Attitude of Gratitude

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The firetruck’s siren blared in the distance. I sat up frantically in bed and stared into the darkness of my room. I immediately thought, “Lord I hope whoever it is, is alright.” And I meant it…

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I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been engaged in the art of listening and observing. What I have noticed over the past few weeks is a slight shift in the consciousness in the people around me –some for the better others not so much. I wondered if it were a reflection of everything that we are dealing with right now: more layoffs and reduced work hours, huge spikes in gas prices, and alas no decent shows on television during the summer (ha!).

I think that it is all of the above and then some …  there is this spirit of entitlement and expectancy at hand — and its working overtime. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hysteria around us but I think it takes a faithful person — a conscious person, a thinking person — to not give into the fleeting wills of the day. At one point I was so stressed that the only way I could describe it to my loved ones was that it felt like I was running alongside a moving train. The train was not moving slowly and I’m not a runner. I felt late. I felt delayed. I felt unprepared. Admittedly, there are some things in my life that I could manage better. But for the things that I actually put time and effort into and it not pan out how I expected was frustrating.

Stress is a bitch. Plain and simple. No eloquent metaphors necessary. I see it in the faces of the people around me. It is in their tone and mannerisms. I feel it too. I’m grateful that I recognize it though. I refuse to even think about putting myself in a situation where I am unprepared. So, as I center (because Lord knows that’s what I need to do), I’m going to reflect on two points. If you’re feeling stressed and its caused you to shift your thinking from gratitude to expectancy and entitlement, I encourage you to stop and do some reflecting too. Oh and if you have something you’d like to add to the list, write back – I love getting emails and comments.

  1.  Take time to reflect on your day and give thanks.  In the morning or before you go to bed, give thanks. Somebody didn’t wake up this morning and somebody didn’t make it home safely tonight.
  2. Set realistic expectations for yourself. While Superwoman may be alive in the Marvel Comics world, you should let the world marvel at your ability to manage expectations, effortlessly.

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…after the sirens ceased. I found myself sitting in silence. I said a little prayer and went back to bed. When I got up the next morning, I learned that there was a major car accident on the road not too far from my house. There were some serious injuries sustained but no fatalities.

I am and will continue to be grateful.

10 thoughts on “Attitude of Gratitude

  1. These words certainly spoke to my heart today, so thank you Cynthia for speaking them at just the right time! (If you read my last two blog posts you’ll see it’s been a difficult couple of weeks…)

  2. Mags

    I try to practice gratitude as often as I can – even during rush hour traffic when I can’t understand WHY that car is driving 10 mph under the speed limit (“Oh. Maybe that car just saved me from that bad accident that just happened! Hope they’re okay – thankful I’m okay and still driving.”). Sometimes it’s tough, but ending a rant or rave with gratitude can really turn my attitude around in a way that will allow me to think logically about what has stressed or upset me.

    I also think that laughing helps. In a BIG way. I had an “ah-ha” moment the other day – I was scratching my cat’s belly and I thought “I wonder if cats are ticklish”. Random thought, but the fact is, we don’t know if cats are ticklish because they can’t laugh. And then I realized – as humans, we have the awesome gift of laughter. Think about it: it puts a smile on your face, lifts your mood (and the mood of others around you), and it even burns a few calories! What could be better? And so I thought to myself…Laughter is a gift. Open it and enjoy. It’s amazing how quickly laughter can make you forget about the small stuff that just made you sweat.

  3. The article is a gentle, yet raw reminder of all things that must be considered in the midst of a storm and calm. If this is the direction you’re heading with your writing, you’ve nailed it. Thanks for your insight and inspirational words of wisdom.

    Tosh (aka Totsymae) at http://www.totsymae.com

  4. Hi Cynthia! I am passing on a blog award to you and nine other bloggers who I admire. I don’t know much about these award thingies, but when I received this one from another blogger, I figured out that I was to share seven things about myself and pass the award on to blogs that I read and love. So. I’ve talked about and linked to your blog on my latest post. Over to you, to do or don’t as you wish!

    http://recoveringdawn.blogspot.com

  5. Marla

    Please keep writing. Your blogs have become a part of my morning routine of reading news, drinking coffee and gearing up for the day. I love the way [you] write. I can relate to your joys and struggles.

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