Yesterday afternoon, I received some really tough news . Nothing I'm willing to share, but it hit me hard and unexpectedly. At first, I went in to a form of shock. Then, my mind started wandering off, and ever since hearing the news I've been trying to process.
The news isn't about me, but someone I care very much for. And it's one of those situations where you never in a million years thought you'd hear those words come from their mouth.
I was relieved that our class got cancelled last night, because I needed to come home. I know I wouldn't have been worth much sitting in class, because I had too much on my mind. It was a quiet drive home followed by a quiet evening of thought and reflection.
As I tried hard to process everything in my mind, I started having random thoughts. About life in general, what life has given me, and how much I take for granted. I started to think about how much I've complained, how many times I've just stopped and been thankful for for my life, and how I show the people I care about in my life how thankful I am for them.
Think about it....
How many of you wake up every morning and are thankful that you're awake? Are you one of those people that wake up and groan about the day you're about to have, or do you wake up full of excitement about the new adventures of the day?
Thankfully, I'm one of those people that wake up each morning excited about my day. It definitely hasn't always been that way, and there are still the occasional few days where I wake up and just want to stay in bed... but for the most part, I'm thankful when I wake up each day. It means I get another chance at making the most out of what I need to do.
Yet, I think about how many times just this week I've complained about how much I've got going on. Football games, family nights, meetings, class, etc. OK, the class was cancelled, but still. Rather than complaining, I should be thankful I'm doing those things. I get to support my son being apart of a sport he absolutely loves. During that time, I get to snuggle with my daughters in the bleachers, laugh with them, and enjoy time with them. During the family nights and meetings I get to visit with people I don't get to see very often, share what's been going on with me and hear about the exciting things those people are up to. During class I get to discuss topics that interest me, learn more, and prepare for a career path I may be walking down one day.
Rather than worrying about how much sleep I'm missing out on or how tired it will make me, I should be thankful that I've got the time to do those things. I should be thankful I'm making memories, and sharing that time with people I care about and love.
I know that life can't always be full of rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes life is tough. But, if I think back to how many times I've complained about stuff that is really rather silly, I am kind of ashamed of myself.
My life has a purpose. It's a path to the unknown. I have the freedom to make the decisions on how I want to walk that path, but sometimes there are bumps and cracks that appear. I have several choices when those situations arise. I can sit and tell the bumps and cracks how sick I am of having to deal with the them, I can complain about how inconvenient they are, I can turn around and give up and not even bother with the them, or I could figure out the best way to get over the them and then relish in the success of accomplishing that small inconvenience.
Because, when you really think about, the majority of stuff that we complain about are very small bumps and cracks. Especially when you compare those minor bumps and cracks to the gaping holes that some people are able to jump over.
Do you want to know what I'm most thankful for this morning?
The fact that I decided to make some drastic changes a couple of weeks ago to all of that complaining and whining about the small bumps and cracks. For the past couple of weeks I've been cruising along hopping, skipping, and jumping over those little cracks and bumps. I've been waking up each morning excited about the day ahead of me, regardless of how tired I may feel.
I have no problem admitting that up until a couple of weeks ago, I was a Negative Nelly. I always had something to complain about, an opinion to give, or a snide remark to make. That's not a shocking revelation. I'm pretty sure anybody that spends any amount of time with me knew that. I know that some people still see me coming and probably think "Oh no, what's she gonna complain about this time?" I know that there are people that try and avoid me like the plague, because they don't want to hear about it, or just expect me to complain about anything and everything I can.
But, I'm not that person anymore.
I'm really not.
I wasn't always that way, and I've finally realized that's not the person that I want to be. I'm a go-getter, an adventure seeker, a challenge overcomer. I bask in the opportunities to be creative, solving problems, and overcoming obstacles. If I'm dealt a weak hand, I either bluff my way through to a win, or a shuffle the deck for some new cards. I'm not someone that folds or gives up.
For that, I'm grateful.
I may have complained a bit too much these past couple of years, but I can honestly say that behind all of the complaining was someone who just decided complaining got me nowhere, and that if I wanted things to be different I just had to make them that way.
One thing I've been trying to get through to my students is the fact that I want them to be one of those people that wake up every morning excited about what the day has in store for them. Nobody deserves a life where they wake up and dread the day. Sometimes you have to take risks, sometimes you have to work against the grain, sometimes you have to let people down or upset them, but the goal should always be the same: Make the most of what you have, and if you're not happy, then do something about it.
I know that not everyone wakes up every morning excited about going to the job they have. I'm lucky in that aspect. But you wouldn't have thought so a few weeks ago. Negativity was consuming me and making me a person I didn't like. That can't happen. The minute I don't like who I am, something major has to change. So, I did something about it. The complaining and negativity got me nowhere... except an unhappy place that I never want to be.
I guess what this very long post is trying to say is: Be thankful. Every morning when you wake up, you've got another opportunity to make the most out of life. Don't dwell on the small, insignificant, or unchangeable. Take life by the horns. Take some risks. Accept your mistakes. Tackle the mistakes so that you don't make them again. If you don't like something, do something about it. Complaining gets you nowhere.
And always...always be thankful each and every morning that you have another chance at life.