I don’t feel grateful naturally. As a matter of fact, it takes an intentional effort and deliberate decision on my part to be grateful, especially when I don’t feel like it. This fact has been particularly true since the arrival of Covid 19 last year. There is no doubt that being in lockdown, separation from family and friends, remote learning, etc. for the last several months gives us ample and valid reasons to complain. I have certainly done my share! It’s important to release frustrations and call out things for what they are. However, it’s not good mentally or emotionally to remain “ stuck” in the “complaint department” for too long, lest we lose perspective and forget that there have been at least some things to be grateful for, despite this horrific year. Making a decision to look for the good is an excellent distraction over things that we can’t control. This practice also reduces stress and keeps us physically and mentally healthy. There are too many things in life that can rob us of joy if we allow them to. Life is too short to allow that to happen.
I definitely have to give myself frequent “pep talks” when I start to have “stinking thinking”, which specifically means that when I begin to believe that EVERYTHING is awful, negative, no hope, etc, it’s a warning sign that I need to stop and use HALT ( from the Alanon Support Group): am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired? Sometimes I’m all four things! Making sure these basic needs are met is so vital for cultivating a grateful attitude. There is no doubt that raising disabled children can cause HALT quickly and completely, which is why it’s important to check in with ourselves daily and correct any deficiencies. Proper nutrition and rest are not luxuries, rather, they are absolute necessities for our daily functioning, especially because our kids need so much… Once these basic needs have been met, it’s at least feasible to choose gratefulness. I have found making this effort to be grateful throughout the day usually benefits those around me, especially Brian. Somehow, the world is a better place, even though my difficult circumstances may not have changed, but my perspective has- and this makes all the difference!
I had a good sleep last night and ate well, which put me in the right frame of mind to think about what I am truly grateful for in this often messy and unpredictable thing we call “life”. The end result is a compilation of “50 Reasons Why I’m Grateful”, which are listed below. There is no particular order of importance to this list; as a matter of fact, I wrote down exactly what came to mind. I thought of certain things immediately, while others took more time, but are still just as important. It was a valuable exercise in appreciation and gratitude for me, as well as an excellent reminder that perspective in life is everything.. I encourage you to do the same! I believe you will be reminded of your blessings that can carry you through especially trying times. There is also something so powerful about the written word (especially when it’s yours) that can feed the mind and the heart for the better, so let the feast begin!
50 Reasons Why I’m Grateful
1. I can still get up out of bed each day, despite some aches and pains now.
2. My body parts/systems are original and still operational.
3. I am mentally sound, at least most of the time, lol.
4. My faith in God has always and continues to sustain me through all seasons of life.
5. Our extended family, who is loving and supportive
6. Wonderful friends who make life that much sweeter
7. My range of emotions and the freedom to express them
8. The gift and catharsis of writing, especially during low points in my life
9. Music! 🎼 🎶 🎵
10. Travels past and future
11. Hope that springs eternal
12 Life here as we know it is just the “dress rehearsal”- Heaven is the “big show”, my eternal home..
13. Opportunities to give and receive
14. Random acts of kindness
15. The ability to be understood and to understand others
16. The beach at 4pm… 🌊 🌊
17. A large, steaming fresh cup of ☕️
18. A glass of chilled Chardonnay in the evening
19. Dark chocolate 🍫
20. Warm showers
21. Deep hugs
22. Contagious laughter
23. A clever sense of humor
24. I am beyond grateful to be an American! 🇺🇸
25. Lipstick and hair color 💄 👱
27. Learning from mistakes
29. A good listener
31. My loving husband
32. Our beautiful Brian
33. A shoulder to lean on
34. A hand to hold
35. A listening ear
36. Modern Medicine
37. Being cancer-free for almost 12 years! 🎉🎉
38. The Moderna vaccine
39. A roof over my head
40. Food on the table
41. My church community
42. God’s Word, aka: the Good News!
43. The power of prayer
44. Another day to try again
45. My son’s smile and laughter
46. Values that my parents taught me
47. “Team Brian” – all of the wonderful school staff, home therapists, and volunteers who have helped Brian over the years and continue to do so today- we would be so lost without them!
48. I am grateful for the lessons learned from hard times, for these pearls of wisdom have instilled a much deeper appreciation of the good times when they do return…You can’t fully appreciate the sunshine without going through the rain first. 🌧 ☀️
49. Acts of Courage, despite the fear, risks, and the unknown outcome…
50. God’s loving grace and assurance that He is there, regardless of what is happening, and always will be! ❤️❤️
May your blessings be many and troubles very few! May the good things in your life catapult you to a place of deep appreciation and contentment. May you also find the strength and courage to face the daily hardships that you encounter with a peace that passes all understanding. This life is truly temporal, although it can certainly feel otherwise when you are in the midst of an agonizing trial. Fortunately, bad times don’t last forever, but resilient people do! Always choose to laugh, love, and count your blessings, especially when you don’t feel like it- it’s the best medicine to cure what ails you! Until next time, thanks for reading.