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Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm not playing that Facebook game.

I'm not posting a gratitude as my Facebook status every day until Thanksgiving. This is not because I'm ungrateful, but rather, because it irritates me. Some of the things posted are:

1. Untrue ("I'm grateful for state representatives who really care about my political stances and represent me well"... um ... pretty sure they don't even know you and their votes only represent the corporation which gave them the best reason to vote that way ... which means you align with Corporate U.S., as well ... which is fine, I'm just think your post should say you're grateful your state representatives are easily swayed by lots of money).

2. Nauseating ("I'm grateful for the sweetest, cutest boyfriend in the world"... I don't need to know that ... I don't want to know that ... and clearly you need to expand your social circle because I'm fairly certain there is a boyfriend cuter and sweeter than the one you have ... I think your post should just say, "I love my boyfriend").

3. Stupid ("I'm grateful for toes"... fine--I'm glad you're grateful, but how sad for you if this is the only thing you're grateful for ... toilet paper seems much more gratitude worthy and this just has the feel of someone trying to be too cute and triggering my gag reflex again).


4. Misdirected/Generalized/Obvious ("I'm grateful for my family" ... tell them? to their faces? individually? because the rest of us assume that's true all ready and you're stating nothing earth shattering unless you give us reasons your family inspires love in you).

Call me Gratitude Scrooge.

However, here, on my blog, I'm joining the throng briefly--not on Facebook, because for whatever reason, the things I'm grateful for are too precious to post in that forum. I can't really explain more. This seems an appropriate place because it belongs to me and I write other personal things here, I guess.

Today I'm grateful, in no particular order, for:
1. Really wonderful kids. They've never complained when their dad lost his job, mom started working like a crazy person, and our income decreased. Instead, they helped out as much as they could, asked for very little, and got jobs of their own. They've told me they miss having me at home, and complained because Darrin became cranky and quirky--but I think that's completely forgivable. They're not saints, after all, they're teenagers, and I think they've handled this beautifully.

2. Jobs. I work too many hours and it's taking a toll on me, but I'm grateful I was able to continue working when Darrin couldn't. To find work as I did, given the economy, was a great blessing.

3. Flowers. They make me smile. Some of you have received them from me--and some of you have sent them. For me, there are few tangible things that tell me I'm loved as much as flowers do. I fill my garden with them in the spring. I run in the wildflowers from May-August. I reserve them for birthday gifts for the people closest to me. And while I understand that others don't really care about them as I do--I can't help it. I love flowers. And some days, when I'm feeling less happy than I'd like to, I pretend that The Big Guy had me in mind when he created them. Truly. I believe this. And I also think I was at his side, telling him all the improvements and inventions I would add just to make them a tiny bit more beautiful. And just so you know--he didn't listen to me when I told him blossoms as lovely as geraniums and marigolds should smell better.

4. Me. All of me. Today, finally, I'm grateful for every part I separated out and recently integrated. I understand why I was afraid of those parts, and why I need them. I'm grateful for treasured memories they bring and I'm learning to sort through and cope healthily with the memories which bring me grief or pain. I'm appreciating the depth of life an entire person can experience. Often it's awkward or uncomfortable. Sometimes it's sad or scary. But it's real, and I'm grateful for that.

5. Blessings. I've had so many lately. My life feels charmed suddenly. I'm glad I'm finally in a place emotionally and mentally, where I can notice the good things that bless my life daily. And it's nice to feel, finally, that I'm not trudging through life alone. I never was, I know that, but there have been times when it's certainly felt that way.

6. Friends. And even though I hate the word, and understand that those were invented so we could have disposable relationships, or ones that we only visit when we feel like it, I'm still grateful for them. I'm glad for the friends who reenter my life after years of absence. I'll never glorify that visit by saying, "It's like no time has passed! We picked up right where we left off!" because I don't believe in that. It's not true. If you've been out of my life for five years, you missed key events which shape my life. Time has passed and we've both changed. But I'm grateful for such reunions which remind me that friends remember, and even if they don't necessarily wish to be close to me, they still wish to connect infrequently, and that can be enjoyable and delightful.

7. Not-Friends. I don't know what your collective name is, but you're the people who stay in my life--the ones who want to know how I'm doing and who check in with me several times monthly, if not weekly or even daily. You're the people I adore, the ones I would choose as family, my confidantes and comrades, partners in crime. You cook with me, laugh with me, and sometimes we just sit quietly together. You're not offended if I fall asleep during a movie. You'll hold me when I cry and listen when I rant. You'll forgive me over and over again and expect I'll do the same for you. I didn't know you existed outside of spouses and families--but you do, and I'm thankful for you.

8. Darrin. He still loves me after living with me every day for many years. He lets me talk about silly things and doesn't get upset when I can't talk at all. We've been through childbirth, illness, poverty, and loss. He still makes me crazy aggravated when he does things that seem perfectly normal to him, but illogical to me. He argues with me, resists my belief that I'm always right, is determined to be who he is--always (as he proved to me last night when he insisted that the only reason restaurants put whipped cream on hot chocolate is so that one can get it all over the face--and yes, he had it all over his). I'm grateful he still believes I'm beautiful and still wants to make love to me after thousands of lovemaking times. I love him. Oh--and I'm incredibly grateful that after a year, he has a job again. Yup. That's a tangible gratitude I cannot deny.

And now this post is becoming way too long so I'm ending it. But I'm not putting this on Facebook. It doesn't belong there. However, I'll try not to grumble anymore about the game. If I'm not playing, it's only fair that I stop complaining.


  1. I'm not playing it on Facebook, either. I have a gratitude page in my journal and whenever I think of something I'm grateful for, I put it there. If it's a person, I tell them. In fact, I think I thanked you today. :)

    I might have to add toes to my list, though ... ;)

  2. I'm thankful for you.
    Is that lame?

  3. Kim--I think it's necessary to have gratitude if one is to be truly happy, I'm just uncomfortable with the number of people who view it on my Facebook page. :-)

    And you did.

    And everyone should be thankful for toes...but just so you doesn't make you cuter...

    Mandi--I'm thankful for you, too. Definitely not lame. Definitely appropriate here. :-)

  4. Samantha, nothing could make me cuter. ;)

  5. Ha, I share a lot of your irritations about "grateful" posts. I may not be as irritated by them, but yeah...

    Heh, and I sometimes wonder if those I've fallen for would be offended that I don't say, "He's the most intelligent, funniest, sweetest guy I could ever hope for." I loved them without needing them to be all of those things, which to me was beautiful and the miracle of loving someone as they are. To me, it's romantic to not have to believe they're the 'most' anything except the 'best for me' or 'the one I most want to be with'. To them, it might be quite non-romantic that I don't use such superlatives, even while freely saying, "You are so beautiful," or, "I love your sense of humor." I hope to find someone who 'gets' that. :-)

    Anyway, I like this season celebrating gratitude, maybe because I feel like I do need the reminder. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Kim--I don't know...have you tried pink barrettes?

    OM--You're welcome. And just so you know, anyone who has to be the "most" anything is set up for failure. At some point their besotted partner will come to realize other people are just as whatever...I suppose that's when you figure out if you're really in love or if your hormones had a brief celebration at your expense.