The Magic of Gratitude

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"Song of Songs IV," Marc Chagall


Veteran’s Day seems like an opportune time to talk about gratitude. First off, a tip of the hat to all of our men and women who have served and sacrificed. By comparison, my troubles are not very significant, but we all give in to having feelings of depression or dejection on any given day.
 
The past few years have been tough because of, well, reasons. We all have our rough patches, trials, terrible things that happen in our lives. Some of us deal with chronic pain. Some of us have children with physical or psychological difficulties. Some of us, while healthy, have lost jobs and are engaged in a constant struggle, figuring our bills on the back of the envelope, lining through necessary expenses that can’t be managed. Not now. Where can we cut? What do we do when there’s nothing left to cut? Some of us struggle with depression. We may have everything—money, a beautiful home, nice car— yet we struggle to fight through the blackness that descends. Those looking in from the outside don’t always get it.
 
For those whose life has become so bleak that the act of gratitude is momentarily inaccessible, all I can say is: bless you; may good things happen for you soon.
 
For me, gratitude is like this magical emotion. I count on it; I rely on it to pull me up in those times when I’m searching for the bright spot, sometimes with both hands.
 
These are my go-tos for gratitude:
 
My husband
Son
Silly dog
Mother
Mother-in-law
Sisters
Nieces
Their babies
Friends who make me laugh
All of us here together (geographically and in spirit)
Chocolate, and the first person to ever put the ingredients together to form the first chocolate bar
Fall weather
Spring weather
Any weather that’s not too hot
Healthcare professionals with compassion
Teachers who try to make a difference (and don’t mind poking fun at themselves occasionally)
Redemption; how any of us can be redeemed at almost any moment through the simple act of showing kindness to someone who needs it
My health and the fact that I can lace up my tennis shoes and take a walk without wondering how I’ll manage
 
See? I have so many things to be grateful for, it brings a tear to my eye.
 
Gratitude is magic.

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