I find copycat facebook status trends to be annoying. There's one that says something about getting in a sleeping bag and slathering oneself with butter, supposedly in support of breast cancer. There's another, posting solely what color bra you're wearing in support of the cause. There are the trendy ones that beg for attention, stating something to the effect of I want to see who reads my facebook status, so if you do, post where we first met. All stupid, in my opinion.
There is one that I've liked and participated in for years though. It's the gratitude status that's posted daily beginning the first of November and leading up to Thanksgiving. I hadn't thought to do it this year, however, until divine intervention played a hand.
After a lovely dinner with my cousin T and her friend Lori, we were sitting in traffic when Lori remarked that she was enjoying the ride, and said something about learning patience. I asked her how something like this is learned. She admitted that it's a practice and isn't always perfect, but that she tries to think of all that she is thankful for instead of what's annoying her. She counts her blessings.
When you count your blessings, there isn't room for anything negative. Your mind cannot have two thoughts at once. In traffic, for example, instead of thinking about the traffic, you think instead about the blessing of being in a comfortable car, or sharing time with the people who are riding with you.
I've never been much of a replacement thinker. I've always allowed the thoughts that came into my mind to dominate the inner dialogue. My brain would play scenes and I would react, at least internally, to those thoughts. This is a very stressful way to live. After my night with Lori and T, I started applying the count my blessings practice, and I'm completely in love with reframing my thoughts. Still, it takes practice.
Last weekend, I lost my voice. I'd been run down, doing too much for everybody else and not enough for myself. My body decided that it was going to put a halt on that. Having no voice made it difficult to complain, fight, or do much of anything except rest and yield. Two days of yielding taught me that much of what I battle against on a daily basis is really not important. I don't need to correct the way that something is done, or share a pointless story. During those days, every word counted, because speaking was agitating my vocal chords, so the words I spoke needed to matter. I was forced to lean on others to help me communicate, and I had to find ways to have them hear me when I needed to be heard.
In the midst of my laryngitis, I awoke in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and immediately felt like my balance was compromised. I started to feel like I was at the tipping point of having vertigo. Vertigo is not fun. I've had it more than once, and it's by far one of the most awful things you can experience. I was scared. I went to my husband for comfort, and he sat with me, reassuring me that things would be alright. He would be there for me and take care of me, and he helped to calm me down. At that moment, as I feared the possibility that vertigo might return, I started to think that I would be so grateful if I woke up without vertigo. It wouldn't matter if my voice was still out, or if I felt congested. I just wanted to feel normal.
And there is was. Those grateful thoughts were the jumping point for me to count my blessings. I was blessed to be able to walk normally, to see things clearly. I was blessed to have a husband who would wake up at 3 a.m. with me, listen to my fears and calm them. I was blessed to have a messy house to clean, two wild dogs to walk, a healthy child to drive to school. I was blessed. I am blessed.
You are blessed, too.
I am sharing my blessings daily, and you are welcome to check them out on Instagram (follow me @domesticgoddessltd). I urge you to give yourself the gift of counting your blessings. Start today, and do it every day, as often as you can remember. It's a life changing experience.