21 Days: Day 8 -- LET'S GO BUCKS!

I have to write early because there's a pretty important football game tonight, and preparing physically and mentally takes a lot of energy. Additionally, my husband is home and bouncing around the house like a little kid on Christmas, and that makes it hard to write. And finally, I have to take my mom to the doctor, which also requires preparation...

Apparently, the snow plow drivers are Buckeyes fans and were already preparing this morning; at least they weren't plowing the snowy, slushy roads. It was a crappy drive to school so I used the time to give Peyton lots of useful tips about driving in the snow. It sounded a lot like, "See how close this a-hole behind me is? Don't do that." He won't drive for another year, was half asleep and not a bit interested in my monologue, but it soothed me.

1. After three lazy snow days and a weekend, when that alarm sang out at 5 a.m., gratitude wasn't my initial reaction. Ugh. Bed, Brad, kids, house, car with good tires and 4-wheel drive. I realize, as I've been writing about the blessings that my bed is nearly always first. It's a good bed. Everyone who sleeps in it agrees. The kids love it. Our Florida besties love it. Brad does too. Once, after an extended out-of-town stay for work, as we snuggled in, he whispered "I missed you so much..."

"Me or the bed?" I giggled.

"Both of you."

2. The good thing about having a husband who travels a lot is that you learn to do lots of things by yourself. That is also the bad thing. You have to because if you don't do those things no one else will. I used to complain more, but I have a friend whose husband travels a lot as well, and she never complains. She just does stuff, asks someone else to do it, or doesn't do it. She is one of my many role models. This morning, I dragged 3 garbage cans through 4 inches of heavy, wet snow and then drove P to school without thinking twice about it. I'm not bragging, just stating the facts. When I came home and told Brad that the roads were bad, he said, "Why didn't you wake me up to take him?" I didn't think of it because it isn't usually an option.

I've always wanted Brad to take charge of some certain traditional gender role tasks. Take the garbage out. Handle car maintenance. Clean the gutters. You know. But, a funny thing happens sometimes when you're waiting for someone to take care of you: You learn to take care of yourself. But today, watching my husband who is a) home and b) not only fixing my leaky sink but also replacing the faucet which has been leaking for years, I am almost overwhelmed with glee. When he was home every day, I probably would have been worn out from asking him to fix that sink. My reaction would have been more, "It's about damn time," and less, "Look at him! He's fixing the sink AND the faucet. He's an angel boy!" Changing circumstances sure can shift your perspective; I see that today with amazing clarity. 

3. Writing daily Thank You notes is teaching me that there are always people to thank. The smallest act of kindness can shift your mood and change your whole outlook. It's a good reminder that we can and do make a difference.

In Small Victories, Anne Lamott, in a quandary over political and military situations questions her friend, a Jesuit priest, how to help, and he advises: "You take care of the suffering," reminding her that there are people suffering everywhere. Sometimes we get so caught up in our helplessness on a grand scale that we miss a million little opportunities right in front of us. We forget to smile and hold the door because we're focused on our destination. We walk past a person picking up their dropped groceries caught up in fussing about what great things we could do instead of grocery shopping. (Or maybe it's because we're worried it's a ploy to rob us because of that email we just read.) We can't be bothered to pick up a frazzled mom's change clanging on the dirty Walmart floor as she wrestles her wriggling toddler into the cart because we are waiting for our big break. We're waiting for God to show us our purpose. That's the thing though: These little things are our purpose. Slow down, look up, pay attention, love, serve...

Don't miss out on the beauty of the life you have because you're waiting for the life you want.

This is gonna be a rough Daniel Fast day. Buckeye parties mean beer, more beer and delicious food that is not fast-approved. I'm going to eat sweet potato and black bean soup, which is delicious even if it's not pizza or 7-layer Mexican dip. I think I'll also wear blinders and a nose plug. But I'm already telling you: I'm gonna drink beer.

How's your Monday? Two of my fellow fasters text me to celebrate their 3 and 1 pound weight losses. I blocked their numbers. I'm kidding... I'll celebrate with you when you rub my nose in your weight loss, you beeyotches. I'm currently +2. Wooo Hoo.


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