Family,  Grief & Loss,  Health,  Nutrition,  Self Care

Practicing Thankfulness

As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season kicks into full gear, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out and eat and drink too much. This is normally a great topic to write about at this time of year. But in the wake of the events in Paris last Friday it seems pretty meaningless. I am reminded at times like this (particularly with Thanksgiving almost upon us) how much we have to be thankful for and how easy it is to lose sight of that just living our lives.

There is so much to be grateful for! If you are reading this on a tablet, smartphone or computer you are probably sitting inside a warm home with hot and cold running water. You probably have a job that provides you with money to pay for the device upon which you are reading this. You are probably well-fed, maybe even trying to limit what you eat now to counteract the inevitable excessive eating and drinking that will occur this holiday season. You’ve probably been invited to holiday parties and family gatherings, which means you are loved and cared for. You probably walk around on two good legs and use your arms and hands automatically, taking them for granted. You probably have plenty of clothes to choose from when you get dressed every morning. And so on and so forth . . . .

After living through the loss of my husband, I would like to say I don’t take a moment for granted of this precious life, but that’s not true because I am human. I do take comfort in the fact that when I take moments for granted it means I am back to some level of normalcy. However, I am acutely aware that life is short and it ends. I mean to make sure that I continually appreciate the many wonderful things in my life while I am living it. It’s easy to forget how good our lives are.

Here’s what I try to keep in mind on a daily basis:

Everything can change in an instant and there’s nothing I can do about it. Right here and now is all I have. Why not enjoy it?

Control is an illusion. There are too many things that I have no control over.  I can only control my reaction to any given situation.

Nothing stays the same. Age overtakes us, injury occurs, friends come and go, people we love pass on. I don’t want to appreciate after the fact.

Everything is a learning experience. Even the most difficult of situations can be enlightening.

Consistency becomes habit. Every single day that I try to remember how much there is to be grateful for becomes another day I live my life to the fullest.

And finally, words to live by from the late great Coach Dan Potts to one of his athletes—“This is a great life…such a joyful experience. Just remember when you wake up to take time, Thank the Universe for the day and all the Good that will be coming your way and the Good you will experience from all the people you will encounter that day. It’s All coming to you, sometimes you just have to get out of the way and enjoy the gifts.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Previously published on My Edmonds News

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