in Reflections

Taking Things for Granted vs. Counting Your Blessings – June 8 Inspiration

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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.

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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?

 

~~*~~

40 Comments

  1. Lesly T. Federici

    Life is so unpredictable. You can only do at any given moment what seems to be the right thing. Being grateful for what ever happens is good because I honestly believe it prepares you, helps you in some way for what comes next. And even if it’s crap, there’s a lesson in it. I love life a lot, all its gifts good and bad. Being both is alright … much love and appreciation to you …

    08 . Jun . 2016
  2. Lisa Arcelia

    I’m sorry about your melancholy mood, and the passing of your parents. The older I get (I’m 50), the more I think about that SOMEDAY 🙁 I can relate to this post- your story about the heating oil and trying to type with gloves made me chuckle- I sit in my kitchen and type in the winter with my feet wrapped in a heating pad- and that’s with heat!

    Thanks for the inspiration today. This is the second time I’ve been at your blog recently. I really enjoy reading your posts!

    08 . Jun . 2016
  3. Neely Moldovan

    I get it with the mood, Ive been like that all week. Hope you feel better soon!

    08 . Jun . 2016
  4. Carol Cassara

    That’s pretty profound. And pretty correct–things do change on a dime. Gratitude is something we should always take time for. Hope things get brighter for you.

    08 . Jun . 2016
  5. valmg @ Mom Knows It All

    Unfortunately it can be fairly easy for anyone to take something for granted. I think we have all done it at least once at one point. We just have to remember to be grateful and try to keep that perspective.

    08 . Jun . 2016
  6. Allyson Greene

    This is such an important message, having just lost my grandmother I can really understand so much of what you are saying this is something we all need to work on and often!!

    08 . Jun . 2016
  7. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    Sorry about your parents. I am sure that must be so hard.

    08 . Jun . 2016
  8. Amy Jones

    I’m so sorry about your parents. You are so strong and inspiring

    08 . Jun . 2016
  9. Nellwyn

    Lovely post, thank you for sharing. I love my home and some days I’m so grateful that I get to live where I do, but other days I definitely take for granted the fact that I have laundry and air conditioning when many people my age don’t have those things in their apartments yet.

    08 . Jun . 2016
  10. Chloe Crabtree

    I love that quote. I am sorry for your losses and disappointments. I think I became very conscious of being grateful after 9-11. My husband was on a plane headed for NYC that day. I was fortunate, he returned home safe and sound, so many were not so fortunate. Since then I have always said that you don’t know what you will have tomorrow, so be grateful for it today.

    08 . Jun . 2016
  11. tp keane

    Life takes us where it wants us to go, not where we want to go. Sorry to hear about your mom and dad.

    08 . Jun . 2016
  12. tina

    I thank God every day, for today and for tomorrow. I try to take little for granted because I know things change. When I graduated from high school my father asked me to look around the room because “you’ll never be in a room with all of these people again.” Little did he know 4 of my classmates would die in car crashes that night (that was 1972). Every day is a blessing. May the memories of your mom and dad be blessings for you and your family.

    08 . Jun . 2016
    • tp keane

      Oh my god, how awful is that. You dad was so right. Make sure you hug him. Even though he didn’t mean to, he taught you a valuable lesson.

      08 . Jun . 2016
  13. Jeanine

    sorry about your parents! i think its a lot easier for most people to take things for granted than count their blessings, I for one learned long ago that isn’t the way to go!

    08 . Jun . 2016
  14. Chrystal | Nevermore Lane

    Life has been so crazy lately. I went through a move and separation last fall. Spent the winter trying to figure out what to do with myself. Then, gathering myself up, working out, reaching out to friends and now my life is awesome. I owe that to finding something positive in every day.

    08 . Jun . 2016
  15. peppylady (Dora)

    Both of my parents are gone. But I’m looking forward to this fathers day. My son and his wife had there first child my granddaughter.
    Looking forward getting them something for father day. thinking about tea.
    Since you been writing since your a teenager. Did you keep a diary?
    Coffee is on

    08 . Jun . 2016
  16. Michele

    I lost my Dad when he was 50 (I was 13 days short of my 13th birthday)–I think it was then that I really learned to be grateful for what and who I have. I am very lucky to still have my Mom who will turn 94 in November–still active and playing Bridge etc. Many things have happened in my life-both good and bad and I have learned to take one day at a time–always looking forward-but never forgetting the past.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  17. Bernadette Callahan

    I think lots of children take their parents for granted, sometimes not on purpose it just gets safe to know they are there, they are always around. I lost my mom in 2002 and it was a gradual process but it was so quick. I know I took her for granted plenty of times and I wish I would have seen it then.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  18. Michelle Gwynn Jones

    Lovely post. I am so sorry you lost your father.

