(To all those not from the United States, tomorrow – November 24 – is Thanksgiving.)
I was talking to Christy the other day and realized, much to my chagrin, that I always seemed to be venting about something bad. Or, at least, something that I thought was bad enough to spend quality time with her venting about. I realized that I was becoming a chronic whiner. One of those people that always has something dire going on in their life. One of those people that always seems to have a little black cloud hanging over their head. One of those people that you cross the street or take the next elevator to avoid. One of those people that you're loathe to bump into and ask, "How ya doin'?" because you don't really want to hear a litany of the crap that's happened to them since you last avoided talking to them.
Seeing myself on the precipice of this abyss wasn't pretty. Diving headlong into a bottomless pit of self-pity and drowning in a pool of negativity ain't pretty. So I made a vow a couple of days ago to not say anything negative for 24 hours (in a row). I think I made it, more or less, but it was hard. It's amazing how easy it is to start spouting about the woes of your life to anyone who'll listen. But I made it, regardless. Mission accomplished. Christy reminded me that, even when lots of bad stuff happens, there's always – and I mean always – good stuff that happens too. We just forget about it sometimes. Or think it's not really worth mentioning. Or we relegate that good stuff to life's B List because it's not as important as the A List crap.
I wasn't entirely successful in my quest for a vent-free day, but I came damn close. (And Christy? If I wasn't as successful as I think I was, I don't wanna know!) And it felt good. I found myself looking for positivity, and I found it. Pretty much everywhere.
So, to that end, the following is a list of good things that happen to me every day, often, and sometimes.
1) The Boys: There's something about my cats trotting into the bathroom while I'm using it that just warms my heart. Seeing their little furry faces in mine first thing in the morning usually starts my day off right.
2) My mom: We have the silliest conversations about nothing and they always leave me grinning. She does more for me than for herself and I honestly don't know what I'd do without her.
3) My fireplace: I bought my first set of fireplace tools ever, picked up some Duraflames and haven't looked back. Napping in front of a crackling fire is heaven on earth.
4) A car for 3 weeks: I don't have a car of my own (long story), but I recently got to be custodian of my mom's car for 3 weeks while she traveled. I didn't actually use it every day, but knowing it was parked out there was nice. The fact that she trusted me with her car was even nicer. (Note to self: Get a car next year!)
5) No line at Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart can be hell on earth. But the other day, in the rain, I was able to pop in there, find what I needed, and there was one guy in line in front of me with 3 small items, and he paid with cash! 5 minutes, in and out.
6) WIC neighbor: My neighbor Ashley, whose hubby won't be back from Afghanistan until at least July, just had a baby and she's on WIC. Every so often, she has extra wheat bread, milk and apple juice. And what does she do with all that extra stuff? She gives it to yours truly. Finally! A cool neighbor!
7) Skype: It still gives me a stomach ache when I try to figure out how they can offer video Skype for free. But it seriously rocks. Soon there's gonna be a generation that doesn't remember what it was like to have a long-distance relationship without free long-distance, texting, emailing and Skype.
8) Organizing: I moved recently and it was a bitch. Obviously, I've moved before, but for some reason getting unpacked and put together was especially challenging this time. I had a burst of energy recently (thank you, Christy) and got a bunch of stuff done last weekend. So much so that I was able to light a fire since all the melt-ables in front of the fireplace were finally put away. (See No. 3)
9) Rain: This morning I was awakened by pouring rain. I got up, opened the blinds, and went back to bed. The sound of the rain on the window lulled me back to sleep. Rainfall is the most wonderful 'white noise' in the world.
10) Christy: She's my good thing every day, often and sometimes. Even bad days are better because I know she's there to tell me everything's going to be okay. As David Gates from the 70s rock group Bread would say, "Never let her go".
So these are some of my good things, big and small, sometimes and always. I hope you have some thanksgivingness to reflect on too.