Gratitude
page 185 of The Big Book of Unschooling (2009 edition)
online chat, January 23, 2013


I've brought that page from the book, as it's short, and important.
Gratitude is about abundance. Resentment is about paucity. Choose gratitude. It is a choice. Half-empty cups are substantially different from half-full cups. It's not just theoretical holy water in those cups. The half-empty cups hold a concoction of frustration and need and irritation. The half-full cups contain joy and hope and gratitude.

Ren Allen wrote beautifully about gratitude one day, and I'm glad I saved it.

Washing dishes may not be my favorite activity, I can think of many things I prefer. But I can choose to grumble and feel bummed that I "have to" do this "chore" OR I can choose to be grateful to have hot running water, my loved ones alive and with me to use dishes, to have food to need dishes for etc...there is SO much to be grateful for in the simple act of washing dishes.
Gratitude embarrasses people sometimes. The same aspect of modern life that breeds cynicism chokes out gratitude. It makes people poor, though, to think of gratitude as something archaic or corny or stupid.

The difference between poverty and abundance is sometimes the ability to see what one has. There have been times when I didn't have a car, we had a leaky roof, and the washing machine wasn't working. There have been more times that the car and washing machine were functioning, the house was solid, and I forgot to appreciate it.

People seem naturally to want more, and to want better, and to have the urge to tweak and improve their lives and their surroundings. Don't deny the restless desire that enables people to explore and invent, but while looking ahead with hope and plans, look around with gratitude, too.


Robin B.: I wanted to say that even though I forgot about the topic of the chat, I had a moment in the dentist's chair this morning.

Robin B.: I was starting to complain about the cost of health care, then I thought "But I can afford to pay, for the most part. Some people can't even go to a doctor or dentist. I'm so grateful for that."

Jihong: I am eager to know how other people help their children to have gratitude attitude

Sandra Dodd: And that's a great example of how our choice to see lack or abundance can transform a situation.

Robin B.: And I was able to help a friend by talking to my dentist about doing some very low cost work for him. He asked me to send him his way.

Sandra Dodd: Jihong, again you're thinking of how to teach your children something.

Robin B.: Jihong, show gratitude yourself.

Sandra Dodd: I want YOU to see abundance and to be grateful.

Sylvia Woodman: I thank my kids.

Sandra Dodd: Instead of seeing your children as kids who need to be more grateful. :-/ That's negative. And your kids are sweet.

Sylvia Woodman: I write a lot of thank you and appreciation notes to people. If they are in the room sometimes I read them to them.

Marta Pires: Yesterday, we had one of those moments too. My husband and I were complaining about the weather, because it's been raining cats and dogs here lately, and then we realized that we're very lucky to have rain in our country. Besides, the rain doesn't even bother us. Well, maybe it bothers my husband a bit, but we have a car and he drives to work. ;)

Robin B.: I thank my husband for working so hard to allow all manner of things.

Sandra Dodd: Lucky if your house doesn't leak.

Sylvia Woodman: Also Sandra wrote something nice about writing thankyou notes for her kids including a picture of them enjoying the gift.

Marta Pires: Yeah, it doesn't leak. Yet. ;)

Robin B.: Good idea!

Sandra Dodd: Fortunate if you have shoes that allow you to walk out a bit without getting your feet cold and wet.

Jihong: I am grateful most of the time. Orion has said a couple of times, I hate my life when he doesn't get what he wants, I am trying to figure out ways to help him to see differently

Sandra Dodd: Jihong, sometimes when my kids were little I would express a positive thought aloud. "I'm glad we can afford to go out to lunch sometimes," or "I'm glad we have a car and enough gasoline to go to the mountains!" Or "I'm glad our cats are nice."

Marta Pires: We even have rain boots that allow us to jump into the muddy puddles and play!

Sandra Dodd: I don't think you should worry so much. He will see life differently as he gets older.

Sylvia Woodman: Harry (6) really loves waffles and wanted a ROUND waffle maker (we only have the square one) so when my brother asked what he wanted for a Hanukkah present this year I told him so he got one for Harry so I texted him pictures of Harry making and eating round waffles. With technology it is so easy to do stuff like that!

Jihong: I like that Sandra, saying grateful out aloud

Sam: I have always been a huge fan of thank you notes, I wish more people would write them

Robin B.: How old is Orion now, Jihong?

