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Monday, November 28, 2011

100 Things to be Thankful For

Amanda from Let's Take the Metro writes a weekly gratitude post, and this Thanksgiving, she has challenged us to write 100 things we are thankful for. I wrote 50 on the Green Baby Diaper Service blog (along with Liz), but I wanted to do something different here. (I was also supposed to post this last Thursday, but I've been overwhelmed with life lately).

I often find myself complaining a lot. How often do you say, "That's my biggest pet peeve" and then you realize you have about 100 pet peeves?

I also often think when I'm in the middle of a particularly difficult situation, "Why is my life so hard?" And then I kind of punch myself for feeling that way because certainly my life is pretty great. But I do often try to consider how my life could be easier, and I've thought about making a list, just so I can help myself streamline and simplify.

This gratitude post is a version of that list. But I'm taking everything I complain about and finding the gratitude in it.

1. My kids wake up too early - Every morning, I get up with the moon, before the birds, when the air is still crisp and the stars are still out. It's a magical time and I get to experience it with my kids when they are bright eyed, and before the challenges of the day hit.
2. I don't have enough money - I'm lucky to be able to have enough to stay home with the kids, even if we struggle to make ends meet.
3. I am thankful that I have the resources to make money in a way that I'm passionate about.
4. I am thankful that, every day of my life, I can share my passions with others and try to make their lives easier (even if mine's not)
5. My kids are very needy sometimes - soon they won't want me to hold them. I need to savor this time.
6. I'm thankful that my kids are attached and know where they can go to feel comforted and secure.
7. My family is chaotic - I'm glad this has taught me to relinquish the drama and go with the flow.
8. My house is a mess - I am thankful that I have a house and a mess to fill it with.
9. I don't have time to do everything I want - I have a mind full of ideas and the ability to do each one if I can just organize myself. I'm never, ever, ever bored.
10. In fact, I'm thankful that I don't even know what boredom is.
11. I'm afraid that I have bipolar tendencies, because it's often all or nothing when it comes to my projects - I am thankful that I'm self aware enough to realize that slow and steady wins the race.
12. I'm too fat - I have plenty of food to eat and can fill my belly at a moment's notice.
13. I don't have time to exercise - My day is filled with friendship and family. At least I have the ability to just walk out my front door if I want to exercise.
14. My toddler is a picky eater - I have the opportunity to get creative with food and recipes.
15. My babies are terrible sleepers at night when they are young - I've had the opportunity to share sweet snuggles, just the two of us, in the middle of the night.
16. I have a crappy car - My car has lasted more than 10 years. It's the only car I've ever had and it has served me pretty well.
17. I don't have room in my house for all my projects - Again, I have the ability to get creative and pull out what I want to work on at any given moment.
18. I haven't introduced my kids enough to Spanish - I am lucky to speak two languages, and I can help instill a sense of worldliness in my kids.
19. I am the one person for whom breastfeeding didn't help lose weight - I was able to breastfeed two babies successfully and with few challenges.
20. Big T can't read my mind, and there are some times when I just want him to know what kind of help I need or what I'm thinking - I'm lucky to have a partner who supports everything I want to do, is an amazing father to my kids, and cleans up after me.
21. My dog gets in the way and I trip over him all the time - My kids know what it's like to have and love a pet and get unconditional love back.
22. My car is a mess - I have a car so I have the freedom to go wherever I want, and I usually have everything I need in the car.
23. I don't always have time to cook good meals - I have the creativity and resources to pull something relatively quick and nutritious together, and when I do have time, we eat really well.
24. It's too hot in the summers - My kids love the beach and the pool, and I live in the perfect place for that.
25. It gets too dark too early in the winter - It's nice to be able to get cozy and feel like the day is done much earlier. I get more rest that way.
26. My kids don't always nap at the same time - I get time alone with both kids when one naps and the other is awake.
27. I am easily annoyed by other people - I have close friends who I can vent to when I need to.
28. I hate changing squirmy Little M's diapers - I am lucky to have a selection of cloth diapers I can use, plus disposables when I need to.
29. I hate traffic - I have the ability to go wherever I want whenever I want using our highways and roads (and my crappy car). I'm pretty lucky to be that free.
