It's very easy these days to get into a funk...economy tanking, Global Warming, wars, poverty... but here's a lesson for all of us.
I spent this morning watching The Secret (I highly recommend it) and it reminded me of an incident with my older daughter, Joanna, when she was 10. Saying she was unhappy is the grossest understatement in the world. Out of sheer frustration and tired of listening, day after day about how horrible her life was...well, here's the scene....
Me (at the top of the stairs to our flat)
Joanna (at the front door which is at the bottom of the stairs)
Doorbell rings and I answer it...with a big smile because I'm happy my angels are home.
Me: "Hi Princess (very upbeat - can you see the smile, feel the approaching hugs?)
J: "I hate M (car pool lady of the day - 4 of us rotated driving kids to and from school), she's so mean! And Mrs X (one of her teachers...I forget which one) wouldn't let me...(I sort of forget that too)"
Me: (gone the smile, shoulders tensing, eyes rolling back in my head - this diatribe has been going on for days!) "STOP right there! You can't come upstairs until you tell me 10 good things and then I'll listen to the rest!
J: (Shocked into silence!, and looking like a deer caught in the headlights) "but...but...but...there IS nothing good (crying through this last statement of despair).
M: "let me help you....
1. you don't have to drive with M for another 5 days - 7 if you count the weekend
2. you won't have Mrs X for another 4 days
3. most of the week is over
4. Y is not in school this week (nemesis classmate)
5-10 turned each negative into a positive (even if just to say it's gone for now).
For the next couple of months Joanna had to find 10 good things before I would even listen to one rotten one. To this day, she loves telling the story and attributes that one thing I did as a "mom" to be the best one. Apparently, she would start building her list as she started her day...favorite breakfast today, no gym (she was always a scholar, not a jock), sitting in the front seat (days before laws against kids in front - days before air bags, come to think of it) on the way to school... At first this was just to be able to reel them off so she could talk about the REAL stuff. After a while (not too long actually), the list BECAME the real stuff.
I'd forgotten that lately....so lesson one from The Secret for me: make a list of things I'm truly thankful and grateful for. My list is already long and I promise to make it grow every day. Tops for me:
my grandchildren Boaz and Dov
and the fact that I can be close and share in the joy of watching them grow.
food - especially when I can get to play in the kitchen with both of my girls.
No more whining about the weather, the price of gas...whatever! That goes for you too. What are you waiting for....start that list going! I'd love for you to share some of your "good stuff" in the comments.