Looking At It From The Other Side

November seems to be the month where we are all expected to give thanks.  I think because Thanksgiving is in November, that somehow social media (all media?) has turned it into THE month where we should all declare our thanks.  And to show how thankful we are we should do it publicly...or at least in a public forum.

In some ways to me it's defeating the purpose.  Or making the whole thing less valid.  Kind of like:  "Hey!  Look at ME!  I'm THANKFUL!  Look at me!"  Or maybe I'm just taking it the wrong way.  Could I be a cynic?  Me?

Truth be told, I think we SHOULD be thankful. In my opinion, as a species we are not thankful enough for all that we have.  We don't appreciate the world around us.  We DON'T count our blessings, and we SHOULD.

Still, when things DON'T go our way, perhaps we should still be thankful.  Or at least try to look at it in a different light.   Which is what I am TRYING to do for the rest of this month.  Starting now...

How am I going about this?  Well let me give you an example.  This morning, as I was rushing around as I always do, I was getting breakfast ready for my son.  I had pulled out two oatmeal packets (he's a growing, hungry tween, but that's another story) and I jostled something on the counter behind me and heard something fall with a plastic thud.  I thought it was the container of Clorox Wipes.  (I should have been so lucky.)  Instead it was a bottle of Dayquil (because I'm still not sure if I'm coming down with a cold or not.)  That lovely orange liquid was gushing out all over my kitchen floor.

I had a few choice words for the situation.  I said them very loudly.  VERY loudly!  Then I went about cleaning up the sticky mess.  Of course the bottle had fallen under the kitchen table.  Of course there was only one or paper towels left on the roll so I had to run to the basement to get a new one.  And, like projectile vomit, when the orange sticky liquid shoots out of the bottle as it falls to the floor, it goes EVERYWHERE.  Little splashes are found in the strangest of places.  Places that are next to impossible to get to.

I didn't have time for this.  But I made time (grumbling and cursing all the way).  With the help of masses of Clorox wipes and paper towels, I managed to get up most of the mess.  I wasn't a happy camper (and I did snap at my husband and son, for which I later apologized), but it did get cleaned up.  And in hindsight, my son made breakfast for himself and stayed out of my way.  That's something to be thankful for.  AND, I cleaned in areas of my kitchen that rarely get cleaned.  (Those gross way back corners of the floor where all the dust and gross stuff goes, but I never manage to get to.)  I am NOT thankful that I had to deal with this mess this morning, nor would I ever be thankful, but looking at it in a different light, it forced me to tackle some tasks that I had been avoiding and that IS a good thing.

This got me to thinking about trying to look at the "bright side of life."  When I get upset and/or angry I should pause and think about the flip side.  

Example:  I have a lovely view from my window at work. However the office temperature varies greatly.  If it's sunny; no matter what the temperature is outside, the temperature INSIDE will climb into the 80s.  If it's cloudy out, again no matter what the season is, it will be COLD.  I can't change it.  But I can work around it.  I have a little heater under my desk, a scarf/shawl and a bulky (ugly) cardigan for those cloudy days.  For the sunny ones, I went to the store and bought a cheap white t-shirt (generic with nothing on it.)  If it gets really hot, I'll head to the ladies room and change.  I can also need to take the weather into consideration when dressing.  It's going to be pretty cold tomorrow, but it's going to be sunny, so I'll save the turtleneck for another day.  The situation isn't ideal, but I do get a view and I'm happy with that so why complain?  Let me be thankful that I have the view and that I can work around the other stuff.

There are just two weeks left to this month, so why not give the whole other side of a coin a try.  Maybe it won't work.  But it certainly can't hurt.  Just maybe I'll end up as a slightly less stressed, slightly more grateful human being.


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