Gratitude

I love fall. It is my favorite.

The best months of the year, hands down, are October through December. October is my most favorite of the hands down best months. (Even though my allergies nearly kill me and cold air makes my asthma worse).

Fall is my favorite for many reasons I’m sure others share. The holidays, eating copious amounts of candy corn, taking long walks with the dog, cool crisp air, the changing leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice everything, fall scented candles (anyone who knows me knows I LOVE candles. I’ve been known to spend a lot of money on candles. Yankee’s autumn wreath candle is my favorite), Christmas shopping, cute little pumpkins at the grocery store, apple cider, pecan pie, Christmas music of course, daylight savings time, soup, rosy cheeks, scarves, PEPPERMINT EVERYTHING (especially ice cream and coffee creamer), etc.

You get it.

But this year, I haven’t been able to enjoy it as much as I have in the past. October and November have blown past me. Everyday is a grind from one thing to the next to the next, and I am not pausing to recognize and appreciate the beauty around me. The little things. The people.

I’ve been pretty stressed out and moody. Each day blends into the next, with not much distinction or difference. Every week is another one I have to get through before I can catch up on sleep over the weekend. People come and people go. Dinner with a friend here, family in town there, a wedding, a birthday, another deadline and then another. Another evening spent working and not with my husband. Turning down another invitation to socialize with friends because I’m too busy, and then not being able to shake the guilt.

When adults talk about how hard it is to be an adult, they must be talking about the monotony. The bills and the dishes and figuring out loans and navigating health insurance are all fairly shitty too, but it must be the monotony that really puts a damper on grown-up life. The stress and the heaviness of grown-up work with the grown-up realization that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It won’t end. Well, at least for 50ish more years.

Geez, I’m depressing.

But the thing is, when life seems overwhelming, it’s important to put things into perspective. I think I’m fairly good at this, and I think I am also good at focusing on the positive. If nothing else, because I simply refuse to be unhappy. Happiness is a choice, after all. (For those of us privileged enough to have that choice.) 

When I feel tired, I know it is because I have a job that demands a lot from me. Luckily, it is also one I enjoy. When I feel guilty because I can’t spend time with all the people I love, I realize how incredible it is to have so many people to love that I can’t fit them all into one week.

I do hope though that come next fall, I will have improved at this managing life thing. You know, grown-up stuff. Enough that I can actually enjoy the hands down three best months of the year, instead of watching them fly past me without really taking them in.

Although next fall there will be an election. Hm. Maybe this is just the way it is.

But then again, I reject that in a sense….because….

Life is too damn short.

To not enjoy the little things.

(Cliche, I know.

But people say it for a reason.)

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie, Quoted in “Simple Abundance”, by Sarah Ban Breathnach

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