Earlier today, I read a blog and as I sometimes do I chose to share it on Facebook so my friends and family could read it to. The content of the particular blog entry had to do with the trend during the month of November to post each day something you are thankful for and as the blog name "Snarky in the Suburbs" implies it was full of snark about the extraordinary posts that seem too good to be true. I used to be really hard on myself, I found I was comparing myself to all those perfect people and getting down in the dumps. After almost a year of visiting a great therapist, I came to be able to believe that although I'm not perfect, I have a great life and so much to be thankful for every day. I work hard to be positive on Facebook and help my friends recognize their crazy blessings; as such, all year long I post occasional "crazy blessed" statuses on Facebook but I also post real feelings on the days I'd like to enroll my kids in public school, feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of life, etc. In past years I have participated in the November days of thankfulness. This year on the first of November before I had the opportunity to post my "thankful" post, I went to Walmart. I know not very exciting and probably not the place where you come away expressing gratitude but this visit was different.
I was in a bit of a hurry, Jess and I were spending a very rare Mommy & daughter day. We popped into Walmart to pick up a couple of things on our way to the Square where we were excited to go marvel at the Toyland First Friday, enjoy burgers at the Station Cafe and just enjoy our time together. As we approached the cashier, a lady turned in front of us in her mobility scooter with a FULL cart. The other line was full and for a brief moment I think some red smoke actually may have come from my ears. Then I looked at this woman and my heart and mind did a flop-I have a mother who sometimes needs help in the store and someday I will be the elderly grandma in the mobility scooter. I saw her look of panic as she struggled to lift an item from her cart so I put on my best smile and offered to help. It turns out I knew her, she once was the deli lady at our Walmart store and her daughter is an amazing woman from the church I used to attend. I put all her items up on the belt and the cashier treated her like a long lost friend and I think it took fifteen minutes to get her checked out...and I was okay with it because I stood there hanging out with my Jessica, and savored the moment. I had been her thankful moment on November 1st-the relief in her eyes when I offered to help was real. At that moment, I again realized how crazy blessed I am every day-you all know it!! I don't need to remind you that I love my God, I adore my Handsome, my kids are near perfect and how crazy blessed I am that my parents have moved across the street. I knew what I needed to do so when I arrived home I posted this:
I'm going to try something new the month of November 2013-you all know my catch phrase of being crazy blessed and we all know I, like you, am thankful for things like my husband, children, patents, etc., etc., etc. So rather than being obviously thankful my goal is to be a blessing to someone each day and help my kids be a blessing to others. Some days, I may share but most will be anonymous! So today, November 1st I'd like to challenge you, my crazy blessed friends to be a blessing every day this month! Are you in?And then I went about my life, feeling crazy blessed and working to consciously be a blessing for someone every day. I've seen lots of gratitude posts...day 1, day 2, etc. people thankful for their God, their husbands, their kids, their kids Halloween candy, etc. Some made me smile, some made me think seriously-I know the truth and you're just blowing smoke. So when I read the blog by Snarky today, I laughed...I mean really laughed because many years ago, if I had read some of the posts I see about my friends seemingly perfect lives I would have began judging myself and putting myself down. I didn't have the self-esteem or confidence in myself to realize how crazy blessed I was in spite of _____________ (fill in the blank). But now, I can see them and NOT compare myself and remember to be thankful, grateful, crazy blessed by the small things.
So what I really want more than anything else this month of November is for you to please, please post the things you are thankful for-the real things if that is what you're inclined to do but remember there are eleven other months of the year-a whopping 335 additional days to express gratitude and be thankful for things. Are you going to have bad days? Are you going to want to lock your kids in a closet? Are you going to want to strangle your husband? Are you going to want to hide under the covers and spend a day crying? YES!!!! I was feeling that exact way last night but after a few short moments surrounded by friends I quickly remembered all the things I do have to be thankful for. So in that status update, before you hit enter on one that is only meant to make things look perfect to the world, consider being raw and honest and sharing how you really feel--I guarantee your real friends already know you have those kind of days and are more than willing to life you up!! I also guarantee that the person with the perfect looking life has bumps along the way, too...it's called being a member of the humanity. As mamma used to say, "you may be able to fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time!" Don' be fooled, count your crazy blessings because they are there!!!
(When my kids were younger, they adored Laurie Berkner. She sang a song that we still sing today, it's called "I'm Not Perfect" and I'd like to share it with you today!!)
I'm not perfect, no I'm not
I'm not perfect, but I've got what I've got
I do my very best, I do my very best
I do my very best each day
But I'm not perfect
And I hope you like me that way
We're not perfect…
You're not perfect, not you're not
You're not perfect, but you've got what you've got
You do your very best, you do your very best
You do your very best each day
But you're not perfect
And you know
I love you that way