There are lots of things that suck in life. We have all kinds of problems that we have to deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes we just don’t have enough money to stretch to cover those bills in a month. Sometimes we have just enough for the bills, but groceries?? No way.
We had a rough year when I was on maternity leave. Living on one and a half incomes is tough. After I went back to work, we decided it was time for Joe to go back to school to make something of himself. We had barely caught our breath financially, and all of a sudden he was a full time student and we were back to one and a half incomes again.
Times were tough. We did the things that many people do to get by, roll change to buy food, thaw out and eat chicken skewers and pigs in blankets found in the bottom of the deep freeze. As long as our kid was fed, clothed, warm, and happy, we didn’t care too much. Though it was pretty stressful at times.
We still have those months where things get tight. A dollar just doesn’t go as far as a dollar used to.
It’s so easy in life to feel sorry for ourselves. I mean, of course, we’re the worst off out of everyone we know…right? Well, maybe not. Being sorry for yourself doesn’t take any effort. It’s an easy pattern to slip into and a hard one to get out of if things continuously keep screwing up.
It’s easy for me as I sit there, miserable at the kitchen table, looking across at my equally miserable husband, as we both eye the last pig in a blanket, being courteous to each other by saying “no, you take it!” meanwhile ready to fight to the death over it- to feel sorry for myself. And I do. But then I try to take stock of my life and count my blessings.
I look down on the kitchen floor, and in his exersaucer at the time, was my little guy, smiling up at me with a tooth or two in his mouth. Healthy and thriving. I look across at my miserable meat and potatoes husband, and thank my lucky stars that if I have to be in this with anybody, it’s him.
Even as things even out a bit, as I said, there are still months when things get tight. An unexpected car or house repair has to be made. A ton of Birthday parties to go to in one month, and something to take to each one. Having to go here or there or everywhere, with gas prices going through the roof. It takes a bit of juggling sometimes to be able to handle everything and still be able to have an extra or two here or there. To be able to go out to dinner together or see a movie. To buy a paperback (or six) that I’ve been wanting. Sometimes it’s very frustrating. We lie in bed and talk about things and what needs to be paid.
It’s times like this where it is very important to be aware of your blessings and be thankful for each one. I think of the little boy sleeping in the room across the hall. He is happy, and healthy. I look at the man there in the bed being frustrated with me. He’s my best friend. He also works hard and does everything he can to support his family. He’s healthy and is able to work. I have a healthy and supportive family. My parents are well, and are so supportive of us and so willing to help however they can.
We all have our things in life to deal with. I remember when I was little and sitting in church, the priest was saying his homily. I have heard a very large number of homilies in my lifetime, and though I’m sure there was a message in each one, this one has stayed with me throughout my life since. It was basically a story about how we all have to carry crosses in life. One man went to God and begged him to be relieved of his cross. God agreed, saying that he could throw his cross into a pile with all the other crosses in the world and pick out another one to carry. After throwing his cross onto the pile, he started trying to look for one that he would rather carry. To make a long story short, after examining all the other crosses that others were carrying, he decided to pick up his own cross and carry it again.
Moral of the story: no matter how bad you think you’ve got it, there’s always someone that has got it worse. Is your kid driving you crazy because he is running around the house when all you want to do is relax for a minute after work? At least he has the energy and is able to run. Is your spouse driving you crazy because….well, there are tons of reasons why they could be driving you crazy. Ask the person who just lost their spouse to an accident or illness what they would give to have that person there to drive them crazy again. Is your boss a pain in the butt? Think about the unemployment rate. Worried about living on one and a half incomes? What about just one? Or just half?
So I guess that’s it. Find your blessings. They are there. Count them and cherish them. Even when it seems like there are none, there are some. Sometimes they are in disguise, but they are there. Don’t take them for granted.