Thursday, November 09, 2006

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Thanksgiving is in TWO WEEKS! Where has 2006 gone? It seems like yesterday when I bought my new car, graduated, and was camping in the hills above Parowan. To me Halloween marked the beginning of the end - the start of the holiday season. shudder

This year I've noticed I'm grouchier than usual, and this bodes ill for the upcoming festivities. What is happening to me? I think I'm having a gratitude-attitude problem. Take my job for instance; I remember thanking my lucky stars and Him daily that I had such a great job. I still enjoy my job, usually, but I've begun to take it for granted. I forget what a generous, patient, wonderful boss I have, my fabulous coworker in whom I confide everything under the sun, and the challenges I face and learn to overcome on a regular basis. Instead, I focus on the things I don't have - you know, paltry things like a raise, insurance, and retirement - who needs those!? (The answer, I DO!! I won't tell you about the mind-numbing, black-out-inducing, eye twitch-causing dental bill I incurred this week. Sigh.) The point is, I don't want to be like Madame Bovary who married Monsieur Bovary when she thought he was romantic and sexy (my word, NOT M. Flaubert's) then grew bored and ungrateful as the years of domesticity set in. Though I know there are opportunities out there that exceed what I will ever have at my current position - until I take those opportunities, I'm determined to appreciate my job, my situation, my life, and certainly the many blessings bestowed upon me.

To that end, I'm going to list some of those blessings. I got the idea from my cousin's recent post, so thanks, Aly.

Why I'm a Lucky Bugger (in no particular order):

1. My mom. I have a fabulous mother, and I don't tell her enough how much I appreciate her. Not only does she let me live with her rent-free (I insisted upon paying her rent until I learned she planned on putting it in a savings account for me, then I suggested I just put it in my own saving account), but when I told her about my dental bill she offered me money (I refused) and, more importantly, moral support. She's always supported me in my decisions and always encouraged me to follow my dreams. She expects me to always do my best and that inspires me to be better than I think I am.

2. Friends. Throughout my life there have been a string of wonderful people I have called friends. The people have changed with time and circumstances, but what has remained the same is their acceptance of me for who I am, or am trying to be, and how we could/can talk forever about everything and nothing. I still think about some of my old friends - Elizabeth in Rexburg, Peggy from Delta, Jaime and Erin in Vernal, high school friends, mission comps (one has a fabulous blog, so I get to keep up with her goings-on), nanny pals, ex-boyfriends, and college chums - all out of my daily life, but never forgotten. I especially appreciate my current friends and hope that we keep in touch forever.

3. My job. I've already talked about it, so I won't elaborate. I'll just say that I really do feel lucky to have my job. It's not perfect and I may be growing out of it, but I'm still extremely grateful.

4. Health. Except for the odd cold/flu and despite my weight, I'm fairly healthy. I have use of all my limbs, my mind works well in most circumstances, and I never feel the need to visit the doctor's office. I hear well, and with the aid of glasses or contacts I have fine vision. In a few weeks my teeth will be in excellent order. Even that is a blessing. Yes, I'm paying a lot for it, but I caught the problem early and now can do something to prevent further problems - problems that would have cost even more than my current bill.

5. Nature. Did you see the full moon the other day? Breathtaking, absolutely amazing. If I had been born hundreds and hundreds of years ago, I would have worshipped the moon goddess. As it is, a clear, winter night sky is about the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Throw in sunrises, sunsets, sunlight shining through tree branches laden with leaves, fall in New England, Bryce Canyon, and the lazy river meandering through Long Valley and I'm terribly thankful for my vision so I can appreciate nature's beauties.

6. Family. My brothers keep me humble. They are patient with my imperfections. They are good men and I respect them terribly. They have married great women and have, and someday will, produced wonderful kids for whom I get to be the favorite aunt. My nephews and niece give me more joy than I deserve. I'm also glad to have such good relationships with my extended family. We're a close family and I'm thankful for it. A special shout-out to Aly and Cassie; I'm glad we've become so close this year and hopefully I'll go to the U and we'll be able to hang out even more!

7. Agency. Even though it would be easier if He told me everything I need to do in and with my life, I appreciate that He lets me make a lot of decisions for myself. It's hard, but I know I learn from it, and frankly I like making my own decisions. I'm also thankful for His confirmations of my decisions once I make them and for His gentle steering towards some of the best decisions I've ever made.

8. Miscellaneous. There are a lot of "little" blessings for which I'm grateful. Among these are a dependable car, the opportunity to vote, my brother K's bed on which I sleep - it's comfy to the max, books and the pleasure I get from reading, finally graduating, mom's leather couches, PBS, the Food Network, compliments, time to relax, sleep, makeup, hair dye, being single, my old ward, blogs, journals, and more things than I can think of right now.

You're right, Aly, listing your blessings does boost your mood. In case I don't get around to posting again before the holiday (I'm spending most of next week in Las Vegas), I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving!!


tearese said...

This was a great post. I should do one like that too, because I've been complaining like crazy lately. And when I stop and think about it, the things I complain about are the things I really should consider my blessings!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Your blessings post was so much better than mine. I feel ungrateful because I missed so many things I am grateful for. I guess I better write another blessings post; it probably won't happen though. I loved your list, and I've always thought that the way you write is beautiful. Thanks for the shout-out too! I'm grateful for you as well, and Cassie too of course.

Cassie said...

What's with everyone being so down in the dumps lately. I hate it. I may have to list my blessings here pretty soon. Probably this weekend when I am even more depressed because my car is going back in the shop.

Cardine said...

Boo to going to the U! (j/k - you know I want you to do what's best for you, even though that'll leave me here ... hey! Where did everyone go?)

Hair dye? Did you dye your hair this week?

julie said...

Cardine, no I didn't but I want to asap - I'm thinking highlights. Really, though, I do appreciate the luxury of changing my hair color at will. Hey, I'll be here at least 'til next fall, so we'll really have to have fun 'til then!!

Cassie, it does seem like a blues epidemic lately - maybe brought on by the shorter days???? Anyway, I've gotta tell you that I've been in a much better mood since posting my gratitude list.

Aly, thank you for the compliment about my writing. That was really sweet. Also, no list is comprehensive - it's impossible - so don't feel ungrateful just because you didn't list everything. I like your list and it spurred me to do something that was really good for me, so thank you again.

Tearese, I totally understand what you are talking about!

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

booklogged said...

I'm thankful for you, Julie.

Framed said...

Your title reminds me of when Jordan was on his mission and he sent me a tape of some sister missionaries singing this song. Thanks for reminding me of that time. There were a couple of months there when I felt gratitude in an almost overwhelming degree and at total peace with my world. I need to recapture that feeling.

Adam said...

I'm thankful for friends.

Thanks, Julie, for reminding me to be more thankful.

I need to make a list like this, if not for my own blog, then for myself, at the very least.