Friday, January 21, 2011

Being Grateful for What You've Got...

People that know me know I can be a champion complainer.  If something really irritates me - whoo boy, don't ask me about it unless you really want to hear my opinion on the matter. I think that as I get older I realize how lucky I really am.  I've made a conscious effort the past year or so to change my habit of complaining about things and learning to roll with the punches more.

Nothing is perfect.  Life wouldn't be interesting if it wasn't a challenge.  My marriage takes work, my job takes lots of work and I'm lucky enough to have a decent amount of leisure time in between.  A woman in my position would not have been able to say something so lucky 100 years ago.

Botanical Gardens
Photo I took at USF Botanical Gardens.  Perfect model
for how to chill out

So far, for the most part, I've been making changes in my life the past year that have helped my stress level.  Some people thrive on stress and convince themselves they love it when it is actually killing them. For a long time my coping mechanism with anxiety was to pack as many things into a day as possible so I didn't have time to think about things and let anxiety get to me.  Instead, I'd create more stress trying to avoid anxiety.  That plan of attack failed miserably and I burned out quicker than you can say "pancake".

Understand the Difference Between "Need" and "Want"
I think a lot of people get stressed out because they don't learn to differentiate between needing something versus wanting something and the journey to acquire it.  We Americans are already saddled with growing up in a consumerist society where a majority of us are raised, socialized and bombarded with messages to get more, get better and have the most things.  More things equal happy right?  We know this isn't the case.  They've done studies on the perceived "perfect salary" for happiness, and once you get past that magic number where do you go?

It concerns me to watch children being raised now in a society of instant gratification.  When the hard reality of getting a job comes and you don't instantly have one the minute you graduate from college what are they going to do?  Many parents now don't have retirement funds and they aren't going to be able to support grown kids along with themselves.

Loving the journey towards getting something you want helps greatly with stress levels. 

After moving into my house I know I was overwhelmed with the number of things I felt I needed but didn't have.  I'm now trying to find ways to repurpose objects into usable things.  I still have an old dresser sitting in my garage that I need to sand and refinish.  Use what you've got and you will be amazed at the cost savings and how it makes you feel to repurpose an object that might have otherwise been thrown away.

This doesn't mean hoard everything known to man with the good intention of repurposing.  That can become dangerous obviously, just watch the show Hoarders and see what i mean.  If the task is beyond you or you feel you might not ever get around to it rehome the object.  Someone else may have better use of it.

If you have a job right now you are a lucky person, plain and simple.  I tell myself this every single day.  My job may not be perfect but it has a lot more than what most people have - good benefits and the possibility of a pension depending on how long I stay after I'm vested.  There were many times in the past where I'd let myself be stressed about my job situation, nothing seemed perfect.  Now I see it differently.

September Corgis! 
There have been numerous studies done on how having a pet can lower your stress level.  I'm lucky to have three wonderful, healthy dogs that keep my life interesting.  Even though they bless me with tons of hair I still love them.  I know they contribute to my lowered stress levels, even on days when I come home to find a new cardboard box shredded up on the floor.

I'm lucky to have my life, my friends, and my family.  

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with everything you said...and I, too, am trying to be more grateful for things and keep my attitude positive...thanks for the nudge.


I love, love, LOVE comments! Leave me anything. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...