I’ve developed a small following of people who read my blog to find out more about Panama and how we got here. Originally when I started this blog it was because I had people that I wanted to keep in touch with and as I’ve mentioned before FaceBook wasn’t working for me. I’ve considered writing for a specific audience, perhaps totally about Panama but I don’t think that would suit me. I have to be true to myself and write about things that are important to me even though some days they may seem uninteresting to my readers.
I know I’ve talked about gratitude several times before but retirement has allowed me to develop a case of what I call “Advancing Gratitude”. When we are children we experience gratitude, happiness, contentment whatever we want to call it; but as we grow older some of us lose our way and either never find those feelings again or forget what they are. We get bogged down in day-to-day living, glimpsing every once in a while total happiness and gratitude and for some of us it’s elusive.
I recognize that gratitude is one of the hip things in popular media. Oprah started the craze with the Gratitude Journal and there are all sorts of books, seminars, videos etc. out there to help us find our inner gratitude. There’s a 30 Days of Gratitude FaceBook page and a website of the same name. There are all sorts of quotes, articles and studies published. But finding gratitude must come from within.
I’m still a work in progress and I admit that some days I have to look for gratitude. It hides in places I don’t expect it and it’s not always visible. But then I see the sunrise, hear the birds sing, or watch one of the gatos do something silly and gratitude comes back like an old friend. I remember all the other things in my life that I am grateful for beyond what is immediately surrounding me. It creates a snowball effect; some may call it “counting my blessings”.
This week I’m challenging myself to count my blessings every day and give silent thanks for the generosity of the people in my life. Those people that help us every day in our community, our family at home who were unselfish enough to let us go to find our dream, our friends who encouraged us to blaze a trail.
Try some gratitude in your world this week. I think you’ll find that your focus will shift to what you do have instead of what you don’t. I bet it will make you feel pretty darned good.