Monday, August 31, 2009

The Need for Gratitude

Anyone who has been around me for the last weeks, and especially the last few days, knows I've been having a rough time of things, trying to handle things beyond my control. Yes, the house we're trying to buy is taking a toll on us. With the housing crisis, banks no longer have the programs they used to have, like bridge loans where you can use the equity in the home you are selling as a down payment on a new home. We keep being told that we'd be all done if this were two years ago. But it's not two years ago. Add to that some work issues where people who promised to do certain things didn't do them and left me to clean up the mess, and it's understandable why it's been rough lately. Yes, I'm very lucky to have a job and a partner and a home. But, damn, when it hits the fan, it can really hit the fan.

Look at it this way. I've been such a prick lately that I bought Da Man flowers today to thank him for being there and trying so hard to make things better for me.

At one point today, I thought of writing a blog entry about more of this. I had one in mind titled, "Idiotic Things People Have Said to Me Lately," and there have been some doozies. I thought about an entry on Connecticut drivers, starting with the one who flipped me off today when I drove forward through a green light as he turned left in front of me, cutting me off. Right of way, anyone?

But all of that is so negative. I'm tired of feeling this way. I'm tired of crying about things. I'm tired of feeling torn apart. I'm tired of turning cold whenever anyone tries to talk to me. I'm tired of starting to hate my life and most people in it.

So, a change is in order. And I decided that I wanted to do a bit of the Gratitude Journal thing. You know, this was popular a few years ago. People would write down five things each night that they were grateful for that day. I should probably do it daily, but I don't need to add the pressure to myself. Instead, I'm thinking I should do this regularly to remind myself of what is working and what does make me happy. With that in mind, here are five things that do make things look brighter in no particular order.

1. Classes start tomorrow. Okay, this one is in order since it's the biggest, the most important, and the thing that makes me happiest. I am excited, once again, about what I'm teaching and ready to do it. Whether it makes me a geek or not, the classroom is where I am happiest. I wish I was teaching three class like usual and not doing administration, but I'll embrace what I can get.

2. The new department scanner/photocopier. We have one of those new photocopiers where you can also scan documents and email them to yourself. Oh, I was so excited when I found out that the scanning feature had been activated. I have several articles for class I wanted scanned, and it took mere minutes to get it all done, whereas copying would have taken much longer. Yes, I'm planning to go through my paper files and scan a lot.

3. Finding out I'm not alone in thinking last night's True Blood episode was pretty bad. Okay, this has some negative in it, but it does feel good to find out I'm not alone. Last week's episode was near perfection. And last night's was a total disaster. But I've read several things from people online who agree and talked to a few people today who agree. Good, it's not just me!

4. The finale of Dance Your Ass Off in thirty minutes. Yes, I want Ruben to win, but that's primarily because he's a gay man who is really trying to be there for his ill partner, and I remember what it's like to be in that position. And he's cute, too. But I like each of the three finalists, and if Shayla or Pinky takes it, they will deserve it.

5. Anthony Bourdain's and Andrew Zimmern's TV shows. I could watch these shows for days and am so glad they are in new seasons. I learn a lot and see things I'd never see otherwise. And I can have them on in the background for days and days because I always notice something new. I'm reading one of Bourdain's books now, too, and loving it.

So, here's to the new semester and new year and the good things in them.

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