Monday, November 9, 2015

Simply Grateful

The Headlines:

Life is never simple.  

But maybe it is... simple to be grateful.

In the blogging world lately, due to the time of year there's been a lot of talk about "teaching kids to be grateful & thankful."  Of course it's something every parent strives to do.  Yet for children, I think that's a hard, perhaps impossible, "lesson" to learn.  They're kids.  They may just learn "How To Be Grateful" when you're not paying attention.

On Sunday, November 8th, our house flooded.  The washing machine in our laundry room malfunctioned in a very big way.  We were on a walk.  When we came home there was water, 2 inches deep in our laundry room, down our long hallway, down another hallway, into our office, dining room and it started to trickle towards the front door.

It was a complete and total mess.  The water covered our fairly new, gorgeous wood floors we put in our house not too long ago.  But after stopping the water that was flowing from the washing machine, we didn't cry or moan or even pause.  We went to work.  With the help of my husband and 2 little children we got all the water out.  Well, most of it.  Our family came together, we didn't crumble, we conquered.  We floated to the top of our flooded house.

Today we're drying out.  It's going to cost a boat load of money, it's hot and super noisy but we'll be okay.

We have water restoration people here, appliance people here, friends here. It's fixable.  And we're thankful.  Everyone's okay, life will get better and we'll go on through the mess.

It made me stop and think about a topic I was already pondering: Being Grateful.  Perhaps when you get too comfortable, life throws you a curve ball.  A reminder to stop, evaluate, focus, balance, work, love and then re-evaulate.  Lately, I've been a little off kilter.  Nothing major, just off.  Not sure why.  Feeling overwhelmed for probably silly reasons really.  So maybe this is the universes way (or God's way - whichever you believe) to get me back in line.  Reminding me not to sweat the small stuff.  Instead, to appreciate and do the best with everyday you're given.

Think about it.  There really are constant reminders of this in our daily lives.  But are you seeing them?

I have a friend.  She's an amazing talent and spirit and caretaker of people.  Her story is long and convoluted and complicated.  But a few years ago life was really good.  She opened a dream business, bought a new house, had a strong, lovely family and was on top of the world!  But no sooner than she opened that business, did challenges settle in.  She was hit with a whopping (and ludicrous) lawsuit and has been in court fighting it ever since.  On top of that, a partner stole an exorbitant amount of money from her, her lawyers over billed her (for work they DID NOT do) and she was in danger of losing everything.  She almost caved entirely.  But she didn't.  She made a pointed decision to carry on,  let go and be grateful for what she does have: herself, her family and her life's work are all still there.  They will survive.  Even if something else doesn't.

Today she's at peace and is thankful strength still lives in her.  Turns out we all have that inside of us.  We just don't always know it.  Until we're reminded.  By something little... or something really big.

Last week, a California woman and fellow mommy blogger by the name of Melissa Matters died after she suffered a severe stroke.  She was put on life support and several days later, taken off by her family.  Matters was young and vibrant, a wife and mother and now she's gone.  Just gone.  Taken way too early.  I'm sure her friends and family are left in shock and horror over their sudden loss.  In fact, they started a "Go Fund Me" donation page in her honor, you can find it HERE.  Her blog is called "Wading Through Motherhood," you can click it:  I didn't know her personally, other than maybe a Facebook comment exchange or two, but it doesn't matter because she IS me.  She is like all of us.  Every other mother out there trying to make each day count for themselves and for their children.  That's a job she can no longer do.

But we can.  All the career and stay at home, overworked, busy, confused, money strapped, exhausted, scheduled, chaotic Moms who are still here can continue to do that job with pride and resilience.

Feeling grateful now?

The lessons are always there if you choose to see them.  They don't need to slap you up side the head like the ones above.  You don't need a lawsuit levied against you or a flood to rise.  It's easy to just... be... grateful.  Your children will see that and learn that.   It will not only make them grateful little kids but it probably will turn them into really really really GREAT people!

Our family had a flood.  So we came together, we dried out and we floated to the top.  Turns out being grateful is pretty simple after all.

Watch my Periscope on the matter.  *Warning: Some of it may be hard to hear due to the LOUD FANS drying out my house!

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