I’m reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book Option B, and in it she talks about how recognizing your contributions to the world helps to build confidence and a sense of agency. She urges people to recognize this in addition to things we are grateful for. Yes, gratitude is important for cultivating happiness and joy, but she argues (and claims the research shows) that because gratitude is passive, it only goes so far. Meaning, gratitude practices acknowledge things you receive, while recognizing and celebrating one’s contributions to the world is more active – it’s something I’ve done to make the world a better place.
And so, I thought I’d give it a try. Here are a few contributions of which I am most proud.
- Everyday, I am raising my children to be kind, compassionate people. I try to show them with my words and also lead by example.
- I try to do small kind things for people around me, both friends and strangers.
- I blog. I put my feelings out there into the world, in hopes that maybe someone will read them and feel less alone.
- In my previous life (and I will again in my next life) I devoted my career to creating a safe space where clients could come to vent, heal, and be heard. I served as a crucial witness and container for suffering.
- I keep my household running pretty damn well.
- In spite of it all, I actually manage to take care of myself, too.
As another year comes to a close, I am also extremely thankful for the following:
- My health, my husband’s health, my kids’ health.
- We have enough. Of everything. Food, housing, transportation, money, clothes. In a world that is hell-bent on telling us we need more, more, more – and the flip side of that is that we never have enough – I want to remind myself that we DO, in fact, have enough.
- Choice. I am privileged, and I have choices in my life. Living under a presidential administration that is working to take choices of all kinds away from citizens makes me realize just how precious and important it is.
- Freedom of speech. We still have the right to say what we want and fight injustice in this world, and for that I am thankful and do not plan to take it for granted.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope your day is filled with contentment, joy, and stuffing.
Even though we lost today, it was really great to be able to watch The Big Game from the bay again.
For those who don’t know, I went to Cal for undergrad, and The Big Game is when we play our rival across the bay, Stanfurd. (Football.) Whoever wins gets to have the axe, which is an actual axe that’s been made into a framed trophy of sorts. It has a whole history behind it whose details are fuzzy to me now. At any rate, towards the end of each Big Game, select members of Cal’s Rally Committee (yes those are a thing) gather and face off with members from the ‘Furd to exchange the axe should the noncustodial school win. In my day, I was part of Rally Comm, although I was never one of those select members I mentioned above.
Ah, memories. College was tough, but it was extremely fun. I joked to my parents tonight that watching college football now just makes me feel old and unaccomplished.
Lest I continue rambling…
NaBloPoMo Day 18
We’re going home to California for the week of Thanksgiving and I’m all excited to BE there, but I am not at all excited to GET there.
Here’s how it’s gonna play out. I pack and worry and scream to try and make everyone be on time. Then I’ll worry some more about what we forgot and being on time. Dylan will break down in the security line and go to his dark place where he goes limp on the floor. Audrey will thrash so hard in the Ergo that she’ll ram her head on my sternum and make several bruises. And that’s all before we get on the plane.
On the plane there will be more thrashing and seat kicking and trying to reach buttons and wanting to crawl down the aisle. And the kids will act up too. (See what I did there? I’ll be here all week.)
Once we touch down in the land of milk and honey, we’ll be greeted by loving, rested grandparents ready to whisk our children away for stimulating play and healthy snacks while Brian and I
fall asleep pass out for 5 days. Then we’ll wake up and eat turkey and mashed potatoes and go comatose for another 3.
Too soon it will be time to get on another plane and head back to
Waterworld Oregon, where hopefully our cat hasn’t resentfully pooped on our pillows and vomited in our shoes. All the dirty laundry will steep in a small, smelly mountain in the hallway where I hope it will get so rank it’ll one day grow legs and walk itself into the washing machine.
I’ve decided that I’d actually like to enjoy our trip, so I plan to re-blog some of my favorite old posts while I’m gone, especially since I have some new readers and I’d like to share some pieces of which I’m rather proud.
Stay tuned, dear Psychos.
NaBloPoMo Day 16
I got nothin today, folks. Not a real post, at least. (I often start out a post saying this, and then end up writing a post. This is now a post.)
Sometimes (most of the time) I feel like my husband and I are just scrambling to try and keep this household and our family running somewhat smoothly. We are stretched, our energy is so limited, and if something goes wrong – speaking for myself – I get overwhelmed very, very quickly. Today was one of those days where shit went wrong, but, miraculously, quality good times were also had. No wonder I feel like I have mood swings. My mood swings have mood swings.
- The weather suuuuucked today. Non-stop rain made me want to stay in bed.
- Our furnace broke today, so our house is effing cold. I can’t stand being cold.
- I want to strangle my cat, or at least forcibly remove her vocal chords. She wakes me up, wakes our kids up, and anyone who disturbs my sleep who is not one of my kids is DEAD TO ME.
- Met a friend for breakfast and found THREE friends waiting for me at breakfast. It was a very lovely time out.
- Snotty wet kisses from mah babes.
- The boyman coming home from work in the middle of the day to troubleshoot the furnace issue.
- Laughed til I peed borrowed diet coke about bible references and street names for drugs. (You had to be there.) We got matching shirts, we’re gonna study, and we’ll be back next time to kick ass and take names, PDX Trivia! Should my callsign be Turnip or Scalene?
Tomorrow is a new day, with its own highs and lows.
NaBloPoMo Day 15