~my thoughts about life~

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Glad Game

Have you ever seen the movie Pollyanna, staring Hayley Mills?  My brother and I used to watch it over and over when we were young.  We must have recorded it off of TV on our totally rad VCR.  (I actually remember feeling slighted that we didn't choose Beta over VHS.  Funny.)

Anyway, I remember sweet, bubbly little Pollyanna always playing The Glad Game.  When something bad happened in her life, she would think of something positive to distract her from the negative.  An example she gave was when she received crutches as a gift, she was thankful that she didn't have a need for the crutches.  Years ago, I adopted a form of this game in my life.

When the going gets tough, I try to see my glass as half-full.  I try to find the silver lining, see the good in people, and find joy in the storm.  This past week in my life has been among the tough.  You may be able to tell from my recent posts.  Some of them haven't been the most cheerful.  I apologize for that. 

We had a death in the family.  The deceased was someone who once lived next door to me, was someone I would call any time I had a cooking question, was someone whom I considered to be close.  Two years ago, this person removed herself from my family's lives.  She took with her my cousins and their children - people I grew up with.  My grandfather, the always wise leader of the family, has never gotten over it.  Not only did he have to deal with the death this week, his health is declining.  He lives with my grandma whose dementia makes every moment of every day difficult beyond the point of understanding.  I don't know how he functions.  He is the strongest man I've ever known.  And to see him break down is simply more than I can bear.  I would have allowed my own arm to be cut off if I could have kept my sweet grandfather from the pain he has endured this week, this month, these past two years. 

But in spite of my pain and sadness, I make myself pull out that inner Pollyanna.  I have to find beauty in ashes.  And to voice that gladness out loud (or in print) makes me realize my true blessings. 
-  I am so thankful for my family's health.  My husband has been through his share of sickness.  Seeing him able-bodied is a tremendous joy. 
- My kids received extraordinary grades on their report cards.  I don't have to fight with them, tutor them, or stress over their learning.  They make me proud to be their mama.
- I have recently been added to the vocal staff at our church.  Singing with such talented vocalists is like a dream for me.  It doesn't even bother me that they had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to justify using me.
- I have a gorgeous home.  It is in no way grand or showy but it's just right for me.
- Through all the hurt, pain and betrayal, my family has grown closer to one another.  We value each other so much more and truly appreciate one another's skills, talents, and traits.  Being accepted is something I take for granted.  I can't imagine not having a place to belong.
- I have some pretty incredible friends.  I have lost a couple best friends in my lifetime.  Best friends and incredible friends are two different things.  Best friends are people you see nearly every day.  You talk or text throughout the day, you know what the other is doing at all times and where they are going.  I no longer have a best friend.  Incredible friends are the ones who just happen to know when you need a phone call, a hug, a compliment, or a lunch invitation.  I don't know how they know, but they just do.  I actually consider some of you incredible friends.  Even though we've never met, you seem to know when to say or blog the right things.  Thank you.
- And most of all, I am thankful that I could go on and on like this for days.  I am so blessed that I can't even begin to list all the things that make me smile, keep me going, and make life worth living.

I'm glad I played The Glad Game today.  :)


Mimsie said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt post. I came across your blog a while back, because I read "Listen to Lena"'s blog daily, and I saw the link to yours. I don't have a blog myself, but enjoy perusing others'. You have a very eloquent and genuine way with words, and I enjoy reading your posts every day. Your message today was so touching--I feel very bad for your grandpa and for the unresolved pain caused by broken family ties. But..another thing that you can add to your "glad game" is thinking of the blessing that your grandpa has, in having you for a granddaughter.

~she~ said...

So touching, Mimsie! Thanks! I'm glad you are a reader...I enjoy your comments!

chris said...

i love your game and play it often myself, sometimes while singing "count your blessings" in my best bing crosby voice. i'm not trying to make light of your issues - i just think you (and i) have found a very effective, creative, and healthy coping mechanism for them. the distinction you make between "best" friends and "incredible" friends is spot-on...my "incredible" friends and i can go for months without communicating and then just pick up where we left off - with no explanations, no excuses. part of what makes them incredible!