By the time I got to the grocery store that evening to buy food for our empty refrigerator, I was in full self-pity mode. You know how the monologue goes, "I'm tired. I'm bored. I can't afford an iPad 3. I'm sick of my life. I need a change." Each statement igniting another poor me thought.
After I put a carton of strawberries on the check-out counter, I turned my head and saw the person waiting behind me. She was a midget with short orange hair. She needed to carry a basket as opposed to pushing a cart because she wasn't tall enough to reach into it. When she pulled a box of cereal out of the basket, her hands shook and her fingers were misaligned. She wobbled back and forth as she stepped closer, and it looked like she had some type of neurological impairment.
Reality slapped me right out of the, my life sucks, attitude. This woman had to walk through life being noticed because of her difference. It was hard for her to move and she was handicapped from doing many simple things that I take for granted; like being able to get a glass from a high kitchen cabinet and peeling a potato without her fingers shaking. Then I thought about the reasons for my glum mood: being a little tired when a warm bed was waiting for me in a beautiful home. Working a long day in a professional career when many people are unemployed and college graduates can't find jobs. Having to listen to someone drone on about something stupid when many can't even hear; and losing in a contest. Was I really upset because I didn't win a contest? At that moment, I kicked my wounded outlook to the curb and decided to turn it into one of gratitude.
Although I don't want to sound like a talking self-help book, I do have so much to be grateful for. I'm not disabled in any way. I have two healthy sons, a good marriage, food when I want it and on and on.
I left the grocery store feeling much different than when I entered. That night I re-started an old ritual. It's not a new idea, but it's one worth mentioning no matter how many times it's been discussed. I'm taking a minute before drifting off to sleep to be thankful for ten aspects of my life. And it really only does take a minute. Even on the worst of days, something positive can be rendered, whether it be a smile you receive if you're sick, a neighbor who helps in a disaster, a teacher who aids your child if they're having trouble learning.
It's often hard to remember just how good we have it, especially when we're feeling disappointed and sad. Let's share some statements that just might turn a sour attitude around. I'll start:
I really need new office furniture and I can't afford it. There are people in this world who don't have any furniture.
|Picture Taken from The Guardian Weekly|
KICK BACK BOOK OF THE WEEK:
No Greater Love by Mother Teresa--the teachings from a woman of our times who I'm sure didn't think, poor me, too often.
KICK BACK SONG OF THE WEEK:
When I'm feeling down, this classic song always lifts my spirits. We can't have a kick back song list without Louis Armstrong's: What a Wonderful World:
A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA: