I've fallen into a negative thought pattern lately, whining about my troublesome child (who, frankly, is really not that much trouble in the scheme of things, being 1. an only child; 2. mentally and physically healthy; and 3. naturally an extroverted, cheerful, even-keeled person). And while I didn't post all my complaints about B on the blog (I'd like to say for the "sanctity of our relationship" or something nice sounding, but truthfully just because I knew I'd read them later and think, "Boy, I'm a bitch!"), I have certainly been thinking them (and sharing them fully with B: I know, awful).
Generally I've just been feeling sorry for myself, thinking about how my life is SO hard, enumerating all the stresses and issues I have to deal with, envying other people who seem to have the things I want but cannot get, for various reasons (which is probably partly why I wrote this post).
This is all ridiculous because I am actually very lucky and privileged, by pretty much any standard that you choose (leaving aside the fact that as an American I am already one of the world's elite). In fact, some people do envy me (the Bangladeshi migrant construction workers here, for instance: not surprising as their lives are unjustly, grindingly hard). This isn't to say that my various struggles don't count: but on the other hand, I need to have a little perspective (like by remembering that actually I am fabulously, and undeservedly, blessed).
I've been reading several books about happiness lately, and one of the suggestions for becoming a happier person is to spend time daily counting your blessings (or practicing gratitude). So B and I are going to try listing three things we are grateful for each night at dinner (we always eat dinner together as a family). It sounds kind of silly, but I hope it will help me cultivate a better attitude. It can't hurt, in any case!