7.17.2014

Sometimes I forget to count my blessings

A few weeks ago I came across something on my Instagram that made me think. (Yeah, Chubby Vegan Mom is on Instragram, where have you been!?) It said "Go 24 hours without complaining, not even once. Then watch how your life starts changing."

Do y'all realize how much stuff we grumble about in a day? It's probably A LOT more than we think. Over the next week I started making mental notes about the things I was unhappy with, what was causing me stress and what was keeping me up at night.

And that's when it hit me. How utterly ironic it is that the majority of things I find to complain about, the main things I let myself get all sorts of worked up about, are all things I wanted. All things I prayed for. All things I am over-the-moon blessed to have.

And while I can't say I'm magically cured of all my complaining, I can say it really opened my eyes to how much lighter my life would be if I could see the positives. It's so easy to focus on the negatives, but when I really thought long and hard about what I was so frustrated with, I found it wasn't because I was really, really upset, it's because getting upset was the easiest reaction to have.

So what exactly have we been grumbling about in the humble Chubby Vegan abode?

1) The children. I know, right? I love my kiddos with every fiber of my being. Literally. I even love my friends kids. I love the kids in my family. I adore the girls I get to coach. I like kids far more than I ever dreamed I would! (I used to be one of those 'I'm never having kids' folks') And while I want to keep having gobs and gobs more (who knows whats in the cards for us!), they are one of the things I complain about the most. "Oh Brae wouldn't sleep last night, we were up 100 times with him," (probably, Chubby Vegan Mom, because he is cutting four bajillion teeth. How dare he be in pain and interrupt your beauty rest)! Or, "Pearyn wants to play cash register for the 900th time" (geez, why does this young child want to learn about numbers and money? Shouldn't she be staring at a screen somewhere, then I could paint my nails)!

See what I mean? Of course I don't want my daughter to be glued to some television screen while I'm doing my nails. She is doing absolutely nothing wrong, she's wanting to play and learn and grow. But after an eight-hour work day, trying to keep up with the house, making dinner and the boatloads of other things I can use as an excuse, it seems easy to roll my eyes as I purchase the same five things over and over again.

Once I found myself doing this, I took a trip to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and thought back to how it felt to see her smile for the first time ever. How it felt when she stacked her first blocks. The time she first said "I love you" and how it hugged my heart. And suddenly, when I went back to play cash register, I didn't see "another thing to do," I saw my little girl that I prayed for, hoped for and will do absolutely anything for.

2) My house. This is another completely ludicrous complaint. Are we ever happy with our houses? Even after we endlessly search for, find, rent, purchase, whatever, our dream home, are we ever actually happy? We paint it, we rip things out, plant crazy flowers, complain about the trees and their cascading limbs, all the while we love the shade they provide, the leaves our kids can jump in, but damn them, why must they grow over the roof! Didn't Mother Nature get the memo that it is EXPENSIVE to have your trees constantly serviced?

Why is it that I spend 90% of the time seeing the bad about the wood floors. Like the way the dog and cat hair rolls through the halls in tumbleweeds, or the way it collects along the ledge of our fireplace (the one I was enamored with when I saw the photos online). What happened to those wood floors I fell in love with? The ones that I knew would be easy to quickly wipe up a spill? The ones that wouldn't show those stains of fruit punch or vegan chocolate chip cookies. Why don't I see that when I look at my beautiful floors?

Because it's easier not to. It easy to grumble about having to sweep the floors five times a week than to say "well at least I'm not scrubbing it off my white carpet, at least I'm not forced to run a vacuum cleaner in every nook of my house, now."

3) The things that don't go my way. I'm pretty sure we all complain about this more than we should. What is this Universe doing to me? Doesn't God know I have the best ideas and I know what should be happening to my life? Clearly SOMEONE has missed the memo and it wasn't me.

How vain and selfish is this complaint? Seriously? Do I really think I know everything? Heck no. And this one can be a really, really hard one to stop grumbling about, because, usually, I do this when I didn't get something I really, really wanted. And there's no magical answer to cure this. Sometimes, what we want isn't what we're supposed to have. Sometimes, the plan we envision isn't nearly as great as the one He has in store for us.

So most of the time, when I find myself upset because something didn't go my way, I try to think about other momentous times in my life when things didn't go the way I planned. Like meeting my husband. I was barely out of a relationship I had been entangled in for years when I met him. I was devastated when that unhealthy relationship came to a close, if I had been doing all my own planning and selecting, who knows if I would have ever recognized the amazing man I had in front of me.

But thankfully, because in this world, not everything goes MY way, I discovered just how OK it is to relinquish some control. Maybe "my way" would have been OK, but His way was so much better.

Of course, I haven't unlocked the secret to life  here. There are still days when I have to push through my negativity, days when I have to remind myself the right way isn't usually the easy way. And there are days I lose my mind completely and throw it all out the window. But the point is that I'm trying.

I'm trying to take a walk on the positive side of things.

I'm trying to count my blessings.

Have you been counting yours?

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1 comment:

  1. You are spot-on with this~! Its crazy how many of our problems other people wish they had!

    ReplyDelete