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I’m Grateful For Gratitude

Never in my life have I started more sentences – or more thoughts – with phrases like:

“Thank goodness….”
“Just as well…”
“At least…”
“On the bright side…”
“I’m just glad that…”

“It could be worse.”

Why am I suddenly so optimistic and grateful?


Well… my car broke down a couple of weeks ago. It apparently suffered from – according to our mechanic –  “catastrophic engine failure”. And I’m completely in love with that phrasing. It sounds so much more dramatic than it was. Really what happened was I put the kids into the car, we drove around the corner and then the car engine stopped making car engine sounds. Then came to a slow stop and never drove again.

This car is the one I bought in May. It was not insured and not covered by warranty. It had been to the mechanic a couple of times since it was purchased (admittedly the first trip to the car doctor was because I crunched the bottom of it going over a curb and apparently small cars don’t like that.)

So basically this car has cost a quite a bit of money in the 5 short months that I’ve owned it and now it’s gone to the big car park in the sky. Well, it’s gone to the auto wreckers. Same thing.

Now I have no car.

I don’t actually know when I will have another car.

I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Yet why am I so happy about it?!?!

Honestly, I’m not. It’s shit. It’s really really shit. But aside from the first few hours after hearing from the mechanic that my car was beyond repair that I spent with my head in my hands going “I don’t… I can’t… I just…. But…. what are we going to do?” I’ve been fine about it.

Stress won’t actually change the outcome.

At this point anyone who knows me is thinking “Who are you and what have you done with Rachel?” Because stress is my natural habitat. I stress about things that might-possibly-but-probably-wont go wrong, let alone something that actually has! 

I don’t know. I’m waiting for this feeling of generally being okay with it to crash (and I have friends who’ve checked in a couple of times with me. I’m unnaturally calm about this apparently) but I suspect that gratitude is what is holding me together right now. And I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

Because thank goodness nobody was hurt when the car suddenly stopped working.

Just as well it wasn’t on the way to work or anything important.

At least it’s coming into warmer weather so it’s not unpleasant walking the kids to and from school and for getting to the shops and activities.

On the bright side I’m going to get super fit walking everywhere.

I’m just glad that we’re all okay; we’re all happy, healthy, and everything will somehow work out okay.

And it really could be worse.

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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  1. On the day that the gratitude crash comes, force yourself to write down a list of things you’re grateful for. Try to get the feeling back! Keep doing it every day, and hopefully that will help to keep things under control.

  2. Erica Louise

    I like your perspective! Yes, things could be a lot worse. No point in fretting on something you can’t fix!

  3. Kelly Sofia

    Wow, that does sound like a bit of a shitty situation. But what a great outlook you have on it right now!

    On the day that the gratitude crash comes, force yourself to write down a list of things you’re grateful for. Try to get the feeling back! Keep doing it every day, and hopefully that will help to keep things under control.

  4. Kylie Travers

    Gratitude totally changes things!

  5. Amanda Nicholls

    Oh no! Couldn’t you buy a new engine though? I cooked a car engine when I was a teenager and had to get a new one. Made my car faster than it was before.

  6. Maraya Bell

    Good on you for seeing the best in it all.

  7. Dawn Rieniets

    I can totally relate to this on every level! I’ve finally learned that I need to take responsibility for my own emotions and stress levels for that matter. It’s like I’m a new person!! I’m sure I’ll still be a sarcastic B sometimes but that’s part of my charm. ???

  8. Sami Micallef

    I need to be more like this. I have been in a serious funk every since i got pregnant with my son (so almost 2 years!) As it’s been really hard work (hard pregnancy followed by a shit sleeper with allergies all while trying to deal with a toddler) but I’ve recently realised that i should be friggin grateful to have 2 happy healthy kids ❤

  9. Bron Maxabella

    The power of gratitude. It makes a massive difference to… everything. Even shitty car experiences.

  10. Steph Menegakis

    A very powerful thing!

  11. Tash Laughton

    A very timely read for me. Thank you

  12. Chrissie Davies

    Ah the world works in mysterious ways sometimes! But an attitude of gratitude certainly helps at times like this!?

  13. Emily Travis

    I think it’s easier to end up over-stressing about things that haven’t happened yet.

    Once they have happened you no longer have to deal with the uncertainty, you no longer need to try and plan for all possibilities – you just have to do what you can and deal with the reality you’ve got.

    I’m much better at being practical in the face of what already is than at not-stressing about what might be…

    • Parenting Central

      That’s true. I feel like I do manage actual problems better than anticipating them.

      There’s still the uncertainty of exactly how or when we’ll get a car, but it’s not exactly the first time we’ve been without one.

  14. Life on Wallace

    For some reason I’m now singing ‘things can only get better’! Great perspective.

  15. Amy Wakley-Ahearn

    There are worse things than seeing the glass as half full ?

  16. Chloe Gallagher

    I wish I had your attitude about life! Hope a car wonders into your life very soon <3

  17. Tory Warren

    Love your optimism!

  18. Aleney de Winter

    Being thankful for what you have makes for a much happier life

  19. Kylie Purtell

    I think the older I get the more A glass-half-full kind of person I become

  20. Kirsty Russell

    I need some of your positivity right now. I’m generally an optimistic person but things have been tough lately. I need to start practicing gratitude, even for the smallest things.

  21. Rebecca Bowyer

    Good for you x. I hope it all continues to work out okay!

  22. Cate Brickell

    I think this officially makes you a grown up. (I sympathise on the no insurance thing, my husband rear ended a car while we had no insurance, automatic at fault, $6.5K to pay off, and we finally had the money to buy insurance last week)

  23. Helen King

    What a great perspective, Rachel!

  24. Emma Prettejohn

    A fresh perspective can be so liberating but definitely still takes me conscious effort. Great read.

  25. Sara Keli

    I talk to my 3-year-old about what we are grateful for and it does wonders to ground us both!

  26. Lauren Elise Threadgate

    Love this post! I hear you one hundred percent too. It’s like I spend so much time stressing about stuff I can’t control that when something really crappy happens I’m relieved that I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

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