Oprah Gratitude Journaling


I’m feeling rather scatterbrained and ADD this evening.  Sprinkle in some writer’s block and you got yourself one hopeless blogger.  However, I wanted to once again begin anew and attempt an entry a day for the month.  Gotta get those writing juices flowing somehow.  So here’s December 1st.  Wish I could say I was off to a good start!

Why is my brain scattered you ask?  Ok, so you didn’t, but I’ll tell you anyway.  Pull up a seat.  This will only hurt for a second.  (And it will hurt me more than it hurts you.)  Give me a minute while I attempt to reign in some of my flurry of brain farts…

  1. Christmas is a mere 24 days away and yet I am still recovering from my Thanksgiving induced food coma.  For shit’s sake, I’m still digesting my (delicious) fried turkey and yet I cannot avoid the constant, blaring reminders that I better:  trim the tree (gotta get one first), deck the halls, get a card-worthy photo of the kids, send the cards, visit Santa, and buybuybuybuy.  Oh and if you know where I can get my hands on those damn Zhu Zhu pets, drop me a line.
  2. Moving.  Yeah, the sob story continues.  We are desperately trying to find a decent house to rent within our kids’ current school district.  Apparently I’d have an easier time trying to find Bin Laden.  I guess that’s what I get for moving to Rural East Jabib.  We’ve got until January 31st.  tick…tick…tick
  3. Our Diner.  It’s still chillin’ down there in Charlotte, waiting for a cash infusion.  Making my husband nuts.  Giving us both major agida.  It’s set to open sometime this winter–God, Yahweh, Allah, whoever, willing, it still will open.  This Diner is an ongoing source of stress for us.  This topic alone could fill an infinite number of blogs.  It is certainly filling up an infinite number of my brain cells, as evidenced by the number of gray hairs sprouting from the area immediately above.
  4. My kids.  Status quo.  I have an eleven year old whose behavior is strikingly similar to that of a two-year-old.  My memories of myself at this age (ohmygod I am SO sorry Mom!) and her good grades are the only things keeping me from abandoning her at the Amish farm up the road.  I also have a six-year-old whose awesome hilarious personality is the only thing serving her as a means of personal self-defense.  Sort of like how a puppy’s cuteness is the only thing keeping her alive after she has peed all over your white carpet.
  5. Have I mentioned my job yet?  I am finally, gainfully employed!  I never would have imagined that teaching a roomful of snotty-nosed preschoolers would make me so happy, but hell yes it does!  Sense of purpose, feeling like I make a difference, getting out of my house for a good reason other than shopping, bringing home a paycheck…all that and more are making me feel pretty darn good these days!  Number 5 here is basically the one thing that’s keeping me from going nutty from Numbers 1-4!

So, there you have it.  Those are the biggest brain toots anyhow.  Of course there are vast numbers of other, silent-but-deadly ones jostling for space in there, but I won’t bore you with those.  Suffice it to say that the majority of them revolve around my ever-shrinking wallet (See item #5 above–I am a preschool teacher.  Read:  not paid shit.) 

However, I must also add that lately, no matter how much Items 1-5 are weighing upon me, I can end each day with a smile.  No matter how crazy the day was, no matter how stressed I may be about tomorrow, I can still go to bed feeling far more blessed than cursed.  No matter what, I know I can always count on the one and only thing that matters to me:  hearing “I love you” from every person in this house.  I don’t care if it makes me sound like a peddler of cliche…as long as I have that to look forward to every night, I know life is good.

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The clouds parted for me today, both literally and figuratively.  I woke up still feeling funky and the weather mirrored my mood.  I hadn’t slept well and so, as soon as I put the kids on the bus, I climbed back in bed.  The gentle patter of raindrops and the dark skies made it easy to fall back to sleep, as did the warm body of my husband next to me.  I suppose somewhere in the hour between leaving the bus stop and waking up a second time this morning, the dreariness of the weather transformed itself into nothing more than some passing clouds that gave me a good excuse to snuggle up under the quilt.  I awoke (again) feeling as though the rain had washed out my stubborn foul mood somehow.  It rinsed off that slate…clean now, I could start my day anew.

Sorry Kitty, no bitchfest from me today after all. 

The day was nothing short of a surreal delight.  Matt and I shared a nice morning of laughter and relaxation (and nice change of pace from the usual fatigue-fueled bickering we usally share).  He left for work as I left for the girls’ school…today was the big Teacher Conference Day. (dum dah dum dum dummmm!)   And once again, this school’s faculty blow me away with their kindness, warmth and downright inhuman sincerity!  Oddly, it makes me feel even more the outsider, simply because this is not the sort of atmosphere I’m used to.  I’m sure much of it is precisely because I am an outsider–people tend to go out of their way to make me feel welcome here.  This is simultaneously wonderful and scary to someone with my pathetic brand of social anxiety.

Regardless, it was such an amazing feeling to hear my children’s teachers shower them with praise.  Sophia’s teacher said she “can’t say enough about her”  and Emma’s teacher kept saying that I should be very proud.  Well indeed I am!  I don’t often brag about my kids, but this is my blog dammit and I will PUT IT IN ALL CAPS IF I WANT!  MY KIDS ARE AWESOME!  The fact that in just 3 short months, these girls have managed to make themselves feel so at home in a strange new school, amazes me.  From that first, nerve-filled day of unknowns, to today, when Emma directed me to her classroom with pride and confidence, well, words can’t express how cool that is!  Both my girls are happy here, and to hear their teachers reiterate that fact, along with the glowing report on each girls’ abilities and accomplishments, well, let’s just say, I couldn’t be more proud. 

My heart was soaring after that, and I think the same could be said for Emma and Sophia when I told them what I’d heard.  Oh, and their official report cards?  Straight A’s.  (Well, for kindergardeners, it’s ‘S’s) This called for a celebratory trip to the Dollar Store!  (Another thing that makes me happy–the girls are still young enough to think the Dollar Store is on par with a trip to the Nordstrom shoe department.)   How could I be anything less than elated when a ceramic hippo and a crappy magic kit are enough to appease my kids?  Throw in the fact that they managed to be incredibly well behaved for the duration (including the 30 minutes of conference time too) and you’ve got yourself one blissed out mommy. 

Wow.  Yesterday I was biting my tongue while retreating from a 5 year old’s screams of “I HATE YOU”!  It’s amazing what 24 hours (and a kit of plastic magic tricks) can do.  It will behoove me to keep this fact in mind as I get ready to embark on another day into the unknown.

As for today, I am good.  My kids rock.  My husband is my rock.  And once again, I am feeling good.

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It went right on the fridge. (Those are "O's", not zeroes btw. As in "Outstanding". 🙂