I’m in a crappy mood. Not a crappy mood, a depressed mood. Not serious – just verging on it, it’s because of the dream. You know when you have a really realistic dream, and it’s awesome – and then you wake up and realize that it was just a dream? That’s what happened to me this morning, and since the phrasing of that bugs me – realizing your dream isn’t your reality, I’m challenging myself to come up with a list of why my reality is my dream. Which is to say, I’ve got a lot, a whole lot, to be happy about – and I’ve got no business being resentful and sad that my dream (in which someone gave me $3000 just for being me – and $3000 would be incredibly helpful right now) isn’t reality.
So – here’s my official “I have no business being unhappy, and should spend some time reflecting on the many, many blessings in my life” list.
1 – My husband is awesome. He’s tall, handsome, brilliant and the nicest person I’ve ever met. This is not just my opinion – everyone I know agrees that Marc is without question the smartest and nicest guy they’ve ever met as well. He’s unfailingly upbeat (as long as he gets to the gym), relentlessly optimistic and always, always aware of how lucky we are. It’s hard to get really sad when your husband is Marc.
2 – He really, really loves me. His pet name for me is “my beautiful wife” and is always the first to compliment me. In fact, he loves me most when I’m ragged and exhausted and my hair looks like cats have been fighting in it (where did I read that phrase? I can’t remember it, but it’s staggeringly apt this morning).
3 – He works so, so hard for us. We have such a great dynamic together and are always, always on the same team. With the same goals and dreams and desires, and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without him beside me.
4 – My daughter Jessica is fabulous. She’s intense and dramatic and funny and sweet. Gorgeous in ways that continue to surprise me and everything I ever wanted in a daughter. Even now, when we’re on the cusp of adolescence and there are times when I want to strangle her and myself, there’s a connection there that’s stronger than anything I’ve ever experienced. She’s my whole heart and I adore her.
5 – My son Sam is the sweetest kid you’ll ever meet. He’s Marc all over again, the same devotion and love and just utter awesomeness – he even looks just like him, but has my eyes grinning back at me. He’s so earnest and sincere and passionate and stubborn. Nobody loves me like Sammy does, nobody has taught me more about patience and love and motherhood and I miss him when he’s not with me like I’d miss my arm.
6 – My daughter Julianna is absolutely and utterly charming. She’s unbelievably smart and beautiful and completely adorable. She’s my prize, my reward. She’s confident and secure that the world loves her, and from the moment of her birth (which was such a precursor for raising her – less than ten minutes of pushing and I was laughing as she came into the world), she’s been such a joy and a blessing in my life.
7 – My mother, my aunts, my sister, my cousin, my stepsisters. I come from a family filled with women, and I’m forever grateful for it. I’ve got a legacy of sarcasm and support and love – and they have formed me in ways that I’m still discovering. These are the women I talk to every day, these are my touchstones, my reality checks, and I’m grateful.
8 – I have incredible friends. Sara, Joy, Annie, Ellen, Danielle – I’ve got a whole group of women that I can call on when I need help or a friendly ear or even just someone to bitch to. At this stage of my life, when so much of my focus has been on my husband and my kids, to be able to have these friends who stick by me even when I’ve got no time, is wonderful.
9 – Even when things are at their worst financially, they aren’t really all that bad. I’ve got a roof over our heads, food in the cabinet, a car to drive, and my kids want for nothing they need. That’s not something that everyone can say – and something that should never be taken for granted. If my worst problems are problems that can be solved with money, then those are the kinds of problems to have. Because my kids are healthy, Marc is healthy, I’m healthy, my friends and family are healthy – and that’s a blessing that can often get overlooked. Until something happens, like a diving accident that rips your whole world apart, or a boating accident that comes out nowhere and kills someone – both of these things have happened to people I love. I have no real problems when you put it into perspective like that.
10 – Julianna is still asleep, and both my older kids went off to school with a kiss and a hug and smile on their faces. My husband just called to check in and tell me he loved me. I have a glorious half hour or so to relax with a book and a lukewarm cup of coffee that Sammy made for me before he left for school. My life is better than anyone I know. I’m not depressed or sad anymore – I’m just grateful for all that I have.