Mrs. BITA came up with an awesome Friday Gratitude post! It’s so awesome that I’m publishing it a day early. Thanks Mrs. BITA!
Last week was a rough week at work. Deadlines were looming, unreasonable demands were lurking behind every cubicle wall, and panicked managers were scheduling a meeting a minute. During the accumulation phase of financial independence and early retirement, there is nothing like Corporate America at its very worst to make one feel a close affinity to Sisyphus. The last straw that broke this camel’s back was when we were handed our annual performance evaluations and my salary increase and stock grant were lower than I expected. By the time the weekend rolled around I was a whining ball of discontent.
I’ve spent the last few days realizing that I was behaving rather badly. So when Mr. 1500 gave me the opportunity to write a Friday Gratitude post, I jumped on it.
I’m going to write to myself, to remind myself of all the reasons that I have to not be a thankless, dissatisfied brat.
Dear Ingrate BITA,
I love you. You know I do. Use that as lubricant to make it easier to bear what is to follow.
Yes, you suffered through a few meetings that made you want to smack your head against a wall repeatedly. Yes, your raise was smaller than you expected. Boohoo. Allow me to remind you that you and Mr. BITA have set a goal of saving $160,000 this year, and in the first third of this year you were more than halfway there. You are trying to save more than most folks on this planet make in a year. So no, you entitled brat. You don’t get to whine about a smaller-than-you-would-have-liked raise. You get to be extremely grateful every minute of every day for the extraordinary luck that has put you in the position to save as much as you already do.
Putting aside the money for a minute, how about some gratitude for Toddler BITA?
When you and Toddler BITA took a walk early last week, you chanced upon a worm. Toddler BITA bent low to examine it with the respect all worm-like creatures deserve, and then announced that it was a ‘dead worm’. Later than night, at the dinner table, it occurred to you that you didn’t know what exactly Toddler BITA thought dead meant. So you asked her. And she said, “It means so long”, and, when questioned, steadfastly refused to elaborate. You weren’t sure if she was being deeply philosophical, or just a weird toddler. A few days later, Toddler BITA was playing with the toy pictured below – those are gears, she calls them ‘flowers’:
As she started playing, she informed Mr. BITA that she was going to make a ‘flower dead’. Confused, he asked if she meant a flower bed. She looked at him with pity, sorry that he was so slow on the uptake. She built out what you see above and then said, “See! A flower dead. It is so long.”
Do you remember how you both laughed till your stomachs hurt? How is that gift of laughter not something to be extremely grateful for? Continue reading