When life starts to seem over-bearing, mundane, or just downright too difficult, it is helpful to pause & remember all of the blessings that are present, but sometimes overlooked. One of my favorite sayings is “What you think about, you bring about.” (I don't remember where I heard that first? Mary Kay, maybe?) Anyway, I firmly believe it is true. . . Whatever you let take over your thoughts will eventually manifest itself in your life. . .
“I can't do anything right!” Well, eventually, you won't!
“Today's going to be just as bad of a day as yesterday. . . Why should I bother?!” Well, with thoughts like that, of course you're not going to have a good day!
“I am not a domestic person.” This is one I tell myself a lot — & while, to some extent, it is true, I am limiting myself by putting this thought in my brain so frequently. . .
If you had someone following you around, whispering in your ear all the same things you tell yourself on a daily basis, would you let that person keep following you around? I'd think not! So why do we allow it of ourselves?
It's all a hard lesson to learn — & one that is never completely mastered. It takes daily reminders. SO, after much thought, & a gentle nudge by Lizzi of Considerings (in the comments of last week's Ultimate Coffee Date post), I have finally decided to participate in her “Ten Things of Thankful” (TToT) weekly link-up. The idea behind it is that, although challenging at times, we can, at any given time, find at least ten things we are thankful for & that pausing to reflect upon these things will begin a pleasant “snowball effect” of positive things in our lives. (This is my interpretation of the meaning behind it, anyway. Click here to get Lizzi's much-more-eloquent explanation of how TToT was born.)
So, without further adieu, in no particular order but that in which they come to mind as I sit to write, here are my ten things of thankful for this week:
- Blogging. I am thankful for the opportunity to participate & my interest in writing & sharing my thoughts. . . It's not always glamorous — &, a lot of times, it's downright corny — but it is a very much appreciated creative & emotional outlet that I firmly believe quiets my mind in all the right ways while still lending a certain amount of inspiration & motivation to my life. It is even more of a blessing in the sense that it helps me feel a touch more connected to not only those I love, but also to the blogging community as a whole. I have lots to learn still, but it's pretty darn neat. 😉
- I am grateful to be in a country where, even though I may struggle financially on occasion, my worst is still a situation others can only dream about. . . A thought-provoking perspective, right? As only one example, I've lived out of my car twice in my life, at the mercy of family & friends to have a shower or borrow their couch when it got too cold outside; brushing my teeth, changing my clothes, & taming my fuzzy mop of hair in a rest area bathroom off the interstate to make it into work on time in a somewhat decent shape, without tipping any of my subordinates off on my precarious living arrangements. BUT, even in that situation, I have always been blessed to be able to obtain & keep my job & have a car to live out of when the roof over my head needed to go away. . . All else aside, the fact of the matter is that I am in a country where when there is a will, there really is a way. It's kind of a beautiful thing. . .
- On a similar note, I am blessed & thankful to have the handsome husband. There are many reasons why this is true, but recently, it has not gone unnoticed that he works so damn hard to provide for us. For a few reasons, I have been without my own paycheck for going on eight months now &, while things can get pretty tight financially, we have not been left wanting. As a result, I am in a position where I am able to start college classes in just a few weeks. This will be my third time in my life, thus far, that I have started a degree program, but the first time that I have felt truly supported (financially or otherwise) in my efforts. The third time's the charm, right? I think it will be — especially with the handsome husband in my corner.
- I thankful for my in-laws. All of them. My family is pretty fabulous & when I married the handsome husband, my family stayed fabulous — just quite a bit bigger. I claim 'em all as my own, even if I am still getting to know some of them. Among others, I gained two mothers-in-laws, two fathers-in-laws, & a brother- & sister-in-law. I find this quite fitting since my own mother passed more than 15 years ago, I do not have the patience to get along with my step-father, & my relationship with my biological father is lacking, considering I do not really know him, despite his more-recent attempts to at least try to see me, no matter how briefly. I sincerely think God knew what he was doing when he put the handsome husband (& his family) into my life.