Jihong: 7

Sandra Dodd: And don't do it to train them. Do it because it's true. It will be uplifting, in that moment to kind of put a blessing on it.

Jihong: lately, he paticularly likes the word "hate", I hate that music, I hate it when computer doesn it...

Robin B.: Senna started putting her emotions into words more at 7 and sometimes she wanted to speak her frustration.

Sam: I feel the same way, my daughter got one after she made some handmade gifts for friends and she treasured that personalized note she got then a lot of her gifts this year <3

Sandra Dodd: I have a table with three chairs that I love. I love it. I tell people once in a while, guests... Look at this table! It's my favorite. it only had three chairs, but they're all hand-joined, no nails, no screws. $50 at the flea market.

Sam: *more

Robin B.: Nice!

Sandra Dodd: If I wanted to help a child be aware of saying "hate" too much, I would put a paper on the wall and put a tic mark each time he said it. Not comment, just do it. We did that about something once, but I don't remember what. Whining, or complaining or something. I think it was Holly. It was a long time ago. :-)

Sandra Dodd: Just put a line, and when there are four, a cross line. Just mark it without making a deal about it.

Robin B.: Do you think that helped, Sandra?

Jihong: I will try that.

Robin B.: Maybe obviously, you do :-)

Robin B.: It's about awareness, in that case, right?

Robin B.: It's hard to change something if you're not aware you're doing it.

Sandra Dodd: Either it will help or it won't. It helped here.

Jihong: I told orion to try to replace it with "dislike" or "i prefer the rock music" instead of "hate"...I will see if that is effective. For myself, basically I eliminated "hate" from vocabulary, because that is not a word I am fond of

Sandra Dodd: When I was teaching 9th grade there was a girl who always made a little click, tongue noise, just before she said something. And it wasn't a habit she like, and it seemed to insult people and to belittle what she was about to say. It was a common sort of commentary marker in northern New Mexico at the time, but she wasn't deciding to do it, it was a habit. I asked her if she wanted help to break it.

Sylvia Woodman: See I tend to let stuff like that slide, Jihong because I don't want to tell them their feeliings in the moment are wrong.

Sandra Dodd: Sylvia, I'm with Jihong on this one. Anytime the "feeling" is expressed as "hate" or "stupid," it's pollution.

Sandra Dodd: Negativity shouldn't be casually scattered around that way.

Sylvia Woodman: So they should just stuff it?

Jihong: yes, Sandra. It affects me and I let him know. A couple of years ago, I paid attention to how I chose my words, the negativity went away more than 80%.

Sandra Dodd: I don't deny them the opportunity to express an opinion, but "hate" is too big, too much, for a casual preference. And saying that something (or usually someONE) is "stupid" makes them rude and judgmental, and it erodes the confidence of a person who is called stupid.

Sam: I have never been one to use the word "stupid" in my home

Robin B.: If Senna expresses frustration or says something is stupid (on occasion), I will give her an alternate view - how someone else might see it. Or something positive to see in the situation. It might not change how she's seeing it in the moment, but she thinks about it. That has made a positive impact.

Sandra Dodd: So the girl in my class said yes, help me. And in a basic operant conditioning way, I asked the rest of the people in that class to just make the same noise, softly, when the girl did it. She was a nice girl and really popular. Everyone was willing to help, and curious to see if it would work. By the end of four days or so she wasn't doing it at all anymore. We didn't talk about it after that first time. The first day she probably did it fifteen times or more. Each day, less. Eventually, none.

Sylvia Woodman: i will try that Robin.

Sam: I'm with you Robin, try to put a positive spin on it.

Sandra Dodd: The thing with tic marks is it's wordless. If he asks what the marks are, you can tell him. If he doesn't ask, maybe you could say, in a few days (Friday, you only said "hate" four times, but today you're already up to ten. Are you hungry? Tired? :-)

Sandra Dodd: The thing with tic marks is it's wordless. If he asks what the marks are, you can tell him. If he doesn't ask, maybe you could say, in a few days (Friday, you only said "hate" four times, but today you're already up to ten. Are you hungry? Tired? :-)

Robin B.: It works pretty well with Senna. She is easily shamed, so I try turning things around for her so she sees another possibility.

Robin B.: Sandra, that would also be a good exercise for mom to know when hungry and tired might be happening! It's like a clue!

Sandra Dodd: Marty still sometimes says something is STUPID, and I look at him questioningly and he laughs and backpedals.

