The Gift of Gratitude: Day 66 – It’s a Wonderful Gypsy Life

Several years ago, a friend came to visit. Stepping into the kitchen, he noticed the recently washed dishes drying on a tea towel spread neatly on the counter top.

He declared, “You don’t have a dish rack!”

I replied, “What for? I don’t need one. Besides, they’re too expensive.”

Shaking his head, he said, “My dear. (tsk, tsk) You live like a Gypsy.”

Offended and red-faced, I said in my mind, “What does he know anyway?”

It was true, he lived in his own comfortable home. I rented an apartment I couldn’t afford. He had designer dinnerware. I had mix and match hand me downs from various sources. He had a dish rack. I had a tea towel.

Many years have passed since Mr. You-Live-Like-A-Gypsy graced my life, but that phrase haunted me. Could he be right? Am I, a Gypsy? What an awful thing to say to someone. I pictured a Gypsy as someone with no roots. Someone travelling from place to place with few possessions. Someone poor. Someone unsuccessful. Surely, that can’t be me. (Sniff. Sniff.)

Once upon a time, before Mr. Y-L-L-A-G, I lived in a mansion. Yep, it had five bathrooms, four master bedrooms, a pool, a hot tub, a sauna and a sun-room with skylights, not to mention the usual living/dining rooms, room off the living room and full-sized recreation room. I lived there for a whole three months before I believed my intuition that Mr. Right was actually Mr. Wrong in disguise. A quick exit ensued. Good-bye mansion. Hello independent poverty.

Sometimes staying true to ones convictions presents challenges, especially when one learns the hard way. The next twelve years brought; diagnosis of a severe autoimmune disease called Rheumatoid Arthritis, working-poor status, continued struggle and suffering, disability and despair. I truly wasn’t sure that I wanted to live, but I didn’t know how to-get-out-of-it.

Driver went to KFC.

For the last 1-1/2 years I’ve lived on a small government disability pension that allows me to earn self-employment income that is deducted from the cheque at the rate of fifty percent. Usually, my car never has more than 1/4 tank of gas in it. I’ve seen me get through a week on $12.56. I usually have enough food in my cupboard to last a few days or so. I never go shopping for clothes and I’m always a few months behind in paying my bills. I can’t wear winter boots and I have to wear orthopedic shoes due to the RA disease, I can’t bend my feet to get them into regular footwear. I have numerous other joints that are painful and won’t work properly either. Somedays, I could hardly walk at all. I’ve applied for subsidized housing. I’m on a waiting list.

I am very happy to tell you that the past 1-1/2 years have been the best years of my life. Through the power of intention, the incredible people I’ve met and the totally different perspective I’ve developed, I want to live now. I have peace about my condition and circumstance. I’ve developed an appreciation for myself, for life and for others. Life is no longer perceived as a struggle.

I have no roots. I have few possessions. I am poor. From the world’s perspective, I am unsuccessful. But, I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful for my wonderful mentors. I am grateful for the wonderful opportunity of challenge. I am grateful for the beautiful friends in my life (blogging and non-blogging). I am grateful to experience Life. I am grateful that from my perspective, I am successful. I am happy to be alive.

So….Mr. Y-L-L-A-G, all I have to say now is, it’s a wonderful Gypsy life.

Copyright, Marianne Irvine and Grandeurvision, 2010.

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15 thoughts on “The Gift of Gratitude: Day 66 – It’s a Wonderful Gypsy Life

  1. This is a fabulous post! I love it that you decided to write about this!

    Actually, I can very much relate to your life style. I was very sick for more than 10 years and also lived on government disablity income exclusively. Those were challenging years, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. One of these days I’ll find the courage to write about that period in my life. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Thank you, Kathryn. Illness is a wake-up call for me. It’s amazing the transformation since I stopped fretting, stressing, struggling and suffering and began accepting, allowing, practicing gratitude and loving what IS no matter what it looks like. I think that sometimes we need a total collapsing before we can begin anew.

      I look forward to reading about your experience.

  2. I love this post too! I actually would like it to be called a Gypsy. Or to be given a (back handed?) compliment about living simply. It does seem, though, like there’s a fine line between not having enough and living simply. I am glad these years have been the best in your life. What a glorious gift–to be able to say that. I admire you, Marianne.

  3. Marianne,
    Once again I am moved not only by the content of your writing, but of the beautiful delivery. You have a gift! And I am delighted that you are sharing it with the world. You are a beautiful and courageous woman and I am grateful for YOU.

    • Thank-you Wendy (my beautiful mentor). I would not have started this blog without your coaching support and encouragement. I’m grateful I found you. Between you and me, the story wrote itself. There was not much effort on my part. I believe, it was a gift given to me to share with others. I hope, in future, I will tap into more gifts. Love to you,

    • Thank-you Brenda (my beautiful “Sing Yourself Alive” mentor). I’m grateful for your wonderful healing medicine songs. Your life is a powerful message of the healing that is possible. Much love to you.

  4. Pingback: Miracle Mama Challenge: High on Gratitude | Miracle Mama

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