I have been wracking my brain trying to decide whether or not I should write a blog post about how grateful I am for stuff like caffeine and the ability to breathe without the aid of tubes, or if I should just lay it all out there and be honest in stating that I don’t necessarily feel all that grateful for where I am today. Let me preface what may appear to be a rant by an ungrateful and blind to the blessings around them blog post by saying that I am grateful that I have a roof over my head, food in the refrigerator, the mental capacity to form and make decisions, along with enough energy and health to be able to run on the treadmill at the gym. I am cognizant of the fact that there are million of Americans who do not have jobs, who are homeless, don’t know where their next meal is coming from, are mentally ill and have poor health and zero energy. I try not to take for granted, although I am sure that I do on occasions, that I have these things in my life. But if life were just simply about having a job that pays (or barely pays) the bills, refrigerators stocked with food, an I.Q. of sorts, and a gym membership, none of us would ever feel compelled to achieve anything beyond these amenities. Certainly, the green-eyed monster of envy wouldn’t exists in our lives, nor would we feel a sense of failure, regret, frustration, sadness and/or despair at being at a place in our lives where perhaps professionally and personally we feel completely unsatisfied and stuck. It is hard to go on and on about how grateful one is for the life that they are leading when virtually everything in their life has fallen apart or is getting there quick.
Not one to look the other way, I have no qualms admitting that the bulk of what leads to this ungrateful place is flawed decision-making. Every action or inaction serves a purpose and delivers a consequence. A steady stream of actions and inaction, coupled with flawed decision-making is sure to create an undesirable environment that at times feels as if is choking the life out of our bodies. For this, one has only themselves to examine, curbing the impulse to blame external factors and people. Refusing to participate in the blame game is not a denial of the destructive forces that play a role in shaping our environments (i.e. racisim, sexism, etc.), it is a declaration that one will not be swallowed up by these forces or lean on them like a crutch. Of course, this is a much more palatable goal to achieve in the U.S. then say Iran or China. I can’t even begin to comprehend what it must be like to live in such a subversive environment where everything you are given access to is heavily censored, especially the Internet. Residing in the U.S., I have the freedom to be able to surf the Internet at will and to write freely in a blog, which is a BIG thing I do not hesitate being grateful for in my life. With that back- drop in view, I need to utilize the freedom that is available to me to craft a more grateful professional and personal space. The reality is that my childhood was not ideal, my family is dysfunctional, both of my parents have recently died in horrific ways that have most definitely scarred me, professionally I am not in a healthy and fulfilling space, and there is no prospect for romance in my immediate or near future (although I don’t think I’d like to delve into a relationship right now). Hmm, quite a mouthful to share at the Thanksgiving table, right.
Presently, my life is an all around mess, a big part due thanks to me. Sure, the dysfunctional family and parents dying horrific deaths are things that were not due to any sort of decision I made. Some may say that these events are due to karma, or God, bad luck, bad genes, or a whole host of other things. Whatever the catalyst, it is what it is. I can either chose to be enveloped by the messiness that is my life right now, or I can fight like hell to carve out some semblance of a happy and satisfying professional and personal life. I chose the latter. I haven’t worked out all of the kinks involved in this battle, but that I am going to fight, I am going to fight, I have to. I don’t know if any of my battle strategies will be successful, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified, but enough is enough. Life is simply too short and I am not getting any younger. Quite frankly, it is now or never and I prefer now. I am choosing to use my current lackluster sense of gratitude to push me forward, along the way hopefully not blinding myself to the reality of all that which I have to be grateful for in my life.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share some of the things I am grateful for, acknowledging that I indeed have much to celebrate and be grateful for in my life.
1. Having been born and raised in one of the most beautiful and inspiring cities in the world, New York City! I am grateful to call this beautiful city my home.
2. I am grateful for the means, space, and requisite health and energy to be able to physically workout.
3. I am grateful for friends who are willing to hear me laugh and rant, sometimes in the same breath.
4. I am grateful to anyone who has ever said that they enjoy my writing, this means so much to me!
5. I am grateful to everyone who reads this blog.
6. I am grateful to be an American.
7. I am grateful to have a source of income.
8. I am grateful to have a roof over my head.
9. I am grateful for the kindness of friends, acquaintances, and strangers.
10. I am grateful for my eyesight and the ability to hear and walk.
What are you grateful for in your life? It is easy to place the forest before the trees and believe that what presently plagues you should overshadow all that which you should give thanks for in your life (guilty as charged). Take a minute today to examine all that which you have to be grateful for in your life. Chances are, you may discover that you have more to be thankful for than you knew.
I hope everyone has a magnificent Thanksgiving day that is filled with lots of gratitude, love, laughter, and turkey if you are so inclined 🙂