Here are things I am grateful for:
- the willingness of my husband to always strive toward excellence and his support as I aim for the same. Also, he’s sexy.
- the general good health of my children, even with Nick’s diabetes taken into consideration.
- the cohesiveness of our admittedly imperfect family unit.
- the sweetness of our (old!) dog and usefulness of our cats.
- living at the beach in a house full of warmth and light.
- food on the table.
- my body working.
- my brain working (despite occasional trip-ups indicating the end might be nearer than expected!).
- man, I have great friends.
- also, lots of books.
- the big ol’ocean waiting outside my door and all the solitude/renewal it offers.
- an amazing job helping to protect that ocean.
- fun times on the radio and with the writerly folks.
- that most of my biggest problems are self-inflicted and therefore, solvable.
Because sometimes I struggle to click my mind into place. I am easily tipped into worry when things go awry. Or rather, my bent towards perfectionism means I can never rest assured I’ve done enough, am enough. Intellectually, I know better. And I don’t panic! But certain challenges (hello, parenting! etc.) and mistakes (oops, totally forgot to account for that auto-debited student loan payment when figuring out the month’s budget) trigger, or rather reinforce, my sense of self as a complete and total loser.
OK, that’s an exaggeration. On a good day, I can enumerate my successes along with my failures. I know I’m a good mom and person and all that. But somedays, a certain weariness leaves me distraught that I can’t be better. I don’t pick up hitchhikers, which I am pretty sure makes me a bad person. I still can’t sew. If society collapsed, I have few skills that would enable us to survive in a lawless, wild land. My oldest daughter struggles to find her place – clearly, I must have screwed up along the way. I see the ways in which I should change, all of which revolve around being less impulsive, less prone to saying YES all the time, less treating life as if it’s one giant party to embrace, less pursuit of happiness to counterbalance my despair at how screwed up the world is. I need to be less optimistic that things will work out. Pessimists must be better at saving money. I should be more worthy of this life I’m so privileged to lead.