J and I always seem to be concerned with what comes next. Should we buy a new car? Get a bigger house? Find a better job? And it’s not just about things. We often discuss how the TV show or movie we are watching could have been better or ways to improve the recipe for the dinner we are eating. J is a big believer that we should always be looking for ways to make things better and after 15 years, this attitude seems to have rubbed off on me.
Don’t get me wrong…striving for better is not a bad thing. But sometimes we focus so much on making things better that we don’t appreciate what we already have. We end up missing what is happening right in front of us and instead of being happy about what we have accomplished and the life we have built, we end up being unhappy about the things we don’t have.
Lately, I’ve caught us both whining like little kids about things that were so trivial and inconsequential…we sounded like spoiled, jerky brats. I don’t want to be a spoiled, jerky brat so it ends now.
It’s a new year and we are going to start fresh. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, we are going to focus on what we do have and what we are grateful for. I’m certainly not going to get J to keep a gratitude journal, but I am going to keep one and when I catch either of us complaining about our jobs or trying to figure out a way to make the chicken taste better while we are still eating it, I’m going to make us both stop and re-evaluate what we are complaining about. Yes, work sucks sometimes which is why they call it work…but we are lucky to have the jobs we have when we could be unemployed. And no, I’m not the greatest cook, but I’ve come a long way since the days of dry pasta with jar sauce, so let’s enjoy the chicken now and we can discuss ways to make it better next time I cook it.
It’s not going to be easy to break us of this habit we’ve had for so long, but I think if we focus on being grateful, we will end being so much happier.
So to start the year off right, right now I am grateful to be sitting here, writing again. I’m grateful for the wonderful man and two awesome dogs who are still asleep in the next room. I’m grateful that Netflix paused the TV show that was playing in the bedroom because the silence is giving me a minute to think. I’m grateful for the new year and the chance it give me to change things I don’t like. And most of all, I’m grateful for the nap I’m about to take…apparently, staying up half the night on New Year’s Eve is much harder at 40 than it was at 30. It’s all about the little things today.
Happy New Year to everyone reading this. May it be your best year yet and may you all be very grateful for it.