30. I don't like people who ignore the imaginative and squelch dreams - Big T and I try to encourage the imaginative in our children so they dream about being and doing whatever they want.
31. I can't stand misspellings on public signs and published materials - I'm lucky to have had the education to know when something is spelled wrong.
32. I don't like intolerant, closed-minded people - I'm glad I surround myself with open-minded people who inspire wonderful conversation and open my mind to things I never would have considered.
33. I don't like it when people push religion on me - I'm lucky that my parents let me decide about religion for myself and taught me to respect everyone's beliefs.
34. I don't like cleaning my cat's litter box - I'm grateful that I had 18 months when I didn't have to clean it.
35. I can't stand it when my cat wakes me up at 3 A.M. - Although my cat is a mean, hateful, creature, I suppose I'm thankful that she was cute when she was a kitten and taught me how to take care of something.
36. It bothers me when Big T and I can't communicate well - I'm thankful that I have him, through thick and thin, and that we work together to communicate when life is challenging. We eventually understand each other.
37. Doing laundry overwhelms me, especially when it's filled with tiny baby clothes - I've had to problem solve how to become less overwhelmed doing simple things like laundry (and at least I have had cute, tiny babies to make all this laundry.)
38. We have way too many toys - Our kids have things to keep them occupied when I can't, and they have plenty of learning tools that I can use with them.
39. It bothers me that Big T doesn't like it when the kids make a mess - I'm thankful that I have someone who cleans up behind me and keeps the house from becoming a disaster.
40. I wish I had time to shower every day - I save water, and I have plenty to do to keep me busy every day.
41. I hate shopping - I have access to the internet every day of my life, and I can grocery shop or shop for anything else I need without leaving the house or dealing with crowds.
42. I'm getting older - I've had so many great experiences that have enriched my life, and I can't wait to have many, many more.
43. I feel guilty that I had to work after I had Baby T, but I got to stay home with Little M - I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to stay home with at least one child, and I can give Baby T that kind of attention now.
44. It bothers me when people don't support breastfeeding or automatically push formula on a new mom - I'm thankful that no one around me really pushed formula when I was a new mom and that I'm armed with the information to help other new moms out now.
45. I can't stand whining - I'd rather have 2 kids whining at me than no kids at all.
46. I wish the value of my house wasn't so low right now so we could move to a bigger house and sell this one - I have equity in my house and have the ability to sell it if we really needed to, but we could rent it and make additional income if we ever had to move in the next few years.
47. I wish I could eat ice cream and bread without it hurting my stomach - I'm thankful for the friends I have who are creative with food and the blogs that let me find any recipe any time I want.
48. I wish there were at least 48 hours in every day - The fact that there are only 24 hours in a day makes me work hard to accomplish everything I want to and appreciate every moment.
49. I could use an assistant walking behind me, helping me, and cleaning up after me - I have friends and family who are willing to help when I need it, and I appreciate every bit of help I get.
50. I hate it when my kids have boogers, which seems to be all the time - I'm appreciative that my kids are building up their immunities and are healthy.

I could also complain about how my back hurts, laundry builds up, there is dust all over my floorboards, my walls are dirty, and there are little tiny fingerprints all over my monitor. It all makes me realize that I'm lucky to have a family, a home, and health.

For every little thing I complain about, there is plenty to be happy about. To read 50 more things that I'm grateful for, stop by the Green Baby Diaper Service blog. Happy Thanksgiving!


Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama said... Best Blogger Tips

Love your take on this!!

mama.rye said... Best Blogger Tips

you are amazing. plain and simple!

Missy said... Best Blogger Tips

Great idea!!! LOVE this!

Zoie @ TouchstoneZ said... Best Blogger Tips

I really enjoyed this list. I think being able to flip off all the negative self talk with gratitude is incredibly empowering to write and to read!

Amanda said... Best Blogger Tips

I think your idea of flipping each negative into a positive is sheer genius! You wrote this seamlessly, proving to everyone who reads it that you can be grateful for absolutely anything! Thank you so, so much for sharing these intimate details :)

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