My family has a few Thanksgiving traditions, one of which is that we go around the table and name one thing for which we’re grateful. The catch: it can’t be anything easy or obvious, so no saying things like family, friends, or health. This year, everyone had great things to say, but my personal favorite was this: my niece expressed her gratitude for having it in her to recognize drama and toxic behavior, and then having the accompanying willingness (and wisdom!) to simply detach and remove herself from the toxic/dramatic person or situation.
Honestly. She’s 15, and already way smarter that a lot of adults I know (myself included).
Along with being in constant awe of that kid, her gratitude item got me thinking. And if you know me at all, then you know, 1) I pretty much exist on brain/thinking overdrive, and 2) anything pertaining to gratitude is my jam. If there’s a way to find the bright/positive side, I’ll find it; if there’s a way to view things from a grateful perspective, I’ll get there. Uh, eventually. It’s what keeps me (mostly) sane, tolerable to others, and living a much fuller, happier life than in years past.
Anyway. I realized that while there are plenty of obvious things for which to be grateful, there are also a whole lot of ways I’ve been finding the bright side lately. The good to counteract the bad, I suppose. Although… “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” per our dear old William Shakespeare. Whatever the case, here’s a partial list of specifics:
- I’m grateful to be so busy at the new job that I hardly have time to eat lunch; I still get out of there by 4pm, and actually feel like I’ve been useful;
- Related: I’m grateful to be so revved by the new gig that I’m having crazy dreams and restless nights, because that tells me all the overload is getting processed and that I’m being challenged;
- Also related: I’m grateful for making mistakes, because it means I’m doing and trying and failing but getting right back up and trying again – also, learning how to forgive myself my fallibility (that’s a tough one) and being okay with getting right-sized;
- Making mistakes also means I can offer up understanding and compassion when other people are going through the new person struggle, too;
- I’m grateful for all the terrible messages on dating sites, because they make the good ones stand out all the more, and also help bring my interests and intentions into way sharper focus;
- I’m grateful for the folks who don’t reach out or make an effort, because in the midst of feeling lonely or “apart from,” it helps me prioritize the ones who do reach out, and who DO make an effort – and it reminds me to make that effort, too;
- I’m grateful for not having cable, because it means I end up watching Criminal Minds reruns and hearing new songs that hit just the right spot (like this one, which is a longtime favorite, or this new one from tonight – his voice reminds me a little bit of Antony & the Johnsons, so here’s one of my favorites there, too); and
- I’m grateful for not being able to do everything myself, because it means asking for help, and that means letting people in.
I’m currently working on being grateful for that stupid B+ I got in one of my classes because I misunderstood the grading scale, overestimated the power of the extra credit, and despite having good reason, skipped two assignments that were only worth 5 points each but were 10% of my grade. Lesson learned, and this here’s fuel for the A-only fire for next semester.
In the meantime… I’m grateful for a month off. And aaaaaaalllllllll this perspective I’ve got. ❤