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18 September 2013

Opening my eyes

Last night, sitting on my back patio with candles burning, sipping a glass of wine, and watching my dogs tumble and play in the yard, I realized something. Something profound yet amazingly simple and obvious.

I have a really great life. 

I talk all the time about how important it is to be positive and recognize your blessings in life, but I also have a worry-wort personality that can easily get bogged down with the negative. I keep hoping that forced positivity helps me to lose my anxiety and worry, but it never seems to. Part of that problem is the fact that I find it difficult to slow down and relax. Even when I'm getting a massage, intended to relax me, I'm thinking "Only a few more minutes and it'll be over. Darn." I struggle to just appreciate the moment.

But last night, as the sun was setting behind the trees, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I am blessed

Of course I have things to worry about and I always will. Those things aren't going away any time soon. And there's really nothing I can do about so many of the things I worry about. But what I can do is change my now. My present. My view.

I can focus on the fact that my Bailey, all thirteen years of her, was running around the backyard playing ball with Yellow Dog like she was a puppy again.

Or on the sweet Little Boy curled up in my lap, just wanting to be close to me, as I read some Mark Twain.

Or the glass of white wine, perfectly chilled and shimmering in candlelight, that reminds me of my amazing honeymoon only a few weeks ago.

Or even on the gentle breeze blowing and the temperatures dropping to the point where I need a sweatshirt to keep off the chill.

Or especially the significant progress I made on my dissertation earlier in the evening.

I write this post as a reminder to myself that, on my rough days when I wake up at 2am with anxiety and stress, when all I can focus on is the hardship and struggles, when all that seems to come my way is bad luck, when I'm feeling downtrodden and beaten ...

I have a really great life. 

It's filled with little joys that too often go unnoticed and unappreciated. I simply need to slow down and focus on all the beautiful sunsets I've witnessed and the delicious glasses of wine I've tasted and the wonderful books I've enjoyed and the sweet moments I've shared with my dogs. And all of the other little blessings that fill my life but are often absent from my sight. In fact, I don't need to simply slow down. I need to open my eyes.
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