Sunday, May 15, 2011

In Gratitude

This weekend we took a trip to the big city -- Portland. We were after something special, something exciting. And because we haven't been anywhere for a while we decided to make a true weekend of it and spend the night.

Now, though the weekend was good, my children exhibited some untoward behavior. Specifically begging, whining and moaning. They wanted gelato but we insisted on eating real food first. After dinner we settled on Baskin and Robbins as the gelato bar was across town. Ice cream served. Problem solved. Only it wasn't.

The next morning after hot chocolate, donuts, candy bars *and* pancakes with MnM's the girls once again asked for gelato. After all their wish had not been granted the day before. And they were hungry (can you say protein starved?). The answer to gelato? No, No and NO!

Clearly we'd already overindulged on sweets. The girls were acting up. The sugar trend had to stop.

Tears ensued. I got angry. If you can not appreciate the things you have, the things you've been given, then you do not deserve any more treats -- ever!

And I meant it. Their lack of appreciation, their ingratitude, made me want to cut them off completely; strip down their rooms, allow them a mattress, a single outfit and bread and butter on a tray. What right did they have to beg? To cry? They have so much. They have been given so much.

I was sitting high and mighty in the driver's seat, having just laid down the law, when it hit me. I, too, am culpable. Why in the world would the Universe want to grant me anything when all I do is moan about what I don't have? Why indeed.

Because you see, though I have dreams, fantasies, I have a great life. And, truth-be-told, I don't always appreciate it. So I'm working on tempering my dreams with a healthy dose of grateful reality. I can not shut off desire (at least not at this juncture) but I can foster appreciation.

So today I drove through the farmlands of the Hood River Valley. I marveled at the gorgeous red barns, the fields of pear, the bee boxes and the chickens. I marveled at it all and then I came home and marveled at what is.

My girls clucking in the backyard. The labradork. My happy, healthy, albeit argumentative children. Mr. Peculiar. My house. My yard. Coffee. Gainful employment. All the beautiful things that I more oft than not forget to appreciate.

So thank you. Thank you Universe for all I have been given and all the things to come. Indeed I am one lucky girl.


sue maasch said...

thank you, shalet. i need to be reminded almost daily that i have NOTHING to complain about, all in all...

Jordan said...

Portland, Oregon and sloe gin fizz, if that ain't love then tell me what is. I miss Oregon so much, even though I live on the border it's not the same as the coast where I grew up. Eastern Oregon is so different than Western Oregon. *sigh*

Jen said...

It's been a while since I've visited, but you do cross my thoughts.

It's so interesting that I should pop over to your blog today. I am learning the same lesson of gratitude myself. I am learning to focus on what I do have, rather than what I don't have, and that has brought me immediate happiness this year. In fact, I now make sure that every night when I sit down to dinner with my family, we all have say what we're grateful for that day. Because this is a good lesson for everyone (especially my little girls, age 3 and 6). But I too can relate to those moments of wanting to just get rid of everything because of all the whining.

I wish you the best! And I look forward to learning more of your bee adventures.

Anonymous said...

what a great post - I have very similar dreams yet I have everything I need too. Especially coffee :)

Shalet said...

Coffee. Coffee is ALWAYS good. :OP