People are posting on FB their reasons to be grateful each day of this month. I enjoy reading them, but I’m not really a “follower” by nature so I haven’t joined in often. I also don’t “cut and paste” a lot of other very worthy status updates or play games. I’m just naturally reluctant to do such things. (My father says I’m stubborn and too independent.) But I do feel the need to offer thanks for something every day, 365 days a year, because my life is so great compared to what it might have been. Some of the changes are between me and God. Others are known only to a handful of people. But some I will gladly share with you:
- I am grateful each day to get up and walk. I seldom forget the days and weeks and months when I could NOT walk. That year is forever embedded in my brain and has affected my life in ways that can’t even be explained.
- I am grateful for a wonderful marriage and a relationship with my husband that sustains and inspires me daily. Though it was years and years in the past I still recall the hateful, harmful, dangerous situation of my first marriage and thank God that he allowed me to escape alive.
- I am grateful for a career that brings me joy and satisfaction and a decent income. Though I waited until late in life to attain my degree it has changed my life for the better in a thousand ways. I hope my journey proves to others that it is never too late to make important changes in your life.
- I am thankful for my family. Yes, there have been times when I would have gladly disowned a few members. We do not always get along. We do not have the same values. We do not share the same lifestyle. But we are united by blood and love, and joined forever by our experiences. They are a part of who I am and I thank God for them.
- I am thankful for my friends. I grew up with very few friends because of all the moving we did. I always felt like an outsider, and I am solitary by nature anyway. I’ve always felt awkward at social events. I blame that on the fact that I was raised with four boys! Friendships with women are something I’ve had to work at over the years. I really didn’t start feeling comfortable with my relationships until I was about forty.
- I am grateful that I live in the country. I often boasted as a child that I would get out of the country and live in town where there were “things to do”. However, twenty years of doing so left me stressed and unhappy and exhausted. Going back to my roots has made me much happier and healthier!
I could go on and on. If any of us look around we can clearly see that someone else has far less or is in a situation that we do not have to face each day. My grandmother was fond of saying, “There but for the grace of God go I…” I also like to recall Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken”. I fell in love with it in high school and it sustained me through some tough times. I often quote the last verse to myself.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.