It’s Hard to be Thankful Sometimes

My average weekday: Snooze my alarm two or three times. Wake up late. Get ready for work. Get Connor ready for daycare. Gather our stuff. Drive Connor to daycare and drop him off. Drive myself to work and get caught in traffic. Show up embarrassingly late. Work — mostly alone in my cube. Work out. Eat lunch. Work some more. Drive to daycare to pick up Connor. Drive home. See Aaron for five minutes before he leaves for work.* Make dinner while Connor plays on my iPhone. Eat dinner. Watch TV with Connor for 45 minutes. Bathe Connor and get him to bed (usually with much resistance and stalling on his part). Load/unload dishwasher and try to be otherwise productive before my brain shuts down. Go upstairs, get ready for bed, lay out clothes for the next day, read in bed. Lights out later than intended.

Rinse and repeat.

According to my Reporter App, I spend most of my time (when I’m not alone) with my three-year-old. I spend half that much time with my husband, and half again with my work friend, Nicole. I spend more time with my cat than I do with any non-work friends.

Before bed every night, I record one thing that made me happy that day. Of the different things I have listed, 28% involve my interactions with Connor, 17% involve my interactions with friends and co-workers, 13% involve my interactions with my husband, 11% involve me having alone time, and another 11% involve food (either making it or eating it). (Other scattered things comprise the remaining 33%, like weight loss/fitness and work-related atta-girls.)

Many of the things that make me happiest seem to be the most elusive — and the most simple. Getting things accomplished. Having some quality time with family and friends. Being social.

I had to call a temporary boycott on social media this past week because I saw so many other people getting to enjoy the things I like — and instead of being happy for them, I got enragedly jealous. How dare you have someone to watch your child while you go to a work holiday party? How dare you have friends over to your house? How dare you do the things I wish I could do?

‘Tis the season to force oneself to take a step back and recognize all the good things in one’s life, though, instead of focusing on all the things that are missing.

Some of the simpler and more common things that have made me happy (i.e. for which I am thankful):

  • Hugs
  • Date night
  • Making dinner
  • Yoga class

My mantra for this year was Engender Happiness in Yourself and Others.

Instagram Photo

I’m not sure how successful I’ve been, but I can’t say I haven’t tried. I’ve become more aware of my happiness level, what helps me to be happy, and what prevents me from being happy. Now the final step is to consciously choose to be happy instead of being a miserable fuck.


*See Aaron for five minutes before he goes to work. Unless he has to go to work early, like he does during the Christmas season, in which case I don’t get to see him at all most days.

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