When in Doubt, Show Gratitude

After undergoing my second hip surgery in the last eighteen months, I was a little more prepared for recovery this time around. Knowing I’d be out of work (teaching high school art) and rehabbing for a month, I stocked up on good book, movie, and series recommendations (thank goodness for Netflix and Amazon Prime). I am not someone who does well with sitting still… just the IDEA of not being in motion makes me anxious. After 2 weeks, 4 books, countless magazines and infinite hours of TV, I began to go stir crazy.

Spiraling into boredom, loneliness, and generally feeling bad for myself, I needed to snap out of it! As I sat and stewed in pity and a little bit of loneliness, I found some space for gratitude. I started to think about all of the thank you cards I wanted to write. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my family and friends post-surgery. Let’s start with my Mom and Mother-in-Law staying with me and tending to my needs that first week (it is very humbling when you can’t even put your own socks on) and helping out with my two young children. My husband deserves a Man-of-the-Year-Award for patiently enduring another recovery period while taking on mom duties. To the countless friends and family members who drove my kids around, made dinner, sent me cards, brought me beautiful flowers, and came to visit… I am so grateful for and humbled by your generosity.

A handmade card from my colleague with all of my students' notes inside.

A handmade card from my colleague with all of my students' notes inside.

While making a list of the people I wanted to write cards to, I realized what was missing from my life while being bound to my house… making and creating! Since my studio is in the basement and I only had access to scissors and my kids' glue, I started to cut up all of the magazines I finished reading.


I used these cutouts to collage little artworks for everyone who helped me out in some way.

What I learned is that gratitude is the best remedy for feeling stagnant and lonely.