Stuff I am not grateful for. <br> (But really I am.) | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stuff I am not grateful for.
(But really I am.)

A few days ago, Sophia managed to wet her bed and mine, all in the same night.  Because I was a little too tired to bother with changing her sheets, I let her come to bed with me after the first incident.  And then she managed to repeat herself in my bed, less than two hours later.  As if this wasn't bad enough, she was cuddled up so closely to me that she also wet me.

Naturally, this wasn't something I could sleep through, and there were no more beds left.  So, I had to wake up Joel and we changed the sheets.  Then I changed Sophia's clothes for the second time that night, and then changed my own.  Lots of changing.

In the morning, my plans for the day were a bit derailed as I stripped Sophia's bed, and hauled all the urine-soaked items to the basement to do a few loads of laundry.  Situations like these do not generally make me very happy, so I was muttering to myself as I tromped down to my dungeon of a laundry room.

I was definitely not grateful for the situation by any stretch of the imagination.


Somewhere between starting the first load and beginning to sort the other hampers, it hit me.  There are probably hundreds of women who would give anything to have the kind of morning I was having.  They'd probably even give quite a bit to have the kind of night I had, wet beds and all.

What if I didn't have a washing machine to quickly take care of the problem?  What if I didn't have sheets or beds to be wet in the first place?  And, worst of all, what if I didn't even have Sophia to wet them? 

That would be a lot worse than the minor inconvenience of waking up at 2 am to change the sheets and having extra laundry to do the next day.

How many things in life are like that?  It's impossible to count.  I'm guessing for nearly every annoyance or complaint you have, you can turn it into a gratitude.  Here are a few more I thought of.

Dirty Dishes.  Boy do they ever pile up.  Sometimes, like laundry, they seem never ending.  Unless I begin to use paper goods entirely, they will always be there.  As much as I hate doing them, it means I have food on my table and children who aren't hungry.  It means I have a sink to wash them in (no dishwasher here) and cupboards to keep them in.

Laundry.  Doing all of the mountains I do week after week gets pretty old.  But it means my children have (lots of) clothes to wear.  It means my husband and I have clothing.  It means we will stay warm through the winter.  It means I have sheets and blankets on my bed.  And I'm not out in the river scrubbing my hands raw to clean it all.

Toys all over the house.   I may trip on them and I may throw up my hands in defeat when the kids forget the fact that we have a playroom and bring everything to the kitchen (and the living room, and their bedrooms, and my bedroom, and the bathroom) to play with, but it means we have plenty of toys for them.  It means I have a big enough house for them to be strewn all over the place.  It means I have children who want to be where I am, and not upstairs alone in the playroom.

Cleaning the toilet.  Quite possibly one of the worst jobs in the house, but it means I have a toilet.  It means I live in a day and age where things are so darn convenient, I don't have to bundle myself up and traipse through weather and mud to get to an outhouse.  It means potty training is a heck of a lot easier. 

Vacuuming.  This is the one chore that always seems to be moved to the next day because I run out of time.  But when I finally do get to it, it means I have a way to clean my floors that is quick and easy.  It means I don't have to pull my rugs outside and beat them with a stick.  It means I have rugs to clean, and children to grind crackers into them.

Paying bills.  There is nothing more exciting than watching your entire paycheck go flying out the window to tithing, to the bank, to the insurance company, to the electricity people, to the preschool and music teachers, to the student loan, to the mortgage.  But it means we have the money to have all of those things.  It means my husband has a job.  It means we are responsible adults.

Exercising.  Nope, don't love it yet.  But the fact that I can do it means I have a body that is working.  It means I am basically healthy.  It means I have time to think and ponder, or time to just watch TV.  It means I am overcoming my tendency to not exercise.

I think I'll end there, but you get my drift.  There is always a silver lining, and I have been trying to focus more on that part of my laundry-filled life, instead of the part where I have to do laundry and I hate it.  Because, as it turns out, I don't hate it.  I love it, because I am truly blessed.

Now, what are you not grateful for (but really you are)?

35 comments :

  1. And, we don't have toilets that are just holsw int he ground without any walls or doors, just out in plain sight, for everyone to see and smell! Like Romania! We are sooo blessed!

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  2. All of that. My month of blessings started out being like this, trying to look at things that bugged me in a new light. I hope you don't mind if I steal a few of yours. I am behind and appreciate the inspiration.

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  3. Great post! I need to make a list like this for myself.

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  4. A great addition to my recent journey on learning how to see things "as they really are." How easy it is to overlook a blessing just because it comes along with a tiny bit of inconvenience.

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  5. I'm grateful for all of those things. I'm grateful for fighting with my husband (although we don't often) because I have a husband to fight with. Grateful for loud kiddos because it means I have them and that they're healthy and happy. For the pet that chewed up something or couldn't wait until we got outside because it means I have a companion and loyal friend.

    Thank you for this excellent idea. It's something I need to be reminded of.

