An Exercise In Gratitude

WEDNESDAY: I have my arm down a drain, it’s our shower drain, I’m trying to shove a high-pressure hose around the ’S’ bend in an attempt to unblock it. I’m in up to my armpit in shitty sewer water. My husband, (whose arm is too big to fit down the drain) turns on the tap full bore, I end up with a face full of shit.

Just that afternoon I’d cleaned the dog after she’d swam round a puddle of septic tank contents caused by the blocked drain. Now I’m as dirty as the dog.

SUNDAY: I’m sitting in the car with 7 children wishing I could be anywhere but where I am. The urge to get out of the car and walk away is so strong I have to sit on my hands to stop myself. Traffic is at a standstill due to an accident. According to google maps, it’s going to take an hour and a half to get home. I want to scream, but I’m afraid I’d scare the kids who are playing a rousing game of peanuckle, the loser gets punched. It’s sooooo much fun to listen to.

MONDAY: All of my socks have disappeared and so have a pair of my shoes. The culprits discovered when I pick up the kids from school. The younger girls have dressed their teddy bears in my socks, and UNDIES and taken them to SCHOOL. They stuffed said teddy bears in their schoolbags, so I wouldn’t spring them in the act. I discover the missing shoes on one of the twins’ feet, she’s wearing them without my permission.
I glow red as I imagine my undies flashed to all in sundry round school.

TUESDAY: My son gets an idea that he wants to make $150000 by mining for bitcoin on the internet. When he gets started on an idea, it’s impossible to stop him (he takes after his mum a little). He will not stop asking permission to start mining, and I’m not smart enough to argue against. It’s taking all of my willpower to not lose my shit with him.

THURSDAY: It’s our 16th wedding anniversary. Husband is in Queenstown. We have a spell of strong winds, a panel of glass balustrades around our pool smash into a thousand pieces. I decide not to tell husband as this is the third time it’s happened, and I don’t want to spoil his fun while he is in Queenstown on our ANNIVERSARY. I set to work cleaning up the mess, he’ll find out when he gets back.


  • We have a lovely home with nice showers.
  • Although I’m inconvenienced by the traffic standstill, I wasn’t actually involved in it, someone else’s life has been changed forever.
  • My children and I have clothes and an education. My kids are clever. I can borrow my daughters’ shoes too.
  • My son is determined.
  • We have a pool.
  • We are still married (altho it came close after the septic incident)

Without life’s challenges I would not be who I am. Pain, adversity and testing experiences all shape and strengthen my personality. After having 5 kids I went through a phase of trying to find my identity, I thought I was lost, but now I see I’m being created.

I’m grateful to be able to laugh. Most of all I’m grateful I get to have a go at this life and be the best human I can, which also includes stuffing up royally on occasion…..well quite frequently to be honest.