Sandra Dodd: Right, Robin. That too. :-)

Jihong: I will try that

Sandra Dodd: One of my intentions from way back, before unschooling came around in our lives, was to keep the tone of the house light and happy.

PamelaC: With one of my kids, there is very little negativity. With the other, a lot. If I try to address it in the moment he gets angry and defensive. I try modelling and redirecting or talking about the concepts later and in an abstract way.

Robin B.: I know when everyone in the house is angsty and cranky, it's often because *I* am. So light and happy are really good goals.

Sandra Dodd: I do have a rant upon occasion.

Sam: this may be a whole other can of worms, but when you do have negative people around you...what is the best was to cope?

Sam: *way

Sandra Dodd: Well when I was the negative person, Sam, Keith heard me and said something soothing and shushing and it was done. :-)

Sandra Dodd: I have "broken up" with some friends who were too negative.

Sandra Dodd: Just didn't have them around, especially when my kids were little.

HeatherB: If Austin is angry about something and using words like hate we'll point out that hate is a really strong word. He'll usually say he doesn't care. When he's angry he's not open to a posiitve spin on the situation. When he calms down he'll come to us to talk about it and then we can talk about seeing things in a more positive light.

Sylvia Woodman: Sam, is the negative person a friend or family?

Sam: I've had to too....but now it's family that's the problem. And no I really don't allow them much around the kids because I don't feel they're good role models

Jill Parmer: A few weeks ago, I was really upset about an argument Steve (husband) and I had. I was sad enough to be crying. Now, I can't even remember what the argument was about. I went on a walk with my dogs, because walks generally make me feel better. And on my way back I started thinking of all the things I was grateful for. It felt so powerful to be able to turn my thoughts toward better things. Powerful enough that today I don't remember the issue.

Robin B.: Heather, that happens here, too. Senna needs time to calm down, then she can talk about things.

Jill Parmer: Kindness, gratitude, sweetness, not playing with someone else's negativity can change negative atmosphere.

Sandra Dodd: If I were negative every day, Keith would talk me into being happier.

Sandra Dodd: Holly had a few weeks of unhappiness last fall, but lately she's all happy.

Alex Polikowsky: going to change computers as Gigi wants to sit next to me to watch a movie on Netflix

Sandra Dodd: People have seasons.

Robin B.: Ross does that for me and Senna, Sandra, when we need it. He's awesome. I just wrote him an email to tell him so (he's on a plane to FL).

Robin B.: And hormones!

Sandra Dodd: I have a childless friend named Pati. Years ago, before I had kids, she told me one day that I was being too negative, and it was hard to be around me. I think that was about 1982. :-)

ColleenP (NH): my husband too, Robin - he can see the happy in absolutely any situation - and he brings the happy/positive back if my son or I go to the negative about something - it's a talent, for sure :-)

Sandra Dodd: She was involved in religious explorations that season. I felt very bad that I had been bringing her down, and started paying attention to when I was doing that, and had the tool "what would Pati think?" for a while.

Robin B.: You're right, Colleen. It *is* a talent.

Sandra Dodd: And I got better at catching my own negativity. Many years passed. The last time we had a madrigal group, Pati was in it, and so we were in the same place once a week, seasonally. (Three months each winter for a three years.) I was WAY cheerier and more positive than Pati. :-)

Robin B.: I think of Keith as calm and reasonable and having the ability to talk someone down from a ledge.

Sandra Dodd: I didn't tell her so. I was grateful she could sing well. We were doing some five-part Morley stuff, and I could really count on her to hold her own part, and she was never negative about the music! So as long as we were singing, everything was up, up, up!

Sandra Dodd: That might be a way to deal with negative people, too--keep them on the topics about which they are upbeat.

Robin B.: Maybe that's a key. Finding something that brings out the optimism in people.

Robin B.: Coke!

alexPolikowsky: My crankiness affects my kids and husband.

Robin B.: Yup. Me, too, Alex.

Sandra Dodd: My perspective, now that my kids are grown, is that if you put some friends off to the side for a few years, you can rekindle that friendship when your kids are old enough that the negativity won't hurt them.

Sam: That is a good way of looking at things Sandra!

HeatherB: I have a friend who goes into future scenarios that will end tragicly. I try to keep her here in the future by saying things like, "You're worrying about things that haven't even happened." Sometimes it brings her back to reality and when it doesn't I'll get off the phone because it's so exhausting to talk to someone who is making things up to fret about.

