I have so much to be grateful for: a wonderful wife, two great kids, excellent health, and a rewarding career. As a matter of fact, probably 97% of my life is absolutely perfect. In my better moments I know this.
The challenge is… I’m not always in one of my better moments. When I’m not, I find myself focused on the 3% that’s not right yet. Sometimes, I can let a trivial thing get in the way of a great day, especially now with the pandemic and the effect it has had on the world and all the uncertainty that it has created. I believe that there’s never been a more important time than NOW to double down on the on the practice of gratitude.
For example, after watching an hour of news, my wife and I decided to go on a walk to the river. I found myself so consumed with future worry that I wasn’t even aware of the beauty around me. I had to take a moment to consciously change my focus back to the current moment on the trail, to the family of deer feeding up ahead of me, to the cool breeze on my forehead. Then finally, to savor the beautiful evening with my wife and to be grateful for the moment. And when I did this, everything changed for the better.
Another example is, one morning a while back, I jumped in the shower only to find out we had no hot water. It was late November and I was cold even before those little icy droplets took the breath out of me. It took a blow dryer, a wool blanket, and a whole lot of hot tea before I could get my lips back to their normal color. It took a couple of days before we could coordinate the repair work on our water heater and boy did I miss my hot shower. After it was repaired, I found myself extremely appreciative of this little modern miracle we call “hot running water.”
Every now and then I try to take a moment to reflect on how cool it is to just twist a knob and have clean, hot water stream down my back. Then that gets me thinking about what else I have in my life, right now, that I might be taking for granted that instead I should appreciate. I probably couldn’t tell you everything that is on my list, but I can tell you that it is extremely long and chances are, your list probably just as long as mine.
I challenge you, as I’m challenging myself, to take some time every day to think about all the things in your life that you have to be grateful for. There is a lot for sure, you just have to be mindful enough to notice.
Wishing you a peaceful season and I hope you find many things to be grateful for in the days ahead!
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