Apr 4, 2008

Taking Stock

The past few weeks have been trying times for me. However, when I look at the bigger picture of the world and my life in general, it’s not so bad. Like most, the overall economy is affecting my life. It hit me the other day what it’s like to have to decide whether to get gas, groceries, or pay certain bills because the funds just weren’t there. It’s been at least 2 decades since I’ve had to do that. Luckily, I’m pretty frugal and I consistently find ways to stretch my dollars.

“Today is going to be a great day!” Years ago, I attended a Women of Excellence Dinner that benefits domestic violence in my county. There was a motivational speaker who talked about attitudes. She said there are basically two types of people:

• those who go through life playing the victim. They carry around negativity. It’s always someone else’s fault, and don’t take responsibility for changing their life for the better.

• those who walk through life, deal with the punches, and take each as a learning experience. They try to see the brighter side when times are difficult.

Which group do I fit into? I’d say the latter. I’ve ALWAYS looked back as life trials as a learning experience. Where I picked that up from, I don’t know. I’ve never been one to go through life playing the victim. I think more along the lines of “That’s life. Deal with it. Move on.” LOL, pretty blunt I guess but that’s how I am.

The speaker said one of the things that helped her start the day off with a positive spin was to tell herself “Today is going to be a great day!” Yes, I know it sounds hokey. I’ve tried it, though, and it’s amazing how it affects my attitude for the rest of the day. Before I even open my eyes each day, I will mentally tell myself several times: “Today is going to be a great day!” Trust me, some days it isn’t easy. But!

Isn’t it much better than dragging yourself out of bed thinking: “My gawd, another day of… (kids, work, spouse, etc), I’d better get up." Which one do you think would start your day off right?

On a regular basis, I remind myself just how blessed I am. I make a conscious effort to list out (in my mind) things I am grateful for. Why? Because it affirms the good things that are going on in my life. I don’t really like sitting around feeling sorry for myself – and trust me, there are things! I’d rather concentrate on what good things I have going on. Just what am I grateful for:

• I have a cute little home that I bought all on my own.
• I have a car to get me where I need/want to go.
• I have a job.
• I have food to eat, clothes to wear.
• I have relatively good health.
• I am able to enjoy the sights and sounds of each and every day.
• I am able to find enjoyment in the simplest things.
• I have been able to acquire lots of stash to keep me busy.
• I have friends and family who have brought me laughter and joy.
• I have been able to “make a difference” in the lives of strangers.

These are just the ones that came off the top of my head. I usually think about what I am grateful for when I’m in the shower. Good time to think!

What are you grateful for?


Jennifer said...

A while back, when I was in grad schoo, Oprah introduced the Gratitude Journal on her show. I thought, what the heck? I'll give it a shot. I felt so cheesy at first, writing down stuff, and there were days that I struggled to come up with five things I was grateful for, but after a while, I realized how much one simple act had changed my life and my attitude. You're absolutely right - reframing yourself to look at things positively can make all the difference, and it requires only the smallest bit of effort on your part.

Chiloe said...

Right now I feel too down to see a lot of things ...

~V said...

I'm grateful for friends like you that remind us to be thankful for the little things ((hugs))

Jenna said...

Thanks for that post, Meari. The mornings are the worst for me, so maybe if I try your mantra on for size, it will help me to change my approach to the whole day!