Count your blessings…not your problems

Last night I was having dinner with my mom and as usual we started to talk about life, family, friends, and the many things that were on our mind. To preface, my mom and I are very close and I have come to tell her basically everything going on in my life. I think that as I have grown older she has come to tell me more about the happenings in her day-to-day, much more so than when I was a kid. My mom is one of my biggest role models and never ceases to inspire me.

Over dinner, my mom told me about her coworker, a woman who she has often mentioned because of her incredibly kind-hearted nature. This woman’s daughter has recently received a very upsetting medical diagnosis. In this situation I can only imagine how distraught I would be if that happened to my mom and I. However, this woman has been incredibly strong and continues to be there for her daughter, always looking on the bright side. I am so inspired by the ability of others to move past the problems in their lives. Life throws a lot of curve balls, so it is so interesting to see the way we each choose to move forward.

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As we were talking, however, I started to realize a commonality in the reactions between the different problems our friends and family face. It is interesting that the people, who have been thrown the most difficult curve balls in life, are the ones who continue to smile and look on the bright side of things. They are the ones that put the time and energy into the wonderful people in their lives. Yes, they have had tough times, but that never seems to stop them. A family member of mine, who I greatly admire, has had so many horrible curve balls thrown at her in life, ones that I would never wish on anyone. And yet, she always reaches out and asks me about my life and focuses on the good in hers. It is these people, the ones who have had very difficult problems that seem the most adept at bouncing back.

On the flip side, I know many people who all they do is complain. It is exhausting to listen to on a regular basis. Granted, we are all facing our own difficult battles that others may not see right off the bat, but I feel that we often need to gain a larger perspective. This is not to diminish the problems in someone’s life, but instead suggest an attitude adjustment. I am a big believer in you have a quick pity party, let it all out, and then you pull yourself together and keep moving forward. At the end of the day, you may have had a rough day but there are many others fighting even harder battles. Feeding into this negativity only spurs more negativity. Whenever I am around incredibly negative people I can truly feel an energy shift. I feel so physically, mentally, and emotionally drained after spending time with a Negative Nancy. This explains why I keep them at a distance, to keep my own positive energy going.

I believe that instead of counting our problems, we should count our blessings. It sounds cliché but we need to remember that life is short, and that happiness truly starts from within. Instead of giving in to the negative energy and throwing an endless amount of pity parties, we need to put on a smile and soon we will truly start to feel the happiness. Today I am taking it upon myself to live by the concept “Thankful Tuesday”. I think it is important to think about all the things we are thankful for, from the silly things (like s’mores!) to the more serious (my incredible parents, friends, and family members who always support me). Making a list of the different things we are thankful for is a handy reminder to have when life gets tough. It is so easy to get caught up in our own problems, but it is so important to look on the bright side, no matter how difficult that may be. Remember to be thankful and grateful for the life that you have, many others have not been as lucky.

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