Throughout the month of November, I have been posting things I am thankful for on Facebook. Now, I will admit, I got the idea after seeing other people doing the same thing, but I probably will continue this even after the month is over. For me, this is more than some idle meme or gimmick – it is an opportunity to pause, however briefly, and think about what in my life is making me happy, making my day a bit easier, or just having some sort of positive impact on my life. For many years, I took things somewhat for granted. I didn’t pause to smell the roses so to speak. I lived in a place where I focused on what was hard or bad or negative. I let these things define my attitude. I resigned myself to the fact that “eh, this is how it was meant to be, so I’m just going to wallow and not do anything to change things for the better”.
This is not to say I didn’t embrace the good things in life. I was, for all intents and purposes, a kid. I was learning how to make my way through life, as we all do, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and moving forward. Plus, I think it is a rite of passage to have the “ugh woe is me” period during our teenage years, right? 😉
What changed? Honestly, I am not sure I can point to one thing. It has been a process. A process of growing up, learning, and getting used to the curveballs of life. Today, I found myself at a loss as to what I was thankful for. I had a bad night of sleep the night before, just felt very frustrated (I am just going to blame the snow), and I just wasn’t feeling the day. After posing the question on Facebook “What should I be thankful for today?”, I was reminded of a very important thing – perspective matters.
Perspective, I’ve learned over time, is my friend. It helps me to realize that even when it seems like nothing is going my way, if I look hard enough, I can find that one thing that eases the trouble. These are the things I am, and should be, thankful for. Sometimes it may be something trivial – like the color of my shoes – other times it may be a memory or something more significant. Regardless, I am thankful for these various things and how they enhance my life. This awareness has also made me want to spread thanks and happiness to others. Again, sometimes it may be a small action like sharing a funny link with a friend, or a more significant series of actions to help someone in need. You never know what this may mean to the other person, but it could be that one thing that someone is thankful for when they are having a bad day.
The moral of the story? Be thankful for things in your life. Tell people if they do something you are thankful for. Take the time to reflect.
It is never as bad as you think it is. Sometimes you just need a bit of perspective to realize what you are thankful for.