Tuesday, November 18, 2008

18 November, Gratitude for the Better

Today I'm grateful for

1. My mom. It's her birthday and without her, I wouldn't be here. Without her, I would not be the person I am. She's had a hard go, but one thing I really appreciate about her is that she is constantly working on herself, trying to be better, or willing to try anyway. And that's something I want to be when I grow up...willing to change for the better.

2. Disagreements and "fair" fighting. As mentioned earlier today, my Super J and I had a bit of a tiff this morning. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have someone you love and trust disagree with you and then "work it out" without all the high drama and yelling and all that comes with it. In our seven years of marriage, working things out with Super J has been one of the healthiest things I've ever done with anyone. I've been trying to figure out how to explain how it works between us. Yes we disagree on things or come up against a lack of communication that, if left to fester, would spiral into ugliness. But neither of us are willing to do that, and that makes things easier to start the make-up process.

I was reading about a parenting technique where you have fighting siblings sit on a step or bench and they have to sit there until they figure out what they, themselves, have done to contribute to the fight. Not what the other person has done, but what THEY did to cause the contention. Once they can identify and own their responsibility, and recognize where things went wrong and work to fix it, they can get off the step/bench. This not only works with kids (I've done it successfully with the girls), but it's a pretty good summary of how Super J and I "fight", and I didn't even realize it until I read it. We disagree on things but always try, if we have to, to part ways on good terms and then come back together to discuss our own contributions and then how we can make the situation "right." I'm so grateful to have a companion who is willing to work things out and make them better.

3. I sure appreciate my treadmill. Do I always use it? No. But I HAVE been using it for the past 2 weeks, and I'm glad that it's there. It may not be the most super fantastic piece of quality exercise equipment, but you know what? It keeps me from having to walk out in the cold, and that right there is super fantastic.

What is the value of a meteor shower, a symphony, a good belly laugh, a poem, a bird's song, an act of selfless kindness, or a child's smile? These things are valuable because they quietly, persistently give life meaning. Not everyone can perceive the significance of a meteor shower or a symphony; not everyone is capable of appreciating acts of selfless kindness or good belly laughs. People who are capable of appreciating these things are blessed. Those who are not capable of appreciating such experiences would be better off if they could learn how. If they cannot learn how, or do not try to learn how, then they are cursed in ways that they cannot comprehend. ~Timothy Ray Miller

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