Sometimes I must return to basics in order to appreciate what I have, who I have become, and where I have ended up to this point in my life.
I’m a private person. I don’t share my history and background easily; nor do I run to the phone for validation from a confidante, to regurgitate every negative word exchanged, when I have had a personal skirmish with another.
In this current climate of overwhelming negativism, body blows of hateful words and descriptions exchanged one to another during talk show confrontations or in television ads, it is difficult to maintain a semblance of calm, let alone appreciation for one’s personal environment and situation. It’s easier to adapt the negativism and wrap myself in a cloak of despair than it is to embrace the light of gratitude for what I have or am.
For me to combat the temptation of plummeting into dark thoughts, I only have to venture out the front door onto my porch. My favorite time is just prior to sunrise, with its eternal optimism as the sky lightens and the trees outlined in ethereal black give way to gray. I hear the birds awakening, optimists that they are, and feel myself embracing hopefulness as well. The more the sky changes and bursts into color, the more hopeful I feel.
A second spot for me to obtain appreciation is in a two-seater swing in the backyard. More sounds of nature are heard, including the low whistle of a freight train, a far off lawn mower, children playing, and the occasional squirrel trilling a warning to others.
I don’t dwell on downturns in my life. I firmly believe I am not my own captain plotting the course of my future, but a navigator avoiding the pot holes in a last minute swerve, with no idea as to where I’m headed. Luckily, the captain knows and has equipped me with the tools I need to either avoid most of life’s pitfalls or throws me a rope when I dangle over an abyss.
I believe in God, and I believe He is in charge of all things, that He loves me and wants the best for me. I believe in my free will to do what I wish, learn from my mistakes, and to reap what I sow—a hard lesson I’ve had to learn more than once.
I appreciate my home, my husband, my health, my job, and my freedom. I appreciate that I am not hungry or thirsty, and the fact that I do not worry about having the basic needs to sustain my life.
I maintain that now is not the time to focus on the “bad” things but to count one’s blessings; in other words, to show appreciation for what you have rather than what you do not have.