Today was one of those days. You know the days-where the universe is conspiring against you, and you decide to throw a party, of the pity variety. It’s only 9:30, and everything that could go wrong, has.

I woke up to find that my sweet baby girl had turned her crib into a life sized toilet bowl. The smell is what initially awoke me from my delightful slumber. The aroma of baby poo wafted about the room until it reached my nostrils, engaging my mom brain into the ‘on’ position. I jumped out of bed and was met with the sight I can only describe as a crime scene. I wanted to cry, however since that would only prolong this experience, further spreading the mess as she twisted and cried, I sprung into action. I ran to the bathtub and tossed her in.  Well, I set her in it. I got her all cleaned up and changed. It’s now 8:00 am. My son heard the commotion and woke up screaming, demanding to be held. I however now needed a shower before I could touch him.

I showered quickly and held him for a split second, until the realization that my landlord was coming in 3 hours to show our house suddenly popped into my head-at which point panic took over. I yelled “Aubrey!” at the top of my lungs and she came running out of her room with a look of terror on her face. “What?!” she said to me, surveying the room for blood, a choking baby, or whatever else could have caused my random outburst. I just stared at her for a second. I honestly have no clue why I screamed her name. Apparently my brain decided she needed to be present for my panic attack for some reason.

I quickly dressed everyone, poured some dry cereal into ziplock baggies and loaded everyone into the car. I had plans to make pancakes this morning, however due to unforeseen circumstances, that s**t was not happening.

On the drive to take Kaiden to school, I hit every red light. I am fairly certain that those lights had a meeting that morning and were like “Okay guys, Tiffs gonna be leaving her house in about 20 mins.  We gotta make sure we all turn red the minute she approaches, its gonna be hilarious, she’s gonna be all ‘ahhh, eff my life’-pounding the steering wheel and stuff, its gonna be great, lets go.”

Anyway I dropped Kaiden off and headed home, I realized I needed gas or else Aubrey and I were gonna have to push the car down the road while Chloe steered. I put my credit card into the machine at the pump and the words I dreaded most appeared across the across the screen- “Please see cashier.” Had my children not been in the car I would have set that place on fire.  Instead I unloaded both of them and hauled them inside. Apparently that machine was broken, so I moved my car,  I got the gas and headed home.

I put the T.V. on for Aub and set Chloe down for a nap so that I could begin the daunting task of getting this place spotless in under an hour. All Aubrey saw was flashes of brown hair and pajamas as I whipped past her. I ran the length of the living room with my finger on the trigger as I emptied an entire bottle of Febreeze into the air. 45 minutes, 2 cups of coffee and a few curse words later, I finished the job.

I collapsed on the coach and pulled out my phone to check the time. I had received a new message, it had been sent 30 minutes before. It was from my landlord. “The guy cancelled on me Tiff, sorry about that.”

My first thought was to drive to his house, ring the doorbell, and throat punch him.  My second thought was to throw myself on the floor and cry. I ended up laughing-it started quietly at first, then escalated into a weird cackle. I had officially lost my mind. Suddenly, I had an “Ah-Ha” moment.

It was as if the universe slapped me back into reality.  I had forgotten all about my rusty toolbox of tips and tricks that had been bestowed upon me once I choose this new way of life in recovery. I would periodically add new tools to the box to use as time progressed, pulling them out during times of conflict as a means to resolve my problems. Evidently however, I have been under the impression that I didn’t need the tools I possessed, that I could just use my own hands to fix my life. This is a big mistake.

I mentally rifled through my Tool Box and located a tool that had saved my life a thousand times over….

Having an “Attitude of Gratitude” is one of the most important things someone like me needs to possess. It is easy in the hustle and bustle of my daily life to lose sight of how wonderful things actually are. At times, after prolonged sobriety, we begin to forget where we came from, and the stepping stones we passed over during the journey of reaching our goals.  I decided to make a gratitude list right then and there, and to say the results were humbling was an understatement. I realized I was in fact grateful, for ALL of the things I had been complaining about just this morning.

Once I changed my attitude from “Bratitude”  to “Gratitude”,  I was able to see things from a completely different perspective.

My daughter invited me to an unwanted morning poop party – I have been blessed with a daughter with whom I love and cherish.

My son was screaming and annoying me with his need for attention at an inconvenient time-I have a son who will be grown before I know it.

I hit every red light on my morning drive- In my own vehicle that I am lucky to own.  I used to gladly take the Scat bus everywhere, now I’m whining about having to sit in my air conditioned car for a few extra seconds.

The machine didn’t accept my card at the gas station-I had money, on a card, to afford gas-to put in the car I own.

I had to clean my messy house – I have a house, and it is messy because my loved ones have fun and I am able to afford toys for them to leave around.

My landlord cancelled on me- okay I’m still a little bitter about this one. But, I am now free to take my girls to the park to meet up with an old friend that I haven’t seen since high school.

My higher power has a plan for me each and every day, I need to remember to stay out of his way and allow that plan to unfold.  When I try to control everything around me, and place expectations on people and situations, I am setting myself up for anxiety and resentments. All of the problems I experience each day are created in my own mind-based on how I view a certain situation. Happiness is a choice I have to continue to make. I can either stomp around loathing my current situation, or I can switch my perspective and focus on the positive aspect of it. My attitude has the ability to affect all of those around me, especially my children – therefore, I must continually strive for happiness and content with what I have, and never forget where I came from- and how much worse it could be.

Today- I am grateful for the mess, the unforeseen obstacles, the inconvenient setbacks and the surprises I am met with throughout the course of my day, for all of these things mean one thing…I am alive…and that in itself is a beautiful gift.