Gratitude

Some weeks, I am way better at being than other weeks.  This has not been one of those weeks. I have managed to take down the Christmas decorations…mostly, and vacuum the living room and dining room. It only took two days to get both rooms done. I have managed to do all of my dishes, though not always right after I used them. I have managed to walk the dogs in bone-chilling weather, except for today, and I managed to get them to the groomer and pick them up without one of them leaping out of the back of the car while I was trying to get their leashes on them.

There have been two naps. Today’s will probably have me awake until 2 a.m., which means I’ll need another one tomorrow–it’s a vicious cycle, you know.

Last night, I went out to dinner with friends, and I was talking about the garden and needing to place my seed orders.  Then I heard myself say, “I don’t know why I bother. I’m mainly just feeding me. My fridges (plural) and freezers (plural) are stuffed with last year’s vegetables, and I still have tons of canned stuff. Who am I growing a garden for?”

Um.  What?

Soooo…I’m whining about having too much food from the garden that brings me so much joy? While I’m out to dinner?

Hi. My name is Arsehole.  Nice to meet you.

It’s easy to get caught up in the less-than-awesome aspects of our lives, isn’t it?  What I was really whining about was the fact that my husband and I don’t live together (Because he’s supporting us while I live my dream of growing food and starting a food business.  Poor, poor me.), and so the food that I’m so happily growing for us winds up often being for me, which means it takes a long time to eat it all.  I could bring it to a food pantry, but I’ve been told that the ones around me won’t take fresh food (don’t get me started).

We all know–or I would like to think that we all know, and if it isn’t true, don’t tell me, okay?–that someone, somewhere (lots of someones, actually) have it waaay worse than we do.  That, in fact, our lives are pretty damned awesome.  But everything is relative, isn’t it?  And so during the weeks that I’m really missing my husband, or bummed that I’m not working more, or just plain out of it, I get trapped in the woe-is-me cycle in my head. It slows me down, and makes me bored with myself (cue the Springsteen). I take a lot of naps, and take multiple days to get a room vacuumed.

I’ve learned two things that help when this happens.  First, don’t beat myself up.  The laundry starts to pile on the floor because the cabinet is too full to stuff any more clothes into, the dying flowers drop their petals on the table and I leave them there (How’s that for a woe-is-me image?!)…and it’s okay.  I’ll snap out of it and get it all done.  I’m not perfect, because I’m human.

Second, a good way to snap out of it is to be grateful.  When a whine creeps into my thoughts, I squish it with a reminder that my husband loves me, or my dogs are awesome, (even with 5:45 a.m. vomit wake-up-calls…I’m talkin’ to you, Montana, you adorable rotten animal) or my friends and family are supportive, or…  There are a lot of grateful reminders I can give myself.

Grateful people are happy people. So while I work on snapping out of my funk, I’ll remind myself againandagainandagain that I have an embarrassing wealth of things for which to be thankful. And I’ll move that pile of laundry to the top of the washing machine, where no one can see it.

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