The past few years it seems like November is the month of decorating early for Christmas and “gratitude this, gratitude that.” Although gratitude has some amazing health benefits – both physical and mental – it can really do a number on your patience when you see several of your Facebook friends posting about the things they’re grateful for. I mean, aren’t you grateful for your family in April? Where are those posts?

So in that slightly snarky mood, I decided to focus this week’s post on what NOT to be grateful for. But don’t worry, woman. It’s not gonna be a downer.


A Traffic Jam

Is there anything worse than being stuck in traffic?! Actually, there is… What is that traffic jam keeping you from running into? Scores of people recount what they were doing on the morning of September 11th and several where held up in traffic or forgot their keys, which made them late to work at the World Trade Center. While you’re not likely to miss an event of that catastrophic magnitude, you never know what heavy traffic inadvertently helps you avoid.


Your Pants Don’t Fit

So nobody likes it when your pants get tighter…but it might mean that you’ve been able to indulge over the holidays. I’m not saying you shouldn’t see your provider if you’ve suddenly gained a lot of weight, but I AM saying if you’ve just come back from vacation or it’s post-Thanksgiving, give yourself a little bit of love. You probably enjoyed putting on that extra couple of pounds. And you can always make better food choices or add a walk on your lunch break to shed them healthfully.


Chronic Health Problems

I know what you’re thinking: “How are you gonna spin this one into something positive, Dr. B?” Well…it’s not easy. I’ll admit it. But a chronic condition forces you to live more mindfully. Patients with chronic conditions usually pay better attention to what they eat, how much sleep they get, how they expend their energy, and how well their family and friends support them.


Your Crazy Family

Dreading dealing with your crazy family during the holidays? Well, at least you have a family! Any time my mom or dad make me cringe when they say something embarrassing at the Thanksgiving table, I stop and remind myself that some people don’t have their parents. Or they don’t have a good relationship with them. As nuts as they can drive you, it’s pretty special to have a family who loves you.


A Fight With Your Spouse

I have two words for you: Makeup Sex. Fighting with your spouse is actually proven to strengthen your relationship. It builds trust and helps you hash out your issues…because you don’t want to hold onto your feelings. Nothing makes you feel more resentful than unaired grievances. 


Moody Toddlers

Temper tantrums, crankiness, and furious little toddlers can try your patience. But they’re just as frustrated as you are. Toddlers are learning about the world around them and testing limits because they just don’t know. These are the moments that people with fertility problems wish they had. Not to say you’re wrong for wanting to pull your hair out, because Mama, I KNOW toddlers make you want to lose your mind. But these small humans are utterly precious and something to be totally grateful for.


What’s something you’re NOT grateful for…but is really a blessing in disguise?