Really, honestly this is what I typically think when people say to just be grateful. It has taken a lot of effort for me to come around to the whole practice of gratefulness, but I got there in my own way. Now, let me explain.
Anyone who has known me a long time, knows I would never EVER say this out loud, and I definitely don't wish ill on those for whom this works for. But for a long time, it's sure what I thought when I saw posts or read blogs or heard people talking about just how grateful they were and how their life had improved by being grateful.
Because really, with the pain I had felt in life (we all got it), with the struggles I have faced, with some of the purely no good experiences I had seen happen all around me, it shaped me. And I knew that you could be the nicest most grateful person out there and bad things can still happen. I mean, think about it. Think about mass shootings. There appears to be no rhyme or reason, so why even mess with it?
But you know what has always worked for me? Anger. My go-to motivator has always been anger. Now people who know me are probably shocked. Most people are when I tell them this. But you know what? It makes perfect sense. Anger has always been the best motivator for me to make changes. Anger pushes me to do the hard things. Anger makes me want to make it better. Anger makes me work harder for myself and others. Anger makes me get back up after I fall down. And it's not an anger like rage, but more like pure disappointment or knowing in my core that I can change this.
So what does my anger have to do with gratitude? Well, I guess over the years, I've matured enough to be grateful for this anger in my life. No really! I'm fortunate to be alive, and the experiences I had, both bad and good helped make me who I am, and I wouldn't trade a bit of it, even those tougher spots. And so now I make room for all of it. Messy, unpredictable, beautiful and whatever needs to come into my life to piss me off bad enough that I ACT.
So I guess thank you.
Now go practice your gratitude, however you get there. No matter your lot, you are capable, so be grateful, damn it. :)
And photos for just a few of the many many things I find myself grateful for this year. (And no, my pushy friends, I'm not pregnant. It's just a fabulous old shot that I don't get to use nearly enough, by the very talented Ginny Emery of Wandering Albatross Photography! Go check her out).