For my teaching composition class, we have been writing what is called a reversal paper. To put it really simply, you take a topic, explore the common viewpoint on that subject, and then switch it around and show that the common view is a little skewampus (is that how you spell that word? Admittedly I have never tried before). Mine, for example, is on home-schooling: how everyone thinks that home-schooled kids are awkward and dysfunctional, but in fact they are super cool, wicked smart, wear the hottest clothes, and sooooo POPULAR! I was one once...can't you tell? :)
Anyways, the word reversal was running through my head all day and it made me think about an idea that was introduced to me by a John Bytheway CD. Go ahead and roll your eyes a little if you must. Santa brought Dave and I some marriage-building materials in our stockings (four days after we got married...apparently Santa thought that we were already struggling?) and one of the items was a CD about 5 simple things you can do to improve your relationship. We listened to it on the car on the way to New Year's at Dave's house, and this was one point he made: reverse your buts. It sounds goofy, but basically he said that, instead of saying "I love you, but you annoy me", you should reverse it to "you annoy me, but I love you". Thus, you focus on the bigger picture, the fact that you have a spouse that you love, instead of your little complaint. I thought it was heartfelt and sweet, Dave made fun of it...typical.
However cheesy and cliche that mode of thinking may be, I sort of like it. Call me lame. I think that all too often, we focus on little tiny things that are bugging us and forget that these annoyances really stem from blessings. So today, in honor of the reversal paper, I have tried to focus on some switcheroos of my own:
instead of groaning at having to spend a beautiful afternoon inside at work, I am thankful that I have a job that I like so much, and that fits so well with my classes.
instead of wishing I had my brownie tonight all to myself, I am thankful that I have someone on the couch next to me that wants a bite too :)
instead of wishing that I didn't have to hurry and finish my homework tonight, I am thankful that I go to one of the best schools in the nation which requires some actual effort because it means I am learning!
instead of wishing that my feet didn't hurt so much I am thankful that I have a healthy body that let me run seven miles and walk all the heck around campus today.
instead of wishing that I didn't have emails to reply to, I am thankful that I have family members that actually want to stay in touch with such a sporadic communicator.
I know posts like these are oh-so-cheesy...but it was on my mind today.