day eight... starting late

thankful, even when it rains

i always have the intention each november to do a "thirty days of thankfulness" {or "gratitude"} series. of course, i have so much to be thankful for all year 'round. but it seems like the pace of november lends itself to posting each day about those things. here it is the eighth of november, though... i was on a blog break when november rolled around.

as i think back over the last year, i know there were many times {not just in november} that i wrote about all that i have to be thankful for. so i won't get down on myself too much for forgetting to do this series once again. instead, i'll just give myself this goal... to write down {or blog about} all things i can think of to be thankful for as they come to me throughout this month.

i've heard a lot of complaining lately... it's everywhere you go, it seems. and i am sure i have had my share of it. but i often stop in my tracks and realize that i have it pretty good when i look at some of the stories of people who truly have something to complain about. these people {i.e., those who lost their homes to a tsunami or tornado or fire, or those who never knew their parents because they were gunned down by a corrupt government, or those who were born with terminal or debilitating illnesses, etc...} must look at people like me who have it good and shake their heads when they see us complain about certain things.

i don't think it's possible to find a single person who can say they never have complaints. but there are certainly those who limit their complaints to a few. i want to be one of those people. i want to be so busy celebrating the good things i have that i don't have time to complain about the bad things.

one of my favorite quotes is by a man {i don't recall his name, but he was interviewed on television quite a bit a few years back} who was told he has a.l.s. and was dying. in his interview about his illness and the ever-growing limitations that it placed on him, he said "you can either celebrate what you can do, or you can mourn what you can't."

that struck me so much... made me want to celebrate all that i have, am, can have, can be, can do. it's the reason i wrote this post back in may of 2009 {shortly after the last day of my job that i was laid off from}.

i don't want to be a complainer! i have heard a whole lot of complaining in the past year... from several people. and what's worse, i think complaining is contagious. but what is even more contagious is gratitude and celebration {although, i think some people who are ridden with complaint can't catch the gratitude bug until they seek healing from the complaining disease they have.} even if you can't "infect" others with your thankful and celebratory attitude, you can further infect yourself... the more you think about and verbalize all that you have to be thankful for, the more thankful you are... the less you complain about the yuck stuff.

trust me... i have a whole lot to feel down about... to vent about... to complain about. there are many things i am facing or going through that could cause me to lose heart and be downright mad or lose faith. but i sooooo badly don't want to live there. when i see myself getting close, i have to remind myself where it is i want to live... in joy, gratitude, awe, amazement, faith, happiness, lightheartedness, hope, enthusiasm, positive thinking... not head-in-the-clouds. just making the best of things, even in the midst of trouble or heartache or pain or weariness.

that's why i chose this photo {besides the fact that it is raining on this chilly fall day}. it's sort of dark {like today} and it's clearly wet and cold {like today}, but there is still beauty in it... the beautiful colors of wonderfully symmetric leaves. even in the darkest of days, there is something to be thankful for. i won't ignore the bad things in life. they need to be dealt with, for sure. but i am making an effort... this month {and always}... to keep from complaining about them and express gratitude in place of the complaints.

in fact, i was just thinking about something this morning... how it was so good of God to give me a son... i guess i could stop right there... i am grateful to have him, period... end of sentence. but what is additional cause for celebration is that he gave me a son who is so well-mannered and easy to deal with! i feel very blessed about that. and this morning, i thought about how thankful i am for that, because there are so many other things right now that are huge disappointments in my life. i feel that i am blessed to have that extra-special gift... one less thing to worry about or wear on me as i go through these other difficult things.

i can't imagine having a fussy, hard to deal with child while i get through these other things. it's a joy to have him, but a bonus to have him not being difficult in these months... he really is an angel. i would not know how good i have it when it comes to him unless i had heard and read what it is like for moms with some babies. i would just think that isaac is the norm. but the older he gets, the more i realize how blessed i am to have a very happy and easy-to-raise baby. and that is my bright spot {my colorful leaf} in the midst of the rain.

just last night, mr. b, isaac and i had {what i felt was} the best night yet since isaac was born. the chicago bears played for monday night football, and we all sat together in the man cave on an old beat-up {but comfortable} couch with lots of pillows and cushions and blankets and watched the game together. isaac was in the best mood. he giggled a lot. he climbed around on us. he watched the game. he fell asleep contentedly in my arms. he watched us and observed his surroundings with wonder. it was just such a magical night... the most fun i have had yet as a family.

and as he gets older and has to "conquer" new things, i see how well he handles everything. the very first time we fed him solids, he handled it like a pro!... it took no getting used to. {that's just one example}. he's a good sleeper. he's a fast learner. and everywhere i go, people comment about how good his disposition is {from day one} and how happy he seems. again... i would have thought that is how every baby is. but as i read or hear from other moms, it's not always the case. so i feel tremendous gratitude for that. and even if every baby was like he is, i am still grateful!

i guess i could go on and on about the things i am grateful for when it comes to isaac. but this post is already so lengthy. and i have about 22 more days to express my gratitude, so i'll save some for later.

verbalizing my gratitude is a great excuse to get back on my blog and write! so i plan to do just that {when i have the time} this month. it's the best antidote for the blues or the temptation to complain. don't you think?


Sandy K. said...

You have hit the nail on the head, Georgia. Less complaining and more thanksgiving. Your son is blessed to have parents who care deeply and share completely - you will model this as you teach him how to grow up in this crazy, complaining world:). Thank you for such a well-written missive this Thanksgiving month.

beth said...

he really is the best baby....
i can say that as i saw it first hand....but part of it is because you are such a great mom. seriously, you are so easy going and laid back with him that it has rubbed off. how lucky are all three of you ? VERY !!!


ps...i am blessed too...thanks for reminding me to be more appreciative of that. i have no room to complain about anything !!.....xo

georgia b. said...

thank you, beth.
xox {from isaac and me}

Stacey said...

I love this, Georgia. So much truth in this post. I remember someone telling me once, "Less attitude, more gratitude." Not always easy, but something that I'm constantly learning, too.

Miss you! Looking forward to more posts. xox

(And I LOVE this photo!! Have you gotten your new lens yet?)

georgia b. said...

{thank you, sandy, too!}

thanks, stace. no, i have not gotten the new lens yet. soon! i am waiting on payment for a design job, and then i will be putting that money with some birthday money! i CAN'T wait!!!

i was just thinking about you, because i had isaac in the precious owl bib you sent him when he was eating breakfast the other day. actually, i think of you often... not just when i see the bib. =) i've missed you, too. i miss blogging and reading yours. i need to stop by and see what you are up to lately. i think i'll do that now!

big hugs.

Caroline said...

Oh I love this post Georgia! I too don't want to be a complainer. We all have a choice in life. And there are so many good things to focus on. Thank you for the reminder. xoxo

Jakki said...

I hear you on the complaining...there does seem to be a lot of it going on....

I recently heard that the complaining...the over abundances of complaining is like worshiping and giving power to the negative instead of putting the positive on a pedastal...

which it so rightly deserves

that is my wish..and my goal.

and PLEASE no holding back on letting the world know your blessings big or small :-)

margie said...

babies aren't just born happy. the mom and dad make a huge difference, happy for you.

kerrdelune said...

Love, love, love this image, and the words are sublime.