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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
So that’s my list! Happy blog hop-aversary Lizzi! And I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.
I have to say, I like your co-worker. I wonder how many people he has turned off with his bluntness, but he is spot on. We could all use someone in our lives to say these things to us when we are giving ourselves a pity party. Sounds like he really helped you change your attitude. Good for you, making the decision to not let the little things get to you.
All of the swimming and hot tub sitting are wonderful. It’s fun to see your kids master new, sometimes scary things. Glad she’s in the right group this year. Surely she will make great strides.
I would now like a cookie, please.
Yeah – I’ve had a few moments in conversations with him in the last few months where he’s made me pause and re-think what I said. I suspect I’m generally not challenged enough in that regard and so, yes, healthy. As for pools – off to one again soon now that I’ve wrapped up a few hours of school work. And as for cookies – sadly, we ate them all. But I’ll see if my 4-year-old is up for making some more and I’ll get right back to you 🙂
Regina @ Vintage 1973 said:
DELIGHTFUL read! Thank you for the reminders and how much the seemingly small things are the really big things. I may follow suit and post similarly since the world is trying to Scrooge me.
Also, I really enjoy reading your writing…
Thanks so much for the kind words – they made my day. And sorry to hear that life is less than wonderful for you at the moment. As for the small things – yeah, it’s funny how one last sock on the floor has that way of pushing you over the edge if you let it. So I’m currently trying to NOT let it. I’m trying not to picture myself despondent amidst a pile of dirty laundry a few weeks from now. Because, hey! Glass half full! Or maybe even runneth over if I’m crazy optimistic! In any event, I’m trying not to let the little stuff be anything more than that.
Kris @ Mrs. Always Random said:
This was lovely…and what a turnaround when your friend said what he did. I mean, he’s right but wow…still a gutsy comment, and one we ALL need to hear. So thanks for sharing!
You’d be a completely crap parent if you DIDN’T have cookies for dinner once in a while…does that make you feel better? Just a few weeks ago, we had ice cream sundaes for dinner, and I am an Ah-Mazing parent 😉
Have a great week-end!
It certainly sounds like you are an ah-mazing parent. There use to be a pancake house near our place where my mother use to take me once in a while for girls night dinner when I was in the 9-14 range. I think that made her a rock-star mom. It was sad when they shut that place down and turned it into a Hooters. And a bit happier when that tanked and it became an Irish Pub. At this stage, I think an Irish Pub that served pancakes would be ideal, but they didn’t seem open to my business model…
As for attitude shifting – yeah – now that I’ve posted, I feel I’ve committed to trying it for at LEAST another week. So I’ll try and report back on whether I’ve kept on the sunny side or no…
Clark Scottroger said:
(you know how powerful the Wakefield Doctrine is? I can tell you, from a 1,000 miles away that this co-worker is: well dressed (within the allowable limits of his income), is always ‘in the know’ in the social network at work, tends to gossip, is very easy to talk to, is a master of ‘office politics’ up to and including sucking up to the boss, a bit fastidious, has difficulty making a decision, is not shy about talking about his own accomplishments. Yes, you’re right! he’s a roger)
The heck with him. I enjoyed your list and the week it ‘conveyed’… sounds like an all-around good week for you and the family unit.
Am glad you have thrown in your lot with us here at the TToT, enjoy reading your Posts.
(unless… you, like hire a famous writer to write these for you…)
I’m going to have to go back and do another read of your definitions and get back to you as I’m not sure you are wholly correct.
Thanks for your kind words on my posts. As for a ghost writer. If I can’t afford the car repairs, I think you’re safe in the assumption that I’m, well, me.
I lied, too and said I’d be posting last night. But, here, too, this cold (with horrible green ugly snot and lost voices and horrible eyes) has dragged on. I hate it. Your sauna/pool nights sound amazing.
Hope you feel better soon! I just shivered when I read pink eye. Ugh!
