October 2nd, 2018
It seems fitting with the Canadian Thanksgiving around the corner that I write this week about the importance of gratitude. For my American colleagues who celebrate in November, hopefully, you can appreciate an early celebration for your fellow Canadian! 😉
I’m sure most of you have heard how important gratitude is to attract and continue to bring all those amazing blessings into your life, yes? Because if you’re not actually grateful for what you already have, then why on earth would the Universe conspire to bring you more of what you want and are asking for?
I’ll be honest and share that I’ve tried many times over to maintain a daily gratitude list or journal and have fallen off that wagon multiple times. I’ll start for a few days, then get distracted and write about other things and there goes my gratitude list. I’m still working on getting more consistent with this.
What I AM consistent with is, every time life seems to get a little bit hard, i.e. a bad day at work, someone is rude in a check out line, someone cuts you off on the road, you have an unexpected expense that comes up that you didn’t budget for, you pull a muscle in your back and there goes your workout for the week, etc. You see where I’m going with this?
In the grand scheme of things, I’m sure you can all recognize these things that I’ve listed seem trivial, yes? I mean, are they signs of a bad day and probably just a slew of other annoying things that had to happen ALL at the same time? YES!
But – are they things I would deem to chalk this up as a “tough life.” Absolutely not. We ALL complain about the most trivial crap. This is the stuff that happens to all of us, all the time and yet we complain about them like it’s the end of the world.
At one point in time, I rode that train often. Oiiii. Now I consider myself a work in progress when I quickly recognize what I’m doing (zoning in on the small stuff), I take a step back and realize my life really isn’t that bad. OK, so I might have had a stumble of some sort but it’s OK and tomorrow’s a new day.
Here’s where gratitude was hard for me.
- Quitting my job very early on in my career and being out of work for 9 months. Going on interview after interview, only to get a rejection, after rejection.
- My mom having a major surgery 3 + years ago and wondering if she was going to make it. I felt completely terrified and alone.
- My father suffering a heart attack and hearing about it while I was at work.
Here was the silver lining in all these events and experiences for me.
Being out of work for those months gave me good practice on my interviewing skills. I learned about the kind of employers AND the kind of people I did NOT want to work for even though they looked ‘shiny’ and exciting on the ‘outside.’ I learned not everyone’s my cup of tea which only left the space and time for the people who WERE right for me and the right opportunity to come my way. For this – I was grateful.
My mom’s surgery was a pivotal time in my family’s life to say the least, scary yes, and I couldn’t control the outcome or do anything about it. I could only rely on my faith and God. Worrying and being scared wasn’t going to change anything. I was grateful for my dad, the rest of my family, the outpouring of support from close friends. For this, I was grateful. Really my mom’s strength and endurance were amazing during this time. Thankfully, after a long recovery, she is still with us today and for THAT I am grateful.
Getting any news of a family member experiencing a health issue (serious or not) while you’re at work is disturbing, to say the least. You never know if the person is sugar-coating the news to spare you from panicking or upsetting you more than you need to. Nonetheless, my father’s heart attack was a humbling experience not only for him but for all of us at the time. It’s usually life’s way of telling you to slow down and take care of yourself. While he spent his birthday, Mother’s Day and his anniversary recovering in the hospital, he did return home healthy and for that I am grateful.
I share these personal events that happened in my life not to say that only when you go through something REALLY big, should you be grateful for a positive outcome. Even in the most difficult and trying times in our lives, we’re always challenged to try and find the blessing and there is always a lesson to be learned. It’s just up to you to find it. It might not come right away, but when it does – be grateful that you got the lesson!
There is always something to be grateful for and the smallest things can take up the biggest space in our hearts.
When you find yourself feeling less than appreciative of your job, your partner, a friend, a family member, where you’re at in your life – challenge yourself to find at least ONE thing you can be grateful for.
I’m sure once that list begins to develop, you’ll realize there’s more to be grateful for than you actually think.
For my fellow Canadian’s who celebrate Thanksgiving, what are you grateful for?
I’d love to hear from you!
Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!
One more thing – I’m grateful for YOU – for your time, your attention and for hanging out with me.