Friday, May 23, 2008

Gratitude Friday

(above: Julia preparing to do the sack race at Track & Field Day on the second-to-last day of preschool, last week)

The state of the world is getting to me, people--let alone the state of my own household, ha ha. The other night I read a New Yorker article about the seriously shocking state of the world's food system, and I was never more glad that for an entire week straight we have not eaten meat in this house. However, the article makes it clear that pretty much any manner of modern eating, vegetarianism included, has its own sobering flaws when it comes to the environment, the economy, feeding the world's population, and the health of every living thing on this planet. Sooooo depressing. (If you can stand it, click the link and read the article. I was very enlightened, and I thought I was already pretty knowledgeable about this issue.)

Then there's the war, and the fact that countless people come back from deployment with intolerable psychological after-effects--and of course, how could it be any other way? And then there's the prohibitive cost of gas, and the insane price of groceries--never before have I cooked so many dinners in a row centering on cheap, filling ingredients like potatoes--, and all I can think is, How can this go on? What is going to happen to us? All of us, I mean, but particularly those of us in the marginal middle class, who support an entire family on a modest five figures, and for whom these increasing grocery and gas bills are a real problem?

Naturally, when you're a parent, you add to all that global worry the typical anxieties about the babies you're raising in an unstable world. And you don't just worry about the big picture (will the planet self-destruct in their lifetimes?) but about the upfront, day-to-day minutiae of parenthood (will they ever sleep past 5:30 a.m. again? will I? why the nonstop whining and disobeying? what if she falls from the top of that jungle gym at the Toddler Playground of Doom?)

All of which is why I need--maybe you do too?--a weekly reminder of all that is good in (my) life. Because I wouldn't want to send you out into a holiday weekend feeling grim.

Here's my g-list for this week; what's yours?

coffee, coffee, coffee; successfully running eight miles in two days to keep my running schedule on track during a busy week; the hilarity of hearing Genevieve say the word "broccoli" for the first time; a loyal friend taking my big girl for a playdate in Minneapolis while I took the baby to the hospital for her tests; and the same loyal friend feeding us a delicious lunch afterward; hours of playing outside at the park and in our own and friends' backyards; sweet blog comments; wonderful Internet friends; preschoolers with ice cream; lovely, lovely May (finally!); and, though it happened last week, a poem written just for me.

Happy holiday weekend, all. Consider your own gratitudes today. I know it's hard sometimes.


Mnmom said...

Bravo! I try to stay focused on the positive as well. The newspapers and magazines never print how many parents hugged and cuddled their kids today, they don't report how many people helped their neighbors. These are all little miracles and worthy of our attention.

And coffee is right up there.

Anonymous said...

This is a good time to rent my favorite feel good movie, "Love, Actually". Check it out. You'll feel great after watching it.

Shan said...

Ooh, good idea, Anonymous! Wish I had thought to look for it at the library this morning. I looooove that movie. I've only seen it once, but it made me SO happy. You're right, time for a re-screening!

Christopher Tassava said...

I stole your idea.