Grateful to complain

This past week I've been a little bit frustrated with life, a little freaking out about stuff I can't control, just a little grumpus about life in general. My life is worse than everyone else's, no one understands how stinky my life really is. Ever had one of those days? I thought so.
By day 3 of my self induced pity party, I was tired of hearing myself complain. I woke up determined to have a joy-filled day. By about 10am, my day was already on a downward spiral. The toddler I was babysitting was screaming nonstop, my kids were bouncing off the walls, the house was already a disaster, and we hadn't even started school or cleaned up from breakfast yet. I was clinging to my joy with my fingernails determined not to let go.
That's when I decided to play a little game called "what is there to be thankful for here". I quickly passed through all the obvious answers - happy kids who are loving and helpful, a great husband who provides so I can stay home with our kids, the opportunity to help out a friend by watching her little girl... after I got to the end of my list I managed to think of a few new reasons to be thankful I thought I'd share:
* I am thankful that this screaming toddler is not a barfing toddler.
* I am thankful that this little house (which in my opinion is too small for a family of 6) doesn't have 17 people living in it.
* I am thankful that my house is a mess because my children have been actively engaged in their surroundings. I'd much rather clean up the blocks (again) than debris from a bomb that went off in my front yard.
*When I look at the spectrum of things people on this planet have to complain about, I am so, so thankful that one of my biggest thing to complain about is the kids jumping on the couch (after being gently reminded 16 times that we don't jump on the furniture).

We all have things in our lives that we should be grateful we can complain about them. What are yours?

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Elissa - Great post. I read a book once that encouraged me to keep a gratitude journal. I'm not very good at keeping up with it now, but it really helped me learn to keep in mind that there is always something to be thankful for, even if it is something basic (for us) - i.e. I have a roof over my head. Sometimes my challenging days coincide with Chris's. It's those moments when it's raining outside (for example), the boys are bouncing off the walls and I'm about to pull my hair out that I call Chris to find out just how much longer I need to dig in my heels and he responds with "they are healthy". That reminder alone is enough to make me appreciate and enjoy the chaos.


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