Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beating the Heat (And a Bit About Gratitude)

After a lovely weekend with family, where the weather was mostly on the cool and sunny side, this week began heating up, spurred onward by high humidity and rolling thunderstorms.  Here inside, I turn fans around morning and night, cut up watermelon and refuse to do much, if any, cooking.  When it's cool in the early morning, I boil eggs and pasta.  When it's hot, everything I serve is cold.  When our decade-old air conditioner was clearly not cutting it, a friend offered one of hers.

It can be easy for me to fall into a bit of self pity during this time of year.  Friends with newer houses and ice cold air conditioning are the recipients of my envious thoughts.  I make excuses for my own less than positive attitudes because, well, it's just too hot to be nice.  But the more I think on it, the more I realize I'm looking at all of this from a place of privilege.

I pile my kids in the van and crank the air conditioning.  After dropping Dad off at work, I have the car and the ability to go out into the world in search of refreshment.  We shop in a chilly grocery store, goosebumps standing up in the dairy section.  We could take in a matinee at the movies, or drive to a nearby beach or spray park.  There are numerous ways we could get through this day in relative comfort, something that is just not true of everyone.  My husband comes home and brings pizza and ice cold pop.  The kids slurp popsicles after dinner.

As with most things, when I really look, really think about it, I can see the gifts.  When I focus on what we have, as opposed to the one thing (central air!) that I don't, I can't help but feel a bit ashamed - and very grateful.  When I let go of contentment, some ugly thoughts fill that space: Envy. Self Centeredness. Anger.  Embracing these things never makes life easier.  In fact, they make it that much harder to see the blessings we have - and they lead me away from a heart of gratitude, something I hope to always have.

So, today, we're beating the heat.  And I'm thankful for:

Air conditioned van, gas money and the ability to take off just for fun.

Hardworking husband who comes home from his job and takes over when I'm completely sapped of energy by the heat.

The generosity of friends - inviting us over to their homes to cool off and loaning us air conditioning units to help take the edge off.

Popsicles, watermelon, iced tea and lemonade - cooling us from the inside out.

I am striving to remember that every day - yes, even on the hottest ones - there is something to be thankful for.  Every single day.  And like a treasure hunter, I'm spending my life searching them out.

(Are you in survival mode, too?  Check out this awesome post from Conversion Diary).

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  1. The fans are going here too, they aren't really doing much though, except moving the hot, humid air. But you are so right, there are good things in every single day, we just need to look for them. It is one reason I love my nightly before bed ritual of writing in my gratitude journal, reminds me of all the wonderful things in my life :)

    Heat is suppose to break here on the weekend, hope the same holds true for you guys.

  2. I so relate to this..we didn't have air OR heat. The winters were the worst, huddled around a tiny space heater. First world problems, really. We always had plenty to eat and clothes to wear. You are right, every day is something to be thankful for!
    On another topic, did you ever finish a circle of quiet?


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