Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 12 - Appreciation.

Occasionally my kid will have a day where nothing is good enough. It's not that he's necessarily unhappy with what he has, it's just that what he has isn't enough. He has a million Star Wars Legos, but not the new Boba Fett; the picture I colored for him was good, but he asked for the lava to be orange and part of it is red; we're on our way to get ice cream and he's holding a toy in each hand, but he needs a quarter for the vending machine; he's played way more video games than we normally allow but he didn't get to play this one. So we often find ourselves with the opportunity to teach him about appreciating what he does have.

But how many of us need that same reminder?

I'll admit it: I'm one of them. Lately, I've been keeping myself conscious of the feelings of "not enough" of something, and as soon as I feel it kicking in, I stop it, shift it, think of something I can appreciate instead, and move on with a smile and a contented sigh. I'll catch myself complaining that I don't have any free time, and remind myself that I'm choosing to spend my free time keeping up with chores rather than reading or writing, but I could just as easily make that choice differently; or, whining to myself that I don't have any friends I can talk to until I remember that, oh wait a minute, yes I do, I just don't talk to them often, so I take the opportunity to shoot a text to a friend; or, complaining that we always do what they want but never what I want, only to be met with the reminder that hey, I can ask to do things I want just as easily as they can.

How often do the choices we make keep us living with a limited idea of our resources? How easy could it be to reframe things, to remember all that we do have and to better utilize what we have rather than looking for more to fill a void? 

Right now, think of something you've been feeling a lack of. Time? (Time for what? What could be rearranged to give you time for that?) Money? (Money for what? What could be rearranged so you could use your money differently?) Friends? Love? Support? Attention?

What of that do you already have that you could appreciate a little more? Because the funny thing is, wishing you had more makes you more aware of what you don't have, yet appreciating what you do makes it easier to see more of what's already in front of you.

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