Gratitude – Part 1

I votedNow that the U.S. mid-term election is over, it occurred to me that I am just exhausted. No, I mean really exhausted, in fact I think I have a super bad case of voter fatigue–that crappy feeling you felt every time you wanted to enjoy an episode of…oh, say for instance…The Walking Dead and instead of the normal (albeit) annoying commercials, you were bombarded with minute after agonizing minute of vicious lies, half-truths and political chicanery about the candidates. You groaned, swore expletives, begged for mercy and your eyes finally glazed over after the first 50 times you saw the same ad that evening. You started getting headaches or drank to numb the pain of listening to all forms of evilness or, as in my case, became exceeding nasty and judgmental. No excuses mind you, but yeah, I was influenced by the media and the relentless hammering of candidates and I’m not proud of it.

What was once a keen eye for noticing the details of life, now had evolved into plain old bitchiness about everything and nothing escaped my jaundiced eye. I was watching everything from a same negative predisposition as the election and the resulting abyss wrapped its ugly tentacles around my heart. It pulled me in a downward negative spiral—a condition that is never optimal at anytime.

Over the weekend I realized that the bitch within saturated 95% of my waking hours and I realized that I had to get rid of ‘that’ person. She was waay too toxic. The amount of energy it took to have her occupy my soul had taken its toll and she. definitely. had. to. go!!! It takes so much energy to negate all those negative feelings/observations to even get back to any kind of homeostasis, let alone be awash with positive thoughts and feelings. No wonder my energy level was nil. I’d been terse and abrupt with those who mattered the most. I’ve been battling some serious demons here people and it’s just wasn’t working and I didn’t like the person who I’d become. 😒

I came to this crossroad of awareness when I went to the Apple store at the mall for a class. The mall had been transformed into a full-blown Christmas at the North Pole set done in the theme of the move Frozen even BEFORE Halloween. Gah!…does anyone have a way to remove that dreadfully overplayed song from your brain? Are you kidding me, I kept lamenting. Isn’t it only the first part of November? You’d have thought it was the night before Christmas by the look of things. People were already stressed and wigged out, fighting over the precious few parking slots there were, fuming at the lack of helpful staff and suffering from the unrealistic pressure we put on ourselves for finding that perfect gift for everyone on our list. Add overtired, sugared up children still buzzing from Halloween candy waiting in line to have that perfect photo-op with Santa (or Sven as the case may be), and you’ve got a toxic recipe that is more dangerous and contagious than Ebola. l sure as hell don’t need to experience any more of those negative feelings after enduring this past election.

With that confession out in the open and apologies to everyone, I’ve decided to devote the rest of the month focusing on…gratitude. As Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, I thought this is the perfect opportunity to focus on things that actually underscore happiness rather than highlight the ills of the world. It’ll make me a far more pleasant person to be around rather than that fussy, cranky and downright nasty person I keep seeing in the mirror.

So here are a few things for which I am grateful for or which make me smile to my core and make me actually want to experience the positive more. I intend to add to this list all month-long but for starters:

  • Sam…naturally. Who wouldn’t be grateful sharing life’s daily adventures with the goofiest/sweetest hound ever? I can always count on this pawsome dude to make me smile and realize just how great life really is.  I am so grateful for his companionship and happy demeanor and want to truly experience life through his optimistic eyes. He’s definitely a keeper and I so want to be the person he thinks I am (gulp).
  • My family. Don’t get me wrong, we have our fair share of ‘quirky’ characters, but I absolutely a-d-o-r-e each and every one of them, idiosyncrasies aside. 😃 We are an amazingly devoted clan and I’d be hard pressed to find better examples of humanity outside my genetic wading pool. THEY ARE THE BEST!
  • My health. Last year I suffered a bad accident that could have been worse. I’m so grateful that my daughter was still in Colorado then to taxi me to all the doctor and diagnostic appointments. While I’m not quite 100%, I’m so much better than I was a year ago and as I continue on the path to recovery, I realize even more how lucky I was that my injuries weren’t worse. Invariably you take your health for granted especially when it’s always been good in the past. That accident made me realize that I need to focus on recovering my vitality, strength and health through diligent work, physically, mentally and emotionally. Just like citizenship, good health isn’t a birthright—you have to work at it to keep it strong and fundamental.
  • This blog.  What a fabulous journey these past 7 months have been! It’s given me an avenue to share my thoughts and to recount the many ways my life has been positively touched by pet therapy. To all the teammates, their dogs, the patients, staff and hospital visitors, as well as you, dear readers, my deepest and profound thanks. It’s impossible to convey my gratitude in mere words for your kindness and the life lessons you’ve shared but please know I am eternally grateful. Your comments make my heart sing and this community has completely touched me.

