It is late afternoon, a late, gray afternoon. Three animals are curled up next to me. One purrs, another snores. All are blessedly warm.
And I'm hurrying to post some blog posts for the three blogs I dilly-dally around with and am feeling a sense of accomplishment, or maybe relief.
Dinner is partially ready. I've got a kitchen chemistry class tonight, and am going tomorrow to buy the rest of the food I need to create Vegan masterpieces for Thanksgiving. I don't plan to shop on Black Friday. I plan to sleep in two or three mornings this weekend.
But why do I feel a little crabby? And stressed? And overwhelmed?
My mind is already on the next few weeks and what that means. It means juggling, working, cleaning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, interacting, acting joyful. I want simple. But I don't allow myself to embrace simple. Instead, I complicate. If one is good enough, three would be incredible. But sometimes I give up at two and feel guilty.
Is this an American disease I've picked up? The dreaded affluenza? Is there a cure for it?
I've heard some sermons about words lately. Not new information. Crud. I've studied it myself. And it's not just a Biblical truth. It's a universal truth that a negative mindset breeds negative words and stinking thinking becomes the emotional equivalent to a bed bug infestation. What is the antidote to stinking thinking? This season, Thanksgiving (even though it's been completely eradicated by Christmas gloss and glitter at every store I've stepped into this week...but that's stink think) offers a huge piece of the puzzle. Gratitude.
I am grateful that today I have a few moments to breathe and catch up on a task. And I'm grateful I have a job. I'm grateful for warm animals who love me, heck, they adore me, and when I'm not tripping over, or cleaning up after them, a cuddle, a lick or a tail wag can definitely make a bad day not so bad after all. I'm grateful that I have three children who live close enough that I can see them on holidays. I love that I have been able to become friends with the grown-up versions of their special selves. I love that I have a roof over my head when some don't. I'm grateful that I have food in my freezer and pantry. I never have to worry about stretching one cup of rice or beans into three meals. My worry is what exactly I can add from my riches to make those beans and rice taste better. I have shoes. Lots of shoes. Not Imelda Marcos style, but I have more than one pair, and can always find socks without holes, too. My family is relatively healthy. No one is in the hospital. No one is currently reeling from bad news. My husband is a good man and we have a good life. We don't need for anything. Most of what we long for are wants.
Ten minutes of pondering what I'm grateful for and I already feel better.
Sigh. In and out. The air I breathe, the God who gives it to me. The sun that is hidden. The cold that has gripped the earth to slow the cycle of growth so even the ground can rest. And the signal that I am supposed to seek rest as well. Yes. I am very, very blessed.