Gratitude in the Red Zone

Once upon a time, when she was queen of the chopping-vegetables-for-dinner-in-America hour, Oprah decided that gratitude was in fashion. As I remember it, no one was thinking about gratitude, and then Oprah started keeping a journal and *BOOM* an enlightened population. I believe the same thing happened with The Secret a few years later. This post wasn’t designed to be a meditation on the awesome power of Ms. Winfrey, but, damn…right?

Anyway, of all the lessons she taught us during her tenure, this is the one that (for me) has legs.

We judge people on their character, and I think the level of gratitude that someone has for their own life is a major, major hallmark of that character. It never ceases to amaze me when I come across someone who has encountered terrible circumstances, but it seems to roll of their back. They give tragedy its space, but focus energy elsewhere. These are the most inspiring people in the world, and the kind of people that I aspire to be like.

Then, there are other kinds of folks. You know, especially if you’ve worked in customer service or attended high school, who I’m talking about. Although, I think teens generally get a pass on this because it’s evolutionarily imperative that we all spend a few years in a**hole jail before we get to be fully developed humans. But in general, when you encounter an adult who bandies about the term “fml” with frowny exuberance, you pretty much know what you’re dealing with.

This is all brought home to me as my third trimester inches closer to the red zone. The red zone is what I’m calling the space of time when all the crummy parts of pregnancy that one has dealt with in isolation (e.g., nausea in the beginning, muscle pain checkered throughout, insomnia once in a while, indigestion, etc.) all come back together like it’s the final number in a musical, or the series finale of a long running sitcom and every character we’ve ever cared about comes back for a cameo or some plot resolution (spoiler alert: it was all the dream of someone who fell into a coma at a snow globe factory, so screw you, the viewing public).

That’s the longest sentence I’ve ever written.

I will tell you that I have had a blessedly easy few months and am unbelievably grateful for that. And when things start to get red zone-ish, that’s what I have to concentrate on. I won’t lie – I’ve whined on Facebook. But I am resolving to keep that kind of junk to the bare minimum.

Because the thing is, I AM so grateful. It’s not a stretch or anything admirable – just the truth. I’ve got a good thing going, even when all I want to do is puke. I’m a grateful girl who wants to puke her guts out.

And guys, it’s Hobbit day. And almost Christmas.


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