September 23, 2014

An Unexpected Wake Up Call

"Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you HAD." -Unknown

I read an article today by Frank Sonnenberg than hit me right between the eyes. That's because I tend to think of myself as a pretty grateful person overall. As I read the article, and Frank listed just a few of the more subtle blessings the majority of us have each day I suddenly felt like a complete ingrate. (Let's put aside the fact that I do guilt with Olympian gusto.)

In his article Frank points out that often we are so busy thinking about what we still want or what someone else has that we don't have that we tend stop noticing the many things right in front of us. Guilty as charged!

Another cause of ingratitude, Frank pointed out, is assuming. We assume that what we have, we have so we don't need to worry about it anymore - until we don't have it.  I remember a wise 100 year old woman telling me that the sweetest sound to a widow would be hearing her husband's snoring. I'm sure many a widow didn't feel that way during the snoring and yet what they would give or tolerate to hear it for even one more night.

Frank mentioned trust as one of our many blessings. It never occurred to me to be thankful for trust. There are people in my life that I can share my soul with and sleep soundly knowing it won't be posted on Facebook or Tweeted all over creation. That is a rare commodity and yet I am guilty of taking it for granted because I assume it will always be there.

Frank mentioned variety - specifically as it relates to all the options we have in the marketplace but it reminded me of something my friend Jim once said. "You know that God could have just created one kind of flower and we would never have known the difference." That one sentence opened me up to the beauty of even what we call weeds. Ever drive past an empty field and see all the "weeds" in their many varieties blanketing the area in a beautiful patchwork of colors and textures? It's breathtaking. We didn't plant it, or tend to it, and yet it's there for our enjoyment if we just take a moment to take it in.

Another thing we tend to take for granted is our health - until we're sick. Then once we've recovered we go right back to taking it for granted. Seldom do we change our lifestyles to maintain our health, but only to gain it back again - and there are a limited number of do-overs allotted to each of us. Who knows which one it will be?

Overall I guess I am grateful. I do take time to appreciate and thank for those things I notice. I was just stunned by how many things there are that fall from my awareness - or get drowned out by less important things that seem to scream louder for my attention. I'm going to make it my intention to be more aware and more thankful. I'm not keen on regret. I hope you'll join me.

You can read Franks complete article here.


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