Wednesday, February 27, 2008

the attitude of gratitude.

As you know from my last few posts, Csilla and I have been a bit under the weather lately. Although I’m very appreciative for all the well wishes, it’s also made me feel like a bit of a jerk.

Here’s why:

My life is idyllic.

Except for big spurts of stay-at-home-mom boredom and angst, my life really couldn’t be much better. So when I complain about something it’s made even worse by the fact that people notice (aka read my blog) and then join in for the sympathy parade.

I feel guilty because I really have nothing to complain about.

Interestingly, it is often when I am sick that I also become most grateful.

When I am ill and writhing on the bathroom floor, I usually think about how nice it is to at least have a lovely, clean bathroom floor to writhe on. When Csilla has just finished throwing up all over herself (and me), I usually think about how nice it is to have a beautiful, warm bathtub to suds her up and clean her off in. When I’m suffering from a wicked headache, I’m grateful for my dark, quiet room and my soft comfy bed where I can go to retreat from the world and recover.

Not everybody has these luxuries. In fact, most people on this planet do not. There are far more people without a warm bed and a hot shower than there are those fortunate enough to have them.

So, on that note, I thought I’d start a semi-regular habit of writing a gratitude list. I encourage you to do the same.

I am extremely grateful for:

1. My baby. Csilla is smart, healthy, thoughtful, funny, sweet and wonderful. In a word, she is perfect. I couldn’t be more grateful for her.

2. My thoughtful husband who brought a Starbucks hot chocolate home to me last night because, in his words, “you seemed like you needed a pick-me-up.” I don’t know when the body snatchers came, but I hope they don’t come back because he’s been the perfect husband lately. I’d like to keep this one. I’m so grateful.

3. My family. When I am sick and unable to care for Csilla, there is an army of people standing behind me ready to step up and help. Especially my mom. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for people who do not have that kind of support. I bow to those of you who rise to the occasion and take care of what needs to be done without the kind of support that I have.

4. My health. When I talk about health, I’m not talking about sniffles, aches and pains. They don’t count. I’m talking about big picture kind of health. I have a body that carries me. It works. It doesn’t let me down. I’m extremely grateful to not have to struggle for my health the way so many people do.

5. My lovely, clean, comfortable home. It’s always warm when I need it to be and it’s always cool when I want it to be. I do not live in a mud hut with dirt floors somewhere in Africa. I’m incredibly spoiled and incredibly grateful for that.

6. My hot shower and my comfortable bed. I think these two things should be basic human rights. I really believe the world would be a much better place if everybody had access to clean water and a good night’s sleep.

7. My fridge full of food. Although I may not have felt like eating much this week, at least I have the option of eating. There are millions of people who are not so lucky. Most individuals on this planet are hungry. Every. Day. And they have no options and nowhere to turn. If this fact bothers you as much as it bothers me, go here and click every day.

I’m going to stop there. I like the number seven.

Plus, there are about a million more things I am grateful for which would make this a very long post.

Here’s the plan:

The next time I’m marching in the pity parade and trying to get everyone to join in, I’ll try to write a gratitude list instead.

So tell me… what are you grateful for?

Post it in your own blog or go ahead and hijack my comment section.

Let's start an attitude of gratitude. Do it today.

Oh, and yes, I’m feeling much better thank you. I still have a little bit of vertigo, but it’s not stopping me today. As for Csilla, she recovered from the flu, only to come down with another nasty cough and cold. Damn preschool. But she’s a tough cookie and handles everything well. I’m sure she’ll be back to her old self in no time.

Have a nice day!


Kimberly said...

What a lovely, smile provoking post. I feel the need to start that gratitude journal I keep meaning to start...

Jan said...

I am going to post about my dad because I am grateful for him. Thanks. Love your list.

Kaycie said...

This was the perfect post for me to read tonight. I am feeling ungrateful and put upon.

Your list is such a nice one.

I think I'll have to ruminate a little, perhaps sleep a little, before I can rise to the occasion. The only thing I can think of to be grateful for this very moment is that everyone else in the house is asleep and I finally have a bit of peace.

I don't really think that's what you meant. :)

Glad you are doing better. The thing about preschool ickies: she'll be sick much less once she starts kindergarten. Everything she's getting now is building a strong little immune system to protect her from the ickies to come.

Maggie May said...

Your list is really long & meaningful.
I am very grumpy today ... my computer died, a child broke a leg while I was on duty today, and I had some grief, which needs sorting out by a visit, from my bank.
I know I have many things to be thankful for though. But today is a bit too awful to contemplate them. Tomorrow is a new day!

Summer said...

Seven is my favorite number.
I thought I'd surf through Kimberly's blog roll since I'd read anything she recommends.
I already enjoy your style of writing and the look of your blog. See you around.

Ashley Ladd said...

I'm glad you feel better and I love your attitude of gratitude. I'm grateful for a lot of things, too. My family. My home. My great job. My new promotion. My good health. My wonderful country. Being able to talk with people worldwide and learning new things, making new friends. Like you, I could go on and on.

Corey~living and loving said...

great idea.....I love to focus on the positive. I am running short on time, or I would play along.

of course I have time to be grateful for my Sugar Bear. she is the most perfect person I know.

Milla said...

It's a tussle, isn't it, knowing you've got nothing to moan about (damn it that I've not stood on a landmine, SO unfair!) but you're allowed to feel a bit rubbish sometimes. Much as one adores ones gorgeous offspring, it can drag on a bit. Am in envy of your comfortable CLEAN home. Ours is a building site, deep in dust, with two or three jewelly rooms to give me hope. Totally with you on the shower and bed, mmmm, comfort.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I love this idea. I'll play along.