I went to visit a friend who had to have emergency surgery this week over what is a pretty much a freak occurrence that could have happened to anyone. She’s on the road to recovery, but it stopped me in my tracks (once again) about how many things in my life for which I am grateful.
Many of us, including myself, take for granted the bazillion wonderful things that we have or experience in our lives on a daily basis. One of the biggest shifts in my life growing into maturity was to stop looking at things from what I call the “deficit perspective”. As a young (immature…selfish…childish…) adult, I bemoaned the fact that I didn’t have money to travel to Europe, or take an unpaid internship, or get a new car. It felt like “everyone” else got to do these things (which wasn’t really true) and I didn’t. And I had a lot of very special things given to me or shared with me by my family, so I am not really sure where that feeling came from.
What I did come to realize over time is that I had so many wonderful things in my life that were so much more important than backpacking through Europe. I had a wonderful husband, a great family, steady work, a place to live, and eventually, healthy children. I live in a beautiful place that others envy, we have jobs that fulfill us, and while we can’t say yes to everything we want, we certainly aren’t destitute.
So when things get hard, as they certainly did this week while changing our lives around, I have to be mindful of how grateful I am for life, and for the life I get to live in particular. I am so damn lucky, so when setbacks occur, I remember to stay positive. And I try not to think things like how life could be so much worse, or think about what I don’t have, but just simply try to be grateful for every gift I have been given- family, friends, fulfilling work, a beautiful home, and my own body. I remember to be thankful that I am able-bodied, and that got me through a lot of tough workouts this summer, and I know it will come in handy again, probably soon (yikes!). I have to walk the talk every day, because (as cliché as it sounds) I only have one opportunity to live this life. And I am very happy to be able to do it.