Friday, May 01, 2009

Gratitude...

Some days I find myself being just a little too bitter and... can I say this online?... bitchy. Like yesterday after work, I was driving the OnlyChild to a job interview at the mall not far from our house and the entire time ~ I mean the whole 15-minute drive ~ I crabbed and nagged about little tiny annoyances. She thought it was amusing, bless her heart. But when I play back the conversation in my head, I am somewhat ashamed of myself.
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Earlier in the day, I had a chat with a couple of students about positive affirmations and, although I've never been the mushy kind, I do know that these have been proven effective. You need to adopt a 'mantra' and repeat it continually to remind yourself of the positive. I've never tried it myself; perhaps that's part of my problem. We also (my students and I) talked about gratitude and being thankful for what we have. That, too, has been proven to improve your outlook and mood.

So, I'll try this. I am grateful for:

My family ~ They drive me nuts and make me wish I lived alone at times, but I'd be so lonely without them. And who would I get to empty the dishwasher if the OnlyChild wasn't here?

(With the OnlyChild in NYC, Summer 2008)


My job ~ I have an interesting job with a good salary. It's pretty secure, even in this recession. I work with great people and, though the kids sometimes make me shake my head, I have more good days than bad, and more fun than aggravation with them. I've also learned so much from working with young adults, some things I'd rather not know...

(Social Studies Department, June 2008)

My brain ~I may not have been born stunningly gorgeous, but I was born with a brain in good working order and that's more important to me. I just can't imagine being dumb and I'm thankful I am able to earn a good living, solve my own problems, read quilting patterns, enjoy good books, and have interesting conversations.

My friends ~ As I get older, I find it more difficult to form strong friendships. I live 5000 km from where I grew up and have moved around far too much in the past 18 years. Although my high school friends mean the world to me, we sometimes lose contact for months at a time. Thank goodness for the handful of new friends I've met since I moved to the city. I do tend to keep to myself, but there is still someone to meet for coffee, someone to have lunch with, a quilting and scrapbooking friend, and colleagues with whom to share a friendly word. It's not good to live in isolation.

(With my best friend from junior high, Cheryl - February 2008)

The pets ~ Poor old Rexy. At nearly 18, he must have used up about 8 of his 9 lives. He gives us more trouble than pleasure lately with his midnight meowing, the failed attempts at getting it in the litter box, his tendency to be underfoot at the most inconvenient times, and all the messes we are forced to clean up. But he's family and we love him. Abby and Derby are a constant source of entertainment and are great company when I'm home alone (which is not very often lately). All three of them love us unconditionally and are always excited when we get home from work/school.

(A Christmas Day walk with Abby)

Bernice ~ I ♥ my sewing machine. I think she must be the best gift I've ever received! I am never bored because there is always some project that Bernice and I can be working on together. In the 8 years I've had her, she's never let me down.

(The only thing I wanted for Christmas last year ~ but not the only thing I got)

Dance class ~ Six years ago when we moved to the city, I was unemployed, friendless and lonely. One day I won $2000 in a radio contest and the OnlyChild (in grade 6 at the time) said to me, "Now you can take that belly dance class!" And I called the instructor, Nada, to register immediately. Since that first session in September of 2003, I have missed only one term of belly dance classes with Nada. I love it! Sadly enough, she had to cancel our spring session due to low registration. We'd had two weeks of classes, but there weren't enough people to make it worth her time (or the hall rental fee). I think the dogs will be happy, though. They'll get walked more often now!

(Spring dance recital, 2005)


You ~ I entered the world of blogging in January of this year. I was not a decision I made with trepidation; I just jumped in with both feet the day before Christmas vacation ended and haven't looked back. I love connecting with people who share the same interests and I love catching up on what everyone's doing in their homes, gardens, jobs, with family and friends. It's a very interesting world out there! Thank you!

So there you have it: my gratitude list. Not a sentimental list, by any means, because I'm a pretty straightforward gal, but it will be something I'll go back to now and then when I need a gentle slap upside the head and a reminder that I really do have a good life! (That's my new mantra)

7 comments:

PunkiePie said...

What a great list of gratitudes. I think you summed things up well.

Enjoy your weekend!

Quilter Going Bananas said...

Very well said! It's too easy to slip into complaining about the itty bitty things of everyday life so to make a conscious effort to repeat your positive mantra is a good thing :^)

LillySue said...

Great Post...Thank you for sharing! Don't be too hard on yourself about blowing off steam to a friend or loved one....Sometimes we all need to vent! It seems like you have a great perspective on it all!
Blessings~ LillySue
P.S. If you want to laugh at my stupidity, visit my blog today.

Barb said...

Wow, you do have a good life. You forgot to say that you are as cute as pie (have you ever heard that phrase?) or cute as a bug in the rug? Well you are....

andsewon said...

Oh we all have those whine days/times but we also deep in our hearts know we have so much to be grateful for. I know I am so blessed or lucky, which ever way you see it...;-)
I am so happy to have 'met' you around Jan!!!
Enjoy your your postings very much!!

goldenbird said...

Wow, that was such a nice post. Thanks for sharing your gratitude, it was inspiring. I am so impressed that you have been taking belly dancing class for six years!

goldenbird said...

Oh and PS., I agree with Barb, you are a cutie pie!