I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do
Life’s been good to me so far
At the beginning of NaBloPoMo, I declared I was not only going to publish every day in November, I vowed to focus on thankfulness and gratitude in each post. As a part of the challenge, I linked up with other bloggers over at Yeah Write to stay inspired and incorporate some accountability.
In addition writing daily, I’ve been visiting the other blogs, too. Early on, some of the other bloggers wrote about how hard it was to write every day. Some cited a lack of time, others a lack of inspiration. While I could relate to the former (see yesterday’s post as an example), I didn’t have as much trouble with the latter. My thankfulness theme gave me a starting point each day. Of course, still others wrote about the pressure of maintaining quality when posting every day. I realized have lower standards than these writers.
Despite my willingness to publish less than perfect stories, I was feeling pretty good about what I was posting. My idea of writing about thankfulness was not unique, but I still felt a sense of pride.
My confidence began to waver around Thanksgiving. While perusing the other blogs, I came across several that rejected what they perceived as lip service to thankfulness. I read more than one post that indicated the writer was tired of seeing thankfulness in blogs, Tweets and Facebook updates. Readers were quick to agree in the comment sections of these rants. The main complaints were that people writing about thankfulness are either being shallow (“I’m #thankful I had a bowel movement today!”) or behaving as if Thanksgiving is the only time of year that they think about gratitude.
While none of the authors were directing their remarks specifically at me, I began to wonder if I was being a poseur.
Thank you, Joe Walsh, for reminding me why I decided to write about thankfulness.
“Life’s Been Good” came on the radio this morning while I was driving to the store. If you don’t think this is a great tune, you should probably just stop reading right now (assuming you made it this far).
I’m obviously not a rock star, but I can see myself reflected in Walsh’s satiric lyrics: I can’t complain but sometimes I still do. Yup, that sounds familiar. That’s why I made myself write about thankfulness: to get past my problems and remember my blessings.
It wasn’t easy. I could easily have cranked out several blog posts about my worries: Philip catching another cold and refusing medicine; me still not over the cold I caught the last time he was sick; no change in Philip’s lead poisoning level; costly repairs on one of our cars; irritations at work; our continuing struggles with issues related to Philip’s autism; falling off the diet wagon, etc. Or as Walsh sang it: Lucky I’m sane after all I been through.
Should I go on?
Nope. ‘Cause no one wants to hear it. Maybe they don’t want to hear about my thankfulness either, but that’s okay. Writing all of these posts about thankfulness has made me happier. Rather than ending my day curled up in a sobbing ball when Philip won’t sleep or when another bill shows up or another challenge threatens to knock me down, I’ve clung to my daily blog posts, knowing that I would have to think of at least one thing that makes my day better.
I’ll admit it. I don’t think about thankfulness every day. I do take things for granted. I’m selfish and shallow. Guilty as charged.
But I’m trying to get better, especially now that I’m a parent. I want to be a role model for my son. Of course, he sets the example for me by appreciating tiny details I overlook and taking joy in simple objects and activities. I don’t ever want him to lose that, so I’m going to follow his lead. I think that Philip would agree:
Life’s been good to me so far.