Ten Things of (Should be so) Thankful #10Thankful

Tears spar behind my eyelids, vying to be let out, to cascade in torrents of frustration, pathetic self-pity and had-enough-ness. My chest is crushed with the catch of breaths not taken deeply enough and I’m overpoweringly aware of just how much I have to be thankful for, and how much of an ungrateful, hypocritical wretch I am.

The chances are, if you hear something bad about me, there’s a kernel of truth in it. Perhaps more.

We all have flaws and disappointments-of-character, areas we wish we could sweep under the proverbial rug and pretend didn’t exist. One of my persistent ones seems to be a tendency to get overwhelmed with despair in the face of, arguably, a LOT of good and blessing and happiness. All it takes is something small to tip that balance and I’m swept off the edge of that cliff. Again. Doubtless to the slight eye-rolls of my nearest and dearest, by now. One small thing, or series of little whatevers, which mightn’t register on an ordinary person’s scale of ‘things which ripple’, that nonetheless reduce me to a toddler-like state of helpless fury and anger-turned-inwards.

Originally this hop began because I needed things to get me through to the next day. My focus on something good would provide validation for the worth in that day, as a stand-alone, and prove I should try again tomorrow. I listed my ten things, and my ten things, and my ten things, and people watched, joined in, got excited about the idea of gratitude as a practice – a ritual which would affirm the true GOOD in life.

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Would it were that simple any more. These days it’s not the weight of the next day that I’m trying to mitigate and render worthwhile, but the next month, the next year, the rest of my life (I should be thankful to be alive).

Like the rest of everyone, I’ve no idea what it might hold. I’ve some idea of what’s coming up, though, and that accounts for a lot of the underlying ‘big things missing’, which mean the little things are enough to tip the balance, and me, over the edge. A big, sucky change at work (I should be thankful I have a job) coming up in springtime, badly handled, in ways which have left my team with a sour taste in their mouths. The prospect of never getting a visa (I should be thankful I can still visit) or being able to take the scholarship I have, because who knows, and *I* certainly haven’t heard anything.

I want to pursue training here, but the qualifications won’t transfer, and there’s no guarantee of work (I should be thankful I have the means to pursue training), added to which, the massage therapy scene here is decades behind that in the USA. Added to which, the vast majority of my friends are Stateside, and my heart misses them (I should be thankful I *have* friends to miss), and I can’t visit them AND do training.

This week progresses at a low, recovering from surgery (never a favourite (nonetheless I *am* recovering, and should be thankful for the ease of getting the op I needed, and that I’m recovering well)) and trying to remember my limitations. That last bit proving a daily/hourly/minute-ly trial at times. I’m very, VERY lucky to have family around me supporting me and reminding me to be gentle with myself. I’m very, very, VERY lucky to have people in my World Between the Wires who check in, cheer me up, and keep me going – kindly listening to my rants and ravings as I go through the troughs and troughs and troughs of this storm (so, so, so, thankful, thankful, thankful for them).

I’ve been leaning on the love-tokens from far-distant friends (really, incredibly thankful for their generosity) as they have quite literally wrapped me around and warmed me up with their love and thoughtfulness. I’ve been delighted my foresight in writing Christmas cards before I went for my op paid off (and even more grateful to WonderAunty, who posted them for me) because throughout the week, I’ve seen little fireworks of happiness going off across the States as they’ve been received.

Perhaps I should be thankfullest of all for the peace and quiet and capacity afforded to me by where I am, that I can take time out to recover and get healed up before throwing myself back into ordinary, everyday life. But somehow one of my personal quirks is that I have an incredible talent for turning things to shit, creating false expectations I can’t possibly hope to meet, and then feeling disappointed when I fail at them.

There are so many basic things I’ve got just…covered…and it feels icky to be so caught up in the really-not-so-very important added extras of life. Maslow would be disgusted with me. I don’t really even know what I’m striving towards, but maybe my new year’s resolution needs to be to learn how to be a bit less completely rubbish at recognising the good in my life, and having some degree of perspective about it all.

You’d think the war in Aleppo or the furore over the future POTUS or the thought of being homeless at Christmas would be enough to throw my blessings into sharp relief.

And they are, but I’m still disappointed and let down…by myself most of all.

Plan for next year – do better.