    “(and why does 58 to 60 degrees indoors feel so COLD, when it’s actually a comfortable temperature outside in spring or fall?)” – that is so true.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  19. Elizabeth O.

    It’s not healthy to settle, but that doesn’t mean it’s also healthy to ignore what you have. Everyday is a blessing that we must never take advantage of. We should learn to appreciate what we have. It’s a lesson we all seem to forget so quickly.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  20. Carrie

    Like you after my parents passed away I really had to take a look out my life and see what I was taken for granted. My mother passed away in 2005 shortly before my 21st birthday and my dad passed away in 2010. Both of them were too young my mom was 51 and my dad was 59. After losing both of them at such a young age I realized life is short and precious and taking things for granted was something I couldn’t afford to do anymore. So now each day I try to live it to the fullest and remember I dont know whether I or the ones I love will be here tomorrow. So no regrets, live life to the fullest and go to bed happy and content are how I try to live my life now.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  21. Ana De- Jesus

    So sorry to hear about your dad and your mother, my grandmother died nearly three years ago from bowel cancer and it was so hard for me to deal with. My aunty had stomach cancer but thankfully she survived. Hope you will be ok hun xx

    09 . Jun . 2016
  22. Joanna

    You never know what life will bring you and how what you think are going to be forever plans, will simply fade away. But you know, there is a saying, when life closes a door, it also opens a window. So look for that window and make it a door.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  23. Nicole Escat

    Life is full of blessings, sometimes we don’t appreciate it because we expect something else.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  24. chris

    Thank you for sharing a difficult time with us all. More people that do this help the whole process for those yet to go though the pain.
    Always count your blessings.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  25. Nikki Jenner

    Sometimes we take things for granted, but we aren’t aware that these things are actually blessings.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  26. Inspiring Kitchen

    I’m sorry about your dad and mom. Life is so unpredictable and it can change so quickly. There are so many things that I took for granted. Thank you for this reminder that I should cherish all the people that I love while they are still with me.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  27. Elizabeth O

    Like you and so many others, I’ve had my share of challenges over the years; especially the last 5. I stay faithful and grateful for God’s grace and blessings in my life and that buoys my spirit. I don’t take anything for granted… ever. Sending you blessings, hugs and love. I love your inspiring post.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  28. AnnMarie Brown

    Life has taught me not to take anything for granted and to truly live in the moment and be blessed for what I have. I have only learned this through many life experiences. What a great reminder.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  29. Stephanie Ortez

    I’m so sorry about your parents. We live in an era where electronics have taken over friendships, the small moments in life, like gazing at nature or enjoying a sunset. We spend more time “connected” with technology that we have forgotten what really matters, family, lovers, husbands, etc…Thank you for reminding us what really matters in life.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  30. Enricoh Alfonzo

    Such a beautifully deep post. My deepest and most heartfelt condolences on your loss. You are so strong and amazing in all that you do.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  31. Jenjen

    Amazing post! We should be really grateful with what we have and embrace it as a blessing

    09 . Jun . 2016
  32. Lexie Lane

    I have many things taken for granted too, I was inspired of your post and will make things right. I am sorry about your parents.

    09 . Jun . 2016
  33. Valerie Robinson

    Beautiful and thoughtful post! Well stated!

    09 . Jun . 2016
  34. victoria

    I’m so sorry to hear about your parent, you are so brave and strong. you make me inspired.

    10 . Jun . 2016
  35. CourtneyLynne

    I’m all about finding the positives in life and being thankful for everything. I wish more people would be thankful for what they have now.

    11 . Jun . 2016
  36. ana fernandez

    this is a inspirational post for me! Yep.. some time i give the important things for granted! This reminds me to be thankful for those

    12 . Jun . 2016
  37. Kathy

    I’m very sorry to hear about your parents. I never take anything for granted. It’s always great to see the positives in life and live each day to the fullest.

    12 . Jun . 2016
  38. Claudia Krusch

    Thank you for sharing a difficult time with us! I loved reading your post and will pray for you!

    12 . Jun . 2016
  39. Mandy Allen

    What a very powerful post. I do hope you are proud with your achievements and glad for all you have had because sometimes we just have to accept that things change (not in our opinion for the better either!). But sometimes doors have to be closed for others to open, and sometimes we sadly don’t see the open doors in front of us because we are so busy looking at the ones that closed. You sound like a very strong person who is positive and able to work through the changing life path and keep strong, even though it isn’t necessarily a pathway you are comfortable with. I wish you the best of luck and happiness. That quote really hit home to me.

    Enjoy the journey!

    15 . Jun . 2016

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