Tag Archives: perspective

Attitude Adjustments………..

I am working hard to make gratitude more present in my life. This week is a fabulous reminder to be thankful. Plus, it is my favorite holiday! I just love everything about it! Every. single. thing.

Recently, I have discovered Joyce Meyer. She is a minister who focuses on how we approach our daily challenges. She basically tells her audience to get over themselves. Yep, I love her!

Yesterday, I was listening to one of her sermons on attitudes. It was called  Attitude Adjustments. See, she’s sassy. We all know that we are responsible for how we respond to something/someone. But it was a loverly reminder to just get over myself. She said that our problems are rarely our actual problem. It is usually our approach to our problems that gives us such grief.

When I am upset with someone, I am simply wasting my time. Mainly because the people who upset us don’t generally dwell on us. They move on much more quickly from the hurt they inflict than the person who feels undermined by them. But also because time spent being upset can be better spent as time being happy.

If a person or situation continues to upset me, then I just need to spend less time with that person or in that situation. Rocket science, my friends.

If I cannot look right in front of me and see all the blessings that I have, then shame on me. Actually, shame on me twice.

So, in this week of Thanksgiving, I am going to take a minute and celebrate the gifts in my life – and then I am going to focus on those.

  1. Of course my family (and dear friends) top the list.
  2. Being able to breathe is a close second.
  3. My husband/children are safe and healthy and willing to work for what they want.
  4. Being a stay at home mom.
  5. My stupid diabetic cat that is the sweetest furball on the planet
  6. I rediscovered jello – did you know that grape jello tastes like dimetap medicine. Yum!
  7. I am writing again.
  8. You are reading what I write (you didn’t think I would leave you out, did you? Come now.)
  9. Our military, its leaders, and our veterans
  10. Teachers
  11. Doctors
  12. Rainy/Snowy days where everything gets canceled.
  13. Ladybugs
  14. Sweatpants
  15. Being able to hit the delete button and most of the time remembering to do that before I hit the send button.
  16. A good pencil that makes my handwriting look better
  17. Cheese, potatoes, tacos, salad – ok, let’s just say all things food
  18. I would be remiss if I did not mention Diet Dr. Pepper that has been graced upon this earth by the beverage gods
  19. My children aren’t that interested in finger paint and playdoh anymore – of course, if they wanted to delve in, I would totally let them – I am just sayin’ I don’t exactly miss peeling playdoh out of every crevice known to motherkind
  20. Books and stories
  21. Pretty paper and fun stationery
  22. A front door and a roof
  23. I pretty much have more than I need of everything
  24. I can be content with what is “sufficient” and not expect “over the top”
  25. And thumbs, I am very grateful for thumbs. 😉

Oprah used to encourage her viewers to keep a gratitude journal. At first I thought that her suggestion was kind of hokey – but I get it now. If you are focused on the good, the bad has a hard time creeping in. It took me about 3 minutes to come up with a list of 25 sincere things that make my life better.

I am so fortunate that this list barely scratches the surface but you probably want get busy on your on list so ta ta for now (yes, I am also thankful for Tigger and Pooh) – and Happy Turkey Day. Gobble Gobble!

And, what makes you grateful? Do tell…..

The used-to-be me……

This whole blog started off as a way of journaling our move to India so we would capture – and never forget – the details of our adventure. I wanted to remember the monuments and the memories but had no real way of knowing that, while those were fun, they were insignificant in what we should remember from our experience. The memories came from traveling – but the lessons came from everyday life. The routine that never actually became routine.

We have been home for over a year now and I still have not written about everything. And I have (finally) accepted that I will never write about everything. You just cannot remember it all – and even if you could remember every detail – there is simply no way to explain it all. Partly because India hits everyone a little differently and partly because there are just not enough words.

