Monday, November 22, 2010

What Do You Do When You Can't Find Reasons to Give Thanks?

I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week. I'm usually so excited. I love Thanksgiving. As I've mentioned before, it's one of my favorite holidays, second only to Christmas. But things have not been going too well for me lately. And to be honest, it's taking every bit of my optimistic personality to keep finding that silver lining.

In the last month we had to give up our beloved part-time, in-home childcare, followed an hour later by our other part-time care provider, my mother, leaving us childcare-less. Two weeks ago I totaled my car. To say our 3-year-old's world has been rocked is a huge understatement. She's a child who craves stability and routine. She doesn't have either of those in her life right now. She's having outbursts, separation anxiety, nightmares. I don't feel like my husband has been as supportive as I need him to be, so we aren't on the best of terms. My health insurance is changing at work (new individual deductible is $2,500 - awesome!). The girls have had lingering coughs for 4 weeks, and Baby R is teething and has a diaper rash to boot. And this morning I woke up with a cold. Not that that is such a big deal. It just seems like as soon as I get my head above water, something beats me back down again. And it may just be a 5 lb. rock instead of a cement block, but at this point, I'm so exhausted that it feels like a pebble could sink me.

The most frustrating thing is that I feel like I had finally gotten my ducks in a row trying to do things to improve my family's life, but these stumbling blocks have forced me to put them on the back burner. For example, eating healthier. I decided to make as much homemade food as I can, changing things at a gradual pace. I started making applesauce. And instead of buying snacks at the store, making cookies or sweet breads for treats every week (instead of every once in awhile). I bought the ingredients for homemade granola bars and found a recipe for yogurt. I'm planning to ask for a breadmaker for Christmas. But juggling childcare every day means spending my evening trying to figure out where to take the kids in the morning and what supplies to pack and how many extra outfits to take, not to mention assuaging fears and providing extra snuggles. Trying out new recipes has been put on the back burner.

I know I should be thankful for my health, my job, the roof over our heads, the food on the table, the clothes on our backs. And I am. I hear horror stories every day about people who have hit the end of unemployment benefits and had to move into their car, or been diagnosed with cancer, or lost a loved one. I'm not in any way trying to say that my inconveniences compare with the hardships they have to face. But the thing is, I'm a cup-is-half-full kind of gal, though I do my fair share of grumbling, and while I know things could be so much worse, they sure could be a heckavu lot  better.

So this year, the thing I'm most thankful for is Thanksgiving itself. Because I'm not able to remind myself of the things I should be thankful for on a daily basis right now. I need that big holiday looming large to keep me in check. And hopefully by the time it gets here Thursday, I'll be back to my usual chin-up self. But if not, I know that November 25th can keep it up for me.


Lorette Lavine said...

I just started to follow your blog and although I am a mom and now a grandmother I can relate to your post.
There are so many ups and downs on a daily basis that sometimes it is overwhelming to get a handle on "Thanksgiving" just as you describe so well.
I had some need for a babysitter recently and did very well using I found one great person and then she knew of others in my area. I recommend the website.
For stress I recommend yoga...simple easy yoga...Ravi Singh and Ana Brett are good starters.
Thank you for sharing...I also have a couple of blogs and work with parents children and families.
I am also on FB as are my websites.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Thanks, Lorette! We were able to find a wonderful woman through Daycare Connection, but I'll file your recommendation for sittercity away just in case.

I love yoga. That's another thing that I know is contributing to my negativity - I haven't exercised in... forever. It's so important and I haven't made time to do anything about it.

I'll be checking out your blogs!!

Anonymous said...

Life has it's ups and downs. Hoping and praying for more ups for you and your family.

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Thanks, Pop. I know we will get through it and God really has blessed us. I have not been making my relationship with him a priority, and I'm sure some of it has been Him trying to get my attention. Message received! :) Some days it's easier to take than others.

The Damsel In Dis Dress said...

Hang in there! Thinking of you right now.

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