An attitude of gratitude and an attitude adjustment


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Dave Ramsey is fond of pointing out that living on a budget and managing money are easier if you approach them with an attitude of gratitude. Instead of focusing on what we can’t afford and can’t do, we should try to focus our energy on things that we can afford and can do.

Today….I am very much in need of an attitude adjustment.  It was a hard, long weekend alone with my toddler and I am still feeling very crabby and resentful today.  Resentful of friends whose spouses are around, resentful of my husband for not having to deal with the sometimes overwhelming mundane work involved in keeping a household running and resentful of the “things” that other people have- houses of their own, cars that work right (my stupid car trunk keeps not opening at the most inopportune times), etc.

Resentment is an icky emotion and if left to fester, often has a way of taking over and making everything terrible.  I know- I’ve been caught up in resentment spirals before, most often when I’m stressed out and B. is away (he is probably my biggest asset for staying grounded when I’m stressed- he’s so unflappably calm!) And it’s not good for anyone. I make poor financial choices when I’m stressed out and resentful, I yell at my toddler, I get frustrated with the dog…it’s just not good.

So today, I am in need of an attitude adjustment.  So, instead of focusing on all the things I can’t do or don’t have, I’m going to focus on five very concrete things that I am grateful for today, to remind myself that even though there are things I would like to have that I can’t right now, I still have a lot.

5 Things I’m Grateful For Today

  1. The blessed break in the heat wave– 85 degrees has never felt so cool, you guys.  The humidity and heat wave broke over the weekend and has been replaced by some truly gorgeous July weather.  F. and I went to the park after work today and had a really fun time running around and looking at the flowers.  Outside time= happy toddler (and happier mama too!)
  2. The ability to have choices about what to do with my money– I know that so many people out there (my readers included) aren’t in a place where paying down debt is even an option. Where they’re having to choose between bills and food. Where food and housing insecurity are real, unending worries.  I’m profoundly grateful that B. and I make enough to be able to meet our basic needs and even have some money left over for little luxuries. That’s more than a lot of people and sometimes I need this little kick in the pants when I’m starting to wallow about what I can’t afford.
  3. My awesome landlords– It’s been hard to go back to renting after owning a house for so many years before we moved, but that transition has been made easier by the best landlords anyone could ask for.  B. and I are very lucky to have had a lot of good landlords over the years, but the couple that owns our current house are some of the best. They’re responsive, they’re kind and they take really good care of the property. I may not be excited about renting, but I couldn’t ask for better landlords.
  4. My supportive teammates at work– I’ve been feeling pretty negative about my job recently (not “so bad I want to leave” negative,  but “I’m bored and therefore frustrated with minor things” negative) but I got a great reminder today of the awesome team of people I work with. I had multiple people come up to tell me how much they enjoyed listening to my presentation and how interesting it was.  I so appreciate when people take the time to say these things, because it always feels great to hear (and I try to make a point to say them to others!).  Today’s presentation really helped me feel like my contributions are valued and important AND helped remind me what a great group of people I get to work with!
  5. Online library books– I just set up my online account so I can check out books directly to my tablet. This technology is amazing- I’m never out of new and interesting things to read and I’m grateful to have the technology to be able to take advantage of this great feature.

There we go. Five things I’m grateful for today. And you know what? This sounds corny, but I do actually feel better after writing that list. What’s on your gratitude list today?