but I have been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I have been TRYING to be grateful for what I have, rather than being bogged down by what I don’t have.
However, I’m pretty sure I’m not a natural optimist, and it’s hard to not pull a “the good news is . . . the bad news is . . . ” about everything in my life.
Let’s look at my job, for example.
The good news is . . . I have a job. It pays decently enough, too. Michigan is up to like a 15% unemployment rate or something insane like that, so I need to be grateful, right?
The less-than-good-news is that I am incredibly dissatisfied with my job . . . feel so “under-employed” and under-utilized . . . feel like I still haven’t figured out “what I’m going to be when I grow up”.
The good-ish news is that things are super-busy at work these days, which at least distracts me enough that it will make the next several months bearable.
The bad news is that when my boss returns from her maternity leave, I will go “backwards” in the sense that I will lose some of the autonomy that I have at the moment. I know that this is going to be difficult for me.
The other bad news is that my workload right now is almost unbearable, and I have less support in some ways than I would under “normal” circumstances.
The “not-sure-yet” news is that my boss has not made a final decision on whether she is returning to work at all. This could be Really Bad News, or “just news”, depending upon who is replacing her. Either way, it puts me in an uncomfortable position yet again.
The “jury is still out” news is that if she doesn’t come back, her job will then be posted. Not a job I ever thought I’d want, but since there are so few openings that come up in my organization, I should at least consider it.
The bad news is that it’s entirely possible that my employer has so little confidence in me that they would never even consider me for the position.
That’s the work realm–I could go on, but hopefully you get the idea.
And then there’s my car . . .
The good news:
My car has lasted this long, against all odds. (I have a loose “control arm” right now . . . when the other one went, it sort of snapped–with me being one-legged, I know that it is only by the grace of God that it has held out as long as it has.)
I “just about” have the money right now to get it fixed.
The bad news:
This poor, beat-up vehicle is not going to last forever. This repair makes sense, at least for now, but if more things break down on the car, it’s going to be less and less worth repairing. And I can’t afford a car payment.
The “it’s probably my own fault” news:
The poor car is dented, scratched, and bruised in a variety of places . . . mostly due to my carelessness. So do I have a right to be unhappy about the state my car is in when it’s my own “fault” that the car is in the shape it is?
And couldn’t it be said that most of my life is “my own fault”, in a sense?
But back to the gratitude thing . . . I guess . . . that I am trying to see the bright side of things, to count my blessings, to not focus so much on the negative. But the fact remains that my life just kind of sucks, and that it’s been a long time since I’ve seen any real changes in the opposite direction.
I’m known for throwing myself lavish pity parties, and so I try to fight against that. But couldn’t it just be possible that I’m merely stating facts, that my life truly DOES kind of suck?