When I was growing up, if you were a kid and you were feeling whiny or just being cantankerous, an adult would usually tell you to "count your blessings." My mother tells me that I would often greet these people with a look of utter disdain, even as a baby.
I've never really liked being told to do something that was against my nature and inclinations at the time. While I'm perfectly willing and able to count, and I do recognize that in many ways I have more blessings and advantages than most people in the world, I dislike being told to do either as an antidote for a good sulk. It's the comparison that gets to me. When you're told to count your blessings, what you're really doing is comparing yourself to some other poor schmoe who doesn't have it as good as you.
"Oh, your foot was run over and then eaten by a rabid badger? Well, count your blessings! There's them as don't have feet!"
Okay, so I'm going a little silly there, but you get the idea.
So I don't count my blessings. I prefer to take a slightly different path, and more in keeping with what "count your blessings" really means to me, and that is a philosophy to smile and be grateful. Not grateful to anyone in particular, but just in general gratefulness.
For those of you reading this blog who have known me a long time, you know what a change this is from my usual bitter, cynical snarkiness. I'm still cynical and snarky, but I also want to appreciate things and not let the bad things outweigh the good.
So far, it's been a success. Even on crappy days, I find something to be thankful for. It could be that on a day when I'm dead broke and hungry that someone gives me a tasty free sandwich lunch. It could be that the sun is shining and the sky is blue and I'm happy to be standing outside enjoying it (though not today, geezohpete it's hot), it could be that it's a dreary, rainy day that reminds me of another dreary rainy day where I stayed home all day watching movies with Joey. I like dreary rainy days, especially in the fall, when it's really dark outside. They just make me happy.
And really, couldn't we all use a little more happy in life? So I smile and resolve to be grateful that I'm still here to enjoy it.