Sometimes, when life gets a bit overwhelming and unpleasant, I have to try and focus on the good stuff. You know, count your blessings and whatnot. Of course, I am very blessed, even in my trials.
Things could be worse, right?
Although, sometimes, I am reminded of that cliche when a child doesn't want to eat his/her dinner and the mother says, "Eat it, there are children starving in Africa." That never made sense to me. Ok, mail them my dinner. I don't need it.
Obviously, the point was to be grateful for what I had. To be sure, my mom never used this one on us. I don't think it ever made sense to her either.
My friend, Jim Bennett, son of (hang on while I name drop for a second) former Senator Bob Bennett, posted something rather wise on Facebook yesterday, which is what made me think of this whole post.
Here it is.
I find the relativity of suckiness to be irrelevant. It is suckiness itself, any of it, which concerns me. I personally want less of it. Recognizing that my suckiness levels are ten times, fifty times, or a thousand times lower than someone else's reduces my own suckiness not a whit. However, it does produce guilt, as in "how dare you complain about your suckiness when Floyd's life is six times suckier." So there's that, I guess, but since guilt is sucky, that reinforces my central point.
He is wise, is Jim. I hope he doesn't mind me quoting him. I should probably ask. Oh, well. Maybe tomorrow.
Anyway, I think he is right. We all have our own trials, right? And they all suck for us, right? I mean, I know that what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger but sometimes it feels more like What doesn't kill me will invariably come back and try again until it eventually succeeds.
So, rather than focusing on the fact that it could be worse, because it could indeed, I am trying to focus on the things that are good in their own right.
No question that I am lacking gratitude sometimes. I should be overwhelmingly grateful that we have a home, a car that runs (knock on wood), etc. etc. But those things don't always cheer me up, because the reverse is so damn depressing.
So, instead, I like to focus on the small things that make me happy, bring a smile to my face.
Here are a few them-
-Jim Dale reading audiobooks. Awesome. Listening to Harry Potter for about the 30th time. Never gets old. And, if The Small One and The Man of the House are being noisy (fighting, usually), I still know what is going on at any given time, because I pretty much have the books memorized.
Wanna know what one of my most favourite parts is? Of course you do!
Book 4, Goblet of Fire. Ron and Harry in McGonagall's class having a sword fight with 2 of the twins fake wands. Ron's has turned into a tin parrot, Harry's into a rubber haddock. At the moment McGonagall yells at them to pay attention there is a pause and then the head of Harry's rubber haddock slides silently to the floor, having been severed by the parrot's beak a moment before.
I die. Every time. Laugh out loud funny. It is such a classic jr. high moment.
-Norm Abrams voice/This Old House/New Yankee Workshop. Why? I don't know. It is so classically lazy Saturday morning to me, I think. It means TMOTH is in a chill mood. It usually means the house is tidy. And there are beautiful things being made/done that I can ask TMOTH to make/do for me. Good stuff.
-When The Small One is driven to giggles. The real ones, not the silly, fake 4 year old hamming for attention giggles. Her nose squinches up, her eyes get tight and all her teeth show. She looks and sounds so utterly delighted that I can't help but laugh with her. It is adorable.
-TMOTH and The Small One laying on the floor, eating popcorn and watching movies. It is hilarious. They talk to each other like contemporaries.
-Dewberry shower gel and lotion from The Body Shop. This scent is what my flat in London smelled like. 11 years later and that smell still conjures London for me. If you combine that smell with cigarette smoke and car exhaust, well, it sounds disgusting, but that is what a Kensington street smells like to me. And it is a VERY happy smell.
-Knitting. What else is there to say?
-The way the chickens shout for attention when you go out in the back. Or follow you around if you they are loose. It is hilarious. They love people. And treats.
-Hot baths in my gorgeous claw foot tub. My mom rescued it for me when an old house in Salt Lake was being renovated. It is huge. And deep. With a slanty back.
-And lastly, for tonight. The fact that my friend's 4 year old is in love with TMOTH. For 2 reasons. He has a fire truck, and he can fix ANYTHING. Dreamy, apparently.
In other news, I have decided to put The Small One in a French Immersion program for school. This means that I will have to drive about 30-35 minutes twice a day once she starts school, but from what I hear, it is worth it. Should prepare her well for our trip to the UK and France in a couple of years. It has been a hard decision. Who knew choosing a kindergarten could be so angst ridden?