#NaBloPoMo: being thankful for the bad

I have totally flunked this daily writing challenge. I have missed several days in a row now. The worst part is that I have knowingly, intentionally missed these days. Where have I been? Introverting hardcore. Mindlessly browsing pointless things on the Internet, splurging in Breaking Bad episodes, eating comfort foods with no real appetite, unplugging for Thanksgiving and prepping for Christmas, snuggling my dog, snuggling my baby, snuggling my husband. 

I’ve also been tired. Tried of errands. Tired of laundry. Tired of cooking. Tired of cleaning. Tired of socializing. Tired of waking up before the sun rises. Tired of politics. Tired of people saying they are also tired of politics and then going on an unproductive rant two seconds later. Tired of Facebook. Tired of baby teething. Tired of baby sleep regressions. Tired of trying to exercise with a baby attached. Tired of being the default parent. Tired of being expected to know everything. Tired of impatient people, ungrateful people, and intolerant people who use their hatred under the umbrella of honesty. Tired of dishes. Tired of flu season. Tired of my phone being broken. Tired of my computer being on the verge of crashing. Tired of blogging while my computer is knowingly about to crash. Tired of my car being dirty. Tired of prenatal vitamins. Tired of not being able to lose my last 10 pounds of baby weight. Tired of laundry. Tired of seeing my old clothes and shoes that I never wear anymore. Tired of seeing my tired face in the reflection and my hair that hasn’t been done in almost a year. Tired of my neck and back always being sore.

I need to re-set.

So today, I’m starting anew. I’m leaving the house, sans baby and husband. I’m getting my hair done – an appointment that was made months ago, then cancelled, only to be re-scheduled again. I’m going to splurge on myself and re-prioritize self-care. I’m not going to pity myself because I’m working on “full-spectrum gratitude,” a phrase I heard for the first time from one of my favorite people to follow, Alice Inoue, a life coach. 

On Thanksgiving, she advised:

DON’T BE THANKFUL TODAY. Be thankful every day, and don’t be thankful for just the good things, be thankful for everything. What makes up the magnificence of who you are in this very moment is all that your life has brought you – the highs and lows, the pleasure and pain, and the happiness and sadness you’ve experienced along the winding course of your life.

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, as well as for every undesirable challenge. Since ALL things in your life contribute to your advancement and growth, it’s wise to include everything when reflecting on what you are grateful for. Let full-spectrum gratitude become the new standard of giving thanks.

This is so powerful. Too often, we only express our gratitude for the things that are going good in our lives. We try to hide or ignore the bad, but it’s the bad that motivates us to do better. Sometimes it’s the bad that helps us connect and relate to other people. Sometimes it’s the bad that drives needed change and progress in our society.

Sometimes, the bad spells are needed. In all my fatigue, I am grateful – and I am working on a better tomorrow.

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