I usually conclude my day with an entry in a typed journal, and part of that exercise is listing five things specific to THAT DAY that I’m grateful for. It’s not enough to list my family, my health, a safe place to sleep, enough to eat, and meaningful work. Nope. That exercise is fine for a thank-you list, but it doesn’t benefit the mind and mood as will a specific, particular, unique list.
So one day this week I was grateful for the dahlias growing against my back fence, that go into full bloom just as other flowers are wilting. Another day I was grateful to be able to post the trot without stirrups (on my horse) half-way around the arena. Not long ago, I could not do that for six steps.
Then I hit a situation that had me saying MANY bad words. The little community bank I’ve used for years got bought by a multi-state conglomerate, and the progression has been one of increasing frustration and worse service. The bank lobbies are now retail sales floors, complete with big screens flashing relentless ads in your face as you try to talk to a teller without everybody overhearing your business and seeing it laid out on the waist-high counter that “encourages customer interaction.” Mid-week, I got a call from the bank that because of their mergers and acquisitions, they’d be changing my business account number on September 14.
Have a nice day.
I receive direct deposits from at least fifteen separate sources in the last week two weeks of the month. Before they will put money into a new account–even if I pinkie-swear that it’s just another Grace Burrowes account–they have to do test-deposits that I verify, and if I don’t verify them timely, my account is flagged as suspicious. In other words, I am hugely inconvenienced by the bank’s little merger problem, and oh by the way, I will be traveling out of the country for much of September to places without reliable internet.
So one evening this week, I made not only a gratitude list, I also made an Annoyed list. The old bank’s cavalier assumptions about my business operations, the new bank (I’m changing banks, you bet I am) wanting me to magically modify the forms the State of Maryland uses for corporate documentation. The kindly reader who told me she gets all my books off a pirate site. The heat, the flies, the rate at which feral cats reproduce…
And having made that list, and seeing that nothing on it was The End of the World, I felt better. First world problems from top to bottom, happy life problems. Nothing I can’t handle. But I needed to stop and say, “This stinks. That’s not fair. The other makes my life harder and is STUPID.” Smurfing along, pretending I wasn’t cheesed off, wasn’t working. Having a little pout, making some dirty faces, and writing down my grinch-list helped. Then I could go on to the gratitude list and go back to being cheery.
How do you process the terrible, horrible, awful very bad days, so you can let them go? To one commenter, I’ll send a $50 Barnes and Noble e-gift card (Christmas is coming, right?).