Roof overhead and food for my belly


I’m really fortunate. Yep, I’ve got a roof over my head and food for my belly but that’s not why I feel fortunate and thrilled to be playing this game.

After a great morning start I crashed into a pit of irritation and morose self-pity when plans went awry. The details are really not important. The point is I’m an exceptionally happy person and chronically optimistic so catching myself in a state of irritation and especially self-pity is uncomfortable. I usually try to flip my perspective as quickly as possible and take pride in being able to choose a new attitude.

My sister also has an innate ability to flow with whatever is presented and like me can quickly shift her perspective. We both feel it is a divine gift, the ability to see the good in any situation. And yet, just yesterday we were discussing how sometimes the ability to quickly shift perspective in the middle of a troubling situation could, just maybe, on certain occasions, also be a coping mechanism or attempt to avoid truly facing the pain and anger of a given situation.

Having just discussed this I was aware when the automatic shift from irritation and self-pity back to a place of peace and understanding began. I knew the process wouldn’t take long so I felt safe to stop for a minute and look my irritation in the face. I had to admit that though I could see how to prevent a repeat of this morning’s scheduling conflict, a lesson learned, (check one for the positive!) I needed alone time to truly re-energize my sunny disposition. I grabbed my coat and computer and headed out the door for a local coffee shop.

A few minutes later I’m walking up the street practically blinded by the afternoon sun. It’s so bright I can barely open my eyes to see where I’m going. I’m walking a side street parallel to the railroad tracks. It’s warm and invigorating. There are only a few other walkers, cyclists and one or two parked cars. It’s a good thing because I have this crazy grin on my face and I’m not really sure if my eyes are full of tears because of the sun or because I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.

Gratitude for sure. Walking up the street into the afternoon sun I caught myself chanting “roof overhead and food for my belly, roof overhead and food for my belly…” Perhaps my ability to switch perspective is not a divine gift. It might be years of growing up with my exceptionally self-disciplined mother. I can’t count the number of times she asked “Do do you have a roof over your head? Do you have food for your belly?” Fortunately, I’ve always been able to answer yes and in doing so the severity of my “problem” is always diluted. So, yes, I’m grateful today to have a roof overhead and food for my belly. I’m feeling fortunate because I have my mother to thank for this bit of life wisdom and I know how tickled she’ll be when I tell her!

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About the Author:

Hi! I'm Marci. When I'm not writing, building websites, or coaching clients, I love walking the streets of Japan and discovering spirit in all shapes and forms. Here on the blog, you'll also get a peek into what it is like to live with and care for my Japanese father-in-law who has Alzheimer’s. Enjoy!