My goal is to improve my attitude and see life through a positive thread rather than through a snarky observation. I hope you’ll continue to visit my ‘little acre of the Internet’ and share your thoughts about what makes you smile and what you feel grateful for in this life.

With peace and love of the season, I look forward to hearing from you soon. ❤

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20 thoughts on “Gratitude – Part 1

  1. Marty the Manx

    The political spin doctoring had that effect on all of us I fear! I am so glad that I record most of my programs! I am a firm believer in looking for something positive every day, even if it is the most simple thing like a hard day coming to an end. It really makes a difference if you just put that tiny spin on it. I do think it is sad that Christmas gets started before Thanksgiving though. Thanksgiving has almost become a lost holiday really. We love it because it is the start of our holiday season and when we put up the first Christmas tree at my brother’s which my brother’s kids couldn’t wait for, and we are all together as a family. Now my 8 yr old niece gets so excited, it keeps it fun and joyful for all of us still.

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    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      Thanksgiving used to be a stress-free holiday but now days, it’s just a welcome mat for Christmas sales campaigns & consumption. I always loved Thanksgiving as a kid, it meant pawsome food, family get-togethers and football. Some of my best memories as a kid were Thanksgiving at my great-grandmother’s house. Loved that lady! She was quite the ‘broad’ and had the best Thanksgiving dinners.

      Sam and I send our best wishes for a fabulous Thanksgiving. ❤

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      1. Marty the Manx

        We loved Thanksgiving and making your paper chains for Christmas countdown at Grandma’s. Our Grandma was a tyrant but boy could she cook 🙂 The Holiday is lost, but thanks goodness the family togetherness isn’t with us 🙂 Hope you have a good Holiday with those you love!
        Kelly

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  2. Pingback: Gratitude and Colorado sunrises | Tails Around the Ranch

  3. Anna

    Thank you Monika, you have just given me another reason to be grateful for living abroad: I was not forced to witness any of that awful election! Gotta count every little blessing we can, right? 🙂

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  4. Jodi

    I started doing this at the beginning of the year. Try to find at least one thing to be grateful for every day. When I lie down at night to sleep I try and come up with ten. It really puts things into perspective.

    As for the political ads, I wish they would ban them. They are so negative and definitely don’t help.

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    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      It has made such a difference to consciously thinking about the good rather than the not so good. Feeling better about things with each day. I’m with you, all political ads should be banned and I’m a total political junkie but this election may make we rethink that. 🙂

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  5. camparigirl

    I am grateful for “on demand” and Netflix tv viewing – not a single commercial offended my eyes during the elections – although stopping the phone calls was a bit more annoying. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving – still a couple of weeks away but nice you started thinking about you are grateful for now.

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  6. Pat Mcdonald

    Did not realize how “unpositive” you had gotten. Glad you figured out how to get back to your sunshiny disposition[?]. Best o luck with that and send some my way, please. Love always yo momma

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  7. Nancy Fischer

    Thank you for letting us in on your gratefullness (is that a word?). I, happily, missed most of October and the politics that seem to occupy so much time because I was having an awesome time in the Galapagos Islands–so many beautiful and quirky animals, fish and birds, and then on to Machu Picchu in the Andes of Peru. That also was awesome! How can we not be grateful with so much on earth that is beautiful and good. I include family and friends right here at home. Best wishes to you and Sam–keep up the good work that I know you do to bring smiles to those who may not always feel like smiling.

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    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      I think those uptight folks are the very people who need the mellowing out (perhaps even me judging by my cranky uptight self lately!). 🙂 Maybe it’s the lack of oxygen that’s affecting us all. Yup, I’m going with that!
      So sorry about the folks in Pahoa–just heartbreaking watching the news while they watch and wait. Still keeping all of Hawaii in my thoughts.

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      1. maxwellthedog

        Pahoa is the ultimate super slo-mo heartbreak. The lava approaches inch by inch with excruciating deliberateness, everybody knows the inevitable outcome, but somehow folks stay hopeful. Fortunately, the losses so far are few and the outlook is still pretty good for a sparing of the more populous areas. But it’s sad, albeit somewhat predictable, when one lives on a volcano. I know that you savvy the contradictions.

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  8. Natalie McDonald

    Monika thanks for sharing your journey down the dark hole and back. 😙 We all have travelled this path, for a multitude of reasons, and it’s so easy to get stuck there! Thanks for sharing as it makes the journey far less lonely knowing we all go there sometimes. I am GRATEFUL to have you in my life!

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