Taking things for granted vs. counting your blessings. Concepts worth pondering! Today’s post is a little different than my usual format, because I’m in a reflective, slightly melancholic mood. It tends to happen this month of Father’s Day, ever since losing my Dad in 2002. Additionally, I lost my Mom almost 5 years ago; June 2011 was her last month before being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and passing away on July 7, 2011.
It’s strange, sometimes, the people and things we take for granted – until something happens to affect that person, situation, or condition we’re so comfortable with, that we haven’t considered any alternate reality.
For instance, one day during this past winter, we ran out of heating fuel – kind of a big deal up here in Maine, when we sometimes get one snowstorm after another, and daytime temps don’t get out of the teens, or sometimes dip below zero, especially when wind chills factor in. I can’t really accomplish anything in those conditions, because my hands get too cold – and it doesn’t work to wear gloves and try to type, ’cause I tried!
I did turn on the oven for a little while to take some of the chill off (and why does 58 to 60 degrees indoors feel so COLD, when it’s actually a comfortable temperature outside in spring or fall?) My hubby had to get some K1 fuel that night to hold us over until a regular delivery of oil arrived the next day.
It’s so easy to take it for granted that when you adjust the thermostat, the furnace will actually kick on and bring your home up to the right temperature – until it doesn’t happen and you sit there feeling half frozen all day, unable to work.
Other “things” I’ve taken for granted in the past:
*I thought my marriage to my kids’ father would last “forever” – but that ended in less than 20 years.
*I thought my Dad, who had always been healthy and strong, would live much longer than his 69 years when lymphoma took him from us in less than a year and a half after diagnosis, back in 2002.
*I thought my Mom would live to be 100, since she was a strong woman and stubborn about giving in to any maladies (and she was a nurse for over 50 years!); but residual cancer cells from breast cancer (in spite of allegedly beating it) took up residence in other parts of her body and especially became a huge mass in one lung, and she passed away at the age of 86.
*I thought I would enjoy a long career as a speech therapist – but that ended in only about a year, when illness and circumstances forced me to come home to work (for the record, I did enjoy it and wish I could go back to it, part time – but I was originally hired to work out of an office close to home, then got transferred to a traveling therapist position, logging 350+ miles/week!)
*I thought when I began my freelance writing career in February 2008 that I would be writing “effortlessly” for hours on end, because I have had a passion for writing since I was a teenager – but some days I encounter a “writer’s block” that seems like reinforced concrete. On those days, I end up doing more chatting and reading ABOUT writing, than actually writing (other than in blogs and forums!)
*I thought I would have my doctor of education (Ed.D.) degree by now, after starting in November 2009; but life circumstances and situations in the dissertation process have prolonged that achievement (although it’s now on track to happen by this fall!)
So today I would encourage you to think about all the people, relationships, circumstances, talents and abilities in your life that you cherish and appreciate – and don’t take ANY of them for granted!
My additional reflections:
I don’t know the source of this quote, but it’s one that keeps me grateful and thanking God for His blessings, and it also motivated me to post daily “Attitude of Gratitude” posts on Facebook:
“What if the only things left in your life today,
are the things you thanked God for yesterday?”
So what are YOUR thoughts?
Are you reflecting on anything in your life today?
Are there people or things in your life you may be taking for granted?