Yesterday I opened up my Facebook feed and felt like I got punched in the gut. Not once, not twice, but three times. Within a span of four minutes, I was given three separate notices of horrible news. Two separate instances of friends finding out they have cancer and the other instance was about another special soul taken from this earth far too soon. Rarely do I get hit with three consecutive bits of bad news so quickly. It was a jolt, to say the least.
I know bad things happen. It seems often that they happen to the best people. But why? And why one person and not another? Only a higher power knows these answers. It makes me think about life. And what it means to actually live. It makes me think about attitude, perspective and the choice we have everyday to LIVE. It makes me realize that life is for NOW. That is really all there is….NOW. Yesterday is done. Tomorrow may never happen. So NOW is everything.
If you are lucky enough to be blessed today, why not acknowledge it? Why not celebrate? Why not thank your lucky stars? …Today! Tomorrow, I could be the one announcing some horrible news. I could be the one fighting cancer, God forbid. But today…I am healthy. I am loved. I am safe. I have joy in my life. I am living. Conversely, I know that if I am sad or in pain….it is just for now. It isn’t a permanent state of being.
I was thinking that I hadn’t learned this lesson from my upbringing….as my wonderful Mother lives mostly in the past or in the land of “if only.” (If only her kids lived closer. If only her husband was different. Etc.). But, maybe that is precisely WHY I believe so differently about life. I see very closely what can happen when you don’t acknowledge what you have. When you don’t say out loud what you are grateful for…everyday. When you let the bad news of life dull your NOW. Trust me, I am not minimizing depression. I understand first hand the effects it has on the depressed and their loved ones. I have great compassion for anyone afflicted with this dark disease.
I only hope, I can instill in my little O, a sense of gratitude and thankfulness. I believe you have to practice gratitude. Every night my husband and I list five things we are grateful for. It is a practice that has become habit and I love that. We will do the same with O when he is old enough. Hopefully he will carry that with him to help shape his perspective on life.
I am not saying happiness is as easy as counting your blessings. But it is certainly a common practice of happy people. So for now, I am going to count mine. I have so many. My most precious one is toddling around, squealing with joy and clapping his hands. He is also in need of a diaper change. Now.
Until next time, keep fighting the good fight. And remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is certain she is messing it up. Thanks for reading. Xo