I have so many reasons to be grateful. Yet I can't express how many times I felt slighted by life in some way. Life seems unfair.
This is totally rediculous. Let me count the ways:
- I have relatively good health for my age and genes
- Being employed is definitely a gift. See 2008
- My house is a haven, well built, and comfortable
- My children are relatively healthy and happy considering they are young adults
- My wife if a non stop Dynamo of domestic and professional activity that I cannot keep up with
- The dogs are doing well
- My parents are marvels
- My sister constantly amazes me with her moxy
- My in laws are as good as it gets. No really. Keep in mind I did not say perfect
- I live in a free country not torn by war, widespread famine or disease
So it took me all of two minutes to write those reasons and there are more I could add. So why don't I think of this each day? This is not the first time I have struggled with this. I wrote about it here.
Taking the time to reflect would be a start. Each day. Currently I do not do this. It is not baked into a routine. I really believe I seek a form of meditation. Meditation is something I would add to my list of things to be grateful for. Which is ironic - being thankful or grateful for doing something to ensure I am thankful or grateful.
I don't want to be thankful or grateful via Thanksgiving once a year. I want this to be continual. Daily. Without prompting.
I recently attended a family gathering. This branch of family originates from my fathers side. There were cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. It had been I believe ten years since I had seen some of them in this type of gathering. Unfortunately I had seen some at funerals. Not where I prefer to catch up.
Sadly I realized that this is an area that needs some care and feeding. Some folks there had changed and I really was just getting reacquainted. Family is a strong value with me. And I am grateful for them. They are part of my past if not as much of my present. This gathering is an annual event and will require my generation to help continue it. It is part of being grateful for a past. It has been added as an event for me to attend regularly and not once a decade.
Along with the gathering itself, we travelled to the location during some terrible wind and rain as part of hurricane Matthew. This hurricane left god awful destruction in its wake in the form of flooding in eastern and southeastern North Carolina. Houses and business completely under water. People completely homeless. With this event I have to remind myself of how fortunate I am as well as my family to have not been affected by this. Even at the gathering we were safe and dry in a large barn, eating and drinking in comfort.
Two people I worked with have died this year. One was close to my age, was diagnosed with cancer last fall and succumbed by summer. The other recently and unexpectedly passed away in their sleep. Not a whole lot older than me, still relatively young.
My point is that it takes events like these to realize where I am and how fragile and short life and life circumstances are. I want to have that perspective always. I believe it helps keep many mole hills from becoming mountains. It makes me realize the goodness of life and how lucky I am to have what I have. I keeps me humble.
Gratitude should be easy. Somehow it isn't. Wish me luck.