“Anyone can be pleasant until a cow invades their garden”.
This is one of my favourite quotes from a book of Celtic Wisdom. Right now it feels very apt because a gigantic cow has invaded my garden and I’m becoming extremely unpleasant!
Funnily enough, at this point in my life when I am breastfeeding two children I’m feeling very much like a cow. A “fine Jersey” my grandma called me the other day when she met Baby J for the first time. This was a true compliment coming from Grandma.
Back to this cow…
I started to write a big woeful list of the damage this cow has done to my garden. And although it didn’t feel very constructive, I found it helpful to vent my ‘unpleasant’ feelings. Oh the rage!
It also made me realise how ungrateful I was being. And if I can’t be positive, I can still be grateful. The daily discipline of being grateful counteracts anger and resentment. The healing power of a grateful heart is immeasurable.
So I challenged myself to turn my angry list into a more grateful one. And here’s what I came up with.
- I’m grateful that my children sleep more or less through the night (even if toddler doesn’t nap at all, and baby sleeps for 10 minutes at a time during the day).
- I’m grateful that I have a stroller (even if toddler doesn’t sit in it, I’m sure baby will find it useful soon).
- I’m grateful that I have a healthy baby (even if this means he’s so heavy that my shoulders ache all day from lifting & carrying him).
- I’m grateful for technology that helps me connect with my family (even if they don’t live near me).
- I’m grateful that my baby breastfeeds (even if he does have reflux/stomach issues that give him pain).
- I’m grateful that we can afford to eat well (even if I don’t have energy or time to prepare food).
- I’m grateful that my husband supports me and enables me to stay at home and spend precious time with my children (even if I find this exhausting).
- I’m grateful that I get a nap on Sunday afternoons.
- I’m grateful that my husband still loves me in spite of my unpleasantness.
- I’m grateful that I experience the joy of singing and laughing with my children every day.
- I’m grateful that I am healthy.
- I’m grateful to have children at all.
And that’s what it boils down to. The more you look at the flip side, the more you realise that there’s probably more going right in your life than not.
I’m not suggesting that we ignore our feelings. But a shift in perspective suddenly makes me realise there’s still some beauty in the garden even if the cow has been stomping around in it a bit.
Suddenly I’m getting some wild hope back again.