- I am thankful for my two sons. My relationship with them might be unconventional (at best), considering neither lives with me, both live in a different state than me, & I only get to see one of them on any kind of regular basis. BUT, they are both well cared for, know who I am, & know that I love them. The world is better off with them in it & I got to bring them into the world. There's plenty more I could say about this — & one day I will find all the “right” words, but for now, I'll just leave it at that.
- I am grateful for a decent transportation system — more specifically, access to the airlines to be able to fly my youngest son down for visits as often as we can afford it & for his dad & step-mom, who are more than supportive of keeping us all getting along & working towards Little RJ's best interests, including a relationship with me & the handsome husband. As a result, I am currently enjoying the second visit by the Little RJ since our move from Washington State (where both my sons live) to Arizona back in March of this year. Nothing to take for granted, if you ask me!
- As silly as it sounds, I am thankful for Facebook. Several years ago, my Uncle Alvin (one of my biological father's brothers) sent me a message via Facebook making sure I knew I have four older siblings in this world & a big ol' family that I don't even know. As a result, I have at least a casual speaking relationship with some of my family from that side — siblings, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews. . . I knew they were out there, I just never knew how big that side of my family was. One day I hope to actually be able to afford to go visit (most of them seem to be in Tennessee, which I would love to visit one day anyway!), but in the meantime, it is nice to get glimpses into their lives. More recently, since moving out of what I view to be my “home state,” knowing no one in my new state, & trying desperately to still feel connected in some way, shape, or form, Facebook is a huge way to do just that. By way of a Facebook group, started specifically for women in my area to meet other women, I have begun to make a few new local friends. No matter what negative things that can be said of this particular social networking site, there are many good things in it &, for me, those good things far out-weigh the bad; for that, I am thankful.
- I cannot resist the urge to express my thankfulness for air-conditioning & swimming pools! Being a Washingtonian, recently transplanted to the desert of Arizona, how can I not mention these?! Heat in the triple-digits is not something I wish for — ever. But, since I have no say in the matter, being able to cool things down — even slightly — is a tremendous blessing! (Plus, it was pretty awesome to be able to surprise Little RJ with the above-ground swimming pool, which we got in between his visits & didn't tell him about until after he was already here & staring at it. Yes. That was pretty fabulous too.)
- I am thankful for the friends that have become family. I have to admit, there are not many that fall in this category; that is part of what makes them so special. There have been a few that have gotten close — or that, at one point in time, I did believe to be family, but that somehow proved not to be, whether through circumstance or action — but, again, very few that have, without a doubt, passed from mere friendship to family. Those few, I do believe, know exactly who they are. And, I do my best, despite distance, differences, & changes, to make sure to remind them just how precious they are to me. It is increasingly difficult when you feel like you're so far away. . . & my off-&-on bouts of depression do not help the situation, when I tend to close myself off from the world. . . BUT, their value to me never diminishes & it is during some of those darker moments in life that our relationships are that much more solidified. Pretty powerful stuff.
- I am thankful that I have the power to change. No matter how I used to be or what I used to do or think, today or tomorrow or the next day (or any time in the future) does not have to be a direct reflection of that. I do not have to continue the negative self-talk that I spoke of earlier in this post. I know I am not the only one that does it, but I am the only one that control my own inner thoughts, just as you are the only one that can control yours. If anyone else talked to me the way I catch myself talking to me, they would not be a part of my life for long. I am grateful that I have the power to change that. I can be domestic — if that is what I choose for myself. I am an intelligent, resilient, determined woman & I can do damn near whatever I set my mind to — if I will just resolve to do it & talk to myself powerfully & positively about it. I am not where I want to be, but I am on my way. . . & for that, I am thankful.
I was intimidated with the thought of coming up with ten things for which I am thankful every single week. Frankly, this time was quite easy, (just as you said it might be, Lizzi!). We will see how it goes next time. . .
What are YOU thankful for? Leave me a comment below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, contact me on Calculated Chaos on Facebook, or (if you're a blogger), link up your own TToT post over at Considerings. (If you're not a blogger, but want to see what others are thankful for this week, heading over to the link-up is a great way to be connected to other blogs to read too!)