It's easy to say we are thankful. But does it come from the heart?
What occupies our thoughts more - gratitude for an abundance of blessings or concern over what we do not have?
I've found, for instance, that I can slip too easily into focusing on a problem area of business when the joy of the business can simply fill me up if I just let it.
It's curious how I can switch from one attitude to another in the same day.
I really want to live in optimism. I have untold reasons why I can and should! Why do I ever let it get away from me? Why do any of us? No life is free of challenges but I am more and more aware that our attitude toward those challenges is the deciding factor in how our lives go. I don't think I sweat the small stuff generally, but I do know there is room for me to expand my category of small stuff.
Now and then I remember getting through really
big things and thinking I would never give small
stuff any weight again. Wrong. I wonder why.
After 9/11, all the old worries seemed totally irrelevant for a long time. Each time I turned on the TV and saw normal programming, I breathed a big sigh of relief. If we weren't under attack, all was well. Gradually I came past the fear and awareness of just how fortunate I really am and began to think of ordinary things as problems again. Intellectually, I know that right now all is well with me and occasional frustrations aren't worth any time, but emotionally I can fall into petty little worries in a whipstitch just by letting that grateful attitude go.
I have plenty of reasons - most of us do - to be grateful and I hope I'm keeping that in perspective. The older I get, the more I value the important things like time, simple time. What a gift it is. I'm delighted with Terry and our kids and grandkids and love the time I get to spend with any of them. And I have some long-time really close friends. How lucky is all that?
Here I am, 24 years into a business that I've loved growing every step of the way and am surrounded by good, talented people who are simply a pleasure to work with. Can it get better than this?
Even as I write this I feel concerns over little things falling away and a feeling of well-being sweeping over me. It's called an attitude of gratitude and it is life-changing. If I can just hold this thought-
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.
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