Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gray skies are gonna clear up...

Growing up, whenever we would plaintively ask, "Do we have to?" my mom would always cheerily reply, "No, you get to!" Which, of course, meant that we had to. This morning I was thinking more about this and realized how thinking that way can really change one's attitude about virtually everything. Do I have to make dinner? Well, I have two capable hands, food in the pantry, a lovely (hungry) family, I don't have to work outside the home, I have a gas stove, pots and pans, exotic seasonings at my fingertips... so, no I don't have to, I get to! And suddenly it seems like quite a blessing indeed to be able to walk into the kitchen and make dinner. And I always have such difficulty trying to decide what to make -- well, there are certainly worse trials in life. We have so many choices! Another wonderful blessing. I have an embarrassing admission. I will say it quietly. Years ago I read the book Angela's Ashes. It is truly an amazing book if you haven't read it. At the time I had two small children and looking back I know I was very depressed. Everything was hard -- cooking dinner, keeping the house orderly, being kind -- you name it, impossible. So I was reading this book and the family is so poor. They have nothing. One set of clothes, the bare minimum to eat, no furniture and do you know what I thought? Oh, that sounds so nice and simple. That mom didn't have to clean anything -- because she didn't have anything! She didn't have to do laundry -- don't have to when you don't have clothes. She didn't have to cook dinner -- great, no food. Can you believe I had that thought? Terrible. Affluenza -- I obviously have too much when I envy people with nothing. (I think I think I don't have enough, though. Another embarrassing thing. Today I ate a potato chip that was on my kitchen floor. What was I thinking? That I couldn't get another one from the actual bag? And do chips eaten off the floor not have the same calories? I shouldn't have been eating chips at all let alone the detritus of my son's snack). So along with my new "Get To" attitude I have been trying a new smile therapy. I find that I frown too much and I would hate to get frowny wrinkles! So in the name of vanity and sanity I am trying to glow instead of glower, grin instead of looking grim. It is actually really amazing. I was driving along and yet another irritating driver crossed my path. Instead of my usual judgement of her poor choices I just smiled and soon I felt great. Just paste one on your face and within approximately 3 - 5 seconds your smirk will become a real smile. You should try it. I'll wait...


See? My seventh grade p.e. teacher tried to tell me with all of her peppy posters, but I just didn't believe it could be true.

Sing it out now -- So put on a HAP-PY face!

7 comments:

Jenn said...

Thanks so much for this post. I can relate to everything in it. I definitely needed to hear this today!! :) Here's to smiling (more)!

Amylouwho said...

I love you.

I love you for making me smile today and knowing that I'm not crazy to feel the way I do with 2 small kids.

Ellen said...

Mary, great post, poetic. I read somewhere recently that if you make yourself smile that it actually changes the chemicals in your brain to make you feel actually like smiling.

Stacey said...

I enjoy your blog the most-Okay, I just said it but don't tell anyone. SHHH! You are so funny and insightful. It is okay to eat food off your OWN kitchen floor.

Anonymous said...

Mary, it's almost like you can see right into my soul. I love your pure honesty. I remember reading The Glass Castle and feeling jealous the the mother. Can you imagine that? I know you can.
Laura Loura

Mary said...

Ellen -- I have read that, too and it really works. I also read that doing the opposite -- having a mad face -- actually makes you feel horrible. Let's get rid of frowns!

Everyone else -- thank you!!!

heartsfullofjoy said...

Love this post!!!!
But maybe you shouldn't have admitted about the chip.... JK!
Thank you for sharing your writing skills and great insight and wisdom with us.
I was grateful to get away from the earthquake threat too....one more thing to be grateful for!

Related Posts with Thumbnails