By Deborah Linnekin

It’s easy to grouse about our lives, until we see something that reminds us how fortunate we are. It doesn’t matter what the thing is that reminds us, it just matters that we take note and try to capture that gratitude.

Why does it matter? That’s what I wanted to know. Here’s the simple answer: it makes us happier. Wow, too simple, right? How often have you seen or heard someone saying that to be happy you just have to <fill in the blank> and it usually requires you to purchase some program or join some group. It usually costs you money and promises you greater abundance and a better future.

The truth is much simpler: you need to find out what you already have that makes you happy. When I started remembering those things and people I started to smile more. I slowed down in traffic so I could arrive home more relaxed. I wrote down the reasons I wanted to become “more” and focused on the reasons instead of my desires and I found something that had been missing all along: peace. It all started with gratitude.

I’m not suggesting that you find one thing, give thanks once and your problems will all go away or even that you’ll find peace this way as well, but it’s free, so you have nothing to lose. It’s a place to start. Why not give it a try right now? Just stop and think of one thing you have or one person in your life that you are glad is there. It might become a habit, a way of thinking that brings you joy.

My list started out pretty simple, but then, I found myself thinking about things in a different way. I am really grateful I have hot, running water every morning for that shower I enjoy. I am really grateful I have a lawn to mow and I’m really happy to have a computer that allows me access to the internet.

Take a moment, find one thing you love about your life and say thank you. It could change your perspective about your commute (because you have a job when so many don’t) or about your children who are annoying you because they are loud and insistent. My mother had a poem about being grateful for the dirty dishes; it meant we had food to eat, and the slamming screen door meant the children were healthy enough to play. I don’t have the poem anymore, but I do have the gratitude she instilled in me.

May your life be filled with beauty and joy. Thank you, Radio Slot, for the chance to write and become visible and be heard.

 

More of Deborah Linnekin’s work can be found at www.norcalnomad.net

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