Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Learning to be grateful

I don't know what has happened to me over the years but somewhere along the way, I have gotten a little lost.

Me as a baby with my very young parents...before siblings 1,2.3.4 and 5 arrived
I grew up in a big family, in a small town with very little money and even less opportunities. But, it was an awesome childhood! I loved being a part of a big family. No matter what kind of day I had at school or whatever friendship dramas I had going on at the time ( I was a girl, there was always drama!), I always had all these people to come home to, people that were on my side, my team.

It didn't matter that we didn't have money. Yes, it definitely sucked that Mum couldn't afford to buy me the 'cool' clothes and shoes, but I survived. 

I have fond memories of spending summer holiday mornings foraging for small change in between the couch cushions trying to find enough money to pay for our entry to the local swimming pool! Things weren't always that tight,but luxuries were always a rarity.

When I was a child, I could not wait to own my own house. I didn't care what kind of house it was, as long as it was mine and I could paint and decorate and rearrange furniture as often as I pleased.

I now have my own house. I can paint and decorate and rearrange furniture as often as I please.
But now, its not enough.

Its not big enough.
Its not made of brick.
Its not new.
Its not in the 'nice' part of town.
The layout sucks.
The bathroom tiles are ugly.
The ceiling is too low.
There isn't enough natural light.
And we only have ONE living room, ONE!
How do people function these days with two small children and only ONE living room???

Not only do I have my own house, but really, I have everything. 
Im happily married to a hard-working, loving, caring, generous man who is a fantastic, hands-on father to our two beautiful, smart, funny, outgoing children. 
We have a big family and lots and lots of great friends who make us laugh, keep us sane and share this crazy journey with us. 
We have two decent cars (that dont break down) our own business and I've even been lucky enough to be a stay-at-home Mum. 
I chose to go back to study and am now, finally, fulfilling my dream of studying interior design (despite the constant doubt and uncertainty that haunts me).

I have all of this, yet I still complain. I still whine. Its still not enough.
WTF is wrong with me???

My visit to the accountants yesterday was a bit of a wake-up call. I was complaining to him about our finances and willing him to tell me when things were going to pick up again, when we will be able to start getting on top of things again, when ill be able to go and spend money without having to think about it again. And he turned to me and said, 'I am getting at least one client a week in tears because they have no work, their business is going under, they are going to lose everything, they cant even support their families. You are lucky you still have work'

I needed to hear that. I needed to be told to suck it up and be grateful. I needed that reminder. 

But I need to keep reminding myself. Because it is oh-too-easy to slip back in to the habit of focusing on what I don't have instead of everything that I do. 

So im embarking on a little photo/blog post a day project. 

Every day, for a month, starting today, Valentines Day. 

Ill post a little later on when my first subject gets home from work....

In the meantime, tell me, what are you most grateful for? 

Lisa xx

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