It’s been a week. It’s been a month. It’s been a year. Well, it’s been two years but who’s counting.
I returned to work two months ago as a substitute. It suits my life right now. I signed up for the retirement plan because someday I want to retire. And it’s good to have money available for that day. I signed up because I assumed I could. No one told me substitutes are not eligible for the retirement plan.
Until I sent in all my paperwork. That’s when I found out I wasn’t eligible. So that was a waste of time. But no one was dropping bombs on my city. No one had bombed the hospital down the street from me. So, I acknowledged my irritation about retirement planning and wasted time. Then I was grateful.
I wanted to feed birds and watch them in the big tree in my front yard. I bought a bird feeder. I ordered bird seed discs to go on the feeder. I hung it up. The birds came. But so did the squirrels. The birds ate. The squirrels destroyed. Beneath the feeder on the ground were seeds and castoffs from the discs. Someone told me the seeds on the ground would attract rats so I needed to clean it up. I also learned the bird seed discs I bought might be good for some birds but may also cause native birds to be pushed out. Well shoot.
I just wanted to feed the birds. But now I might be pushing out native birds. And I have to clean up the seeds regularly so I don’t attract rodents. But I’m not fleeing for my life. I haven’t packed one bag with what I can carry and set out to a different country. I am watching birds from my front window. So I acknowledged my irritation about the challenges of feeding birds. Then I was grateful.
If I were my own best friend I would remind myself of all I have. Of all there is to be grateful for. Of all the ways I can help. Acknowledge what I am feeling. It is real. But then reframe and remember what else is going on in the world right now. Feel all the feelings, but also feel grateful.
Wonderful reminder as I listen, irritably, to the drone of jackhammering construction work outside my window. My dog is napping peacefully, completely unaffected. I’ll give that a try now.