Today’s Gratitude List in the Midst of Chaos and Panic and Fear

Just sitting here eating some freshly made roasted kale chips (who the hell do I think I am?) and I’m in the middle of chaos and panic and fear.  OH MY!  Along with my old friend, gratitude.  I’ve told you 748 times that I’m going back to work on the 17th of June.  And that causes me to feel fear and panic.  We are starting with our new Nanny (who is lovely and wonderful) that same day and that causes me to feel fear and panic.  We have to find a new place to live and that causes me to feel chaotic and panic and fear.  We have two babies who are 5 months and change will be mobile starting like, any day now, and that causes me to feel fear and panic.

Now, when I go back and read that first paragraph again, I can either continue to work myself up into a tizzy and start foaming at the mouth OR I can break it down into my GRATITUDE LIST for today.  I can’t drink or take pills to calm down anymore, so I choose to break it down – and not just MC Hammer style.  That’s in your head now, isn’t it?

Ahem, bring your Hammer pants back over here and let’s begin, shall we?

  1. SOBRIETY ALWAYS COMES FIRST.  If the day comes when it isn’t first, I’m screwed.
  2. I’m going BACK to work.  At a job I love.  That pays me to work there and values my contributions.  As someone who’s been fired and burned so many bridges due to my alcoholic cheating stealing and lying, that is a big deal.  I’m a servant among servants and a healthy functioning member of society today. I give and receive equally and that has not always been the case.
  3. We have a nanny who is wonderful and loving and smart and fun and awesome.  We can afford to pay for good childcare for our kids and not worry that anything terrible is going to happen that she cannot handle in our absence.  I’m working on trust and letting go and remaining calm.  I’m working really hard on this.
  4. Needing a new place to live means that I currently have a place to live and a roof over my head.  Mind blowing.  Looking for a NEW place to live is exciting and wonderful.  It means that we are able to afford a new place that will suit our needs better for our newly doubled in size (minus one best cat in the world) family.  It’s terrifying and exhilarating all at once.  As someone who was homeless and a transient for a while in my life, the word “home” is powerful on many levels.  Home means safety and love and consistency.  All things I want for my husband and babies and furries and myself.  Also, we LOVE where we live.  I’ve made friends with some folks here in our building and neighborhood.  Since I’ve been home on maternity leave I’ve really grown attached to the area.  I’m sad to leave it, but we can’t afford a new place here (we rent now and are looking to buy; again, WHO THE HELL DO I THINK I AM?)  The point is, I’VE MADE FRIENDS and have really become part of the neighborhood.  That transient thing is something you never really get over.  Living out of garbage bags does something to your soul and you appreciate having roots so much after that.  My dear sweet dumpster husband reminds me that wherever we wind up, we will make it our home and we will find great places in the area and make new friends.  I GUESS I believe him.  Shoot.
  5. TWO BABIES BEING MOBILE SOON means that I have two babies!  How lucky am I?  I never thought this would happen.  Here we are with two amazing little peanuts.  That they will be mobile soon just means they are growing and thriving and all is well.
  6. I say “we” all the time because I am part of a “we”.  I have a life partner who is with me through everything.  Now, we are a family unit and we do things and we make decisions for the good of our family.  When I realize that I am a “we”, my heart explodes at inappropriate times.  Have you ever seen a heart explode?  It ain’t pretty, but it’s pretty profoundly awesome.  I’m someone that nobody wanted anything to do with for a few years and nobody trusted –  rightly so, I might add – this is big.  This is cause for gratitude.

That is just the start of my gratitude list today.  I do this every evening and it helps calm my panic down.  When I reel it back in and realize that I am OK and all is well I can see every single gift I have in my life.  That helps so much and I can, most of the time, put all worry to bed as I fall asleep each night full of gratitude instead of worry.  It’s done when I let it go each night only to start over in the morning.  All we have is this 24 hours at a time.  I can choose to dwell in panic and worry or I can focus on ACTION and GRATITUDE.  I am responsible for my life today.  I can’t blame anyone else for the good or the bad.  It’s my choices and actions that have gotten me here and will lead me where I go in the future.  I am responsible.  That is powerful shit.

If I practice gratitude enough, my outlook is better.  That doesn’t mean everything goes the way I want it to go.  It just means I can handle it better when it doesn’t.  It doesn’t mean I don’t feel afraid, it just helps put things into perspective so I can walk through the fear.  Gratitude is a mighty powerful weapon against fear.  And fear no longer rules my life.  This much is true.


Shout out to sweet Sally Boy Kitty.  I miss him every single day.


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