HeatherB: Creating things to complain about.

Robin B.: Some people are really good at catastrophizing. Might be genetic.

Sandra Dodd: When you have a choice between two people (to visit, to invite over), choose the more positive person. When you pick an activity or topic, choose the more positive one.

Robin B.: It makes people think they're doing something about it by worrying. I've done that.

Robin B.: Choosing not to worry and act, if that's appropriate, works better.

Sandra Dodd: Heather, you could do an aikido move when she does it again. Go with her into that scene, and add an earthquake, a fire, everyone dies. I might seem like humor, or sarcasm, and it would be both. But it might get the point across and you might only need to do it once or twice to cure her forever, or at least for her to call someone different.

Capn Franko: My core tendency is to live in the past or the future. I have to constantly remember to think about now.

Sam: I need to be more pro-active in trying to keep a positive attitude about things

Sylvia Woodman: The Just Add Light and Stir e-mail about "Just Say No" has really resonated with me. I feel so grateful that we aren't bound by school schedules and that Gabriella and Harry are free to get all the sleep they need or if they are sick they aren't worried about all the work they will have to make up when they go back to school. I remember feeling that way when I was a kid.

Sandra Dodd: I'm good at "catastrophizing" (nice word) when we're planning and event or a party. If you imagine disasters, then you can be relieved and grateful for No problems, and prepared for minor problems.

Robin B.: Yup - you can make it work for you that way!

Sandra Dodd: But I don't picture the worst and get emotional. I picture the worst and prepare for it.

ColleenP (NH): I was just thinking that today - it's not even 10 degrees here, Robbie was up past 11 last night - and he could sleep in, hang out by the woodstove today playing mario galaxy, and not need to worry about going out to wait for the bus or getting up early for school - so grateful for this life :-)

Sam: I really am soo grateful that I get to wake up and spend everyday at home with our multiple blessings discovering new things all the time, overall wouldn't change my life for anything!

HeatherB: I think it does take some skill and practice to stop a train of thought when it starts going into what-if scenarios. I guess planning for what -if's can be a good thing if it's proactive like, having supplies for if there is an earthquake if you live in an area where there are some.

ColleenP (NH): I do that too—imagine the worst and tell myself if I can deal with the worst, I can deal with anything less than the worst too - it's mental prep for disasters that don't happen, but it keeps me calmer rather than freaking me out!

Sandra Dodd

Here's something I wrote for SCA organizers nearly 25 years ago:

When a disaster comes to mind—for example, the thought of a forest fire—don't tell yourself "It probably won't happen" and write it off. Of course it probably won't happen. Just think through what you would need to know and do if it did happen, get the information on your list, and then don't worry about it one single bit. If you worry that the map or the publicity will fail, drive the road yourself, ask the highway people if there's going to be any construction on your weekend, check all the phone numbers and addresses and dates and times on the article, send out an extra batch, mail directly to seneschals. Then don't worry about that aspect any more. Everyone has a perfect map. I've never advocated working oneself into a depression over how horrible it could be. Just let these little disasters float through your mind, in and out, but be sure to add the antidotes to your checklist before you forget.

While I'm thinking about it, consider packing some neutral-looking mundane clothes in case you have to leave the event to go to the hospital, ranger station, or police station for some reason and don't want to antagonize them by wearing a "Do It in Chainmail" t-shirt.

Robin B.: Sandra, you'd make a good insurance salesperson :-)

Robin B.: Do It in Chainmail :-)

Sandra Dodd: Maybe I would! Keith and I were talking about life insurance last night in the hot tub. :-)

Sandra Dodd: I just read something else funny in that article. Funny that will amuse some of you who know me.

Some people have said that it's best to imagine the event at all times as wonderful as it could be, and to float up there on a cloud of positive thinking. It has been expressed to me that all my negative thinking would drag down the event. That's nonsense.

When you're 40 miles from a phone and need some rope and duct tape, no amount of affirmation will produce them. You'll either go without or you'll beg them off of some person with a trunk full of batteries, shovels, chemical lights, bandages and flares—someone who's more paranoid and therefore better prepared, and will probably be a pelican before you are, you too-positive thinking autocrat. Don't think it was your magic wishing that filled up that trunk. It was full before you knew you needed that stuff.

Sandra Dodd: The Order of the Pelican is like knighthood, for service, in the SCA.

