Gratitude is usually not my first instinct. In fact, it rarely is.
Irritations always come first. After all, if we have nothing to be irritated about, what can we be grateful for? (Ok, maybe that’s just me.)
Here’s what irritated me this week (ok, it was just yesterday, not the whole week.)
First, Poolboy (aka my hubs of 40+years) and I were staining our deck. Except he rushes and doesn’t fill in the cracks completely. He says a board is done but the edges still show old stain color. He doesn’t use enough stain on the brush so a 2nd coat is now needed. (Hmmm, I don’t think he likes to paint.)
Second, I had extreme writer’s block. It was like a thick cement wall planted in my brain. I couldn’t put a single coherent thought together! Nothing. Nada. I sat at my keyboard paralyzed with all the ridiculous ‘what ifs’ of every writer (what if I never come up with an idea ever again? who will I be if I am not a writer? every writer is shaking her head right now!).
Lastly, my knees. They snapped their pain at me all day. My theory is that a chip off the writer’s block wall had wedged into each of my joints. I walk each day, take masses of turmeric and ginger, hydrate completely, even yoga-up my body. I do all of that yet the cement seems to never soften. Yesterday, for some reason, it felt more hardened than usual.
These irritations lasted all day.
I know, I know. Nothing catastrophic. Nothing big or even all that serious.
Isn’t that the Way of the Irritation? Small little things that add up to a hugely irritating day.
Time usually works this out of me, but something else has proven to work faster.
Gratitude shifts the sands. It exposes the truth that is oft hidden by the irritants.
Inevitably changing perspective from irritated to grateful makes me smile because every irritations – every single one – is small in comparison with the blessings.
Irritations: tiny little brush strokes that pale in comparison to the reality of life but are a part of our life’s design.
My husband hates to paint, but has weathered my OCD-ish-ness for 44 years. He’s a keeper.
God created me with the need to process life with words. So any writer’s block will not prevail against that kind of power.
My knees will never be 100% again, but my mind and my eyes and my hearing and my love and my cancer-free body carry on. All of whose loss would be far more devastating than my creaky knees.
The birds on the feeders. The sun warming the back of my neck. The crunch of fallen leaves under my feet. The giggles of grands. The hugs of my adult kids.
All are a part of who I am. The goods, the bads, the irritations, the blessings – all reflect into the life I have. All of them reflect how God created me to do life.
Gratitude. Choosing to be thankful right where you are in the midst and muck of life’s irritations.
How about you? Take out a piece of paper right now. Draw a line down the middle, from top to bottom. Do it now. Don’t delay.
On the left, list today’s irritations. On the right, list life’s blessings (look for them, they ARE there!). Where did you come out? Did you see something that you didn’t see before?
If you let it, the right-hand column will always win!
A book worth the read!