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  6. Early mornings. I'm more of a night person, but when I'm up early, even though every single pore in my body resists it, I enjoy the quiet, the newness of an unblemished day, the possibilities.

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  7. Bing grateful for dirty dishes reminded me of this poem:

    Thank God for dirty dishes.
    They have a tale to tell.
    While others may go hungry
    we're eating very well.
    For by the stack of evidence
    I shouldn't want to fuss.
    With home and health and happiness
    God's been good to us.

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  8. Don't you just love November? It really is such a wonderful month for thinking about all the good and wonderful blessings that are ours. You're such a good writer, Lara.

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  9. Um, what you said.

    I've been thinking along these same lines a lot lately. Lovely post.

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  10. I think you hit the nail on the head with ALL of them!

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  11. My Husband is a certified pack rat. Don't believe me? We have five computers in our garage, and they are seriously old! Usually when I am about to get extremely frustrated something brakes and he runs out to the wonderland of our garage and comes in with a tool or doo dad I haven't seen in 10 yrs. to fix it. I am grateful he is a pack rat, but if you tell him that I'll say you're lying!

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  12. Thanks, Lara. I needed that!

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  13. Good post to read, especially as Jonas is whining in my ear.

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  14. Totally hear you on the exercising one. The rest...not so sure:)

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  15. This is a fabulous reminder at a fitting time of year. I vote that you repost this later in the year - say in April when Thanksgiving is far off and we have all forgotten this valuable lesson again! Thanks for the reminder AND the inspiration!!

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  16. Great post Lara! P.S- I got the 50D!!! Love it!!

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  17. Yes, small things liket these put big things in perspective...thanks for the post!

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  18. I like your attitude! But the wetting thing... ugh.

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  19. Perfect reminder to us during the holiday season. Sometimes our biggest problems aren't really that big at all.

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  20. I am not grateful that I have to pay lots of money for taxes to the state. But I am grateful because I have a running business that brings enough income so that half goes to the state :)). I would like to get the part with the kids, but I am sure one day I'll manage it. It just takes patience and time :)...

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  21. buuuuuuuut, @ Queendeni: depends what part of Romania, or Turkey, or Serbia for that matter :)). In some parts of the country we are pretty state of the art toilet-wise as we speak :)). (no offence taken, it just reminded me that I am also grateful for having all the comfort - we take it sometimes for granted... since, indeed, many in Romania and in the neghbouring countries still have the toilet outdoors and wash in the river... brrrrrrr...). greetings & hugs.

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  22. I love this post. Sometimes we get so caught up complaining about our lives that we forget to think of the blessings we do have, and sometimes our complaints are side effects of the blessings we have. So we should just be grateful what we have and enjoy life.

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  23. Hello POllyanna.
    I can't wait to show P that movie.
    I love it.

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  24. I am (not) grateful for waiting at the doctor's office. I hate the doctor's office. But I love it, too. Because it means I'M not sick. Because it means I have a doctor. Because my children are getting the care they need - top quality American care, right across my street.

    I do love that.

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  25. Oh, that's very nice. I am definitely trying my hardest not to complain about how sick and tired I feel all of the time, because I really am grateful for this pregnancy. And I'm pretty sure it's my last. So I will try to enjoy it (even between feeling miserable).

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  26. Best gratitude post I've seen so far, Lara. Really got me thinking. This will sound strange, but I am not grateful but really am for my dishwasher breaking. We sing together at the sink. One of us washes, one dries and I'm wondering if we will even replace it. It sounds crazy I know, but I am not grateful, but really am for NOT having a dishwasher right now.

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  27. Loved this post. It really got me thinking that I take for granted too many things that I should really be grateful for. Perfect time of year, perfect week to reflect on these things. SO... THANKS!!

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  28. Thank you for this inspiration, just when I need it. Because I just got a phone call from the dishwasher repairman telling me that parts and labor to fix our dishwasher will be $342. I'm thinking that's too much to have it fixed. I guess at this point I am just grateful that I don't have a hole in my kitchen where the dishwasher is, which is about all it's good for right now... and I am grateful for beautiful daughters who can help me wash the dishes! I could keep going, but I'll only tell you again that you've inspired me to look on the bright side of things!
    :~D

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  29. Awww, I love this post! It's so true, and I always feel that anything worth having or doing is a lot of work. So, it's better to have a lot of work than none at all.

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  30. Thanks for the reminder! As much as I can't stand Nate waking up at the butt crack of dawn every morning, I'm so grateful to have a kid so eager and happy to start the day.

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  31. I nannied for my Aunt when I was just a teenager. She had an out house... Yep, NOTHING was inside! One morning I went out to use it and there was a Moose hanging around. I quickly went back inside. Another time I went out and there was a very, very, very large snake sprawled across the door way! Yep, I am grateful for toilets.
    I am also grateful for a house that I can be in and that I can call my own.

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