I'm wearing my Life is Good gratitude shirt because I packed it in my suitcase a week or so ago. (I never unpacked my bag from the last time I visited my parents...I just kind of swapped a few things out, leaving in clean items.) Yesterday a friend gave me a gratitude journal as a Christmas gift. (It's aimed for kids, but it's still pretty cute.) It got me thinking, maybe I need to focus on gratitude a little more.
It's not easy to do; especially considering where I am. (I don't mean physically; I mean mentally and emotionally.) I am back at my parents' house at the shore trying to take care of things. I've been doing that a lot recently. It's been a difficult time. Both of my parents have health issues. (If you've been following along a quick update: dad's surgery is not happening...at least for now. Has nothing to do with the incompetence which we FINALLY were able to overcome, but the fact that the anesthesiologist feels that the procedure would not be safe in the doctor's surgi-center and should be done in a hospital setting. Unfortunately, the spine doctor does not CURRENTLY have that privilege here. That doesn't mean he won't or that another doctor couldn't be found to do this...it is just another setback.) The pressure/stress on my mom has been tremendous and has contributed to and exacerbated her own health issues. As a result, they need more care than their current aide can give. (And she has been GREAT.) We are looking at someone to live in. While that is going on, I am doing my best to fill in and help out.
Let me be honest, I LOVE my parents and it's always good to walk up to the ocean and get a coffee from Wawa, I'd rather be at home with my husband and son. (Although I bet my son is happy that I wasn't home last night when he and a friend made/decorated Gingerbread houses because you KNOW I would have been sneaking down the stairs to see what was going on and taking unwanted photos.) As patient as I try to be, I'm not patient enough. In a way it's like I'm dealing with two toddlers and any parent knows how frustrating that can be. I lose my cool more often than I'd like (or I should).
So, what I NEED to do is try and focus on what I am grateful for. I DO have a lot to be grateful for IF I stop and think about it.
- The ability to pick up and go. I can work from anywhere (as long as there is internet access). I work for people who allow me to work odd hours if need be. As long as I can get the work done (and I can), they are fine with me working whenever and wherever. Yes, there is a lot of stress associated with my job (or at least that's how I perceive it), but I can get the job done and have the support to do so.
- My husband and my son are self-sufficient. Again, I can pick up and go and not worry about them. (Although I do.) My son is a serious walker; he can get wherever he needs to with the power of his (long) legs. My son is also personable and kind; if he needs a ride somewhere, he has plenty of friends who can help out and are happy to do so.
- I have friends who know and care about me. Who care about my whole family. Who care about my mental state. They do what can to help me. That means the world to me.
- My parents have the means (at least for now) to get live in help. We also have the resources to relatively easily find someone who can help out. (Keep those fingers crossed...there may be someone in the wings who can help out pretty much right away.)
So as difficult and stressful as life may be right now, there is much to be grateful for. Focusing on that and NOT on challenges that seem to pop up daily are what will carry me through. Live with faith, hope and gratitude...that will be my mantra. And if you could be so kind...repeat it back to me when I am low and I will do the same. Live with faith, hope and gratitude.