Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanks for all the fish!

Being thankful is something I'm often thinking about. It started in college actually, when my friend Dylan and I were mopey gothity kids and the world was of course too much to bear as it often is when you're twenty. Somehow, in our correspondence, we decided we would list three things we were glad about in each email. At first there was much flailing and posturing, but we started to mean it. When I told my friend April (who was also a proper gothity child of the late 90's) she sarcastically said, What are you? Playing the Glad Game? And I said, yes.

Somehow, we went from Dylan and I playing the Glad Game to our whole circle of friends playing through email. Sometimes we'd play a lot and sometimes we'd add notes about bad things going on. When something bad was going on, people would reach out to each other, even if they were a friend of a friend of a friend. We were tied together by the Glad Game. There would be dormant periods of course, sometimes for a long time, even a year or two. But we started playing again on Facebook, though we were in a dormant phase again until like a minute ago when I restarted it. Usually I find when we are most stressed and least glad, we need it most. So I send inspiring little messages to my Pollyannas like, "Hey Pollyannas, give us a shout out! Something must be making your miserable asses happy!"

Jason's post about thankfulness of course made me think too. Before my divorce, in a lot of ways I was a very different person. I thought more, more, more would make me happy - I thought more shoes, more expensive purses, more jewelry, more thin, more achievements, more living space would all make me happy. And . . .it didn't. It just got me more debt. I wasn't happy, I was stressed and exhausted and miserable with trying to keep up the facade of being the girl with the most cake. When my divorce happened and my financial situation dramatically changed, I learned to be thankful for much simpler things. And here's the thing, I was genuinely thankful for those things. Really and truly. And I became so much happier and more appreciative for what I had.

When I feel stressed, I give thanks to my gods for all that I have, all my first world things. My list includes:
* Being a homeowner and for my Goldilocks space that's just right, more over a roof over my head
* Heat
* A car that works
* Enough writing opportunities for a career
* All my clothes
* Enough food in my mouth
* My phone and my laptop and tv (and dvr honestly) and internet access
* My couch, dining room table and bed
* My loved ones

Sometimes, it's hard to be grateful for getting what you asked for. I asked for money, ideally in the form of a severance (it's still up in the air, long story) and I got called back to my day job for a couple days. While I'm sick and it's a major headfuck and making me a complete and utter neurotic mess because I'm trying to adjust to my new life, it's money. And I need to be thankful for it. So I am.


Alexis Kennedy said...

Hang in there, sweetie! You're an inspiration!

Unknown said...

I need to make this type of list more often. The last year or so has been quite a ride of learning how tedious many of life's "pleasures" are, but I refuse to be a cynic! (More than I already am, that is =)

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