A Gratitude Attitude

Do you ever feel like you’re living in a sitcom?

I certainly do, and much more often than I care to admit.

Recently, it was the day before my granddaughter’s very first birthday. (I know, SO exciting, right?) My daughter’s plate was full finalizing details of the party activities, yummy treats, homemade party favors, and decorations. So, when my daughter solicited my assistance, of course I didn’t hesitate to offer some help.

I was put on balloon duty.

I simply had to bring a giant “#1” and three other large bundles of balloons to the party store to have them blown up with helium before delivering them to my daughter’s house.

Sounded easy enough.

Setting out to do the job that morning, I first had several quick errands to accomplish before heading to the party store. My first stop was a quick Target run for one thing. I was in and out like a flash! The problem was, when I got back to my car, my cell phone was nowhere in sight . . . not in my car, not in my purse,  not on my person. Before going into full-blown panic, I reminded myself I had just left the store. If the phone was still in the store, chances were highly likely I’d be able to retrieve it.

Back in the store I went.

I retraced my every step, which I remembered clearly, but . . . no phone. I then enlisted the assistance of a salesperson, who also contacted customer service. After walking through the store together and finally connecting with the customer service desk, there was still no phone.

My heart sank. My chest became tight. I offered gracious thanks to the salesgirl and fought back the release of hot tears as I went back to my car. All I could think about were the numerous contacts, business text history, and oh so many treasured photos on that phone! Forgoing my other errands, I drove home (in prayer), hoping that perhaps, just maybe, I left my phone at home.

Sure enough, I arrived home to find the phone sitting on the kitchen counter. Though relieved, I still wanted to cry . . . but I had balloons to blow up!

Getting the balloons blown up went smooth as silk. After the first two bundles were blown up, I decided to take them out to the car, knowing I’d NEVER be able to manage all of the bundles at once. What I hadn’t thought about that morning was the weather, and the fact that the outside air was filled with the vigorous stirring of a hefty, strong . . . wind.

The balloon bundles were held in my secure grip all the way to the car. After opening up the back hatch, I tried, repeatedly, to gather the bundle and push it all inside far enough to be able to close the back lift, but to NO avail. Each time I pushed the balloons inside the back of the car, parts of the bundle would escape in rapid fashion out from the right or left of me. Finally, I altered my plan and attempted to push the balloons in from the side door.

The same thing happened!

Just as soon as I’d managed to get all the bundles inside the car, a stray balloon would zip out around the top of the car door. When I grabbed the one straggler to secure it inside the car, yet another would dart out from inside the car and scurry outside underneath the door. I found myself actually scolding these balloons, as if they were ill-behaved children who wouldn’t sit still.

Honestly? If anyone had been in the parking lot filming me, they hands-down would’ve won $10,000.00 on America’s Funniest Videos.


Finally succeeding in corralling all the balloons, I made it to my daughter’s house with the entire batch. Never mind that in my rear-view mirror was a solid wall of pink balloons and one, overly friendly balloon stuck to the side of my static-electric hair for the entire drive.

What. A. Morning.

Do I dare ask if you’ve been there too?

I know we all have.

We all share “one of those mornings”, or “one of those days” from time to time. The tricky part is to try and maintain our perspective through it all. The tendency is to wallow in the discomfort or discouragement of the moment, immediately jumping to the worst-case scenario of how the current episode will end.

Immediate devastation assaulted my mind at the thought of losing all my phone data, however, as I drove home, I prepared myself for the possible, real, reality of going through the steps of obtaining a new phone. I was already contemplating a plan for who I would need to reach out to in order to compile new contacts and let folks know I was no longer available at my previous cell phone number. I knew it would feel like the worst day ever, but also knew the incident was pale in comparison to numerous other mishaps that could be MUCH worse.

And what about those pesky balloons? As frustration mounted with each playful balloon evading my commands, I caught myself beginning to fill up with a smoldering anger. I quickly stopped. Anger? No. At that moment, I laughed. There was nothing good about wasting my precious energy on such a negative, detrimental emotion as anger. So, I simply laughed. I mean, it was pretty funny. (At least it would’ve been if I had been filming someone else in this situation!)

As I made that drive to my daughter’s house with a balloon stuck to the side of my face, I inhaled gratefulness and exhaled my lack of appreciation.

Sometimes, amid those things that are going wrong, we need to remind ourselves of the many things that are going right.

“Be thankful for the bad things in life, for they open your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before.”  — Unknown

I just sorta think that nurturing an attitude of gratitude kinda helps us navigate our days a bit better.

Even when we feel like we’re living in a sitcom.




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2 thoughts on “A Gratitude Attitude”

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    Although I was many of your stops that day, it was interesting to hear about the morning all over again. But all was well in the end. Dawn, you write so well! Love you!

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