It infuriated me when my dad would tell me to count my blessings in response to my being down or being angry or just being a jerk, which was about 75% of the time. I think I could have hit 100 if I hadn’t had to sleep.
As it often turns out, there was a lot of wisdom in what he said, and if I had listened I might have had a little easier go of it, and possibly even managed to end my teenage years on time instead of letting them last well into my twenties.
He reads this blog everyday now, so this counts as acknowledging he was right.
I have not been sleeping lately. When I do sleep, I wake up tired and angry and just generally rough. I am watching the façade of keeping my shit together slip just a little, and everything and everyone seems a little sinister.
This isn’t real, and it will pass when I get things back in line, but today, this is what is present. I embrace it and I move on. I try to act decently to people, I fail, and I make apologies where I need to.
I already have a few lined up.
I wrote earlier this week about all the things that point out how friendly my world is, using only what was within reach of me. Let’s expand that out a little. Count my blessings.
I am sitting inside a house that protects me from the elements. I didn’t build it, but someone else did, and they did a great job. Everything in it comes from the planet around us in one way or another. I’m pretty sure electricity is magic, but we’ll say it’s natural for the sake of this blog. Water goes down drains and outlets do not catch on fire. A refrigerator lets me keep things cold and an oven lets me make other things hot. The roof keeps water out and, so far, the doors have kept unwanted people out.
My wife and son are sleeping about 20 feet away, both safe and protected. They both love me and I love them. My wife is everything I am not. She loves being involved in things and feels her emotions very strongly. She gets excited about things and sad about things and she is fun, which is a good balance to my rather restricted range of emotion. She is loving and she puts up with me, which is a lot.
Max is a toddler and he is healthy and fun and caring and says please and thank you and you’re welcome. He also says shut up and be quiet and I can’t when you tell him do something, but I don’t trust a kid who doesn’t have an oppositional streak in them. He loves being with his family and he loves getting hugs and he makes me laugh every single day.
Twenty feet in the other direction is my teenage son’s room. He is smart and does his own thing instead of following the herd. At the age of 15 he still likes to do things with me. He likes to hang out with us in the living room instead of locking himself away in his room, he values time with his family. He is an awesome older brother. He is everything I wish I had been as a teenager, but, as I said, I was a jerk.
Out in the driveway I have a truck that will drive me to the mountains later today, where I hope to get my head straight. It always runs without a problem, and if it were to break down I have the money to fix it, which has not always been the case in my life. If I don’t for some reason, I have parents who will help me, and they always have, even though I have always been a jerk.
I live a charmed life, surrounded by people who are better than me but still want to be around me for some reason. Just acknowledging this has helped make this false darkness a little easier to see through. I try to do this daily, but a lot of times I forget or just don’t want to, but it always helps.
I hate it when my dad is right.
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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
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