Holy Crap, Am I Grateful

I’m typing this post from a Starbucks. Because I like to leave while the housecleaner is at my house, cleaning.

For awhile I left because I just felt really awkward having someone clean my house, and escape was my avoidance-of-awkwardness-strategy. Because it really is awkward for me to have someone come and clean my house.

But my GOD do I love it.

I hired the housecleaner about 8 months ago, and I think it has become less awkward for me, because I am paying her a good amount, supporting a woman-owned business, and making my life more convenient by farming out a job I hate (scrubbing tubs and toilets, UGH.)

So in the near-absence of awkwardness, why do I still flee to Starbies when I could just be chillin’ at home?

1) Because I love a two-pump Peppermint Mocha

2) Because I love even more the magical feeling I get when I arrive home and the house looks and smells immaculately clean and it’s almost like a group of benevolent fairies have come and done the work for me. Or, maybe, house elves, but ones that I treat really well and DEFINITELY have given clothes so they know they’re free and they get  paid for their hard work.

It’s really that magic that I’m leaving for.

And as I sit here, sipping a craft coffee beverage and pecking away at my computer, doing a job that I love while my house is getting beautified, it hits me that I am incredibly privileged.

It’s hard to recognize how privileged and lucky we truly are in the day to day muckity-muck.

When the dogs are barking and the bills are due and the kids aren’t following the frickin’ to do list and I will LITERALLY have 90 minutes of driving to bring them to their various activities in the afternoon and DEAR GOD HOW AM I GOING TO GET ALL THE COOKING PREP DONE???

When all of that is flowing through my mind, it’s easy to forget that all my complaints come from a place of amazing privilege. So, on this most grateful of days, allow me to flip my complaints:

  • How lucky am I to have these two adorable animals in my home, who love me unconditionally and are the most kind and companionable of friends every day?
  • Even if organizing and keeping up with our banking and monthly bills is like a part time job, how lucky am I to be able, without worry, to heat my home, feed my family, PLUS have a glut of entertainment options like cable and Internet as well as Hulu and Netflix?
  • How lucky am I to be able to kibbitz about my kids not doing their homework or their chores right away, when so many children have to worry about hunger in their bellies, or where they are going to sleep tonight? My “worries” about my kids are laughable in comparison to the worries of parents who have to be concerned with how to meet their children’s basic needs.
  • And even though the incessant driving is annoying, how lucky am I to be able to offer my kids’ these opportunities? How lucky am I to have not only a reliable vehicle, but one that warms my ass when it’s cold and can seat more people than I typically ever have in it? How lucky am I to have two healthy children who can participate in lacrosse and gymnastics and all their other activities?
  • And even as I whine about Thanksgiving prep, how lucky am I to be able to buy and prepare more food than the 5 people at the table will ever be able to eat in one sitting? My dad, who has battled and overcome brain lymphoma (in remission for 2 and a half years now!) will be at that table, along with my husband and my kids. I’ll be surrounded by love, warmth and good food. How. Lucky. I. Am.

My life is one of extreme privilege…of excess, really, and holy crap, am I grateful for it.

Just for the record, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to whine and complain sometimes. But in these moments, and especially during Thanksgiving week, how can I not just take a moment and recognize the incredible bounty of my life?

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and yours. xoxo

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Gratitude, clarification, and a bit about a dead guy.

So, first things first.

You all should know how much I love you. I try to thank you on a regular basis. I’m doing it again, today, right now. I was so completely bowled over by the comments and outreach–both public and private–that yesterday’s post inspired, and once again I am grateful for all of you wonderful people who buoy me up on a regular basis. You really are my lifeline on this sometimes miserable journey.

Catlike gratitude goes well with catlike badassery.

I do want to take a second to clear up one or two things, though.

First and foremost, I have no intention of quitting. Not even for a second did I consider it.

That’s what I’m talking about.

I may be tired…physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted on this journey. But there isn’t a chance in hell that I’m stopping. I’m. Not. Finished.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to get frustrated. It doesn’t mean I won’t bitch or whine sometimes. It doesn’t mean every workout is going to be my best, and it doesn’t mean I won’t have moments when a caramel apple IS more important than my goals. Yeah, I said it. So what? It doesn’t mean I’ll quit, and in the long run, not letting a caramel apple (or two or three or seven) be the reason I give up is why I’m ultimately going to succeed.

caramel apples

Soon, my delicious friends. Soon.

I have no delusions that I will never have a treat. I have no delusions that I will look like a fitness model before Thanksgiving. And I have no delusions that I am special or different than anyone else–I know that I am only human and will flounder and struggle from time to time. I’ve been anorexic, bulimic, underweight, overweight, on the wagon, off the wagon, and under the wagon.

THIS IS DIFFERENT. It’s a lifestyle change, and my eyes are wide open as to the challenges I’ll face, and the commitments and sacrifices I’ll have to keep making. Over and over and over.

lifestyle change

Haaaaaa!

Sometimes, that sucks. Let’s face it, a lot of the time, that sucks. Yesterday, it sucked BIG TIME, and I had a little tantrum. I kicked and screamed about how unfair it was that I wasn’t losing faster, that I had to work SO hard for SO long and still see such excruciatingly incremental progress.

When I started this blog, I committed 100% to making it an honest account of my journey, the good, the bad, the ridiculous, the miserable, the uplifting, and the absurd. If I didn’t write what I did yesterday, I would have given up on the commitment I made to myself.

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure if anyone would read or care. That wasn’t the point, although I hoped at least a few cool peeps (like you!) would. It was more for accountability to myself.

But a bunch of you awesome badasses–some friends near and dear and some folks I’ve never even met–actually are reading, so now I’m accountable to you, too. So you’re going to get the highest highs, the lowest lows, and all the mediocre in-betweeny stuff. It may not always be what you want to hear, and it more often will be stuff I wish I didn’t have to tell you (like about the Cheeto incident of Sunday afternoon…) but it will always be authentically what I feel at the moment I write it.

Allow me to quote my old pal Emerson, a famous dead guy that I think had some swell ideas, even if he was a little arrogant…

emerson consistency

Absorb. Emerson was a heavy dude.

I will be genuine in every word on this blog, in the moment I write it. Even if the next day, I say something completely different.

Today, I feel much better about this journey, mostly thanks to you. I’m so grateful.