appreciation.

I appreciate my sister who introduced me to Mr. Andy Headspace....and who always supports every campaign I launch begging for money!

And today....there was a moment of complete Appreciation....savoring every second of the moment....looking up to God and simply saying, "Thank you...thank you for this moment..."

Bonaventure, our rider who had a horrific crash 3 months ago and then developed a post trauma blood clot which almost ended his life, raced.  This was his first race since the accident.  Mr. AM and I were following the race on the motorbike and Bona was staying with the peloton which at our last time check was 4'52" behind Bosco, the eventual winner.  That alone was impressive.  We sprinted ahead with 20kms remaining to make it to the finish line to set up the video finish timer.  

In comes Bosco, then Patrick, then Joseph and Camera....then a minute or two after that....Janvier...and Bona.  Bona...Janvier reaching down to hold Bona's hand as they crossed the finish line.  I looked across the finish line to Mr. AM and just smiled, holding back tears..."Did you see Janvier and Bona?"


"They were holding hands...he's back.  I think I'm going to cry."

I finished Mr. Andy Headspace's Appreciation series today.  Who or What Do I Appreciate Most in My Life?"

Friends who understand me and what I deal with living here, doing what I do.

My staff, Catherine & Thomas who cook for this unbelievably large family, Felix who handles everything for me, Janvier, the guard who makes sure the water tanks are always full, Joseph and the two Damascenes who make the garden and grounds peaceful, serene and inviting and Beatrice who cleans, cleans and launders all day long!

Flowers....the gorgeous flowers Beatrice put in my house, the flowers that surround my house, the flowers in the kitchen...just beautiful flowers.

And most of all...

I am thankful for God's healing power over Bona.

The press interviewing Bona on his return to racing
Janvier reaching for Bona at the finish

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