“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” ~Elizabeth Kubler~Ross
Tonight, when I got home from a few meetings, I decided to walk to the store to pick up a few things in advance of my big Thanksgiving shopping tomorrow. While twilight was setting in as I walked to the store, by the time I came out and was on my way back, darkness had settled over the sky. A wonderful chill wrapped around me as my nose, hands and toes became cold. I felt the bags heavy in my hands as I darted through cars to cross the street. Once across and making my way up the hill, my mind was serene and I started thinking about my blog post and counting my blessings.
Obviously, I know the above quote is much much much easier said than done when you are going through a challenging time. Like most things, hindsight is not only 20/20 it brings answers, and since most of the time you know the outcome you can piece things together in the way they make sense. Even with that, if you are a person of faith, then often as you dig deep during these times, you believe that it is all happening for a reason and that, as the famous bible quote says, ‘you will not be given more than you can handle.” The point of this post however, is not about who or what you might believe in, the point is that no matter what you believe,often all of us, in quiet times of solitude, as we reflect, we can see these times, circumstances and moments as times for growth and we come out on the other end counting our blessings. We can also find that sometimes, in the times of challenge, counting our blessings forces us to focus on the good things, the small and large. The parts that eventually become the sum we can reflect back on one day. Blessing by blessing.
It just so happens that “Count your blessings” is one of the most popular search terms that leads people to my blog from the world of search engines. Each time I see this, I marvel at just how many people search this term almost daily. It also made me realize that once they are here, the post they find, while always relevant , was greatly based in one moment in time, early on in my blogging when I was unbelievably overwhelmed and grateful for the groundswell of support for our March of Dimes, March for Babies team. That said, I don’t want that to be the only post as I am well aware of just how blessed we are day-to-day, and more so all the time. Gratitude for something done for us is beautiful, gratitude for the smallest things that impact our day-to-day life, changes our mindset for the better.
My day on Monday, was moment after moment of this, here’s how:
– 5:45 am – KSP leaves for flight to NYC. Sad to have him leave, but happy that I am still sad when he goes.
– 6:00 am – Max the Toddler Cat knocks over a tall vase filled with flowers and water on the kitchen table. I hear the gush of water falling from the table to the floor and realized my computer is on the table!…I run out, computer is fine and vase isn’t broken. I sigh, and say a quick thanks for no glass to clean up and a safe laptop. Also thankful for paper towels.
– 11:00 am – E’s speech therapist calls sick, bummed she won’t have therapy but oh so grateful to not be exposed before she knew any better.
– 11:30 am – in car, spot gray hairs encroaching head. With big events lined up over the next 2 weeks, that is not good! Call salon, and they can make a last minute slot for me, grateful for cell phones!
– 12:00 pm – Lunch with my friend Y. Lovely to see her and no tables inside on the chilly day, but we had such a nice visit, I barely noticed the chill in the air.
– 2:00 pm – Kitchen faucet starts shooting water from the stem. Thankful for handy KSP who will be back tonight from NYC.
– 4:00 pm – Q throws V-tech Kitty at E’s head and hits her squarely…she screams, turns purple and cries. He feels terrible and I am thankful she is not hurt and we learn a lesson in anger management.
– 5:15 pm – Come home from meeting and decide to get some fresh air, to walk to the store.
– 6:00 – Walking back in the dark, cold air, and happy to be, just be.
The fact that it is the week of Thanksgiving is not lost on me. Perhaps we are more thoughtful or thankful during this time, but beyond that, I find myself always counting my blessings these days. As I walked in the dark, toward our new home, with my fab high boots and my long coat and my newly covered gray hair (all of which give me a thrill), I thought about each little thing that I can be grateful for, but each of these little things is always grounded in where we have been and come from.
2 years ago, we had 4 week old, little 3 pound babies and we were doing our first real photo shoot. Their first bath, and first clothes. Everything was uncertain.
As I thought about this, I made the decision to, in that moment as I walked home, to try to take in everything around me. The shapes of the leaves on the trees as their shadows hung over me, the streetlights lined up perfectly, the stars overhead. 9 stars, until I looked behind me. There were 3 more stars lurking behind me, and had I not thought to turn around, as I had been walking forward, I would have missed them. But by looking back, I was able to be thankful for seeing them, For being able to take them in and add them to my walk. I had to turn around to truly appreciate going forward.
Each day can be this walk for all of us. Each moment of each day. Good or bad. Whether the challenge was before, now or awaits you in the future, it can bring you perspective. The opportunity to really count your blessings. To know that the stars, the weight of the bags in your hands that carry the food you will eat, the home you drive toward, the smiles that await you when you arrive, the warm air that greets you when you arrive to envelope you and drive out the cold, or the warmth of the covers that you pull up to your shoulders as you nestle your head into the pillow…each of these is a blessing. The call from a friend or family member, an email from a co-worker that makes you smile, or the new friends you make on a social networking community. All of these are blessings as they enhance your life. To count them is to be grateful. To be grateful for to be inspired. To be inspired can make today and each day, somewhere, in some part, ‘anewfavoriteday.’
Today, I count all of you as one my blessings. Simply for being here, for supporting this concept, for being a great lesson for me, and for truly helping to make each day ‘mynewfavoriteday.’