Monday, January 30, 2017

What dog poop taught me about true gratefulness.

It was bound to happen eventually.

But did it have to happen in the freezing cold while I was wearing shoes with deep tread?

I'll admit, I didn't expect to get away with never stepping in dog poop. I have a 1 year old dog, for goodness sake. It was only a matter of time.

Honestly, it could have been worse. I could have been barefoot. 

Thank goodness I wasn't. I did have my brand new tennis shoes on, though. Also, we were in Missouri where it was below 20 degrees outside. Yes, I grew up with those temperatures, but I also have been living in steaming hot Texas for 4 years, and I adapted to the climate. 

So as I stood there gagging, using a paper towel to clean my shoe, I realized how angry I was. I was furious. I could not believe how inconvenient and uncomfortable it was. I was so mad at my dog, even though she did nothing wrong. I am the dummy that stepped in it. She was going where she was supposed to go. 

At the height of my anger, a switch flipped and I started laughing. In the midst of the garage with vulgar fumes and inadequate poop cleaning equipment I realized how stupid I looked, and I couldn't contain it. I laughed by myself, and at myself for a solid 2 minutes. 

When that died down, I had an epiphany.

The fact that I was standing there cleaning icky poo off my shoe meant that I had a dog. I have a great dog, who clearly doesn't have digestive issues. So instead of being angry at the cold, the gross factor, and my pup,  I was incredibly grateful. 

Most of the things we complain about are just symptoms of having something great. 

Just think about it. What is something you complain about on a regular basis?

Things I have complained about lately (besides dog poo):
  • Packing our things so we can move.
  • My husband spilling food on his pants.
  • Dishes. Always the dishes.
  • Being cold. It's a chronic complaint of mine.
  • Not seeing my friends and family as often as I'd like.
If you ever want to feel foolish, spoiled, and entitled, just write down the things you complain about. Wow. Seeing them written down makes it even more obvious. 
  • Packing to move means we have nice things that have to be packed and a new place to call home. 
  • My husband spilling food means we eat good food, and he has nice enough pants that it matters if they are stained.
  • Dirty dishes are a direct result of having food. 
  • Being cold means that I'm alive, and also I have access to a jacket, a blanket, and a thermostat.
  • Not seeing my friends and family means I have people in my life who care about me and enrich my life.
I mean, I tear up when I see how my list of complaints is actually a long list of all the things I have to be grateful for - a home, a companion, friends, family, food, and clothing. That's a pretty great list. There are so many people who would and have lost their lives fighting for those very things. How dare I complain. 

So, my friend, the next time you feel agitated about your job, your family, your house, etc., just remember that it's only a side effect of the grand things you have in life, and choose instead to endure the uncomfortable parts with a smile, knowing that you have a great life, and feeling grateful for what you have been given. 

What have you complained about lately?