With Thanksgiving coming quickly upon us I began to do some self-reflection, and too often I find myself over-stressed, over-worked, and over-tired. I realized the other day that most of the time it’s all about perspective. I forget to be grateful for the things in my life that may seem difficult, but are truly a reflection of blessings I may have lost sight of.
Things I need to look at once again:
1. Lack of time
Every day is a race. A race to get the boys up and out the door in time. A race to get to work. A race to pick up the kids and have dinner… Every. single. day. It’s exhausting. Teaching is a full time job and then some. Anyone who thinks teachers go to work at 9 and leave at 4 is hugely misguided. 7:40 – 6:30 most days – then add on grading, after hours emails and phone calls, Saturday UIL and tutorials… it feels like it never ends.
- I have a job! One that I love, that treats me like family. For this, I am grateful.
- I get to see my boys everyday. Too many people have circumstances in their lives where this is not the case. For this, I am grateful.
2. My house is always a wreck.
By the time I get home I’m exhausted. I try to clean in the mornings, but by the time I’m dressed, ready, and running out the door the boys have done their own decorating work – Uno cards, cars, Mickey figures and balls all are artfully strewn across the floor.
- I HAVE A HOUSE! Not everyone can say this. It may be a wreck, but it’s mine. For this, I am grateful.
- My kids have fun. They really do. Our home is their haven, and they clearly find comfort in this. For this, I am grateful.
3. My boys are always bouncing off the wall.
It always happens. We are at a restaurant, or out with friends and family and my boys sit still for a total of maybe 5.3 seconds. Then come the shrieks, the attempts at taking each others toys, or the Houdini – like escape attempts from the confinement of whatever chair they are currently occupying. It’s not like we don’t discipline them – we do, and we practice sitting down to eat dinner together every night, but, they are strong willed and rambunctious.
- My boys are healthy, active and enjoying life. Their shrieks more often than not, are of happiness, and pure joy. For this, I am grateful.
- The craziness when out and about not only results in frustrations, but also in copious amounts of laughter and priceless memories. For this, I am grateful.
4. I can never seem to get anywhere on time.
Even if I get the kids up exceptionally early, have their outfits planned, and make zero effort where my appearance is concerned someone inevitably finds play dough in a random crevice of the couch and smears it all over themselves, or as soon as everyone is buckled one has pooped or the other needs to go potty.
- I have gas to go places! I have friends to share experiences with! For this, I am grateful.
- Again, my kids have fun, and at least one of them is pretty decently potty trained – I’d rather be late than have to deal with a soggy, smelly car seat. For this, I am grateful.
5. I am not what I used to be.
I look in the mirror and I often don’t recognize the woman looking back at me. I used to model and act, in what feels like another life. Now, permanent purple bags lie beneath my eyes, my midsection is softer than it used to be, despite the work I put into it, and just going into a fitting room can reduce me to tears.
- The body I struggle to love has given me my two greatest gifts – my Dean and Dante. It may not look the way it used to, but its capabilities to create life astound me. For this, I am so incredibly grateful.
- The sleepless nights mean that I have my sons with me. Through tears, cuddles, or cries they are there. For this, I am eternally grateful.
Whether we are parents or not, I think sometimes we all have to take a step back and change our perspective. There are so many things to be grateful for in this world. We just have to sit back and take another look. It’s like my mom always says, “Make today a great day. Or not… in the end, that is all up to you.”