So my therapist (of course I have a therapist. I’m American.) told me I have to stop thinking so negatively. She said I have to start sitting down with a journal every night and write out five things I’m grateful for that day. A gratitude journal it’s called. It doesn’t have to be much or extraordinary — just a few words to remind me of the things that made me happy that day.
Do you know how fucking hard that is?
Or how absurdly American?
When she said this, I kept thinking the Little Orphan Annie was going to tap dance into the office and start singing about looking on the bright side of life and I was going to have to smile and nod and pretend that I do not want to strangle that silly little bitch. But then I remembered the song’s from Monty Python so my raging inner fires calmed down and I agreed to this nonsense of trying to be more positive.
Thing is, I’d much rather take out my notebook and curse the dude who would not stop hitting on me at the bar the other night even after I pretended to be married (it’s dudes like him that make me limit my bar visits to once in a blue moon). And I would rather write about the racist bitch at the bakery who refused to serve the black Frenchman standing in line behind me so I had to order his daughter’s goddamned sweet roll for him. These, my friends, are the things that occupy my days most of the time — at least when I leave my house — and so my gratitude journal has been almost entirely comprised of childish notes like: “I’m really glad I cooked something that wasn’t noodles tonight” and “My cleaning lady came so now my toilet is spotless” and “I went for a run.”
It’s the little things, I guess. And I guess I need to start focusing on those things, giving them and not the assholes around me all my mental energy if I want to be in a better place (and I don’t mean Copenhagen).
So to keep myself from further morphing into an ornery old cat lady who considers yoga pants the height of high fashion and snaps at every motherfucker I meet on the street, I’m going to try my hand again at a Thanksgiving post and tell you about all the things I’ve been thankful for this year. Because although the things I was thankful for last year still apply, maybe there’s something to this whole idea of being grateful for how fantastic life can be. Maybe having gratitude can make it even better? Someone get me some rose-colored glasses, please.
1. I love that I have friends who indulge my desire to get the fuck out of dodge and then don’t strangle me when I spend our weekends away in a crappy mood because the hotel room’s too small and the kids are getting on my every last nerve. You know who you are.
1a. Also extremely grateful for my friends who lead interesting yet stable lives that could be a role model for mine whenever I stop using the word stable as a curse. People who let me into their lives in mad ways that I never would’ve expected — like taking me to both the French Riviera and to the doctor when I most needed it.
2. Speaking of doctors, I’m thankful for my health because even after spending a good deal of time fretting about it over the last year, we have finally come to realize that there really isn’t anything wrong with me that a bit of positive thinking and patience can’t fix and this amazing body of mine and its healing powers is something that needs to be appreciated. Also, I can run again. Bam.
3. The Diva. Never not going to be thankful for that. Even when I have to pick her up around the waist and carry her kicking and screaming through the otherwise quiet yet crowded cafe and she wipes her chocolate-covered face on my new white sweater and tells me she hates me just because I want her to use the toilet so that she doesn’t pee her goddamned pants on the train ride home. Grateful.
3a. Also grateful that during this very trying Princess Phase that Diva is going through, I do not live in the US, where a real-live Barbie can come to your birthday party (my sister did this once, dressing up in an old bridesmaid’s dress for good money) and advertisements promoting toys that turn toddlers into miniature Ms. Worlds are on heavy rotation. We have a crown collection, thank you very much, and no, my four-year-old does not need her own make-up set and high heels.
4. Being in touch with my materialistic side has meant I’ve been splurging on shit like sauna visits and massages and fresh cut flowers and cute bras and knee-high boots and candles and pillows for the couch. I can decorate my apartment in what is otherwise known as “cock block deco” and not give a shit. I am also overwhelmingly thankful that I no longer live with a non-aesthete who thinks it’s okay to repair his bicycle on the white rug in the living room. And thankful for my cleaning lady who can keep said rug white even with a chocolate-loving terror in the house.
5. My therapist. Of course.
Happy Thanksgiving, all you Amis. Drink wine, stuff a bird and curse your family for me.