It is impossible to be grateful and grumble at the same time. Lesson: focus on the gratitude and inoculate yourself against the snark. Except, sometimes, the snarky, disgruntled mumblings are the only thing that combats a feeling of utter impotence. Maybe that’s why the pitch of societal discord and dissatisfaction seems so extreme. We all feel powerless. We can’t change X, Y or Z. But we can complain about it. And complaining is active and makes us feel interactive on some level. Yet, it is about as productive of stomping on the gas pedal when your car is entrenched in three feet of mud.
You waste energy and get no where. The realization that all that energy squandered was futile amplifies the knowledge that our energy is finite and should be preserved for fruitful, meaningful or pure whimsy and not incinerated on the pointless. And I adore whimsy and frivolity. There may be little purpose or productive, measurable outcomes on sheer silliness and joy – except the absolute wonderment of bliss. But there is as much purpose, productivity or measurable outcome from bitching except the clarification of discontentment and despondency. In the end, if I am going to *waste time* on something pointless, I chose the frivolous thing that brings me joy. Joy is intangible, as intangible as despair. Instead of running from my feelings of powerlessness, instead of bellowing my dislike and dissatisfaction, I just try to be present. Feel – really feel – the impotence. Accept it. Name it. And then pivot to the side and watch the freshly born fawn tentatively pick her way across my backyard, following her momma to the deer-feeder. I ENJOY the moment. The wonder. The beauty. And laugh at the absurdity of feeding deer in the backyard like we feed the birds. We’re silly and it makes us happy. We can’t be grateful if we’re grumbling.