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There are some days when it feels like the pressures and responsibilities of home, career, relationships, motherhood and self are simply too much to bear. We find ourselves racing to beat the clock and all the deadlines of our day from the moment we hear our alarm go off in the morning to the moment our head hits the pillow at night.
Things like spilled coffee and forgotten homework don't work for us - they throw us way off schedule and it's all we can do to breathe deeply, take a step out of the realm of absolute freak out attack mode and just proceed with our obligations, calmly assess the situation, and move on.
Like a finely tuned orchestra or a well timed dance routine, the moments of each day are so precious and ordered so well that things coming out of left field can really cause us to lose our balance.
Part of the work, then, of adulthood is to manage these fly balls, these random missiles of broken hearts and flat tires, spilled coffee and ear infections, scary doctor visits and busted electronics and actually incorporate them into our daily routine so that they're not the last straw, they're just part of life.
That's life, as they say.
Resignation and depression can result if you're thinking of how perfect things would have been if only that water heater hadn't broken or your son's part in the play didn't get downgraded to standing around as a purple tree. If only. Resignation, regret, depression.
As we make an attempt to teach our children a sense of gratitude in their everyday lives, showing them that they have love and food, shelter and laughter and that no, no, they don't need another game for the Playstation 2, we need to be mindful of our own gratitude level and realize that there will always, in perpetuity, be one more thing to worry about, one more thing to handle.
For those of us handling very serious issues such as chronic illness, chronic pain, divorce, death and job loss, the exercise of appreciation for that which you do have is not only important, it's how we get through each moment without falling apart completely.