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Happy Sunday all!

So it’s a big weekend for Lizzi over at Considerings.  She’s celebrating the 25th week of her successful warm and fuzzies Ten Things of Thankful blog hop where she encourages everyone to nurture an attitude of gratitude.

You should check it out.  There’s cake.

Ten Things of Thankful

Being the lovely hostess she is, she dutifully poked her sometimes ad hoc participants (you know, like me) on Friday to see if we’d be joining the festivities.

And I, inadvertently, lied.  I said I’d be posting yesterday.  But by the time I got to a stage in the day where I could, I was so wiped that I napped instead.  It was lovely.  And needed.  But here I am, Sunday morning, still post-less and fancy free.

So enough.  Here’s my post.  And it’s funny – ’cause I’ve been thinking of shifting attitudes and being thankful all week.  So it was all THERE, I just needed to get to a computer and get it out.

I had one of those … moments … last Sunday where I think I had likely just lost my cool over something inane and realized that, while I don’t control the actions of others, I ultimately have control over how the world impacts me.  I also had a conversation with a co-worker about a week ago that has stuck with me.  I was complaining about something or other and he accused me of suffering from “affluenza”.  I think his response was something to the effect of:

Wow, that totally sucks that you and your husband are both gainfully employed; and he has to work late so you have to rush a bit from work, struggling through traffic in your totally paid off car, to pick up your two lovely children from your awesome daycare provider because she needs you to get your kids by 5:00.  Do you want me to see if there are any charities or support groups that can help you work through the trauma of minor irritations in a generally good life?

Point taken.  So I decided I’m just gonna choose to be happy and thankful and not sweat the small stuff.

Then I kinda laughed at myself, because if it were that easy, we’d all be happy.  That’s right, a great big world full of jovial game show hosts.  But then I thought about the number of silly things I get upset about, and how those just build up and wear you down, and I thought, well, I have control over how that impacts me.  So I’m going to focus this week on not sweating the small stuff and – you got it – just being happy.

And it kinda worked.  My eldest did her daily freak out about how I was putting her socks on crooked and instead of getting frustrated, I repeated to myself that I’m just going to be happy.  Canadian Tire made me wait an extra hour and a half more than promised to put my snow tires on and then tried to sell me $2000 worth of repairs for my car. Instead of hitting full panic, I pulled out my laptop and worked in the waiting room; confirmed the car was still safe to drive without the insane list of costly repairs I had no intention of doing or ability to pay for; thanked them for their estimate; took my snow tires; and drove off happy.  A work document came back to me requesting edits that could have been done by the requester, his assistant or your average Grade 4 student (ie: please print this on a green sheet; indicate the meeting is at 3:30 PM, rather than just 3:30; and reprint single-sided, not double-sided) and instead of letting that slowly kill my soul, I decided to suck it up and just be happy.

Don’t get me wrong.  There were also a few moments in the week where I honestly thought there was not enough wine in the world to happily get me through whatever my current first world problem was.  But overall, I think I came through the week happier and feeling a bit more in control of it all.

So with that said (and really, if I’d known it was gonna be that long I probably would have brewed another pot of coffee before starting), here’s my list of thankful for the week:

Number 10

I’m thankful I had the foresight to get my snow tires on Tuesday given we had our first snowfall yesterday.  As many a car skidded about on newfound black ice and powder, we drove along just fine.

Number 9

I’m thankful I was out with my two daughters when the first snowfall started yesterday.  My 17 month old so obviously didn’t remember snow from last winter and was so obviously enchanted by the whole thing.  She stood in the parking lot of the swimming pool, slowly turning in circles and looking up.  She even stuck her tongue out and tried to catch one and enjoyed the snow falling on her forehead.  It was all kinds of awesome to enjoy the moment with her.

Number 8

I’m thankful for my 4-year-old’s new swimming instructor and class because a) I think all the kids in the class are actually in the right level (ie: they can all swim) and b) I think she’s going to push them a bit so there’s a fighting chance my daughter might finally learn how to back float; pass level two and progress from Salamander to Sunfish!  At this stage, passing or failing doesn’t really matter, but I have to admit to a bit of frustration last session as I watched my child ignored for kids who obviously couldn’t swim and were in the wrong level – and a teacher who wasn’t as skilled at managing and pushing kids of differing abilities.  Yesterday, I watched them all trot off to the deep end and do a bit of swimming and jumping in there without life jackets.  And they were all obviously having a blast!

Number 7

I’m thankful for reconnecting with old friends.  In the past three months, I have reconnected with two and it has been great to spend time and catch up.  It has also been fun to hang out in pubs.  I really enjoy pubs and spend far less time in them than I use to.  I acknowledge that is likely healthy for this stage of life – but I miss the long drawn out conversations that come out of a good evening of pubbing.

Number 6

I’m thankful I’m pretty much over my cold.  It dragged for about two weeks.  The coughing fits were awesome both in intensity and timing (ie: while taking notes at a meeting, at 3:30 in the morning while trying to sleep etc…).  I will not miss it.

Number 5

I’m thankful for my mom and our weekly swim nights out with my two daughters.  Generally every Tuesday she joins me and the girls and we all go swimming.  It’s fun and relaxing for everyone and I look forward to it weekly.  Every now and then I leave the girls with my mom and sneak off to the sauna alone for a few minutes.  I can sit by myself; the sound of the pool is pretty much cut off; and it’s like I’m watching a movie with my kids in it.  My kids usually notice I’m missing in a “she really should have been back from the bathroom by now” kind of way after about 5-6 minutes, but those few minutes of heat and (almost) absolute quiet are just divine.

Number 4

I’m thankful for my parents and the early Christmas gift they gave us this year of money for our two kids Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs).  For non-Canadians, basically it’s a savings plan you can set up from birth for your kids to help save for college or university.  You can put up to $2500 per child in a year and the Government – depending how much you put in – tops up to a max of $500 a year per child.  Investmest-wise, if you can swing it, I really can’t think of an a) better thing you can do for your children and b) a better return on investment.  My parents invested in one for both me and my brother growing up and, with the help of that (and scholarship, choosing to work, and living at home for university)  we both graduate debt free from university – which I think is probably one of the best gifts my parents ever gave us (and it’s all the more appreciated as we only paid off my husband’s student loan a few years ago).  So I am beyond thankful for that help so we can do the same for our kids.

Number 3

I’m thankful for the “Girls Night In” I had with my daughters on Friday night.  My husband was out of town, so we went to the grocery store and got what we needed to make cookies; and then went and rented movies.  My four-year-old is getting pretty good with basic baking so we made chocolate chip cookies and then settled down to watch The Little Mermaid II.  A nice relaxing evening on the couch.  And I figure cookies for dinner once in a while doesn’t make me a completely crap parent, right?

Number 2

I’m thankful for course extensions.  I’ve mentioned a few times that I am taking a macroeconomics course long distance from Athabasca University.  So I’m trucking on through, but with everything else going on, I’m a bit behind.  Well, I finally accepted defeat last week and bought myself a two month extension.  It’s nice to know I have a bit of flexibility now to finish it off.

Number 1

I’m thankful for wonderful evenings out with my husband.  We FINALLY got around to going out last night to celebrate our 5-year-anniversary (that happened in October).  We got all dressed up and splurged on a great meal and when we got home had a few more drinks and just talked in the way we haven’t done enough of in ages.   Fun and relaxing – and the kids were thoughtful enough to sleep in until 9:00 this morning – so we’re also thankful for that!

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So that’s my list!  Happy blog hop-aversary Lizzi!  And I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

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