Ten Things of Thankful
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26 thoughts on “Ten Things of (Should be so) Thankful #10Thankful

  1. I wrote a comment days ago, but I think I was using my phone to comment, and somehow it didn’t go through. Anyway, I still read thankfulness throughout this post. You recognize the thankfuls, even if you don’t feel great at the moment. Rather than being hypocritical, that’s healthy. Everyone IS going to feel discouraged and overwhelmed and pained at times, but when you can look through all that to say (intellectually, even if your heart isn’t in it), “I have much to be thankful for,” you are on your way to healing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had this almost same conversation (with me on your side) with a friend the other night. I wish I knew why I KNOW these things but just don’t seem able to take them on board for myself a lot of the time! It’s immensely frustrating of me and perhaps it’s something I need to work on.

      But yes. Thankfulness can be a choice, rather than a feeling, and I’m glad I chose it. I’m glad you think that’s healthy 🙂 That helps 🙂

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  2. I’m days behind, so someone else may have already mentioned this — but, just in case. I find when I focus on next month, next year, and the very scary years after that, I become overwhelmed and terrified. There seems so much to be done, so much I should be doing, so much that I should have done. I end up envisioning the worst possible outcome for my life, retirement, and old age. Instead, I try to focus JUST on today, or this week. Of course, that doesn’t mean I blissfully spend any extra money I have and take up a life of drinking, drugs, gambling, and one night stands — because “let the future be what it is”. I still plan and save and take care of myself — but I don’t worry about what may be or what may NOT be. I just try to find the happiness in this moment, because if I keep waiting for “whatever” to happen in order to be happy — I may be waiting a long, long time (and there is certainly no guarantee that “whatever” will even MAKE me happy).

    Liked by 1 person

    • SO with you on the overwhelm and the terror, my friend. But you’re right. As they say, tomorrow has enough worries for itself, we may as well focus on today. I hope you will be happy. I really do. But yes, I also get that the changes and futures we hope for are no guarantee. We take so many of our demons with us 😦

      Still. It could always be worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The very fact that you are looking ahead a bit to the “next month, the next year, the rest of my life” shows you are making progress even if you don’t know how you are going to do it. Getting there still takes “baby steps” on a daily basis in some matters. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by what you can’t do when you are still in the process of healing from surgery, not to mention how any medications you are taking for pain, etc. might mess with your mind. With are all with you Lizzi, and hope you will be feeling much better soon, and your world will seem brighter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Pat. I’m useless at recovery – I keep forgetting the severity of what’s been done, and expecting more from my body than is really reasonable. I’m sure in this, as in so many things, I’m my own worst enemy! I need to remember those baby steps and keep taking them.

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  4. While not the same circumstances, certainly, you know I understand the state of life being other than what you want at the moment. Everyone’s pretty much covered all the thoughts already, but I’ll just add that the best thing you can do is accept what is at the moment and be in the now. Things do not come to us when we want them, but when we are truly ready for them. I believe it.
    We all love you and we are all here, even if you don’t reach out. But please do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m trying. I’m very trying. And I keep making myself annoyed with it because I feel as though I’ve done the trying before, in different circs, and waited and hoped because life would do timing when I was ready…and every single time I’ve cracked and done something drastic and I have no idea whether I’m getting closer or further from the plan, only that without doing those things and eventually caving, life would be exponentially worse.

      Thanks for being there though. That helps a lot. And for having trust that things will happen as they’re meant 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ll say again what I said. Be where you are. It’s okay if the light there is dim, be there, and know that it’s fine to be there. BUT not fine if you’re not fine, then you need to reach out. And we’re here. As you know, even when you don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get so mad at myself when I’m there. Then I don’t want to reach out because I don’t want to show that side of me (even though you know it’s there anyway) then I spiral, ridiculously.

      Thanks for being there, even when I don’t know it 🙂 ❤

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  6. Well, I for one join MANY in believing in you, loving you, accepting you, and always always always wanting to be here for you. I think you are absolutely beautiful, lovely, warm and caring and kind and generous. I think you never ever give yourself the credit for being all those things- and I think THAT should be your resolution in doing better. Realizing that despite your downfalls- that everyone EVERYONE has because that is how life rolls- up and down and recklessly all around… that each and every day you are alive- you are loved, completely, unconditionally, and for always.

    I opened my card and smiled with a tear… because you ALWAYS bless me with your love. You will always be a member of our family here. We ALL LOVE YOU SO MUCH.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a beautiful heart, Kitty, and I’m so grateful it has a small corner for me in it. You make me feel like I’m a better person than I think I am. If that makes sense.

