Earlier this week, I traveled with my son to visit some relatives in another city. It was a tough trip for me because, throughout the four-hour-long journey (one way), my almost-four-year-old son was fidgety and wanted attention (my husband couldn’t join us due to work deadlines). Now, if you are a parent or a caregiver, I am sure you understand how exhausting it is to entertain a child for four hours continuously while on the road and then again for two days+nights and another four-hour journey back home. I was ready to pull my hair out several times during this trip. But in the end, the only thing that stopped me in my tracks was reminding myself about the purpose of our visit. You see, I am at an age where most of my elderly relatives are at a really advanced age and are experiencing failing health. Some of them had not even met my son because my husband and I were too busy with work to make time and meet them (Awful, I know!). So, this year, we decided that one of us is going to take a step back from our crazy work schedules and focus on other important things, like relationships. And so, this trip was undertaken especially to ensure that my son gets to meet his extended family he has never met. While the trip in itself tested every ounce of my patience, I am grateful I had the opportunity to make it happen anyhow. Gratitude makes it all worth it.
Upon returning, I got thinking about the concept of practicing the attitude of gratitude. One of the secrets to finding peace and happiness in our lives is to be grateful. It’s a scientifically-proven fact that gratitude increases not only your emotional health but also your physical health. After all, thoughts that do not revolve around gratitude veer towards negativity and consumes you. That can never be good, can it now?
So, in today’s post, I want to share things I am grateful for every day. But I want to spread the word to everyone I come in contact with. So, if you stay till the end, there is a bonus download for you 🙂 Let’s begin!
5 Things I am Grateful For Every Day
Family and Friends
Where would I be without my family and friends? And I put family and friends in the same category because my true friends are nothing but the family I chose for myself. These are the people I love the most; people who hold me up when I am down and out; people who hold me down when I let success go to my head. These are the people who taught me what it is to love without asking for anything in return except love and respect. These are the people who taught me values that make me a good person. These are the people who taught me life skills so I could help not only myself in difficult situations but also help others who are facing a similar situation. These are people I turn to when I need advice. These are people who will be with me until the end.
A roof over our heads is the safest place on earth for me. I am thankful that we have been able to own a house at our young age with all debt paid off. It’s truly a blessing. As our son grows, we may or may not upgrade to a better and bigger house in the future, but at this moment our house shelters us not only from the harsh tropical environment but also provides us peace when the public cacophony rises outside. This is where we retire to at the end of each day to either celebrate our achievements or to lick our wounds…or, let’s face the truth, to vegetate on the sofa every often. It’s where we prepare food to nourish our bodies; it’s where we spend quality time with each other; it’s where we have meaningful conversations and pass on our values to our son. It’s where we entertain our loved ones; it’s where we discuss our dreams for the future; it’s where we reminisce about the past. It’s the place we call HOME.
Food and Water
It’s an uncontested fact of life that food and water* come only next to clean air when it comes to the basic sustenance of human beings. I am grateful that we can put food on the table every day. It breaks my heart to see homeless people (especially children) go without food so often. When I can, I try to carry some food and water in the car to give away if I come across a homeless person. It is my hope that every country in the world will find a way to provide food, water, and shelter to every family on our planet. If you are in a position of God’s grace, please do not hold back from helping the less fortunate. Pay it forward as often as you can.
* Have you read my earlier post on the benefits of drinking water and 5 tips to stay hydrated? If not, do give it a read 🙂
When I say I am grateful for my education, I don’t just mean the education I received in school. Obviously, without that foundation, I would not be able to make decisions and think rationally about anything at all. School education has given me the ability make choices that were not swayed by the heart; it has allowed my family to earn a decent paycheck and provide for others. However, the education that I gain by meeting other people, or when I am exposed to new life situations is priceless. It’s a blessing to be in a position of enriching my life every single day. But more than all of that, my biggest blessing is being able to apply my education to help my child (and sometimes, friends and family) resolve problems and become a better person.
If it weren’t for the formal and informal education we were exposed to, my husband and I couldn’t have afforded to own a house and put food on the table. It’s because of our education that we landed jobs that help us keep up with the ways of the world. It has allowed us to put our child in one of the best private schools in our neighborhood. It’s allowing us to look after our aging parents at home. At another level, our jobs have also allowed us to learn important life skills–well, important in today’s world, at least–such as networking, teamwork, analysis, problem-solving, creativity, etc. And of course, our jobs have allowed us to be friends with some wonderful human beings. I know there are many people who believe colleagues should not be brought into their personal lives…but my husband and I are not from that school of thought. Most of our closest friends today are people who are/were our colleagues.
So, those are the five things I am grateful for every day. But that isn’t all. There are hundreds of more things that I am grateful for. I try to find something new to be grateful for every week, if not every day. It forces me to look for the positives and let go of the cynicism and negativity that often comes with age. But unless I force myself to weed out the negatives, the positives will not find any room to grow in my life. Practicing gratitude is a habit that needs to be developed and nurtured.
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But before that, if you found this post helpful, please consider sharing this post with your friends and family. It could be your good deed of the day 🙂
One way of sharing share can be pinning the following image to your Pinterest account.
My friend, what are you grateful for? Do you find a reason every day to be happy about? Do you express your gratitude? If you do, congratulations! You are in a forever-self-healing mode. Spread the word. But, if you don’t, I would like to help.
It’s bonus time!
I have put together 31 gratitude prompts to last you an entire month.
Trust me, once you are in the habit of being grateful, you will find newer things to be grateful for every day. You will no longer need a prompt sheet to recognize and express your gratitude. I urge you to take the first step and see the immense positive aura that will surround you. Go ahead, give this a try!