HeatherB: After my friend died in a motorcycle accident and the family asked me to help find homes for his two pit bulls, that he loved and adored, but that most people were terrified of, Monty and I got serious about getting a legit will done. Asked a friend who Austin adores and who adores him if she would care for him and invested in a goodlife insurance plan.

ColleenP (NH): I like the sound of being a pelican!

alexPolikowsky: I too always imagine what can go wrong. Not that I am negative. Just like to be safe and prepare.

alexPolikowsky: I too always imagine what can go wrong. Not that I am negative. Just like to be safe and prepare.

Sylvia Woodman: A Pelican who does it in chainmail! Awesome!

Sandra Dodd: Pelicans, it was believed, in the middle ages, would, if needed, feed their children with blood from their own breasts. Frank, being a Catholic from Louisiana, could have told you that.

Sandra Dodd: There is a heraldic charge called "a pelican vulning itself." Pricking its breast with its beak, so blood comes out. But European's art shows pelicans having the kinds of little pointy beaks that could potentially poke themselves. Not a realistic pelican. :-)

Sylvia Woodman: "A remarkable bird is the Pelican Whose beak can hold more than his belly can"

Capn Franko: State bird of Louisiana. I love 'em.

ColleenP (NH): I would like to see a pelican, a puffin, and a snowy owl. Not necessarily in that order. But they are all marvelous birds.

Sandra Dodd: Holly and I got to see pelicans when we were in florida. They flew in little formations (three or five of them in groups) while we were standing out in the gulf.

Sylvia Woodman: In a former life as a meeting and event planner we ran into some amazing who could have predicted THIS situations! Hotels that changed names between the time we signed the contract and the date of the event. Lobbys that were completely under construction on the day we arrived

Sylvia Woodman: Some well meaning person who gave our invitation to some homeless people so they could eat at the buffet.

Robin B.: Oh my!

Marta Pires: I've learned from you guys to plan ahead, particularly from Sandra. I've learned to do what Sandra does, imagining a worst case scenario and what I might need to in case, without getting emotional about it. I think it prepares us for what may come. I feel relieved to have things thought out and planned for.

Sylvia Woodman: Sandra didn't you write something to the effect of: Rather than worry that you are not doing enough, do what you need to do so that you won't have that worry?

Sandra Dodd: I think there's a TON of gratitude involved in something coming off successfully.

Sandra Dodd: Sylvia, I'm always writing stuff like that. :-)

Capn Franko: Watching them dive is fascinating. Unlike streamlined, efficient birds who split the water like Olympic divers, pelicans hit like a bomb going off. They're fascinating.

Sandra Dodd: Instead of people trying to figure out how little they can get by with to pass, they should just do as much as they can think of to do. With kids, with event planning, with spouses, and friends.

ColleenP (NH): fascinating!! That's my personal official word for 2013 (bit of Star Trek watching going on here ;-)) - if they're fascinating then I *definitely* need to see them this year!

Sandra Dodd: Oh, hey: http://sandradodd.com/ideas/autocrat3.html The article I've been quoting from. Talks about school-induced dreams.

ColleenP (NH): my 9 year old is laughing now as I just shouted "fascinating" at my computer - he says "again?? What now??" :-)

Capn Franko: Spock rocks.

Robin B.: Frank, I agree. About the pelicans!

Marta Pires: Wow Sandra, that'll come in handy! Thanks!

ColleenP (NH): and not about Spock, Robin? ;-)

Robin B.: Yeah, I like him, too.

ColleenP (NH): :-)

HeatherB: Austin, Monty and I were sitting on a brick wall at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco watching this pelican dive into the water to get fish. It was mesmorizing. He flew back and forth and we could tell right when he spotted a fish.

Robin B.: Even if you don't do all the things you can think of to do, at least you have them at hand when the opportunity comes up.

ColleenP (NH): I had school nightmares for years, but no longer thank goodness - it's been a couple years now. I am glad they are gone!

Sandra Dodd: So I can be grateful for my ability to envision negative outcomes, and for the years of practice at not dwelling there, but being prepared.

Sandra Dodd: A couple of times in the past week I've been frustrated with unschooling discussions where people ask questions they could have just looked up, or that they already KNOW the answer to, but they want to waste people's time and to grandstand (think I, quickly, and too negatively) and then...

Sandra Dodd: Then I think "I LOVE THE INTERNET!" and I thought of how grateful I am that other people are willing to answer these folks' questions, and to cover for me when I'm impatient and that we can send a link and people can go straight to a collection of good answers from other conversations.

