Why I refuse to sweat the small stuff — anymore

Jennifer Pinarski reflects on the things she's most grateful for — and vows to stop sweating the little things.

Tp hard battle Photo: Jennifer Pinarski

Follow along as Jennifer Pinarski shares her experiences about giving up her big city job and lifestyle to live in rural Ontario with her husband, while staying home to raise their two young children.

Last night, I was looking over recent blog posts I’d written for Today’s Parent and realized I might be the biggest drag on this website. Pretty much all of them include stock art of a depressed-looking lady while the posts — although very honest and raw — are a bummer. I mean, what would you rather read: Ian’s hilarious accounts of packing lunches for his daughters, Tracy’s and Lisa’s touching letters to their growing girls, Haley’s fun Celebrity Candy, or me? Heck, even I don’t want to read my own blog posts.

When you and your family are having a tough time, it’s far too easy to get wrapped up in how much you think your life sucks. For months our family has been dealing with more than our fair share of unemployment-related anxiety. If I've learned anything in the last few months, it’s that worry and stress drains your life of any colour and makes it hard to appreciate the good things and the people who surround you. And besides, everyone is fighting their own battle and needs love and support.

Last week, I took a rare few minutes for myself to sit by our river, where I took this picture. Only a few hundred feet from our back door is the loveliest spot, I think, in the whole town — and it’s all ours. But we never spend any time on the river to simply sit and enjoy it. As I watched the leaves float lazily by, it struck me that, in the rush to make ends meet, enjoying what we do have got left behind.

So I’m committing to being less whiny and more grateful, starting with this list:

  • We have a home, and it's a place my children love
  • Our health, which should never, ever be taken for granted
  • My marriage, because frankly, my husband rocks and is the second best dad (because the first place goes to the Bat Dad dude)
  • Our family dentist, who is really helping us during through some terrible times with our daughter’s teeth (more on that later this week)
  • My several employers, because getting to blog about motherhood, my hometown and the places I dream of visiting really is the best job ever
  • You, because your tweets and comments mean the world to me. OK, the nice ones mean the world to me. The naughty ones just make me laugh

What is making you happy today? What are you doing today to help another person? Tweet me at @jenpinarski.

This article was originally published on Sep 30, 2013

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