Gratitude

We are often told that we should count our blessings. Most of us are guilty of just recognizing our blessings around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other major holidays. These celebrations remind us of the people in our lives and allow us to reflect of the positive, and even negative, aspects in our lives for which we are grateful.

This year my discussion and writing based seminar class focused on how we should be grateful everyday. There are many ways to express our gratitude, and so many things for which we can express our gratitude. Our professor encouraged us to keep a gratitude journal for about a week. Before I fell asleep each night, I wrote down about 10 things I was grateful for that day. The first few days looked the same: “I’m thankful for my friends family, my beautiful home, etc…” I then realized that there are very small things to be grateful for as well. I began writing that I was thankful for being able to go for a run in the beautiful fall weather and that the dining hall had my favorite dinner. It is much easier to find positive events to appreciate. Many of us struggle to be grateful for some of the negative events that have occurred in our lives.

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and because of that, I believe we should live with no regrets. Over the years I have had people come in and out of my life. Even though some people may not play a large role in my life anymore, I’m grateful for all of the memories and moments we shared, both positive and negative. Each person that has been and is in my life has taught me something new about myself. Some have taught me that I do not need to change to impress others. Others have taught me to stand up for myself and be confident in my own decisions. Finding something positive in each situation allows me to be more appreciative of the things and people in my life.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

William Arthur Ward

During 2017 I am going to work towards being much more appreciative of everything in my life. I am incredibly fortunate to live in such a nice area, go to a wonderful college, and have such supportive friends and family members. Sometimes it can be challenging to find things to be thankful for when such amazing parts of your life seem to be the norm. Despite the standards that we each have in our life, we are all incredibly lucky in one way or another.

I challenge you to be more grateful this year. Find something, or many things, each day to be grateful for. Although we are all fortunate in different ways, never simply settle for what you have. Always aim high and seek something greater; however, do not let that mentality make you come ungrateful. It will take time, but if you find the balance between reaching for what you want and being grateful for what you have, you will live a much happier and fuller life.

Monica

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