About a month ago, I got pulled over, in our older (often fondly called “the battlewagon”) car– expired tabs. I was so annoyed, because I rarely drive that car, since my lovely husband insists I drive the nicer of the two cars, but the one day I did, State Patrol of course rolls up and puts on those gut-punch-invoking flashing lights. Just my luck, right? (p.s. the tabs were an honest mistake…but I’ll spare you the song and dance.)
Fast forward to last Friday. I was leaving work early that day, planning a sassy new cut & color and then an early arrival to surprise the kids and to prepare for my husband’s return from a week-long business trip. You know the drill– shower, pedicure, make the house really pretty. Bake brownies for that inviting “welcome home” smell. Oh, I am indeed a pretty dang good wife, too. Well, what to my wondering eyes does appear, but a FLAT FREAKING TIRE. On the new car, this time. Grrr, why me?!? Right?! Long story short, some guys at work gave me a hand, I hobbled on a spare to my appointment (that’s a whole other long story, but we will leave that one alone for now.) I still got a bit of extra time with the kids, my husband still came home to a freshly-sassified and polished up me, leftover homemade pizza, and the inviting scent of warm brownies. All good.
Now, it was a very busy weekend, and yesterday was a day off school, so my husband stayed home and I drove in with the older car, again. The newish car is still grounded at home, needing a new tire. No problem. We thought we might get it in today, but there was too much going on for each of us, work-wise. So, he took the motorcycle, and I again, took the older car. No big. I even planned a quick trip up to the DMV to get those pesky tabs taken care of.
A “check engine” kind of light.
You can probably guess my response. Yep, I cried a little and cursed fate. I dramatically wondered why life has to get so overwhelming.
But, just as quickly, I was filled with a warm sense of gratitude. My mind started reeling with all the beauty and love and laughter in my life. And I thought, “this is really not a big deal.”
I have changed immensely in this sense. I used to be the ultimate cynic, the pessimist to put all other pessimists to shame. Slowly, and I believe as a result of one of the hardest times in my life, the switch flipped. I feel lucky most of the time, despite never winning the lottery, despite often feeling extremely stretched for time and energy, despite not having the perfect, fancy house or private-school tuition, despite my (sorely) limited fashion and travel budget, despite having been through three or four life-altering and extraordinarily difficult crises, I feel so very fortunate, almost all the time.
I like it much better this way.
So, just today– what exactly am I grateful for?
love. so much love. my healthy, capable, unique and self-assured children (I’m counting all 4 in this equation). my pup. grilled cheese sammies. chai tea. an amazingly comfy bed. the 100 push-ups program. photoshop. my new desk. how my kitten likes to wedge her head under my chin. youtube. my sense of humor. kissing.