“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
I couldn’t start a new blog about moving forward in life without appreciating where I’ve been. I was thinking just the other day that if, say, ten years ago, I could see myself now, I would see that now I have everything I longed for then. I remember being panicked, feeling as if I would never be able to get my act together, that my hubby and I would never make enough money to live the life we wanted… insert the wah-wah trombone and tiny violin here.
In this age of social media fitness models and HGTV home makeovers, it is so easy to get wrapped up in what we don’t have. I’ve found myself lost in the feeds of people whose homes and lives and bodies and bank accounts look perfect, and can we all agree that it’s exhausting? I realized that when I look at my own life, I have NOTHING to complain about. Absolutely nothing. My life isn’t Insta-perfect but I have everything to be grateful for.
Recently, I found myself in a different kind of panic – you know, the kind where you’re nearly 40 and feel like you don’t have much to show for it – I had to have a serious gut check and snap myself out of it. All those financial advice columns my dad sent me all those years ago came flooding to my mind, the ones that were like, “Dan started saving $100 a month at 22, and Sam started saving $1000 a month at age 40. Who do you think has more money at retirement?”
We all know Dan is going to retire with $19,329,284,951.09 and Sam is going to have $301,467.45 because compound interest! Unfortunately I wasn’t a smart 22-year-old like Dan and I spent my money on things like CDs and fifths of vodka to pre-game with my friends all the while lamenting about where savings would ever come from. And my hubby and I spent the first seven years of our marriage in a sheer panic thinking we would never get ahead in life.
The good news is that it’s never too late to turn things around. And what I’ve learned is that patience and discipline are nothing without gratitude. If I can’t appreciate what I have now, why should I be given any more? What can I find to complain about then?
There will always be something.
I’m setting my complaints aside and focusing on what is good and well in my life now. You may feel helpless to change or as if your circumstances won’t allow for it. Maybe you got bad news at the doctor or you are looking at your paychecks wondering how you can ever retire. Or, maybe things are pretty darn good right now but you want to prepare better. No matter which camp you are in, remember to take things one day at a time, don’t beat yourself up when you fall, and always focus on the things that make your life worth living.
Because there will always be something.