Capn Franko: I had school nightmares until just a few years ago and I'll be 65 in two months.

Marta Pires:

Sandra Dodd: I'm grateful to Pam Laricchia for having created that intro series, which is fabulous.

HeatherB: I'm going on a plane tomorrow so I'm doing laundry, making sure there is food cooked to last while I'm gone, and filling refills on prescriptions...you know, in case the plane goes down.

Robin B.: :-)

Sandra Dodd: I'm grateful that Keith supports my hobby instead of pressing me to go get a job as a teacher, or grocery store clerk or life insurance salesman.

Marta Pires: The internet is amazing! I was just thinking about it today -- without it, I probably would have never found radical unschooling and you guys!

Sandra Dodd: Heather, you'll keep that plan up there!

Sylvia Woodman: Ok I have some hungry kids to feed so I'm going to drop off for now! Thanks for the chat! (So grateful for chats! So grateful for food to feed my kids!) <3

Sandra Dodd: Bye, Sylvia!

HeatherB: I hope so. That is one of those situations for me where I go into disaster scenarios. With every bump of the plane :(

Sandra Dodd: plane AND plan, Heather. I'm grateful when plane rides are smooth. I notice.

Sandra Dodd: Frank, do you ever have musical-performance stress dreams? Forgot the amps or something?

Sandra Dodd: I don't remember any dreams about musical-performance failure, not even about competitions, back in the day.

Capn Franko: Sure. Mostly in terms of personal "failure" - forgetting lyrics, being in the wrong key, especially for a solo, etc.

Sandra Dodd: Huh.

Sandra Dodd: So it's not just school.

Robin B.: I get the "hula goblins" before shows. Forgetting costumes, dancing badly, not even knowing a song at all.

Sandra Dodd: In dreams, though, or conscious thoughts?

Sandra Dodd: I worry about car trips.

Robin B.: Dreams, and being unable to sleep.

JennyC: I get that way with teaching dance classes, yes in dreams

Capn Franko: Oh yeah, it's definitely a core component of my personality. Failure is always an option and it's not acceptable. (I know! I'm still working on that.)

Sandra Dodd: Keith wants to go visit Kirby this Spring. I smile and say sure, and plan what to take and think of highway death. Driving to Austin scares me more than flying to Europe.

Marta Pires: Why Sandra?

Robin B.: I *still* have dreams about being unable to find my locker or my classroom (in high school and college).

Sandra Dodd: So... gratitude when you don't fail?

Sandra Dodd: I don't know, Marta.

Robin B.: Yeah!

alexPolikowsky: I have nightmares that I am not with both of my kids, like they are home and I am somewhere else, and there is a tornado or some disaster like that and that I am trying to get home to them.

HeatherB: Really? I mean, it's really booooring, but why scary?

Capn Franko: Being a pilot and reading NTSB accident reports, I want to be at the controls when I'm in a plane just like I wanna be at the wheel for a car trip.

Robin B.: Snort!

ColleenP (NH): locker - I remember *so* many dreams about not being able to remember my combination for my lock!!

Robin B.: Don't read the reports!!

Robin B.: Colleen, exactly!

Sandra Dodd: It seems when a plane is in the air, it can be kept up there, and the landing is the next consideration. (Don't tell me any different, people, and I am serious.)

Capn Franko: *I* definitely have gratitude (and RELIEF) when I fail to fail. (wink)

alexPolikowsky: Yes Frank it is like if I am with my kids I have control somehow to make sure they stay alive and safe.

HeatherB: I had a dream last night that I was taking a class on how to do hair. I remember I brought a big bag and a glass of wine. The teacher told us to write a short report on something and at the end of class we would all stand up in front of the class and present it. I grabbed my bag and wine and said, "Nope. No thank you." and walked out.

Sandra Dodd: But in a car, each second the driver (Keith, or me) could doze off, or hit a coyote, or another car could do something stupid, or a cow could be on the road, or crap that fell off a car, or parts of a blown tire. Yuck, yuck, danger.

alexPolikowsky: Never had dreams of nightmares about school

HeatherB: I;m with Sandra. Seriously. When the plane is in the air it just stays up there. No questions asked.

Capn Franko: Yes, Robin. It's really best not to read NTSB reports before flying.

ColleenP (NH): I'm claustrophobic, so I don't like when the plane is in the air - I love when it lands and I know all is therefore good and I can get *out* :-) Landing is by far my favorite part of any flight!

