#blessed

I had a bad day today. There are a few different reasons for this, but those don’t really matter. What it comes down to is, it was a rough day.

When I was in college, I was all about blogging the bad days so that I could get them out of my system and not really bother anyone by needlessly complaining. Also, blogging about the bad days was a chance for me to just get through something by myself, which at the time, was important to me.

I haven’t really had a bad day in a while, and the ones that I have had haven’t been all bad, it’s been more one thing that made it bad. Actually, when I stop and think about it, the bad day I had today wasn’t really a bad day, it was just one thing that made it bad. But I was in a bad mood for the whole day.

Today, I had someone to tell everything to. As I complained more and more, he just listened and offered advice. At one point, I realized that all I was doing was complaining and I felt badly about that, because that’s not fun to hear and isn’t fun to have to endure. So I said I would stop, but I was probably going to continue to be angry, I was just going to have to stand myself on my own two feet. Before I hung up the phone, he had an interesting suggestion. He suggested that I, instead of remaining angry on all the things I thought were going wrong, instead think of or write down all the things I thought had been blessings in not only my day, but my life.

He asked for a follow up, but what he didn’t realize is that I would make it so public. So…ha. Actually, I have no idea what that “ha” accomplishes…moving right along…

I’ll admit. This idea seems silly, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

So. What has the Lord blessed me with? Not only in my day, but in my life?

I mean, it’s easy to give the “fluffy” answers. I think I’m a good friend. I think I’m a good sister. I’m a hard worker. I’m a good listener. But do these things actually matter?

Yes, they do. They aren’t fluffy at all, really. They just seem fluffy because they are the soft skills that aren’t tangible. I can’t walk up to someone, hand them a physical representation of a good listener, and say, “I have this thing. It’s useful. I’m sharing. Please enjoy it.”

That’s a comical way of thinking about it, but you know what I mean. These “fluffy”, soft skill attributes (and by extension, blessings…yes I’m taking it to mean that) are a lot of what make me, me. The person that for some reason, people like to be around.

Okay…that last part sounded way too self-deprecating. It wasn’t meant to, at all. Promise.

Focus, Mar. Let’s keep rolling.

Okay…more soft skills. Those are easy. One thing I’ve always prided myself on is my ability to laugh at myself and laugh in general. It’s not hard to make me laugh, I know, but honestly, I wouldn’t really have it any other way. If I say or do something less intelligent, usually the first person to laugh about it is me. And that’s a good thing, too. I’m very reliable. I’m really, honestly, quite good at being there for other people. And I have a really good memory (which, I’ll admit, can be both a blessing and a curse). I’ve learned recently, at work, that I have a weird ability to give the air that I’m in charge. This could be because I actually am in charge of a project and people realize it, or it could be because people I work with regularly are getting some sort of notice that I am in charge of a project, or (not really true) my entire channel. It’s been a weird change, but I think I’m starting to accept it (also not really true…it’s a learning process).

But let’s move on to something else. This feels weirdly egotistical. Even though that’s not the intent.

Today…today today today (I had an orchestra director drill the cadence of the word “today” into us as the musical phrasing of a few measures. So now, the word “today” always comes in sets of 3 in my mind)

The biggest “blessing” of the day was the pick me up Diet Coke I had at lunch. Had you told 12 year old Mary that 25 year old Mary would have preferred Diet Coke to Sprite, she probably would have laughed at you, or have been sort of disgusted by the thought. But it’s true. And I know it seems like a weird crutch, but I promise it isn’t. Sometimes all you need is a fountain soda, of any kind, and my choice is Diet Coke.

A VERY close second to “blessing” of the day is the conversation I had with Jessica. She just listened. I just talked. And might have cried. But that’s okay. Because Jessica listened and helped me through it. It was exactly what I needed. I said a couple posts ago that I was worried that when Jess moved that I would lose her, but it’s been the complete opposite. I will be forever grateful for that. Love you for always, kemosabe. I owe you tickets to Space Jam 3000…and some mini doughnuts.

In my life, I’ve been immensely blessed in every aspect. I have a good job, one that I struggled to find, so the job itself was an immense blessing at the time. I have a wonderful family that has always been supportive of me. I have countless friends that love me and support me, even when I’m being a little poop (read as: my usual, stubbornly independent self). Actually, note on that. One thing I love about every single one of my friends is their collective, yet incredibly personal, way they let me struggle with something while being completely supportive. This sounds weird, but I know that all of my friends will let me make my own decisions, probably because they all know I will eventually see the error of my ways and correct myself. I really love that they all let me exercise my own agency and let me make my own mistakes. (Though, this could be so they can all say, “I told you so!” when I finally come to my senses…hahaha even if it is that, that’s actually pretty funny, so I’m going with it.)

