Give Thanks in a Sometimes Thankless World

Sometimes we as people can become very self-centered. We sometimes get caught-up in our own surroundings that we lose sight of what’s happening around us. We get lost in our own misfortunes. Not stopping to look around and see what’s happening in other people’s lives. I’m guilty and holding myself accountable.

If there is anything I’ve learned from past experience, it’s that my life may not be going according to what I had planned, but it isn’t as bad as what someone else is going through. In a recent post I explained how my life has changed in the last year. You can read it here.

For the last year I’ve lived with blinders on. Caught-up in my own setback and singing the “Poor Me” song. My hurdle is minor in comparison to others around me. I’ll admit my own selfishness got the best of me. It stops now!

This is what I do have to be thankful for before I move on to the heart of this story:

  • I have a wife that loves me unconditionally. Being married to this fabulous woman for 22 years (next week) has left me wanting for nothing. One aspect of my life I took for granted at times. I look around and see what other married couples go through and, thank God she chose me to spend her life with. Thank you Liz for always being there in the hard times and putting up with my crazy antics at times. I know you could have chosen anyone you wanted, but you chose me. You allow me to be who I am each and every day.

Liz and I in St. Louis with the arch in the background

  • I was fortunate enough to grow up in a loving household with good parents. My father was not only my father, but my best friend. To have had that kind of relationship with him is one I sorely miss and will always cherish. I miss our talks on the golf course.
  • I have a roof over my head and a hot meal on the table. My wife and I are relatively debt-free and are able to travel as we wish. In this day and age that is a feat in itself. It’s something we all take for granted like the so many nickels and dimes we carry in our pockets.
  • I have some close friends that have always been there for me over the years. They didn’t give up on me when I went off on my unguided path. They were there to welcome me back with no questions asked. No conditions. No expectations. Thank you.
  • I’ve had my health related obstacles in the past. None life-threatening thankfully. But I’m relatively healthy now and I’m grateful for that. And that brings me to the heart of this story.

In the last year-and-a-half, We’ve had a dear friend and a family member diagnosed with cancer. Both in their early fifties. Both vibrant, hard-working family men. To be stricken down with this disease at such young ages just makes me stop and think. Life is a gift. How you choose to unwrap that gift and play with it is your choice and yours alone. Don’t waste it or take it for granted as so many do.

We’ve also experienced a death in the family. A nephew that was only in his thirties. A tragic death in its own right. A parent should not have to bury a child no matter what. I see the pain in my sisters face that won’t go away anytime soon.

As I go through my days and think how bad I have it. My problems are minor in comparison. I can start over. I can pick myself up, brush myself off and move on. Some around me are not as fortunate. They are battling illness and depression that by far outweighs anything I’m going through.

At times we all feel a little down when things aren’t going according to plan, but stop and look around. Is it really that bad? Does someone in your family or circle of friends have it worse? Be thankful for what you do have and stop to reflect how your life could be carrying their burden. I can probably guarantee, you wouldn’t want to switch places with them any time soon.

Inspiration for this story came from:

The Difference in a Year

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4 comments

  1. I agree with you; there are people that have next to nothing , and live in dirt basically, so the rest of us should find at least one thing to smile about 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  2. Tony LaMantia · · Reply

    Good piece T~ I think all of us have similar feelings from time to time. We’re too busy looking over the fence to see what the other guy has and then we try to keep up, that we lose sight of whats really important. I think age and getting older tends to put life in a little clearer perspective as well.I couldn’t agree more with you, If you have your Health, Good Friends, Good Food and a Loving Caring Family, your the richest guy in the world as far as I’m concerned. I know I am!

    1. Judging by those standards I’m rich myself. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment T!

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