If I were asked to describe myself, I would say that emotionally I run hot and cold. After writing that I think it comes off more negatively than I intended, and it may be more accurate to say that I have a tendency to react very quickly to my emotions. My mom used to say that I had a 3 degree range of comfort, and while she was talking about literal temperature (we used to argue about the thermostat in my house a lot growing up) I sometimes feel that way about my moods.
To put it in perspective, I’ll share a story. A few days ago in Knoxville it snowed enough that I worked from home. Sometime during the day, I became frustrated with Josh. Maybe it was because my routine was messed up, or because we are still trying to settle in from our recent move, who really knows. But because I am lucky to be married to such an awesome guy, he suggested we take a time out and take the dogs for a walk in the snow. Josh is the only person that is capable of making jokes when I am mad and eventually getting me to laugh. At first, they make me more agitated and then I can’t help it and end up laughing. Finally, I told him, “I must have gotten too heated and I guess the cold air made me calm down.” It sounded so silly that we both just looked at each other and laughed and the tension was gone. Literally, that simple.
On my office computer I have a sticky note that says, “Be Grateful”. It’s not on my work computer because I hate my job; trust me I love my job. It’s on my computer because that’s where I spend a lot of my time, so it seemed like a good place to put it.
However, I often feel like it’s easy for me to forget how much I have to be grateful for. Exactly one week ago, Josh and I moved into a beautiful new home. We have been surrounded by family and friends wanting to celebrate our new adventure. In those two sentences alone I realize how much we have to be grateful for.
I am grateful that we have jobs so we can afford a place to live, family that helps Swiffer all your floors the day you move in, our favorite restaurant 2 blocks away, drinking champagne while organizing a tiny closet, friends who are willing to come over and spend more time explaining a game than playing it, having a dog that rolls around in the snow and another that refuses to go out in it, and more importantly having a husband that is willing to share all these memories with me.
It is often after the fact that I appreciate the small things in life. I feel the need for everything to happen as quickly as possible, including what I’ll politely refer to as my high emotional reactivity. I often forget it is okay to stop in the moment and take it all in. I want to learn to appreciate life’s moments when they happen, not once they pass.