Gratitude – Part 1

I votedNow that the U.S. mid-term election is over, it occurred to me that I am just exhausted. No, I mean really exhausted, in fact I think I have a super bad case of voter fatigue–that crappy feeling you felt every time you wanted to enjoy an episode of…oh, say for instance…The Walking Dead and instead of the normal (albeit) annoying commercials, you were bombarded with minute after agonizing minute of vicious lies, half-truths and political chicanery about the candidates. You groaned, swore expletives, begged for mercy and your eyes finally glazed over after the first 50 times you saw the same ad that evening. You started getting headaches or drank to numb the pain of listening to all forms of evilness or, as in my case, became exceeding nasty and judgmental. No excuses mind you, but yeah, I was influenced by the media and the relentless hammering of candidates and I’m not proud of it.

What was once a keen eye for noticing the details of life, now had evolved into plain old bitchiness about everything and nothing escaped my jaundiced eye. I was watching everything from a same negative predisposition as the election and the resulting abyss wrapped its ugly tentacles around my heart. It pulled me in a downward negative spiral—a condition that is never optimal at anytime.

Over the weekend I realized that the bitch within saturated 95% of my waking hours and I realized that I had to get rid of ‘that’ person. She was waay too toxic. The amount of energy it took to have her occupy my soul had taken its toll and she. definitely. had. to. go!!! It takes so much energy to negate all those negative feelings/observations to even get back to any kind of homeostasis, let alone be awash with positive thoughts and feelings. No wonder my energy level was nil. I’d been terse and abrupt with those who mattered the most. I’ve been battling some serious demons here people and it’s just wasn’t working and I didn’t like the person who I’d become. 😒

I came to this crossroad of awareness when I went to the Apple store at the mall for a class. The mall had been transformed into a full-blown Christmas at the North Pole set done in the theme of the move Frozen even BEFORE Halloween. Gah!…does anyone have a way to remove that dreadfully overplayed song from your brain? Are you kidding me, I kept lamenting. Isn’t it only the first part of November? You’d have thought it was the night before Christmas by the look of things. People were already stressed and wigged out, fighting over the precious few parking slots there were, fuming at the lack of helpful staff and suffering from the unrealistic pressure we put on ourselves for finding that perfect gift for everyone on our list. Add overtired, sugared up children still buzzing from Halloween candy waiting in line to have that perfect photo-op with Santa (or Sven as the case may be), and you’ve got a toxic recipe that is more dangerous and contagious than Ebola. l sure as hell don’t need to experience any more of those negative feelings after enduring this past election.

With that confession out in the open and apologies to everyone, I’ve decided to devote the rest of the month focusing on…gratitude. As Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, I thought this is the perfect opportunity to focus on things that actually underscore happiness rather than highlight the ills of the world. It’ll make me a far more pleasant person to be around rather than that fussy, cranky and downright nasty person I keep seeing in the mirror.

So here are a few things for which I am grateful for or which make me smile to my core and make me actually want to experience the positive more. I intend to add to this list all month-long but for starters:

  • Sam…naturally. Who wouldn’t be grateful sharing life’s daily adventures with the goofiest/sweetest hound ever? I can always count on this pawsome dude to make me smile and realize just how great life really is.  I am so grateful for his companionship and happy demeanor and want to truly experience life through his optimistic eyes. He’s definitely a keeper and I so want to be the person he thinks I am (gulp).
  • My family. Don’t get me wrong, we have our fair share of ‘quirky’ characters, but I absolutely a-d-o-r-e each and every one of them, idiosyncrasies aside. 😃 We are an amazingly devoted clan and I’d be hard pressed to find better examples of humanity outside my genetic wading pool. THEY ARE THE BEST!
  • My health. Last year I suffered a bad accident that could have been worse. I’m so grateful that my daughter was still in Colorado then to taxi me to all the doctor and diagnostic appointments. While I’m not quite 100%, I’m so much better than I was a year ago and as I continue on the path to recovery, I realize even more how lucky I was that my injuries weren’t worse. Invariably you take your health for granted especially when it’s always been good in the past. That accident made me realize that I need to focus on recovering my vitality, strength and health through diligent work, physically, mentally and emotionally. Just like citizenship, good health isn’t a birthright—you have to work at it to keep it strong and fundamental.
  • This blog.  What a fabulous journey these past 7 months have been! It’s given me an avenue to share my thoughts and to recount the many ways my life has been positively touched by pet therapy. To all the teammates, their dogs, the patients, staff and hospital visitors, as well as you, dear readers, my deepest and profound thanks. It’s impossible to convey my gratitude in mere words for your kindness and the life lessons you’ve shared but please know I am eternally grateful. Your comments make my heart sing and this community has completely touched me.

My goal is to improve my attitude and see life through a positive thread rather than through a snarky observation. I hope you’ll continue to visit my ‘little acre of the Internet’ and share your thoughts about what makes you smile and what you feel grateful for in this life.

With peace and love of the season, I look forward to hearing from you soon. <3