Being Grateful

family_laughingMost of us are bombarded with countless stressors and may grumble regularly in response to the onslaught. Though I wish I could brush off daily frustrations with grace, I frequently find myself grumbling when I have to navigate through a particularly rough day. Our society is running at a lightning pace, so rapidly that it is next to impossible to allow ourselves an opportunity to stop and enjoy the moment. We bitch and moan about traffic, spilled coffee, being late for appointments, our cell phones losing their charges, etc., and in the process stir up anxiety and discontent in our lives, when we should be grateful for the many gifts and blessings that surround us.

It is easy to think that if we stop for a moment, everything will come crashing down, when in reality that is usually NOT the case. I have taken a baby step in my incredibly busy life lately, and have spent the last few weeks making sure to spend a few minutes every morning petting and snuggling with my cats, enjoying their calm and loving energy, and remembering to breathe and pause before the craziness of day to day life hits. I also am keenly aware of the struggles of a couple of dear friends who are dealing with cancer right now, and cannot even imagine how tremendously difficult their lives must be now that circumstances have caused mundane annoyances to come to a screeching halt. When life is stressful but somehow comfortable in its frenetic rhythm, a catastrophic event or illness will obliterate that false comfort. Suddenly leaving the toilet seat up or getting the wrong food order at a restaurant doesn’t have the same impact or importance.

Now that Thanksgiving is approaching, those of us in the United States will get a yearly reminder to be grateful for all the wonderful things we have. However, I hope that people around the entire globe will embrace the approaching holidays with a renewed appreciation for life and the loved ones around them. It is a blessing to live with good health, surrounded by those we love. If you are fortunate enough to have both, allow things to slow down enough for you to take notice of your surroundings. Put the computer aside, enjoy the outdoors, spend time with your pets or children, visit your relatives, laugh with friends. You might not believe it, but you are allowed to put things aside briefly. The world won’t come crashing down if you do.

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