Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving (literally)

I thought it might be appropriate to express some thanks today since I didn't do so yesterday. Years ago at a certain low point of my life, I was feeling depressed and picked on. I was about to have a George Baily breakdown when I felt prompted to make a list of things I was grateful for. I started with major obvious things like:

I didn't have criminal record and had not appeared as a surprise guest star on Dateline.
I wasn't paralyzed and didn't have any serious physical challenges.
I was able to read and write.
I was not born during the dark ages.
I lived in a country where I had the freedom to do and say what I want.
I had a beautiful wife and family.

I then moved on to some less obvious things and the longer I worked on the list, the more grateful I became and the smaller my problems seemed. As I focused on all the good things in my life, (many which I had taken for granted), it put the other problems and the have nots in their proper place. I would suggest this exercise for anyone when ever they feel like life has taken a dump on them. It is easy to get discouraged, but when we look around and see how many others are really struggling with more serious challenges, then it helps keep things in perspective.

As you know from a prior post, I have had phone problems for several months now. Both of the hand held units from our new piece of junk phone recently died. Luckily, my son produced a phone for us that I forgot he had. It is a Sports Illustrated shoe phone from the early 80's and I'm not sure where he got it, but for the time being we are answering the phone in style and I'm even grateful for that. Now I feel like Maxwell Smart when I talk on our home phone.

Remember thanksgiving isn't just for Thanksgiving Day. Life doesn't suck nearly as much when you have gratitude. Have a happy Black Friday and try to avoid being trampled if you are one of those competitive shoppers. Happy Holidays!


Kristina P. said...

So, when you said you "didn't" have a criminal record,does that mean you have one now?

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

We've had a really tough last few months as our 17 year old son fell swiftly and out of nowehre into a depression and then anxiety disorder. At first I was so heartbroken over all his goals for college being lost. What gets me through is being grateful each day. Grateful that the depression is lifting. Grateful for each happy moment. Grateful he did not hurt himself..

One day at a time and this too shall pass are powerful mindsets when you need them...

Kelly said...

I did the gratitude list at a really dark time in my life once too. It changed my entire outlook on life. We all really need to put things into perspective more often.

Lovin' the shoe phone. You are really really lucky Chaka....

Eric said...

Well said Chaka, a great point to make this holiday season!
It's all about the state of mind. Whether wealthy or poor, those that maintain the positive outlook and have that sense of gratefulness will always be the happiest.

Beckalita said...

The most cool thing about the shoe phone is that you can use the laces to tie it to your head while you go about your business on a 3-foot cord. Just one of the many design advantages. It's almost as good as bluetooth for hands-free conversation.