Didn’t discover gratitude until after 50… what a waste of time. Wish I had found it earlier in life. Gratitude makes life so much more enjoyable. I could have been grateful for my energy, abilities, bowel movements, flexibility, good knees, strong back, teeth, children, family, etc. etc. Boy… how different life would have been if only I had found gratitude earlier. While engaged in career building, child rearing, entrepreneurship, skiing, racketball, tennis, and biking, I never took time to be grateful. I took it all for granted.
As I sit basking in the filtered sun on a quiet spring day listening to the birds and light breezes, I ask myself if it is possible to be too grateful, because there can be a fine line between gratitude and complacency. If one is grateful for one’s current state, then why change it? Sorta’ like a seesaw, one finally gets their life in balance and any change could tip the seesaw. But then along comes a story about a Paralympic sprinter, Jerome Singleton, who is the “fastest amputee in the world“, and you realize that one can be grateful regardless of the current situation. In other words, gratitude is a state of mind that we choose.
Gratitude is all about accepting the current situation while knowing that we have the ability to remain where we are (on the bus or under the bus). Even if moving the bus means we have to get help. Oprah did a show where a lady spoke about the pain of losing her husband, and the knowledge-bearers, reminded her that she could choose between being sad about her loss or be grateful for having had “the love of her life”.
The hardest thing to remember is that we get to choose. We can choose to be grateful that we were not the accident that caused the traffic jam. We can choose to be grateful, happy, sad, angry, or joyous, but when we choose the upside… life gets better and better.