      SO happy you got your card and you like it, and I do so love you and THANK YOU for you and for always being so very encouraging. It makes such a huge difference and I’m endlessly thankful ❤

      God knew what He was doing when He made you ❤ You're a blessing to so many ❤

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  7. Lizzi, Lizzi. I’m so glad I came here to read your TToT before sitting down to write my own.
    Expectations. The ones on self. Set very high, no? 🙂 Don’t forget to give your own self a break.
    Your post resonates on many levels – when thoughts of the future (and all the stuff in between and the what ifs and the what if nots, step onto that train platform, board that train…yikes!
    I hope that you are recovering from surgery and enjoying time with family. Please remind yourself of the difference you’ve made. The impact on life from your participation in it 🙂
    There is nothing more difficult sometimes than getting caught up in the emotion generated from the inability to control a thing, knowing the first step forward is to take a step back.

    P.S. Don’t ever stop writing 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • ❤ Thank you my dear.

      The self-expectations are just…I don't know if they're ridiculously high or just completely impossible for the situations I find myself in, but it's to the point where I blame myself for things which are utterly beyond my control and it's 'because I wanted it in the first place' or somesuch silly justification and just…all turns to quagmire in my mind so rapidly.

      I think a very human response to frustration and hurt is to blame, and in lieu of any obvious source, the self is a prime candidate. It somehow makes the situations easier to bear when someone is RESPONSIBLE for them being so crappy…even if that someone really isn't at all.

      My family are looking after me well and today was my best day of recovery so far, thank goodness! Still very little energy but thank goodness most of the physical and emotional pain seems to be over!

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  8. The thing I have to remember is that I am human. Huh…we must have been kind of on the same wavelength because last night I was despairing – maybe that’s too strong a word, but I was self-criticizing or something like that – that I’m not good enough: that I don’t give enough, that I’m way too human and need to improve to superhuman status. That I’m never allowed to get angry (which, I did at a colleague yesterday…and apologized), that I need to get out in the community more (but after a day of work around LOTS of people, my energy is so sapped I end up going to work and home and not many other places) and make more of a difference, but then I’m trying to get my website going and I’m doing a poor job at that. Whew. I have the world on my shoulders.
    In those moments, the imperfect me wonders, “if I were that critical toward a friend, she’d have thrown a dish at me and walked out the door.” So I reluctantly let those feelings go, and remember that just aspiring to give more and do one thing at a time is all we can do. Then those baby steps add up to a giant journey. I’m resolving to give to two people or organizations I’ve never given to before…and resolving to be a little easier on myself. And THAT, we can do together. 🙂
    I hope your recovery is going well. Thinking of you. Smiling at the thought of all your glitter and sparkles. 🙂 HUGZ

    Liked by 1 person

    • My lovely, those thoughts are so good at spiralling out of control. I don’t even always have specific things I’m grumpy at myself for – just a general disenchantment and distaste for myself for no good reason really, other than I’m ME! I completely understand where you’re coming from, and your thought is a good one – for a while I thought to myself “what if I was to say this to my best friend”, and I saw how hurtful some of the things I think about myself would be to someone I loved. But there’s the crux, really.

      I hope your day today was better. Mine was, which was a HUGE relief.

      Also…with the giving and the doing – there is so much that needs supporting and fixing, we could give and do til we’re empty and still not make the difference needed…we just have to do what we can from where we’re at, NOW. That makes A difference and it’s better than not.

      *HUGS*

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    • My OceanHeart, thank you for understanding. I really was SERIOUSLY badly crabby last night (nearly typo’d “crappy”, which would have done just as well!).

      I hate the shoulds. I’m very prone to them *sigh*

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    • That’s an amazing compliment and I’m not sure how you got to that thought…but if we all do things to inspire each other to embetter ourselves then I guess we all win *HUGS* You’re already pretty damn fabulous, yaknow?

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  9. Would it stop you from feeling let down by yourself if your friends started listing all the special, magical, awesome, glittery things you’ve done this year? Probably not. That’s not what that feeling is about, but it would be fun to read. I’ll just say this, that if you know you should be thankful, then thankfulness has a toe hold, a beach head to battle the funk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what it needs – a toe hold to begin with. This was very forced but I do have SO much to be thankful for and I’m irritated at myself for just feeling…sulky and obstinately unhappy. There are lots and lots of good things but this feeling is something else 😦

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