Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Being Thankful

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I am thinking about things I am thankful for, especially as compared to others. As you (I) go through life, it is hard not to compare myself to others. And I notice that I am mostly comparing myself to others who have more and feeling bad for myself. I am turning 35 in 1.5 months and there are certain things that I thought I would have in life by now, that just aren't there. Most of them revolve around money. We do not have a lot of money in the bank, we do not have our own house yet because of our debt to income ratios (Thank you very much student loans!), and we do not have money for a lot of extras.

But, we do have jobs that are dependable and allow us to get by with our basic needs met. We are incredibly lucky to have come out on the other side of infertility with not one, but two children. "One of each," people say, "You are so lucky!" And, dammit, yes, we are lucky. I need to remind myself about that as I go through my days and my months and my years. Others are not so fortunate, and I cannot take for granted the gifts that I have been granted. We have everything we really need. Well, maybe not enough "me time," but the basics are all taken care of. Working in the mental health field also provides me with many reminders of how lucky I am. In the past two years, we have gone on 2 trips to Disney World. Now, if that ain't lucky, I don't know what is!

It is much too easy to complain about things and feel bad for myself and to get caught up in the bullshit of everyday life. It is hard to remember the good stuff, when you are faced with 2 year old tantrums, kids rejecting you, saying they only want the other parent, and long, hard days of parenting. There's the dirty house, the bills to be paid, the bib and high chair tray cleaning THAT NEVER ENDS, the dishes that are always piled in the sink, etc, etc etc. But in the long run, I need to ask myself, "Do most of those things really matter?" The answer, of course is "No, not really."

My mom sent me a magazine article about the top 6 places to live in the United States. Our town was #3! We do live in a very nice area of VT and we are lucky to live here, even if there is no Target or Trader Joe's in this god forsaken state. (For the love of all that is holy. Please, TARGET, COME TO VERMONT ALREADY!)We live in a state that allows Penny and I to be legally married and offers our family all the protections that comes along with that. This is HUGE and we are lucky to have this right bestowed upon us in VT. Now, while I enjoyed the magazine article and enjoyed reading about our little town, I was dismayed when I looked down and saw where the article came from: AARP Magazine. Whatever. We (and the Baby Boomers) are very happy here...most of the time!

Things I am thankful for today:
1) Taylor, Jordan, and Penny
2) Having a warm house to sleep in at night (even if it is a rental!)
3) Having more than enough food and clothing for me and my family

What do you do to keep it real and remember to count your blessings on a regular basis?


Nikki said...

awesome post Chris! I couldn't have summarized it better. Life is good but hard with little kids and no money.... we can totally appreciate that scenario.... you are not alone!

Outside-In said...

Don't know if this blog is still active, but I'm a columnist writing about Target still not being in Vermont. Would love to talk to you if interested.
I'm at Star Tribune in Minneapolis.