Slice of Life: Pre-Emptive Gratitude

We don’t have a snow day today, and I’m about as happy as a wet cat.

Something deep within me ached for a day back at home, even if it still involved a full day of classes and meetings. The thought of getting up early, bundling up, clearing off the car, of navigating barely passable roads, and repeating the process at day’s end just seemed…disheartening.

But here I am, standing at my desk and ready for my first meeting of the day. And on days like this, it’s easy for me to give in to discouragement and crabbiness. Grouchiness fits like an old pair of jeans.

Unfortunately, that makes for a REALLY long day.

Instead, I’m setting my sights on the moments of gratitude and joy that I know await me today, in no particular order:

warm chai
colleagues who check in…and mean it
a women’s night with folks who ground and inspire me
fresh grapefruit
soft socks
the wisdom of eleven year-olds
the Slice of Life writing community
a dog who’s happy to see me
deadlifts in the garage
the perfect hard-boiled egg, dipped in salt
podcasts
helping folks do what they do, only better
long, deep breaths

…and all of the surprises this day has awaiting me…

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16 Responses to “Slice of Life: Pre-Emptive Gratitude”

  1. arjeha Says:

    With virtual learning I wonder if snow days will become a thing of the past. We are having freezing rain here so I know the only place I will be going is across the street to get the mail when it is delivered. I really like how you focus on the positive. That does affect how the day goes. Enjoy.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      I think you’re right about snow days becoming a thing of the past. All in the name of maximizing, right? =)

      And…I’m not going to lie. Staying positive today took some FIGHT – and I didn’t always win, but some days are going to be like that.

  2. Maureen Y Ingram Says:

    You didn’t get your snow day, but you definitely found beauty. I love the two tender photos that bookend this slice, and what a treasure of a list of gratitudes you wrote (all the way down to, “the perfect hard-boiled egg, dipped in salt”). I have no doubt that this simple gift of writing has erased your grouchiness – here’s to the day!

  3. theapplesinmyorchard Says:

    You had me at the perfect hard-boiled egg dipped in salt! Yum! I”ve been eating lots of those lately! Seriously, I too am trying to shed the “grouchiness that fits like an old pair of jeans” (I love this analogy). Looking for something to be grateful for, no matter how small, can change our mindset! Today, I did lots of cooking this morning because I promised myself an afternoon of writing! And, here I am! Hugs to you on your non-snow day of gratefulness, Lainie.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Yes! I wish I knew what made them so very wonderful and satisfying, but I guess that’s a mystery for the ages.

      I love that you were able to cook and write today. Cooking (at least on my own terms) is such good, mindful work.

      Hugs right back to you. =)

  4. mgminer Says:

    I love how you were intentional about shifting your outlook. That’s not an easy task some days!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Ohhhh and it was HARD today. I’m going to admit I wasn’t 100% successful. But I think the day turned out much better had I not done some mental chiropractics (read: additude adjustment)…

  5. Jonathan Rivera Says:

    Loved this! I love the perfect boiled egg. Although I prefer mine a bit more medium than hard-boiled. I got into a habit of using Sriracha my wife thinks it’s gross though. Your post also made me think about how easy it is to give in to despair. Especially when we have good reasons to feel this way. Like no one can fault you for breaking down. But I’m glad you found strength. Your post gives me strength too.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Ah yes. And a perfect SOFT-boiled egg? One of my absolute favorite things in a steaming bowl of ramen. And…you’re right. I can’t fault myself for having moods and giving in to them. It’s what makes me human. So glad that my words resonated and gave a small dose of strength.

  6. Anna Maria Says:

    “Deadlifts in the garage.”-this is something I can totally relate to. There’s something so satisfying about this particular exercise. I’m so sorry that you didn’t have a true snow day. I wish they hadn’t taken those away. Just because there’s the option now to still teach thanks to technology should we really though?

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Glad you could relate to the deadlifts (although sadly I had to exchange them for shoveling the driveway). We didn’t even get a quasi-snow day! We were in person. But yes, there is also something to be said for spending a day playing in snow, under a blanket, and looking out at the world.

      • Anna Maria Says:

        Not only that but we are all just so burnt out. The kids are. We the teachers are. Can we all please just be kids again for one day?!

      • Lainie Levin Says:

        Or MORE than a day! I’ve been talking with my colleagues at school, as we’ve returned after a 6-week adaptive pause. The kids are FAR less in the mindset for school than they have ever been. We can tell in the way they treat one another, the effort they give their work, the concentration and focus they’re able to muster….yeah. Our kids are in a DIFFICULT spot right now. I keep trying to reassure my colleagues that they don’t have to feel bad for spending more time doing community building, more arts, more…FUN. Without it, our kids certainly won’t be open to learning.

  7. Fran Haley Says:

    I am really late in getting around to comments I wanted to make … as always, I love your wit (happy as a wet cat, yikes) and your honesty (“Grouchiness fits like an old pair of jeans” – how perfectly captured, and so true!). Joy is often a choice – gratitude even more so. The shifting of that focus, naming those things for which you are grateful and which bring you joy, certainly must have brought you more throughout the day – and how I love the idea of surprises that await. That is my favorite part. Know that you never fail to impart joy through your words, Lainie. I am always grateful for them and for you. That snow – so beautiful!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you! And, like you, we got a bonus round over the weekend. It’s much easier to enjoy it when I don’t have to go anywhere!

      I’m glad you appreciated the joy and humor as well. Been feeling the need lately, with all of the anxiety around, to keep in touch with my funny side. Guessing we could ALL use a little more of that.

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