Aussa Lorens said:
Reading your list of thankfuls kind of put me in a good mood 🙂 And I like this term– “affluenza.” I definitely suffer from it and have to stop myself every once in a while and be like “REALLY, AUSSA?!” I’m glad you’re no longer sick– especially with all the holidays coming up.
Yeah – I liked the term when I heard it too. A bit taken aback at first bit then thought, no, that’s fair. Hoping my inside voice pipes up in future when I next start first world pity partying :$
Joy @ i can say mama said:
You put together a lovely list!
I always have my snow tires put on in October so that when the snow actually comes down and everyone runs to have their tires exchanged I can be all relaxed.
Your swim nights sound awesome!
Wow! You are organized! I THINK I just commented on your blog about your great idea for a New Year’s Hop – but I’m not sure if the computer ate my comment – so I just wanted to let you know, if it doesn’t show up, I totally tried 🙂
Joy @ i can say mama said:
No worries, it came through twice! Looking forward to see you linking up in December! 🙂
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Rich Rumple said:
I do make it around every now and then. Look, you gotta learn how to laugh through things. You’ve obviously figured that out, but now you’ve got to practice more and more. Okay, like when they hit you with the $2000 worth of repairs. You could’ve said something like, “What? Only $2000? I figured you’d hit me for at least $4000 like the guys down the street did when I got gas the other day! You guys are slipping up! Okay, one more chance … before I look all this stuff up on my computer, are you sure you don’t want to add something else?” 🙂 The more you make light of negatives, the lighter they’ll become. And, once you start thinking like that, you’ll be amazed at how it can flow to you in all aspects of your life. Okay, enough preaching. We’re getting snow here, too. Now you know why I love my Ridgeline! lol Well done!
Oh Louise, your list is lovely. I love it when I do something before I need it and then need it right away, like the snow and snow tires. I always feel like patting myself on the back when I beat the rush. Good for you. Your #7 sure hit home for me this week because I too connected with old friends. One I had not seen in over 30 years. I can’t believe time can pass that quick, but we picked up like we’d seen each other yesterday. I guess that is the sweetness of good friends. It just doesn’t matter how much times passes–you still stay friends.
The grandparents gift of cash for school–I hope someday I get to be a grandparent. And if I do, my husband and I value education. I hope we can do the same for our grandkids. Am so glad you FINALLY got to celebrate your anniversary–even if it was a bit late. The part I liked best was that your kids slept in. That was always a gift in our household when it happened. Which wasn’t often. I hope you aren’t like me though. If I have more than two drinks, my clothes fall off and I don’t remember much of the evening. 🙂
A belated thank you for this incredibly kind comment. I smiled when I read it. Thank you for the anniversary wishes – and just from your comment, I hope you can do the same for your grandkids too. I know for us, it is a fabulous gift. One less expense for us to worry about – and a great way for my parents to know they are helping with something important – that is very truly appreciated on our end!
As for the snow tires? That foresight has paid itself off another two-times since. And as for old friends? So glad you too got to reconnect. It’s such a great feeling to re-find old friendships and find they still work – and still know you.
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Reese Speaks said:
Another great “Thankful” list!
I hope that you were able to capture a picture of your youngest in that moment of wonder she had! It must have really been magical!
I love connecting with old friends! I got to do this last week. Though not in person, we chatted for a long time, and it was good to hear from them. They are like family to me, so it meant a lot to have that time.
University courses: Where do you find the time! I would love to go back and do so many courses (maybe too many) and pick up more skills. With the “bosses,” blogging and home life, I just can’t do it right now. Good for you for being able to pull it off!
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It’s funny when I go back now and read things I wrote last year (can’t imagine how I will feel if I’m still blogging five years down the line) – on this re: University courses – in retrospect, that wasn’t the best choice for this stage of life and was exhausting. I pulled it off with three (purchased) extensions likely making it the most expensive half credit I’ve ever earned 🙂
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Reese Speaks said:
You can purchase course extensions?! I’ve never heard of this! Is this just for online courses? I can only imagine how much they charge for extensions! 😛