Unfortunately, I drop little pieces of our India experiences like sand falling off my shoe.  Some of them are hard reminders and I eagerly (and unfortunately) toss them out like I would a rock cradled under my toe. Others just drift away all on their own. And this blog was supposed to be like a big broom and sweep up everything. It turns out there is not a blog or broom big enough for that task.

One by one, you barely miss a piece of sand – but together they can form a beach. It is not good to lose a beach of experience. It’s really not.

Alas.

But what is making me really frustrated and sad is that I changed in India and I am losing some of that. India taught me to be more patient and to have a bigger world perspective. To remember the reality of it all. And, damnit, I am letting myself get caught up in some of the nonsense again. My perspective is shrinking and re-framing.

In many ways, India brings non-Indians to their knees. It’s hard to live in an “all-about-me” bubble when you are constantly bombarded with people suffering and struggling and still surviving – and surviving happily. The people who have the most to legitimately complain about actually complain about nothing. I am not sure if they don’t complain because they don’t think it will do any good or if they just find it unnecessary. But complain they do not.

Please know that this is not an “India is so dirty, the people are so poor” story. If you are a big lover of India, please do not take this as insulting. But the reality is that there are people in India who survive on very little and it is hard to be selfish and self-absorbed when you are reminded of that every single time you step outside. Not everyone owns an ipod – or an outlet to plug it into.

Even when you are inside. It is inescapable.

When you have to give your cook and his wife water when they go home at night because they don’t have access to water, you suddenly remember to turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth. You realize that what you absolutely take for granted as ever-flowing and abundant and even safe is non-existent for someone else – really, most everyone else. It puts you in your place a little bit.

And you have a lot less energy to worry about what other people are doing and what other people aren’t doing. You are busy getting through a day that is just exhausting to get through. And you are often even more busy getting your children through a day in a world that doesn’t make a lot of sense to them. You try to let them experience the reality of it, while protecting them from the reality of it.

I remember one day in India that we got in the car to go to school. The kids were fighting about who was going to sit where. My head almost spun off my neck. My tirade went something like this………..

Holy Hell. You are really going to sit in an air conditioned car with a full belly which is covered by clean clothes and with a head that slept on a pillow on a bed in a room that you do not have to share and drive by all of “this” and complain about anything. Seriously. What are we doing here? Have you really not learned anything? You ate breakfast made by someone else, put the leftovers on a side plate for Ravi to eat at lunch (he would literally eat the crusts they left on their plates), and left your dishes in a sink for someone else to wash. In fact, I should have stopped with “you ate breakfast“. Turn to the left, look out the window and turn to the right, look out that window and shut the hell up.

It was not one of my stellar mommy moments. But that morning had an impact on all of us. The kids didn’t complain (that morning or the next and maybe not even the next). And I wondered how we could walk and live and breathe in India and not lose more of our selfishness.

How could we drive by children without clothes or a roof over their heads or even morsels of food on a plate – dear God, who am I kidding? A plate. No, you are right, they didn’t own need plates – and complain about which comfy cozy seat our bigger than necessary arses were going to snuggle into so that the air conditioning could hit our faces just right.

For Pete’s sake, our driver rode his motor scooter in traffic and dust for an hour to come and clean our car and wait for us to be ready to go somewhere, anywhere  – at any time. He held the door for us and swept up our messes and ran our errands. And at night he took our leftovers to a home with no air conditioning whenever we declared ourselves done for the day. He just waited for us to decide when we were finished so that he could see his family at some point before they laid on a threadborne mattress all in the same room together and went to sleep. Just to wake up early to do it all again.

And we did learn those lessons and we do embrace letting go of some very unnecessary involvement in things. But sometimes I slip and those slips are coming more often. I am getting caught up in minutiae and it is making me nuts. I have an opinion about too many things.

Anyway, this little rant is almost over. Pinky swear.

The bottom line is that I am going to start praying harder for (and working harder toward) patience and perspective. And, yes, a winning lottery ticket would certainly be nice – but if perspective kicks in properly, I won’t push my luck. 😎