Friday, January 12, 2007

Attitude of Gratitude

I try to maintain an attitude of gratitude in my life. When I start getting upset about what-all I don’t have, didn’t accomplish, or otherwise wish was different, I try to stop and remind myself just how good I’ve really got it.

Sometimes, I forget to do that. I’ve been feeling rather angry and sorry for myself these last couple days. Vomiting children will do that to one; and the fact that for two out of the last five days of misery I’ve been on my own with the whole deal added a layer of ‘oh woe is me’ that I admit is a little silly, but still there.

It isn’t that things don’t suck or that I don’t wish some of them were different. But sometimes a healthy dose of perspective can be extraordinarily helpful.

The Daily OM reminded me about that this morning: Empathy in Action: An Experiment in Gratitude.

Because many of us lead comparatively insular lives, we may not comprehend the full scope of our prosperity that is relative to our sisters and brothers in humanity…Understanding working poverty can be as easy as endeavoring to buy nutritious foods with a budget of $100 for the week. If you own a car, relying on public transportation for even just a day can help you see the true value of the comfort and conveniences others do without. As you explore a life without things you may normally take for granted, ask yourself for how long you could endure.

I use public transportation whenever I commute into the office – but I drive my car to the train station. Why? Because the bus system out here is shockingly bad. Perpetually late, uncomfortable to ride, and always taking the milk-route. What takes me five minutes to drive is a twenty minute (or longer) bus ride.

How about this one: I’ve been popping Imodium ($8.50) and Advil Cold & Sinus ($9.79) for the last twenty-four hours. It hasn’t eliminated my symptoms, but it has made them bearable. I know people, who live right here in this same town, for whom going to the drugstore and picking up those two products with their combined price of $18, would be a honest-to-goodness hardship. It would be the medicine, or dinner.

Ouch, huh?

So, as I’m sitting here working while my sick children watch Noggin on the satellite TV, still earning my full paycheck even though we’re all sick, popping my meds and using up Kleenex at a shocking rate, I will attempt to remember to be grateful. For the Kleenex, for Noggin, for the option to go to a doctor (my doctor, as opposed to whoever is on call at the ER) if things get really bad, for Grey Goose vodka (I have a huge, Costco-sized bottle of it left from the Big Birthday Bash) (they drank all of my cheap-a$$ cooking brandy, but left the Grey Goose almost untouched!!), and most of all, for all the friends and family who put up with my endless whining about things that really aren’t that big a deal.

I love you guys.

And that isn’t just the Cold & Sinus meds talking.


Moira said...

far too funny I was just reading the same thing thinking even though it seems bleak at the moment I have a lot to be thankful for.. you are one of those things.

Anonymous said...

We have a tummy bug doing the rounds in our house at the moment and, as I was scraping down the children and enjoying my occasional moments of excruciating gut-rot which enable me to lock myself away from everyone else just for a FEW MINUTES (Good Grief, I haven't been alone in the house for a month now, I'm going to throttle someone soon if I don't get a break) I thought about this blog.

And in a cool hand on the forehead sort of way it was very comforting to know that I was not the only one... I'm so GLAD that you share the moan-y bits, it helps to shatter the illusion that every other mother out there is coping serenely and efficiently with all the revolting bits of parenthood, domestic life and working from home.

Never change. You're keeping me sane.

buffi said... just keep you and your nasty germs there at your house, missy. We don't need that on top of everything else here.

Next...damn, I am so sorry that you all are feeling so bad. That sucks. Hopefully all tummy troubles will be gone by the time you read this!

Last...our cable is screwed up and we can't get Noggin right now. What the hell? Iced in for the whole loooong weekend and we can't get Noggin. They can't get a repair guy here until Tuesday. Have they no soul? The world is a cruel, cruel place.

Yes, I am totally aware of the irony of my whining on this particular post. And I don't care.

Anonymous said...

An attitude of gratitude is a real key. The University of Pennsylvania is doing some great work on positive attitudes and happiness.

Actually, smiling even when you don't feel like it gets positive endorphins circulating.