Many would say that this has been a craptastic November for me and my husband. But I disagree. Sure, the month has been littered with sad, devastating, frustrating, and stressful events but it’s been interspersed with some wonderful, happy events as well. It’s not fair to judge the entire month by its least enjoyable aspects. Even if they did seem to dominate the month.
Many of our family and friends have asked how we’re managing to hold up so well in the wake of 2 family deaths, the news of the imminent death of a close family friend, an unexpected roof repair that made its need known during the blizzard week, an unexpected office move, and the really small paychecks & high expenses that come from having to travel and take unpaid time off of work for family illness and death, among other things.
Our answer: Gratitude. (That and dealing with but not dwelling on the worst of it; but that’s for another blog post.)
I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy. But it doesn’t do any good to push the bad stuff down and not think about it. None at all. We learned that long ago. Instead, what we’ve done is find the “good” inside of the “bad.” This only works if you’re honestly grateful and not just grasping at gratitude straws or pushing platitudes.
For instance, we are grateful that the close relative who had a stroke didn’t suffer a long time. As much as death hurts, it can be even harder when a loved one is suffering and you’re powerless to do anything to help relieve their pain. (Been there, done that. Not looking for a repeat.) In this case, the severity of the stroke was such that it was always a question of when the person would die, not if.
In the case of the unexpected home repair, we’re grateful that the weeklong blizzard let up and that rain had melted all the snow so that on the day the repair guys were here they could access what they needed easily and safely, before it started snowing later that same day. Talk about perfect timing!
As for the money issues that these things can cause, we had to dig deep into our rather small savings account. And while we are disappointed that we weren’t able to keep building our savings up, we are also deeply grateful that we had some savings to fall back on. After all, that’s why you have savings in the first place, isn’t it?
See how that works? We didn’t deny our frustration or sadness, we didn’t try to gloss over it, we simply tempered it with gratitude. Now I’ll be honest, I don’t know if we’d have been able to do it as “easily” as we did if we didn’t already have a gratitude practice.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have a gratitude practice? Have you been able to draw on it in times of trouble? Let me know in the comments.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to share the gratitude as well as this post. Thanks.