You know that feeling that you’re being talked about, when you walk into someones office and they look at you like you just interrupted a very important conversation ABOUT YOU that they don’t want you to be privy to? That happened twice this morning, and I don’t like that. I just keep thinking that this is a short week and I have a lot to do and THIS IS NOT HIGH SCHOOL and if I’m going to be talked about, I’m going to be talked about. Nothing I can do. Anyway…
Oh lordy, I was watching HLN the other day at lunch (which is a TERRIBLE idea because they get me so goddamned fired up, holy shit) and these Superstorm Sandy victims are the WORST. Fuck! I’m really sorry to hear that your power still isn’t on! It’s cold! That sucks! I’d be pissed too! How am I supposed to keep my fish and snail warm without a tank heater! Good lord, it’s madness!! It’s a good thing you’re bitching on national television about it! About how you are a tax payer and take nothing from the government and the only time you need something they don’t come through! That will surely get the utility guys off their chain smoking asses while they sit in their warm offices and think, “Gosh, we should probably get out there and do something for these people…”. Oh, what, you haven’t seen a utility truck come down your street even once? Man, I wonder what they could be doing! Do you think they are not working? Do you think that they are not ALSO freezing their asses off while they work their numb fingers to the bone to try and restore power to the millions of other people without heat? Oh, but because it’s your heat that’s still not on, it’s different. Ok then.
Don’t be fucking jerks, guys. You’re all cold and tired and weather weary and these people are working as hard and as long as they can to help you. Nothing would rattle my frostbitten cage more than to be working those power grids and electric panels and watching someone scream into a camera that I’m not doing my job to their liking. Your house will now be stop number 129,999 of the 130,00 of those without power for that stupid comment, bitch.
It seems that everyone is doing these “Thanksgiving Thankful Grateful Gratitude” list things, since it’s getting to be that time of year and I thought, “Why the hell not. Lemme jump on that bandwagon too!”
In 2008 when I had to go through multiple counseling/group therapy/ assessment tests to determine whether or not I really was an acceptable person and parent. During that time (around thanksgiving) we were required to write in a journal about all the things we were grateful for, because, you know, we were all down on our luck. The person with the most entries in their journal won a prize (homemade fudge) and me being me, of COURSE I won. 200 some odd entries and most of them bullshit, just like how I felt about that class. Looking back, I think I really was (and kinda still am) grateful for chapstick and wool coats and finding all the matching socks in the dryer.
But I think what I am the most grateful for is the stuff I have now that I didn’t have then. Stuff that I’ve been without before. I think it’s difficult to adequately write a list of stuff that you are so thankful to have when you’ve never been without; similar to the notion that you can’t appreciate being happy until you’ve been sad, or appreciating the sun when you’ve experience rain. I saw one list, written by a girl I know, who is grateful that she has the ability to eat whatever she wants without gaining weight (in her defense, she is quite lithe and eats like shit. I’ve seen it.) And that fine! You can be grateful for whatever you want! But have you ever been overweight? Can you really appreciate being 115 lbs after eating a box of Krispy Kremes without having been 215? Or 315? Or 415? Perhaps you can, I don’t know. I’ve never been over 160, which was when I was pregnant.
I’m grateful to not live paycheck to paycheck. I’m grateful to have learned, albeit the hard way, what it means to manage my money. I’m grateful not to have to choose between the electric bill(which heats the house) and the car note (which gets me to work so I can continue choosing between the electric bill and the car note). I’m grateful that I can afford healthy foods, because stuff filled with chemicals and toxins and fat and sodium is CHEAP. Produce, organically fed meet, and almond milk, is not.
I’m grateful for a man who knows what it means to support himself and, in turn, me. He provides for himself which means he provides for me and my children. That’s a whole lot more than I could have ever asked for, and I’m so grateful for that. A man who is a MAN and does what he has to do, even if he doesn’t always like it. Even if he hates it sometimes. Even if it means having to be outside for hours a day, sick, with a runny nose, on a cold winter day and, in the sweltering heat with a sunburn during the summer. Even if it means he can’t take vacation time during December (how fucking bogus is that!). Even if it means that his superiors call him names and throw insults at him (and everyone else around him). He does it because he has to and because he doesn’t have time to sit around and bitch about how his job totally fucking sucks. EVEN THOUGH IT DOES. I’m grateful for that.
