Sometimes, I can be a bit of a negative Nelly.

While I like to sound all cool and say I'm neither a glass half empty or glass half full kind of gal (it totally depends on what's in the glass, am I right?), the truth is I'm more of a "it doesn't matter what's in the glass because it's dirty, chipped, too small, too big, too wide, the wrong shape and no matter what I'm going to dislike it" kind of gal.

I know, it's utterly infuriating and depressing, right? Trust me, it's even worse when you have to live with it, ALL the time.

It's not so much that I enjoy the bad "juju," it's just that it's so easy for me to slip into that way of thinking; you know, the kind where you see the absolute worst in everything (even cuddly kittens and puppies' wet noses). I feel all woe is me about anything and everything; from not being sure that I'm really where I should be in my life, being envious of my friends and family for their super important careers, education and lifestyles, to wishing I just had the white picket fence and 2.5 kids right this very second (or at the very least, wanting it). I'm not kidding friends, when I throw myself a pity party, I throw myself a pity party about every.last.thing.

I know, you're wondering how I'm married and have friends when I'm such a soul-dampening succubus. The good news is I can pull myself out of these types of moods, usually before wreaking too much havoc in my life  (or else I'd just have something else to complain about).

I should probably extend my forever gratitude to my incredibly loving husband, ever-understanding mother, mood-lightening father, my too-generous-for-his-own-good brother, my always-there-to-lend-an-ear aunts and cousins and my best friends for always holding my hand (or lying in bed with me and watching a marathon of Sex and the City) and reminding me that I'm not a terrible mom, I'm just human.

For the last week and a half I've been miserable and loving my own company. I've been whining to myself about not living the American dream, not having enough money, not exercising enough, not eating as good as I should be, not being a better friend, not making enough time for everyone in my life; you name it, I've found a way to make it ridiculously pessimistic.

And then something incredibly small happens, the tiniest thing and I'm reminded what an absolute (pardon my French) ass I'm being. And I slowly get myself out of my funk.

Today I found a vintage cookie press from the 1950s. It happens to be the exact same one my grandmother used every Christmas when all the women (and kids) got together and made our holiday cookies to divvy up into tins and take home (just enough to tide us over until our big Christmas party where we'd indulge in far more than any family should). I knew it was her exact one because of the copper accents on the actual press and the weird camel disc it came with. I remember being little and trying to figure out why on Earth anyone would ever need to make a camel cookie (I'm still trying to figure that out). And my husband ordered it for me, without question, because he knew I'd been holding out for a vintage cookie press and not one of the crappy plastic ones they sell nowadays. And it's not so much that "getting a gift" cheered me up, it's the memories this 60-year-old press is bringing back and the ones it's going to allow me to make with my daughter.

And boy, my daughter, I can't tell you enough how blessed I am to have her. Here I can't turn my brain off about whether and when to have a second child, when there are people out there dying to have a first that haven't. To those of you experiencing that pain, I'm sorry, and I'm embarrassed to seemingly take for granted what an amazing miracle my little girl is. She really, really is.

And we have these friends, these superb people in our lives, ones who celebrate our anniversary with us, ones who see our daughter as their own and ones who listen to the rambling texts of their college friend who isn't too sure what she's doing with her life. We are so blessed.

And what about the food? From the Christmas season's first sugar cookies to Brussels sprouts roasted in olive oil and sea salt, it's all about looking at the bigger picture. It's my daughter's eyes when she tries a new food (and loves it) and my husbands excitement when I make him his favorite vegetable ever. With sometimes above average skills in the kitchen, being able to cook my way out of a bad mood is such a wonderful outlet.

And let's not forget Christmas - the most wonderful time of the year. Nothing can bring you out of a pity party faster than remembering how fortunate you are (especially when you have a roof over your head, food in the fridge and a beautiful, healthy family). Although, the hot chocolate, lights, tree and pretty villages don't hurt the spirit either.

Not to mention my daughter's eyes when she takes it all in.

It's settled, I'm so blessed. Really blessed.

What do you feel blessed with?

1 comment:

  1. To most people, it may seem really small, but I'd have to say I'm blessed with my pets. Each one of the rats brings their own, loving personalty to my and my girlfriend's hearts that I can't help but feel I'd miss it if it was suddenly gone. Also, coming home to Aberline the Chinchilla, who rolls around, grins, and licks my fingers when I do, then sits or dances contently to his music whether I sing along or not, it's hard not to feel blessed with them.

    Then, there's Cami, whom without, I don't want to think of where I'd be. Shortly before meeting her, I was terrified that I was going to kill myself. After I met her, things fell into place, almost as if it was meant to happen. Because of her, I have a support channel for my depression and PTSD that I normally wouldn't have had. She also gives me something I needed for a long time; someone I can support as well.

    Also, the talents I have in both art and noticing emotional/psychological details about people. They may not seem related, but they are. There have been a few times that I was drawing from a live model, and the whole composition changes based on what mood they're in. At the same time, I noticed a that a friend of mine was suffering emotionally based on her self portraits, only to find out that I was right. She is currently getting the help she needs, as well as using her art to cope.

    Finally, as insane as this seems, I'm blessed with my ability to complain. It does sound weird, but without it, I wouldn't be able to laugh at bad drivers, bad movies, bad games, or even myself. The last thing any of us needs to do is take what life throws at us to seriously. Especially when you can look back and realize that what made you mad may not have been that important.