Next time, on a Wednesday night, when your husband is rockin’ his black socks and ratty flannels on your couch playing Trivia Crack, and the house is full of kids and disturbing sounds that make your eye twitch and you suddenly feel the urge to lob the seasoned ground turkey “on special” into your neighbor’s yard… Be grateful.
Life is noisy and messy and there are stains on the carpet, hair in the sink and cracks in the tile. One day you look up and find noodles stuck to your kitchen wall a month after you’ve had Spaghetti. How did you miss that?
After long days at work and hours of driving kids in circles to practices and back at night, I’d come home, throw everything on the bed and sprint to the kitchen to pour some wine, cradling the glass in my hands like a lover’s face. I admit there were times when I gulped a little. Those crazy days were some of the best of my life.
We’re busy. Lord knows it’s true, and when we’re not busy we feel like we should be. This precious life is flying by in rapid fire and even with the smell of piled up laundry and dried hairballs in the air, we need to sharpen our focus to spot the glimmers of grace all around us.
Nothing stays the same forever, so whatever crisis is currently playing on your main stage will eventually close. Change is constant. People and situations weave in and out of our lives, and we have to accept the hard lessons and occasional cranky pants with as much poise as we can muster, because if we’re just surviving our days, we’ll end up just surviving our lives.
It seems so much easier to take the negative fork in the road, but that’s why you have to mindfully look for things to appreciate. You can’t complain your way through the week and have a positive outcome.
Yes life is rough sometimes, and yes the car breaks down, and yes you have a pimple on your chin that looks like Yoda, but you’re still here and you’re still breathing and you probably have somebody or many somebodies who are enormously happy you are!
Take your BFF. She’s always there to help with the wreckage in your life and administer the dark chocolate when things look bleak. Shouldn’t she trump the loud, inconsiderate boss who just made you feel incompetent?
Don’t let the noise of the world drown out the subtle moments, sweet whispers and beautiful love songs that are all around you. Joy is an inside job and you can tap into it now by quieting the voices that are replaying the difficult events of the day and opening your heart to the hum of gratitude.
You don’t have to sit with white linen on, light your tree scented candles and channel Buddha. There doesn’t have to be a “Dream Big” journal or a fairy involved. Just slow yourself down a few times a day and check in. Why am I so overwhelmed? Why am I rushing? Why am I so angry?
Deep breath… Ahhhh. Right now everything is perfect. I’m upright and lucid with enough espresso in me to get to dinner. I’m so grateful for my son’s sweet little arms circling my neck this morning. I’m so grateful I have a husband who cooks me a meal, even if he clogs the garbage disposal. I’m so grateful for a hot shower after a stressful day.
Rainbows and unicorns show up in all kinds of ways.
Be grateful. Keep being grateful. It’s the anecdote for the snake bite. It’s the soothing breeze on a stifling day. It’ll take you to funky town on a week night. Invite it to the party. It’ll be your favorite guest.