10 things to be grateful for

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February 21, 2013 by Diana M

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Most of us have a tendency to complain about a lot of things that are going wrong in our lives, even the smallest possible. And a lot of times we wish we had something more, or something else entirely. We wished we had a better job, more understanding and less nagging parents (or wife!), a more understanding-to-our-needs husband, more adventures in our lives, more money, easier things to acquire with less work, etc.

We always spend so much time complaining about what we don’t have, that we miss out on all the amazing things that we do have in our lives. And let me tell you something: being grateful and thankful only one day a year, when you’re surrounded by your family and about to eat a stuffed turkey and say Happy Thanksgiving to everybody, isn’t enough! It is not enough. You should be grateful about your life every single day.

In fact, here’s 10 things you should be grateful for today:

1. Family

Yes, they may be nagging or driving you up the walls sometimes, but beside all that, you should be thankful for the family you’re having. The beautiful memories you’ve created together when you were growing up, all the Christmases and the birthdays and the school plays and the overwhelming number of firsts you shared, they all sum up to something that you should treasure every single day. Some people don’t get to be as lucky as you are, they don’t get to grow up having a family at all. Think about what that would be like for a second, then go tell your family how much you love them.

2. Being healthy

You should be grateful that you’re reading this right now because it means that you still have your sight; be thankful for the music you’re hearing, the messages you’re writing, the flowers you’re smelling and the ground you’re walking. Be grateful for the body you  have and each breath you take, and don’t let the last be the one to tell you just how important all the previous ones were.

3. Friends

True friends are hard to find, which makes them all the more precious. To have someone who gets you, shares your craziness and has patience through your tantrums, well, that is truly something to appreciate.

My best friend drives me nuts sometimes, but I can never seem to get upset or mad with her because I love her too much but also because I know what a pain in the you-know-what I can be sometimes, so I’m very thankful that she stuck by me and didn’t run for the hills, even after I whined about the same sob story time after time, after time.

4. Love

Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. We may have loved and lost quite a few times, but we should be grateful for each and every one of those loves. This is the most important, sought after, yearned feeling- by anyone, anywhere, anytime. So if you have loved, at least once in your life, then you, my friend, are a very lucky person.

I even feel thankful for the brutal heartbreaks that I went through, because without those unique experiences, I wouldn’t have learned so much about love, and I wouldn’t have been able to love better or deeper.

5. Not being in jail

I was thinking lately about how my parents should actually be very proud of me. I mean, I’m a 24 year old woman, I’m healthy, I’m working, I’m in school, I was a good girl growing up, didn’t get knocked up at 16, didn’t marry for money, didn’t end up in jail or in a ditch somewhere. Hell, they should give me an award or something.

But in all seriousness, be thankful for the right decisions you made in your life so far, because at any step, you could have taken a wrong turn. A slip at the wheel, not paying attention for one split second, drinking or taking drugs, doing something crazy; remember that it just takes a minute to take a life, be it yours or someone else’s.

6. Living in the 21st century

On the other hand though, living in today’s fast paced world may have its downs, but it also has its perks. So if I were you I would be grateful for living in today’s world where you’re able to reach any information or any type of education at the press of a button, or can be at the other side of the world in less than a day. People have a lot more rights and a lot more freedom than back in the day.

7. Freedom of speech

Speaking of freedom, personally, I am very grateful for having the freedom of speech in today’s world. To be able to put down on paper any idea I may have, to speak clearly and outwardly about my passions and principles, to be able to converse with a person no matter what their race is or what country they come from without fear of being persecuted, tortured or killed is a big thing. Of course, there are still parts of this world who need to work on making a better and freer today, but I think (and hope) we’re on the right path.

8. Knowledge

I love the fact that I can order any book I want, about anything and in any language. I love the fact that if I don’t know something, I double-click on my Browser icon, type in my conundrum (like how to spell the word conundrum), press Enter, and voila! There are people getting diplomas by attending classes online, or people that decide at the age of 60 that they want to learn another language, or want to take up psychology, or maybe they want to learn how to play guitar, or use a sewing machine or make their own furniture. Anything you want to know, anything you want to learn, you can find online, and that makes us very privileged people.

9. The World

How many views have you witnessed that have taken your breath away completely? An incredible sunset, an intimidating forest, a brilliant architectural design, or simply sitting on a bench on a hot summer day watching kids play with water from a fountain. Sometimes I am beyond amazed at what a beautiful world we live in, and we still haven’t discovered all of it! I feel grateful to have seen the things I have seen in my life, even in pictures on a computer (bet you my grand-grandmother never got a chance to do that!).

10. Being Alive

In the end, the thing we should mostly be grateful for is being alive. Life has a thrown a whole lot of ugly things our way, hit us when we were down, taken things away from us, made us doubt ourselves, made us want to quit so many times, and yet, through all of that, we are still here. And we are still kicking life in the you-know-what!

Now, I want to leave you with this video, which to me is not about the life of a superstar, but about the gratitude of a life well lived.

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