Thursday, November 24, 2011
I drive to the office about three times a week. It's a good hour drive each way and I'm fine with it, thanks to my iPod, however, in these last two weeks I have been severely sidetracked by unexpected traffic. Sidetracked like I didn't get to work until hours later one day. No amount of Eminem or Florence + the Machine playing on my iPod could fix that.
The day where I was really, super, incredibly late to work was the day there was a huge accident on the freeway. Normally these things don't phase me, but on this day I was grumpy and impatient, and this car accident thing was not helping. On top of that, I had to pee. Me and my stupid tiny bladder!
So I'm sitting there, stuck for miles and miles, when finally, inch by tiny inch, I get closer to the accident. It's bad. Helicopter, news reporting, multiple emergency vehicles kind of bad. It occurs to me that I'm being a huge idiot.
Of all the things for me to be upset about or to feel irritated about, this is not one of them. In fact, I have it pretty darn good compared to the poor people in the accident. I'm not all banged up or on life support. My car isn't crushed and I don't need to worry about insurance covering anything. Compared to what they're going through I have nothing to be upset about.
What I do have are plenty of things to be thankful for, like how after five years of this commute I've never been in an accident like that...not even close. Like how lucky I usually am with traffic in the morning, or how reliable my car is for every long drive I take it on. Or even how wonderful it is to have an iPod to entertain me when some people don't even have that.
I can't believe I was so caught up in my own head that I forgot to be thankful for the obvious. As I exited the freeway I said a prayer for the people involved, just like my Godfather had taught me when I was a little girl, and I internally apologized for my dumbness.
Sometimes in life we get so caught up in our own worlds or in whatever moment we are living in that we lose sight of the things that really matter. We lose sight of all of the good, the beautiful, all the wonderful things in our lives.
Take today to open your awareness to those things that are overlooked. Then don't let it stop there. Be grateful tomorrow for something new. Find something every day to look at in a new way and to appreciate, because there are millions of things to be thankful for if you put them in the right light.
I Googled "gratitude" and "ways to be thankful" and I found some good things. Check 'em out.
For Thanksgiving: 12 Ways to be Thankful
29 Ways to Show Unique Gratitude (And other random acts of kindness)
Here's another way to show gratitude based on a personal experience recently:
A while back my boss and I were out to lunch and at a table near us were some soldiers. As we were leaving my boss told me she regretted not buying their lunch for them, as a way to say thank you for all they do for us each and every day. It had never occurred to me to do something so gracious and unexpected, but now a seed has been planted and the next time I realize that opportunity I will take it. While she may have regretted not taking that moment, she gave me the idea by sharing her thought with me, and now I'm sharing it with you.
Thank someone today, and tomorrow, and the next day.
Be thankful today, tomorrow, and the next day.
To everyone out there:
Thank You. Shukran. Tak. Merci. Danke. Toda. Sukria. Grazie. Arigato. Spasibo. Gracias. Xie Xie.
Have ideas on great ways to be thankful? Tell me. Share them. We can all use an attitude of gratitude.
Pay It Forward
It's a Beautiful Day and I Can't See It
It's a Beautiful Life