While I’m at it, or not too far removed from it, I know for a fact that Jess is one great blessings in my life. We’ve been over this, about the two little freshmen girls that met and were so unsure of really everything but grew into the best of friends. There have been times when it’s felt like she is the only one in my corner. I tell her everything and she is always willing to listen. Because she is my best friend, sometimes her advice is the only advice I’m willing to take because we are so similar and such good friends. Thanks Jess, you da beeeessssstttttt. Fur rull.

My mom and dad! My mom is probably the best blessing I ever could have asked for. My mom is the best mom ever, and she will always be my favorite mom. I know that sounds silly, but it’s the truth. I don’t know anyone else who has been on my side as much as my mom has. She’s been to every single music camp, every single orchestra concert, every single tennis match, every single softball game, every single music competition, everything that mattered even a little bit to me, my mom was there. She’s been incredibly supportive, and incredibly tough and corrective when I needed her to be (especially when I didn’t want her to be). If anyone else called me “Mary Grace” and told me something incredibly stern about something I needed to change, I wouldn’t believe them. But if my mom says it, you had best believe I’m listening. I love you, mommy. My dad is just as supportive as my mom, but in a different way. One thing I’ve had to learn about my dad is you really just have to talk to him and he will listen. It can be something as big as what job I should take or what car I should consider buying, or something as small as the new purse I bought (I say purse because my dad usually scoffs in his dad way at all the purses my mom and my sisters have. It’s really just funny at this point). My dad will listen and give advice when asked about a situation. When I was in high school, a few of my friends expressed at some point or another they were afraid of my dad on some level. I always sort of laughed at them. Why would they be afraid of such a wonderful, caring person? I then realized that they were probably a little intimidated. I guess I can’t fault them there. 🙂 When I was younger, and I think I’ve said this before, I thought my dad was the smartest man in the entire world. I still think that, and it will take some serious arguing and probably a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth to convince me otherwise. So please, don’t even try. My dad loves us all so much, and the quiet way he shows it at times is the best example to me about caring for those I hold the closest. Daddy, I love you and your example to me. Thank you.

It would be wrong if I neglected mentioning my siblings as well. I’ve been lucky to live with both of my sisters in my adult life. I’ve learned so much from both of them during those times. Mostly that Emily is really more kind and loving than I really ever experienced when we were younger, and that Annie is the funniest person you will ever meet. Bar. None. Christopher is good at explaining things and is always good comic relief. Every single one of my siblings is a blessing to me, not only because of their individual strengths, but also their different perspectives they bring to my life. I love all three of them with all of my heart.

I have a million other thoughts and I’m not really sure what order I want them to go in. So, in no particular order, here are a few more things. I’m grateful that I’ve been blessed with different musical talents. This sounds, again, egotistical, but I promise it’s not. I really love that music is something I can not only enjoy, but create, and dissect (sometimes…I haven’t done that in a while). One of my favorite things to do is to make up different harmonies to songs on the radio and anything I’m listening to. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but it’s always fun. I am incredibly blessed to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I’m a Mormon, guys, and I’ve learned that won’t ever change. Have there been times when I’ve struggled with my testimony? Yes. Have there been times when I’ve thought about falling away from the church due to whatever is going on in my life or the strength (or lack thereof) of my testimony? No. Not at all. I know that the Gospel is a message of hope and actual joy. Why would I want to separate myself from that? I know that whether or not I’m going to church, my Heavenly Father will always love me, and hold my happiness in the highest priority. So, in that sense, if that truth will be true regardless of what life I’m living, what’s the point of falling away? I should, instead, make a constant effort to show my Father in Heaven and my Savior that I appreciate the love They show me, and I’m trying my hardest to show that I love Them in return. I’m not always good at it, but that is always my intention. It’s the least I can do, really. And I’m not complaining about that. At all. I’ve been blessed to be an incredibly kind person that people come to with all sorts of problems. I’ve been blessed to be able to be relatively adaptable to situations I find myself in. At least, I think that is a good quality to be blessed with. I’d like to think myself aware of people and their moods, which can come in handy when someone is struggling but doesn’t quite know how to say anything. (Those last few things probably would have been more at home in the “fluffy” part of this post, but I’m keeping them here.)

So maybe this hasn’t been the worst of exercises. I guess what I needed was me to remind me about what I have. Because what I have is a lot, and I really should be grateful for that. On bad days, it is really hard to remember anything I’ve been given, but when I stop and think about it, I have a lot of blessing in my life, be them the job I have, the material things I have, or the people I have in my life that are there to support me in everything I do. I really hope I don’t let you guys down when you need me. I will always always always try to reciprocate.

Thanks for going on that ride with me everyone. I really hope it wasn’t too awkward or forced, because I guess I really did need to remind myself all of this.

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