It hasn’t been the best week. Maybe it’s all the rain we’ve been having. I know we need it and I’m grateful, but I still don’t like it. Or maybe it’s that my birthday is tomorrow and there’s something about it that’s making me melancholy. It’s a semi big one, the kind of birthday that makes you stop and wonder where you’ve been and where you’re going and will that achy right knee get you there or will you need to stop that step aerobics class and downgrade yourself to walks, which you never really thought counted as actual exercise until just right now.
Whatever the reason, I’ve been feeling fragile and cautious and disconnected. I don’t particularly like feeling this way and if I was still in therapy, I’m sure my therapist would make me dig deep and get real. Um, no thanks. As the toddler would say, “That’s ouchy.”
Instead I’m going to focus on the more pleasant side of things and figure out what I’m thankful for this week. They say people who write down three things they’re grateful for on a daily basis are happier than those who don’t. Honestly, I don’t think I can remember to do it every day; this end-of-week attempt is much more doable for me. Here it goes:
Thank you to the guy at Pet Food Express who carried the 25-pound bag of dog food out to my car even though I said no, I didn’t need any help. With a toddler hanging onto my leg, the dog yanking me by the leash and the rain, clearly, I needed help.
Thank you to the pretty hipster chick sitting next to me at the nail salon who liked my choice of nail color (a dangerous, almost black navy blue), told me it was cool and then used it on her toes. You made me feel twenty years younger and while I don’t really want to be 25 again, I’m glad to know that I haven’t yet drifted off into the Land of Nail Colors for Women a Certain Age (think shimmery mauve).
Thank you to the man in the sporty white Mercedes who didn’t take the parking space I was going for. I know you saw the spot and sneakily drove the wrong direction in the lot to get to it first. Your decision to do the right thing instead of the convenient thing restored my faith in humankind for at least the next 10 minutes.
Thank you to my husband for listening to me. I’ve really noticed you paying attention, bringing on the sympathy and just letting me have my blah feelings without trying to solve them or get me to put on my Big Girl Panties. I could be wrong – maybe you’re really thinking about the next episode of Top Gear when you’re looking into my eyes with all that love and understanding – but I’d like to think after 14 years you’re still really into me.
Thank you to my 2-year-old for being two. You’re still small enough that your foot fits in the palm of my hand, but you’re big enough that you can walk around the block without needing me to pick you up. You want me to pick you up, but you don’t need me to. Fulfilling your simple must-haves – food, milk, hugs, kisses, your lovey, a clean diaper – is often the most rewarding achievement of my day.
Thank you to my 11-year-old for having that total meltdown when you came home from school on Wednesday. There’s nothing like a hormonal tween bursting through the front door, throwing her backpack down the hall and flinging herself across the bed sobbing to remind you that sadness happens and you just have to let it run its course. Plus you let me hold you in my arms for more than 43 seconds and that was pure heaven.
Thank you to my 9-year-old for reminding me that life is a celebration. Instead of freaking out when your fish, Frederickson, died, instead of being mad or sad or blaming yourself (did you forget to feed the fish?) or someone else (did I forget to feed the fish?), you organized a rather jubilant funeral for Freddy. Your capacity for turning a sad thing into a happy thing made me smile.
Thank you to my best girl friend for having a glass of wine with me at lunch, for listening to me talk my blues out loud, for keeping it real, for reminding me that just because my problems are first world problems, they’re not any less important or difficult to deal with.
Thanks everyone. It’s been a week, that’s for sure. Can’t wait to see what next week brings me.