Thursday, December 9, 2010

What are you grateful for?

Note: I debated over whether or not I would post this blog entry; it's so far removed from the usual cheerful Mommy banter that I usually write. But I felt it was important, especially in light of the season, to remind everyone that no matter how much stress you're under, no matter how many bills are in your mailbox, no matter how much your kids are driving you crazy, it's important to stop and be grateful for all that you have because it could all be taken away in an instant. I promise to return to my usual Mommy-ness in my next post.

My day started early. Actually, it started yesterday morning. I didn't sleep at all last night in preparation for my last final of the semester. I was actually pretty annoyed. Driving an hour one way to take a test that would last all of 30-45 minutes in 20 degree weather? Yeah, not my idea of a perfect morning. But, I sucked it up, drove to Milledgeville, and took my final.

Afterward, I drove to work to pick up my tips and reward myself with yummy, delicious coffee. I totally deserved it, right? After a night of studying (which really means a night of Facebooking interspersed with studying), and an hour long drive back home, I needed it. So, I went inside. And that's when I heard one of the most horrible things I've heard in a long time.

I'll spare you the gory details, but essentially, one of my coworkers was robbed and her family was put in mortal danger. The assailants tailed her husband's car to their house, threatened the lives of everyone inside (including at least four small children) with guns, and robbed them blind. And so far they've gotten away with it.

Thankfully, blissfully, no one was hurt.

I cried and cried. I cried because no good person deserves to be a prisoner in their own home. I cried because no mother should have to see her children's lives threatened. I cried because, as a mother myself, I kept imagining my son, my family in the same situation. I cried because this is the sort of thing you hear about in the news, something that happens to other people far away, never anyone that you know. I cried because, once again, I'm terrified of the world that my child is going to grow up in. If this can happen in a small town in middle Georgia, it can happen anywhere. Suddenly, all my worry and fuss over a final that I could have passed in my sleep became embarrassingly trivial.

The world is often scary and cruel, but , thankfully, there are reminders of just how beautiful it can be.

The now-defunct Dublin Starbucks was a very tight knit group. We were all friends. We were all there for one another. We had each others' backs no matter what. I'm proud to say that Milledgeville is the same way. Seeing everyone rally around our coworker and friend is inspiring. Helping out with her bills, providing toys for her kids' Christmas, alerting other Starbucks stores in our district and seeing them help out as well... it really shows that, for better or worse, Starbucks is a second family to all of us. That's something I can feel good about, despite everything else.

So please, when you're feeling at your wit's end with everything in your life, when the stress is driving you crazy, when your mind is so focused on school or work that you tune everything else out, when you become bogged down in all the "should have's" and "what if's" and "wish I had's", just.... stop. Just stop, and remember everything that makes your life wonderful. Be grateful. What's that old saying? "We are never guaranteed tomorrow"? Something like that.

And now I'm off to nap with the most important little man in my life. I don't think I can hug him enough today...

-Mother Nature Mom

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