Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bypassing Bitterness

It seems like it's been forever since I posted here. It's been a crazy time in my life--like, even crazier than usual--and I've been struggling to balance everything. I've also been trying really hard to avoid the bitterness and cynicism that at times overwhelms me.

It's funny, because I have had some remarkably good things happen to me over the past month or so, enough that you'd think that it would take the sour taste out of my mouth. Sometimes it's hard, though, to fully appreciate the little joys you find in life--the student who wants to become an English teacher because of you, the daily morning phone call with a special person at Dunkin' Donuts (different locations, but the timing always ends up the same--freaking karmic, I tell you ;)), playing ball with my dogs, reading a good book, valium, good friends, my mother when she's in a good mood, and the list goes on.

I am so freaking lucky it's not even funny, and I hate about myself that I'm not always able to step back and appreciate that. So if you're reading this right now, take stock of the good things in your life. Make a list if you have to. It won't take long, and it gives you a great sense of perspective.

You cannot change other people. That's the bottom line. You can only worry about you, and focusing on what's wonderful (and we all have at least ten wonderful things ... seriously, try making a list. Post it in the comments here if you want ... you'll feel better, I promise :-)).

I'm going to post my list here for you (yes, it's sort of encrypted ... sorry about that, but people deserve some degree of anonymity and shouldn't be punished for being part of my life : )

But first, here is the beyond number one reason I have to be happy, to be positive, to think about the beautiful and the amazing ... because they ARE beautiful and amazing:


1. My girls, Addie and Belle, who are my shining stars, my miracles, and my treasures.
2. My nephews, Pete and Eddie, who fulfill my baby fix and drown out the sounds of my biological clock.
3. The rest of my family ... we might be dysfunctional, but when push comes to shove, there is unconditional love. My mother gets a special shout out, since I would never, ever, ever have made it through this year (or even a week) without the tremendous assistance she has given me since the separation and divorce.
4. My students. Every single one of them. And yes, I mean that.
5. The one person I can talk on the phone with ;)
6. Books. Enough said.
7. The wisdom that comes (albeit at great cost) with pain ... and age.
8. My dogs. They are always there to greet me when I get home, they are always happy to see me, and they make me laugh ;)
9. Beer. There's really not much more to say other than that I don't really drink anymore because of my pancreas ... but I still adore beer.
10. Music. Even bad music.