I love this time of year! The summer heat has finally given way to crisp autumn air, and the changing of the colors on the leaves never fails to amaze me. It’s also that time of year when another calendar year comes to an end, the holiday season rolls around, and family gathers around. If the New Year is the natural time to set new resolutions, this is the perfect time to sit back and reflect on the year (years?) that was, and to give thanks.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things in our lives. That takes no effort at all, but learning how to be thankful for the things in our lives that we don’t particularly love …. that’s much more difficult, and its exactly what I’m trying to do.
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THINGS I’M THANKFUL FOR
I continually find it to be true that by and large, people find what they’re looking for.
- Miserable people find misery.
- Fearful people find the bogeymen.
- Complainers find things to complain about.
It’s very much a self-fulling prophecy: our attitudes shape the world we live in. If you constantly look for the positive things in life then you’re probably living in a pretty great place.
With that in mind, this year, in addition to all of the good things in my life, I’m trying to be thankful for the things that perhaps I’d rather not have in my life. Taking inventory of all that we have to be thankful for and seeking out the positive has a way of making us realize just how much we actually have to be thankful for. So here are a few not so awesome things in my life that I’m thankful for.
LEARNING TO BE THANKFUL
- I’m thankful for an alarm clock that goes off waaaay earlier than I’d like it to. It means I have a job to get up for. There was a time in my life when I didn’t have a job, and I desperately wanted and needed one. So, I’m very thankful when my alarm goes off early in the morning.
- I’m thankful for contentious elections. It’s means I live in a land where we have the freedom to say whatever we want and where we have a peaceful transfer of power. Power is a thing for which many lust after. The American president, the most powerful person on the planet, willingly and peacefully steps away from that power every four or eight years. Millions of people live in brutal conditions because their “leaders” continually seek to keep and expand their power, I’m thankful that I don’t live in a place like that. This year I’m thankful for contentious elections (I’m also very thankful that it’s finally over 🙂 ).
- I’m thankful that I get to help my kids do homework each night (which, by the way, gets more difficult with each passing year). Homework means my kids get to go to school to learn and grow. I’m thankful for their education.
- I’m thankful for the personal challenges that I face. Working to overcome them will help me to become a better person.
- I’m thankful for my bills (and for the ability to pay them). Bills are the manifestation of decisions that I’ve made in the past, and while we don’t have many bills (thankfully), those we do have are for products and services that bring joy and comfort into our lives.
- I’m thankful for speeding tickets because they mean I have police nearby that keep my neighborhood safe. For medical bills, because that means I’ve received medical help. I’m thankful that I get to pay rent each month because that means I have a home to live and raise my family in. I’m thankful for utility bills because that means my home has light, and heat, and water. I’m thankful to be a smidge heavier than I like to be; it means I’m living a ridiculously comfortable life and that I don’t have to go hungry. I’m thankful for sore muscles (sometimes), because that means I have the time and ability to exercise in an attempt to lose a few of those pounds which I’m “thankful” for.
- Finally, I’m trying very hard to be thankful for grief. Heaven knows we’ve had too much to grieve over this last year, but the fact that we understand what pain and sorrow are means that we’ve known joy and happiness in our lives, and I’m very thankful for that.
My hope is that by learning how to be thankful for everything in my life, I’ll have more things in my life to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I’m also thankful for all of the good things in my life as well – especially for family and friends! Are there difficult things in your life which you are thankful for? Please leave a comment and let me know, or share this on Twitter or Facebook by clicking on the icons below.