Day 24 – Christmas Party

This morning I’m grateful that I get to go to the Christmas party for my wife’s PhD program.

Yay!  A bunch of people who that I don’t know, have nothing in common with, are smarter than I am, that I get to interact with while I’m sober!  What more could an introvert ask for!

Holy shit, there’s so much to be grateful for in that sentence:

  • “A bunch of people.”  Yes, I value my alone time (that’s the understatement of the year), but one of the things that I’ve been saying I want to work on is interacting with people in social situations.  Humans are social animals, and life gives us opportunities for growth whether we want it or not.  I want it.
  • “Have nothing in common with.”  Well, it wouldn’t really stretch me if they were all my best friends, now would it?
  • “Are smarter than I am.”  Not necessarily.  They have letters after their names saying that they are a certain kind of smart, and that they are able to complete something that they set out to do.  But as the only person in both my birth family and my immediate family who never finished college this can be a sore spot for me.  Yet another opportunity for growth – use them (especially my wife) as inspiration instead of falling into either “I’m better than you because I don’t need no external validation of my brains” or “You all are so much better than me since you are college educated” thinking.
  • “that I get to interact with” See above.  Can’t develop skills interacting with people in social situations if I don’t interact with people in social situations.
  • “sober” – 12 years baby.

Yep… I’m pretty grateful to be going to this party.



Day 23 – Anxiety

Today I am thankful for the anxiety I’m having.

I’m thankful for it because it’s telling me something – it’s telling me that I’m not accepting (and therefore not being grateful for) something that is going on in my world.

It’s mainly centered around the prescription problems (challenges!) that I wrote about yesterday.  Today is the day that I’ll be able to really work on that, and I’m not looking forward to it.  I try to remind myself that it’s just another experience, and it’s an experience that will make me stronger for the next, similar experience that comes along down the line.

I’m also grateful that I’ve learned that it isn’t as easy as “OK, so just stop being anxious.  You know what’s going on, so take care of it!”  Maybe that’s true for you normies out there.  But I have 47 years of experience telling me that I need to be very, very careful here.  I can let something this small, something that *will* work itself out in the end, take me out of the game in an instant.

But I’m not going to do that this time.  There’s anxiety, but I don’t have to let that dictate my actions.  The emotions don’t have to go anywhere for me to do what needs to be done.

I’m thankful that I know that now.


Day 22 – Health Insurance

This morning I’m thankful for how screwy my health insurance company and pharmacy have been since changing prescription plans.

First my wife has to go through a week of them not being able to fill her prescriptions because they can’t get it straight, and now I’m in the middle of “we see that you’re covered but the computer won’t allow us to take the plan” hell.

So what’s there to be grateful for here?  What’s there to love about this situation?

I do know that the doctors/hospitals side of the plan works, because I’ve already had a doctor bill them with no problem.  So if I do get hit by a bus, I’ll be a-ok.  That’s something to be grateful for.

I’m grateful that my wife’s side of the plan is working fine.  Her medical issues are much more serious than mine, and if she didn’t have a working prescription plan we’d really be up shit’s creek (shits creek?  Is the creek owned by shit?   Or is that the name of the creek?)

While the US has one of the most insane health care systems in the world, at least we have one.  That’s something to be grateful for.  Even being worst in the developed world means that you are a part of the developed world.

Probably most of all, this is another opportunity to further develop acceptance, let go of worry and anger, and really work on loving the situation as it is.  And it’s not a “do or die” situation (yet) when it comes to my health, and it probably won’t come to that.  It’ll work itself out, as long as I keep on accepting what I don’t have control over while taking action on those things that I can take action on.


Day 17 – Parking

This morning I’m thankful for the difficult parking situation that the coming snow is going to cause.

We live in an apartment building, and park our second car in the attached parking lot.  When it snows, we have to move it in order for the management to have the lot plowed.

The problem is that there is no where convenient to move it to.  It’s not an issue on weekdays when I’d be at work while they are plowing, but weekends are a challenge.

There is so much here to be grateful for here.  I can be grateful that it’s a *second* car.  I can be grateful that we have a management company here that actually takes care of things that need to be taken care of (for the most part.)  I can be grateful for the beautiful snow that will be falling later today.

It’s not a pain in the ass.  It’s a privilege to have to move my car.


Day 15 – Gratitude for My Car

This morning I’m thankful for the second car we have.

“But wait, Lyman, I thought this blog was supposed to be about learning to be grateful for things that you don’t see as good in your life.  How could anyone not see having a second car as good?”

Well… watch me be a selfish POS.  I *want* to have a car that I can actually get registered in the state that I live in.  I *want* to have a car that doesn’t have a front end that’s just about falling off.  I *want* to have a car that I don’t have to worry about falling apart every time I take it on the freeway.  I *want* to have a car that I’m not embarrassed to take in to get the oil changed.

Yeah, all of those would be nice.  But truth be told, I have a car that has reliably gotten me to work for almost a year.  I have a car that I paid next to nothing for.  I have a car that keeps me from having to leave for work 2 hours earlier to walk, then take a bus, then take another train, then take a bus, then walk to work.

I’ve got it pretty goddamn good.  Maybe what I should focus on wanting is my own ability to see the challenges I face in life as pretty damn easy, and for the ability to meet and beat those challenges that do stretch me out of my comfort zone.


Day 13 – Health Insurance

Today I’m thankful that there’s a delay in my new health insurance kicking in.

Actually, I don’t know if there’s a “delay” or not… it could be that this is normal processing time.  Since I lost my previous job, I’m being added onto my wife’s plan through her school.  We submitted the paperwork a week ago, but I’m not showing up on the plan yet.  If it takes much longer, I’m going to have to make a phone call.  But until there is the need to take action, all I can do is be patient.  And that’s a good thing to work on developing.

Relating this to the Serenity Prayer – I’m working on the serenity to accept that there’s nothing I can do about it at 5 am, the courage to do something about it once I can, and the wisdom to know when and where effective action is possible.