Today is one of the last “70 degree” days that Michigan will have for the rest of 2014. I use quotation marks because 70 degrees in Michigan is not the same as 70 degrees in North Carolina. I know this first hand. It’s still chilly here. Sun’s out but it’s breezy.
I am sitting at my desk on one of the nicest days we have left. I am fighting a cold. I feel like I am on the edge of feeling like death warmed over. As I sit here, listening to my favorites on Spotify, like Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Beethoven and The Black Keys I am replaying my weekend. I am thinking about all the people I saw that I haven’t seen in a while. I got so much accomplished. I spent all weekend cooking, preparing, socializing. That takes a lot out of me. I am far too introverted to make a habit out of that.
Social events highlight my own short comings. Not to anyone else, but to me, alone. I think about where I am in life, where I want to be and where my friends are in their journeys. I am thinking about the ridiculous arguments that took place in my kitchen yesterday all so one of them could say they were the winner while I was cooking dinner. It’s exhausting. Thinking about all of this constantly. Constantly worrying and stressing about the same things.
I read an article today that forced me to address my own feelings and that is what inspired me to write today. The article brought to my attention that my knee jerk reaction is to think negatively. I immediately think on the things that are going wrong, things I can’t control or things I’m not happy with. I get weighed down by these things. But recently something amazing has happened and I have had an eye-opening experience. A friend of mine has
beaten made cancer her bitch. She did it. She was given a terrible prognosis as a young mother. She got a second opinion and sacrificed so much of herself to kick this disease’s butt! And I realized when seeing that brief but grateful, beautiful and liberating Facebook status that I have said more prayers for her and her family over the last year than I have ever prayed for myself. You see, I am so forgetful, but that is one thing I didn’t forget. Every night. Every. Single. Night. And there were so many of us praying for her that there is no doubt in my mind that this was a miracle of Someone else’s doing.
In light of recent events, the article I read this morning, my friend’s victory, the things that I have allowed to bog me down in the past, etc I have decided that I will make a valiant effort to defy my knee jerk reaction to think on the negative. Instead of thinking negatively about my worries, insecurities or anxieties I am going to think on the positive mirror image of the thing I’m most worried about. Although the Michigan weather today isn’t up to par with North Carolina weather, it’s pretty darn good to be this nice outside on October 27th. In past years we’ve had snow, slush and ice on this date. Today I am grateful that there is sun, fall colors and that I am around to feel the cool breeze give me goosebumps.
Instead of sitting at my desk thinking about the impending illness that I feel coming on, flirting with my immune system, offering it a battle it wont win I am going to sit and think about how grateful I am to have a job that allows me to sit at my desk, write this blog, and not be as physically taxing as my last job waiting tables was. I can get a sick day or two if I need it to recover. My job is awesome. Not many people can say that. Even on a bad day my job is great. I work for a video game & software development company. IT’S SO AWESOME!!! And that I have a job! A true rarity in the mitten. That’s another thing I can truly be grateful for.
If I have learned anything living at home the last 3 years, it’s this: Family is stressful. But in keeping with my new promise to myself I am grateful to have family and those that care around me. I know that we want to brutally attack each other some days. I threaten my little brother with blood shed so often that now he doesn’t even bat an eyelash at me and laughs when I threaten to beat him 14 different ways before he can make it out the front door. (It’s sick, I know… it’s dysfunctional but… it’s us.) I am grateful that I have family on my side, when things get rough. It may take roughness to show the tenderness that we have for each other, but it’s there lurking beneath the surface.
If praying for my friend has taught me anything, it’s this. The human spirit is amazing and it can accomplish miracles with a lot of help from faith. With faith, all things are possible. It’s just as important to be grateful for the things you have as it is to ask for help. Be grateful for the good days as well as the bad, because experiencing the bad gives you a new appreciation for the good. And if nothing else… YOU LIVED ANOTHER DAY!! That’s worth smiling. Next time I get a coupon in the mail, a wave from a stranger, a sunny day, or the last cheese stick in my fridge I will take a minute to say a quick thanks. It’s the little things that count.