A Little Perspective...Spring Gratitude

by Jaquay Brewster

Here are ideas on celebrating life in good times or in times of adversity and the process I went through to discover them.

1. Start your day with at least one acknowledgment of gratitude or appreciation.
2. Focus on the possibilities, not the impossibilities.
3. Remember those less fortunate and find ways to turn sympathy into acts of charity.
4. Keep a journal and write down what you are grateful for at the end of the day.

I woke up to see the sun shinning through the small slits in the blinds of my bedroom window. My mind began to drift to the thoughts of the snow that had previously fallen for the past three days, never allowing the sun to shine. Instead of celebrating the recent changes in the weather during a walk with my daughter, I passed the weather as a fluke.

While I typically regard myself as an eternal optimist, I did not realize the overcast of gloom I place on what could be a positive highlight in my day. The realization came like the sound of thunder before lightning strikes. As the doors to my daughter's school opened and teachers filed inside, the comments about the beautiful weather came from every direction. In particular one teacher said "It is great to see the sun shinning, but I am sure it will be short lived and we will be back to the cold." I smiled in agreements feeling the frustration with the weather creep into my mind only to be quickly replaced with the frustration with myself for not enjoying what the impending day would offer me.

I think all of us can find instances or periods of time where our life's circumstances fluctuate or change just like the weather. In our lifetime we may experience a loss, a birth, a job advancement, and positive or negative impacts to our finances. What do we do with those snowy, rainy, or sunny days is what matters the most. We can chose to celebrate the opportunites that lie in front of us or we can lie and wait for less favorable circumstances or situations. If we choose to lie and wait for better days we may miss a sunny day. As a vow to myself, I want to seize every moment given to me and look for that "silver lining". The reality is that we are all human and we all have times when we just don't feel that great about life. However, the angle we take can make monumental differences in how we handle situation and our long-term feelings about life.

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