Thursday, November 24, 2016

There Is Always Something to Be Grateful For

There is always something to be grateful for. This may sound trite to some but it really is true.

The other day someone asked me how I can be so positive all of the time. I honestly wish that were always true, but even I have my moments. Especially last month:

October was a bit heavy for me. I was tired, frustrated, overwhelmed. Sad. And then one day, I was literally knocked on my ass by the dog. As I stood there wiping away my tears, wishing once again could it just be November already, I noticed that there were roses on the bush beside me. Despite the frost, the wind, the rain, they were still there, still blooming. At the end of October. They'd been there for days and I'd never noticed them. I was so wrapped up in feeling sorry for myself, I couldn't see what was right in front of me.

I'm sorry October, it really wasn't you, it was me.

I actually am a pretty positive person, 90% of the time (okay maybe 85%). But sometimes, it gets to be too much, even for me. The truth is sometimes I'm tired. Tired of always being the one responsible for everything, of having to make all of the decisions. Sometimes I'm scared; of what the future has in store (I don't want to be the crazy old widow in the rocker on the porch with a passel of cats), scared I'm going to mess it all up. Sometimes I wonder if my kids got stuck with the wrong parent, the one who isn't as much fun and isn't the best at helping them with their homework (I suck at math). Sometimes I worry I've made all of the wrong decisions. Sometimes I really miss my friends and feel like I've let them down because I'm not there when they need me the most.

And sometimes it's hard NOT to get caught up in the day to day stress (seriously why does everything have to break at the same time?). Sometimes all of the little stuff adds up and seems like really big stuff. Especially when you are worn down emotionally. Which is where I was in October.

Until the day I found myself on my ass on the sidewalk.

"All you have to do is pay attention. Lessons always arrive when you are ready"~Paulo Coelho

Hopefully the lessons arrive a little less painfully the next time. It's funny how literally being on your arse on the ground forces you to look at things from a different perspective. As I picked myself up and dusted myself off, I saw those roses. And those roses reminded me that everyday might not be good, but there is something good in everyday. If only we take the time to see it.

All that stuff I was stressing about was just that..stuff. Stuff that in the overall scheme of things really doesn't matter. It only mattered because I was letting it.

I was unhappy. Because I was making myself unhappy. I own my happiness, that's my responsibility.

I was focusing on all the wrong things. I was focusing on what I don't have and not on the things I do have. I was counting my misfortunes, not my blessings.

I have so very much to be grateful for. I'm healthier and fitter than I have ever been. Everyday I can walk by the ocean and breathe in the salt air. I live in a beautiful house in a beautiful town. I have three, healthy, happy, well adjusted children. Children, who as it turns out, actually think I'm doing a half decent job at this full time, single parenting gig (well, besides the night I threatened to quit, apparently I can't do that, who knew?). It's very true that I'm no good at math, but I do employ a very good math tutor. And while we might not have the same hair-brained adventures as we did when their Dad was alive (Dear Lord some of them were beyond ridiculous), we still end up having loads of fun together.

My friends know that if they ever need me, I'll be there faster then they can say Bombay Sapphire (I'd even bring some with me). I might not get to see them every week or even every month, but they are always there for me, just like I am always there for them. And I am so fortunate that I get to spend time with them whenever I travel. Whether it's in Petawawa, Gagetown, Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston or Yellowknife (Yellowknife of all places), there are always old (and new) friends there waiting for me. How lucky am I?

I might indeed end up as a crazy widow rocking on my porch someday, but somehow I doubt it (okay the crazy part might happen). But the passel of cats will definitely not be happening as I just happen to be allergic to cats. And besides, that's plan Z anyway, luckily I have twenty-five other plans to go through before I get to that one. I think I'll start with plan A: Count my blessings.

There is always, always, something to be grateful for.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melody Beattie

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