I hate it when people ask me, “What are you grateful for?” Not because I’m not grateful for anything, but because there truly are so many things – yes, including the pimple on my chin. (More on that crazy statement later.)
It’s hard to pinpoint everything that I’m grateful for. I feel like if I limit myself to one list that fits on a piece of paper (or on a blog post of a reasonable length) I’m not hitting on everything that’s worthy of being called out.
Peruse some of the other blogs out there that were posted today and over the past few days, and you’ll find many a “What I’m Grateful For” posts, most of which list “my family, my friends, my home, my health, etc.”
I by no means discredit any of these things because they are definitely some of the most important things in life. But there are two issues I have with these types of list.
Firstly, some people call out only those things that they view as being great because they compare them to things that they view as not-so-great.
For example, one of my friends hates her job. You probably won’t find “I’m thankful for my job” on her list.
But if she were to really step back and look at her situation, she’d realize that she should be thankful for her job 1) because she has one, 2) because she has actually met some interesting people there, and 3) because the situation she is in has been the trigger for her to start re-evaluating her career so she can finally figure out what she truly enjoys.
There is always something to be grateful for in any situation. “Every adversity or failure carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
Secondly, some people overlook some of the simple, yet quite significant things in life.
Life is a series of events. Some events seem more significant than others, but they’re all events that shape you into who you are. I’m a true believer that we’re all connected and that everything is a gift. I believe that everything and everyone we encounter touches our lives whether we like it or not, and we in turn touch other lives whether we like it or not.
The beautiful sunrise on the way to work, although at face value might seem insignificant and irrelevant, might put me in a better mood, and so when I get to work I smile at the stranger passing in the hall, which makes his day a little brighter, so he treats his co-worker amicably, so she in turn does her job better that day which allows her company to service their customers better, so their customers are in a better mood and treat their spouses better, and so on and so forth.
You see, it all matters. Everything is a gift.
This is why I sometimes feel overwhelmed when people ask me what I’m grateful for. There is so much.
But, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, and to jump on the “What are you grateful for?” blogging bandwagon, I’ll attempt to list the first five that pop into my head, in no particular order. I’ll group together the obvious ones in #1.
- I’m thankful for a) my husband for supporting me and all my strengths, weaknesses, and quirks, b) my family and friends for being there and being themselves, c) my health because it allows me to be me and pursue my dreams, d) my job for for allowing me to grow as a person and expand my skills and comfort zone, e) my home for sheltering me and my husband and for being a place of sanctuary.
- I’m thankful for my car because it reminds me that I am blessed with financial security and abundance. I’m thankful that I have the choice to ride in a car, take the bus, or walk. I’m also thankful for the seat warmers because my butt likes to be toasty warm in the morning.
- I’m thankful for the huge pimple that is currently on my chin. It has reminded me to drink more water which will be good for my overall health, to take my fish oils which will help with my hair, skin, heart, and brain health, and to start eating more cleanly again. This pimple will help me stay healthy!
- I’m thankful for my crazy dog, who makes me smile every single day.
- I’m thankful for the argument I had with my husband last weekend when I asked him to turn the car around because I forgot something at home. It helped us both to learn to be more patient with each other and to think before reacting and lashing out at each other. And even though it will more than likely happen again, it might help us down the road when the argument isn’t quite as petty.
- I’m thankful for each of you, who allow me to do what I love – write about stuff I care about and that I think might be helpful for others – who actually listen to what I have to say, and who allow me to share a piece of myself with you. You’ve truly been a part of my growth and happiness these past couple of months. I only hope that I’ve impacted you in even a minute way.
Okay, I lied. I know that was 6 and not 5. I just couldn’t stop at 5! There are so many more, but I would have to make this a book if I listed them all.
As do many of the other blogs, I too challenge you to write down what you’re thankful for. You might be surprised how many you can come up with if you really let down your guard and open yourself up to the possibility that everything is in some way a blessing.
Here’s to you and yours this Thanksgiving. May we all be truly grateful!