I don't know if you guys have noticed, but I complain a lot. (No! Really?) I do. I complain about my body, I complain about having to get up at dark o'clock every morning, I complain about being relatively poor. I complain about not having shoes that match my favorite outfit, I complain about my cat peeing in the bathroom, I complain about stupid decisions other people make, and I complain about unreliable friendships. Bitch, bitch, whine, whine, gripe gripe.
I am kind of getting on my nerves. (There I go, complaining again.) I certainly have plenty of things to be thankful for. I certainly have a lot of stuff about which I could not complain. Why don't I ever explore those things? Why don't I ever write anti-rants about puppies and kittens and rainbows and how wonderfully, joyously lucky I am and post them in a public forum so that the entire world can be nauseated by the giddy upbeat attitude of me? (Yes, why don't I? I think I will. Okay.)
1) I am overweight. This is a major source of the whining and the moaning and the wrist-to-forehead lamentings that make up a large portion of my conversations. The corollary to this, though, is that I have plenty of food. I have access to the fuel my body requires, and I have access to it in tasty forms and interesting textures. I have never seriously been faced with starvation. Even at my poorest, when all I had in the house was a bag of flour (which I mixed with water and baked to form hardtack), I didn't go hungry for more than a few hours. I had friends who would sneak food from their dinner tables to feed me. I had a neighbor who showed up every other day without fail, claiming to have “made too much” and offering me what I suspect were not leftovers at all. I got invited to family lunches and kids' birthday parties, and nobody ever seemed to notice that I always left with two or three doggie bags. If I really want something to bitch about, perhaps I should move to Rwanda.
2) I have to get up really, really early every day, and napping is not an option. Usually, I also have to stay up until at least a somewhat late hour, finishing up laundry and housework and actual work and maybe bathing. I bitch about this a lot. A lot. I'm so tired, I don't want to wash more clothes, I wish I could just sleep in for once, blah blah blah gripecakes. What the hell am I bitching about? This insane schedule is due to my child. I have the world's best kid ever, and what — I bitch because he likes to get up early and play with me? I'm annoyed because I have the privilege (privilege!) of providing him with clean, neat, well-made clothing? I absolutely loathe my ability to give him a reasonably tidy, safe home? Yes, yes, it is so cruel to force a mother into raising a happy and well-adjusted kid who loves her unconditionally and is almost never cranky. When I dig, just a little bit, it turns out that I'm actually kind of thankful that I can do all of this. I have enough energy, capability, knowledge, resources,a nd love that I can provide for my child. That's actually pretty cool.