Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I’m taking a break from my normal writing posts to comment about gratitude.  No, it’s not Thanksgiving and you haven’t missed the entire year.

The truth is, I have realized just how easy it is for people to lose sight of what is important in the world. I think it was the arrest of Justin Beiber that made me stop to take inventory. Can you say #firstworldproblem? Out of exhaustion from the 24 hour a day news cycle, I decided to unplugged and reflect on the concept of gratitude.

It was harder than I thought it would be. You have no ideas how many “problems” I had to muddle through before I could get down to the nitty gritty. But even those problems, when looked at from a different POV, have hidden moments of gratitude.
For example, last month, my husband hit a deer and then a few weeks later, a guard rail. Between the two accidents, we had almost $10K in damaged to our car. And, because the accidents happened during two separate incidents, we have to pay 2 deductibles. That’s a chunk of change not in our monthly budget. But through some re-arranging and prioritizing and more eating in, less eating out, we have the money for the repair and the remainder of the car rental not covered by our insurance. Let’s not overlook the fact that we have insurance in the first place. We have a warm home that protects us from the -40 degree wind chill that is sweeping through the Midwest as I type. We have the food to keep us healthy and should we become ill, insurance and a health savings account to cover trips to the doctor.

Don’t get me wrong: we are by no means rich, but we have the means needed to live a secure life.

So why is it that I have a hard time being content? I’m staring down the barrel at the big 4-0 and there aren’t a lot of things I would change. I have a husband who adores me (and puts up with me), two children who are empathetic and smart (and probably a little bit spoiled), I’m less than a year from seeing my life dream of being a published author come into being and I finally feel like I am coming into my own when it comes to writing. Add to that a handful of extremely close friends (you know, the ones who know too much about you to ever be your enemy) and an even larger circle of people I enjoy being around. Our needs are covered and most of our wants, so what else is there?

I think my goal in the next year is to focus on the things that matter most and let go of the things that are #firstworldproblems. So go forth, my friends and BE FEARLESS when you face what really matters in your life! I think you might find yourself a lot less stressed if you do!

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