In my column earlier this week, I bawled out Father Time for being a total jerk. I felt like I'd just found the squirt guns and sparklers, and already that little bitch elf was sitting on some retailer's shelves.
I was frustrated and overwhelmed. I'd agreed to chaperone a group of exchange students to Chicago the next day. I had just dropped $200 on school supplies and momentarily misplaced Packer tickets for Friday's game. I still needed to pack for our mini-mid-week vacation, and I hadn't been able to get my daily Pinterest fix.
Hear the violins? Poor soccer mom...there's food in the fridge, the DVD in the SUV is stuffed with Glee, and not one Band-Aid was needed all season. But oh poop, we had so much fun this summer, it was over in a flash. And that ticked me off. So I laid into that bastard, Father Time, and demanded he upgrade my plan and give me more minutes.
Suffering from an embarrassing pity-party hangover, I deleted that post. (You can view it now by clicking here.) Cut me some slack. I'm a writer, and writers tend to get worked up now and then. Fine, I get worked up a lot. But it's through writing that I sort out the chaos in my head. Despite the continuous funnel cloud whirling in my brain, in the last 24 hours I've realized one thing: I owe Father Time an apology. In fact, I owe him a great deal of gratitude.
I don't know why certain people get more minutes on this earth than others. The people who are given the least, are often the ones who deserve the most. I don't know why so many suffer in pain or sickness through the minutes they've been given, while others sail through their lives with nary a care. But I do know this: it's ridiculous to complain about the minutes I've got. Long or short, sunny or stormy, each one is a gift.
How dare I complain about time flying? One thing is for sure, our time on this planet is finite and we never know when that moment will come. As a result, Father Time, please accept the gratitude list I've compiled below as an apology for mouthing off.
1. I'm grateful for the wrinkles around my eyes and mouth, and even the funny one that runs across the bottom of my chins. Those lines are the bookmarks of my countless
2. I'm grateful for my failed marriage. It gave me three beautiful children and a lifetime of material.
3. I'm grateful for the nights I spend worrying about how I'll pay for the kids' braces, health insurance, drum lessons, and soccer uniforms. Oh yeah, and the shitload of hair dye I continue to need. Those nights make me a better writer and mother.
4. I'm grateful for friends who share their fears, concerns, and troubles with me. They show me I am needed, trusted, and valued. It's so reassuring to know we are not alone.
5. I'm grateful for being a recovering alcoholic. Sobriety forces me to face my fears and not depend on courage in a can. The ripple effects of my sobriety still astound me.
6. I'm grateful for my imperfect body- my cushioned belly, my round hips. My hugs are cozy and my curves represent the many detours my life has taken.
7. I'm grateful for noise-reducing headphones and Diet Coke. Combined, they minimize my need to shout repeatedly, "Geez, can you guys just be quiet for one minute so I can think?"
8. I'm grateful the world is so massive and busy. No one is obsessing over my past mistakes, so I shouldn't either. People have shit to get done and no one in the whole world cares about my college G.P.A., the time I.... no need to rehash. Forward.
9. I'm grateful for the blister on my heel from wearing stupid shoes. It's a reminder of how healthy I really am. If all I have to complain about is an itty-bitty blister, I am amazingly blessed.
10. I'm grateful for the rare second chances, the mulligans, the quiet times, the a-ha moments, and the uncertainty of my future. They remind me that time is a gift and through humility I gain strength.
Sorry, Father Time. I'll take whatever you're giving.