Sandra Dodd: Alex, do you have other scary dreams?

Sandra Dodd: Maybe you're just not a worry-in-your-sleep kind of person?

JennyC: I'm more of a "nothing bad is going to happen" kind of person

Sandra Dodd: Maybe school didn't pressure you?

HeatherB: When driving throught the dessert I get nervous. But that's the extent of my driving anxiety. If I'm going on a road trip through the desert I have monty check the fluids in the car and then tell me my car is new and can handle driving through the desert with out over heating.

Sandra Dodd: Then you shouldn't be an event planner, Jenny.

JennyC: that sounds very overwhelming!

Sandra Dodd: Planning an event or driving through the desert? :-)

JennyC: I've lived a life that so far, nothing all that bad has happened! I'm planning on driving through the desert this summer

Robin B.: Oh, Jenny! Going to NM?

JennyC: we are really trying to do that yes

Robin B.: Wonderful.

JennyC: probably in September

Jill Parmer: About dreams. My kids have not been in my dreams for at least 11 years. It's too scary to have them in my dreams, and a loooong time ago I somehow decided I wouldn't have them in my dreams. So far, I don't remember any dreams (if I had any) of them.

JennyC: my hubby is the overplanner on road trips

JennyC: he thinks of every scenario and plans for it

alexPolikowsky: Yes Scary dreams about not being with my kids when there is a disaster like a tornado.

Sandra Dodd: There's a road in Utah that says "186 miles to next services." That's intimidating.

alexPolikowsky: It is always about not being with them and not knowing they are safe

JennyC: Without him around, I'd hit the road without all that planning

Sandra Dodd: I called Keith to ask him the mileage on that sign. Might be 168 or something.

Sandra Dodd: LONG WAY

Robin B.: Yes. Where do you pee?

JennyC: the worst part of a trip from Oregon to NM is all the gas stations that belong to whatever Chevron belongs to because they don't accept cards that have been used already in that day

Sandra Dodd: when I was pregnant with Marty we drove to a cesarean prevention conference in San Francisco.

alexPolikowsky: I am a planner for road trips too. Many years driving to dog shows and having to make sure we had everything we needed and the dogs need to get fed, exercised , watered and all the equipment for the dog shows are there.

Sandra Dodd: We were in Nevada, middle of cactus-littered nowhere, and I had to pee. No cars in sight, and we could see to the horizon both directions, a long, long way.

Sandra Dodd: So I got on a big rock abou the size of a big dining table. Sandstone, angled about 10 degrees.

alexPolikowsky: I can pee anywhere! Even inside the car! HA! just need a container.

Sandra Dodd: Squatted my pregnant self up there and started to pee. The pee wasn't running off the rock, but half soaking in and half evaporating. The stream went dry, and I kept peeing. I was fascinated.

alexPolikowsky: cool pee story Sandra

Sandra Dodd: Then a big truck was coming, but I wasn't done and I thought..... this guy drives on this road, and has seen people pee. and he's needed to pee, but he has that big truck to stand behing

Sandra Dodd: and I only have a VW Jetta.

Sandra Dodd: and at least now he will be able to say "saw a pregnant woman, on a big rock..."

Robin B.: :-D

Marta Pires: Hahahaha Sandra!

Capn Franko: Could turn that into a country song!

JennyC: I love road trips

JennyC: any kind

Sandra Dodd: I kind of like to see people, guys, standing in that way that you know the're pissing, but they're just casually kind of admiring the scenery.

Sandra Dodd: "Watering the sagebrush," we'd say (or whatever plants they were nearest)

ColleenP (NH): I'd love to have a small RV - roadtrips and the ability to cook and pee without needing a service station restroom... ah it would be nice!

HeatherB: Austin's up. I;m going to go start the bacon. Thanks for the chat. See you next week...hopefully.

Sandra Dodd: I'm grateful that when I'm cranky my family still loves me, and even more grateful that I have, over may years, learned ways to be less cranky.

Robin B.: Sandra, it's because of what you write that I'm more aware of changing my attitude.

JennyC: I like the happy attitude shift!

JennyC: Sometimes I can wake up all grumpy and close my eyes and start over and remind myself that the day will be full of awesome

alexPolikowsky: Hugging my kids reminds me to calm down, be happy and smile.

In the Big Book, that page links to: SandraDodd.com/gratitude

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