Monday, August 26, 2013

Gratitude Project (in a nutshell)

So if you're on my friends list, odds are you've come across the "gratitude project" in which people will list one thing they're grateful for every day. Every year I see this and think, "that's a great idea!", and every year I feel kind of guilty for wanting to put what I'm grateful for on Facebook every day because it feels like bragging. So instead, I'm just gonna put it on this blurg for today because on the way into work, I had a thought.

It's freaking gorgeous outside, today. This is the kind of day I should be going on a trip to the beach with Willy to frolic amidst the sand in the sun. I hate being cooped up on pretty days, especially on a Monday when I'm tired and annoyed. However. Then I remember what it was like before I had a decent job, when waking up meant facing the realization that I'd been laid off one of those three times. The third time gave way to the most depressing moment of my life, when I was laid off from a job that I actually liked and where I actually tried really hard to be an upbeat productive member of a team. I came to work early every day. I got my work done early. I spoke up during every meeting, voicing my opinion, giving feedback, and generally acting like a leader in an area I had actual knowledge in (educational gaming software) only for them to tell me, after a few months, that the client no longer wanted a fun game and they wouldn't need me anymore. Bye bye. Go away. The receptionist will see you out.

Oh. Okay.

Enter a good month of depression where I applied to every single job in the world and was THIS CLOSE to waitressing at a seafood restaurant. I have no shame when it comes to work. I do not believe in jobs being "beneath me". I believe in jobs and I believe in working hard because when my parents came to this country, they had nothing. I've got a college degree, so what's my excuse for not working? Oh, it doesn't pay enough? Too fucking bad. I was willing to work at McDonalds until I could find better. I wound up working in a greenhouse, which I actually sort of enjoyed because I love plants and I was able to grow food on our balcony on the cheap. I was getting paid half of what I was used to and living in a studio apartment with another human and my cat. It was sad. I was sad. All the time. This was actually when I met Josh and Chris and was introduced to A Sound of Thunder, which made me very not sad. This was also when I got married! Even during the worst time of my life, I had blessings. I'm fortunate.

And now? I can't even begin to list my blessings. Not only do I have a good job in the city (which I love), but it pays well. I can get overtime. I get to wear dresses and get mani/pedis every two weeks. I make enough money to pay for whatever car I want and live in a nice neighborhood with nice neighbors. I can walk to my grocery store. I can afford artisan cheese every week. I can eat a low carb diet and feel healthy. Despite my many complaints about my body, I'm very healthy and can function as a productive member of society. I'm not disfigured in any way, so dudes still buy me drinks. I've got a band. I'm recording a new album. There are people all over the world who listen to me and enjoy hearing me sing. I have fans. I still have a 27" waist. I have someone who loves me. My teeth are straight.

I can't list all my blessings on here because there are way too many. I'm lucky, not just because I was given a great family with great values, but because I inherited their work ethic. I see ladies cleaning sinks and cutting grass, and (our race in common aside...), that could easily have been me. I could be the janitor working at the office building, but instead I'm the lady in the dress sitting at the front desk. I might get annoyed with some tenets of the job, but who isn't sometimes? The fact is that I was able to move up from a greenhouse to a place that will allow me to live in a way that I don't only enjoy, but love. So instead of being annoyed that I have to be at work on a Monday, I'm thankful that I get to be at work on a Monday. Sure, some people have it better, but some people also have it much much worse.

And at least I get to go for a nice walk on my lunch break.

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