I’m grateful for my children, because there was a time when I didn’t have them. A time someone took them from me. I am immensely grateful that, like clockwork, I see them every damn week. AND THAT THEY LOVE ME. Oh man, when I get those unsolicited hugs and “I love you mommy”s, I feel like I’m doing something right for once in my life.
I’m grateful for my sanity. There are days I question it and times I still feel like I’m unraveling from the inside out, and what am I doing, and I really do need to be on meds, and people really do fucking hate being around me and I’m a terrible person and OMG WHAT A HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING I AM. But those days are becoming fewer and farther between. My slumps are not a pronounced as they used to be. My anxiety attacks are lessening. And I’m not suicidal. I see my world in color instead of the monotonous and monotone existence it used to be. I’m so grateful for that. I’m so thankful that I feel as though I have something to live for, every single day.
I’M GRATEFUL FOR NORMALCY. I sometimes complain that I don’t feel like I’m living for anything. Like, what am I doing, working day in and day out, 8-5, Monday through Friday, if I’m not planning something, or working towards something? Last year, I was working towards my vacation to Florida. This year, I’m working towards my sisters wedding in California, but what about next year? What am I saving for? What am I working so hard for? And then I’m like, “Um, A, wasn’t there a time when you wished for this?” AND THERE WAS. There was a time that all I wished for was normalcy. I wished for an 8-5 M-F job and a stable man and a stable home and stable kids and general stable-ness in my everyday in-and-out life. A time without stress and drama and arguments and tears. That’s what I have! My life is SO NORMAL right now and so boring and so incredibly wonderful. This is always what I’ve wanted, and I am so grateful for it.
I’m grateful for my job. It is a big part of my stability and drama free life. And it’s the mantra that plays through my head constantly these days. I get so fed up with rude, curt, demeaning and disrespectful people who are complaining about the most menial things and I have to tell myself, “A, you are grateful. You are grateful. Without these people, you wouldn’t have a job. They contribute to your livelihood and you are grateful.” That’s not to say that I don’t get really pissed off when someone uses my full name in an email (Bitch, you are NOT my fucking mother) but Id rather be pissed off at them for being ugly than pissed off because I can’t pay my bills. C’est la vie, man. I’M GRATEFUL.
A fellow blogger reminded me yesterday about WHY WOULD I COMPLAIN WHEN THIS IS ALL I’VE EVER WANTED. And she’s right. I can be tired and frustrated all I want, but that doesn’t I can’t be overwhelmingly thankful for what I have.
That’s not to say that I’m not grateful for stuff that I’ve not experienced. I’m so incredibly thankful that my children are healthy, because I’ve witnessed parents who have children that aren’t that lucky and it is heartbreaking. I am so thankful that my children are healthy.
I am grateful I am not a statistic. I’m currently reading a book called “The Serial Killer Whisperer” and it is a gruesome true story of a young man who, after a traumatic brain injury, began writing serial killers. In the letters he received back, many killers spoke about how there were people, women in particular, that they never “got”. One story in particular that struck me was about how a woman was saved an unspeakable death simply because another patron walking into the shop. This man, this serial killer, was less than a minute away from raping and scalping her in the back room of this small auto repair center. How many close encounters like this have there been, say, in my life? In your life? You don’t know. These men, with their charm and disarming smiles, offering to walk you to your car or show you where the bathroom is, just down the hall. You’d never suspect that perhaps that happy man on the train may be watching your every move, or that your coworker is hiding a deadly secret. Walking out to your car alone at night or running the trash to the end of the driveway could be the last time anyone hears from you. I’m GRATEFUL I’m not that woman. I’m THANKFUL that I’m safe right now. Hell, I’m thankful for this book for opening my eyes to the real and dangerous world we live in that has made me more aware of my surroundings!
And I’m thankful for you guys. In the vast blogging world, across states and countries, you found me and I found you and you guys make me feel like I really am normal. And I don’t mean that in a bad way! You guys have dealt with divorce and anxiety and depression and all those crazy things that make our lives “normal”. So thankful for each and every one of you.