Monday, June 9, 2014
More Gratitude, Less Gripe
It's an amazingly beautiful day where we live, and as I was driving this morning I wondered if I'd expressed as much appreciation for the fantastic Spring we've enjoyed, as I might express irritation for when the weather's bad.
I try to be careful about complaining about the weather (I've always wondered how tired Heavenly Father must be of hearing our fussing about too hot, too cold, too much wind, and on and on), but surely there are other little things that it's easy to fuss about.
When the clothes aren't quite dry in the dryer.
When one of my teenagers steals my nail polish remover for the gazillionth time.
When that same teenager (or one of her sisters) uses the car but doesn't tell anyone when she gets home that the gas light is on.
Life is good if these are the kinds of things we have to complain about.
I learned a great lesson as we disembarked from a really big boat this past January. That big boat had taken us to some amazing places and we'd spent 7 days being totally spoiled. We'd been in parts of the world where flushing toilets were reserved for tourists and grass was an acceptable roofing product. It made me realize that even on a really bad day, we as Americans have a lot going for us. Just the fact that we can walk into a WalMart or a McDonalds and use the bathroom puts us better off than 80% of the rest of the world.
As we got off that chunk of luxury floating in the water, we were asked to walk down about 50 feet, only to round a rope line and come back that same 50 feet, this time on the other side.
As I got back to the place where people were still coming off the boat, I overheard a guy see the down and back he had to do and with a heavy sigh of total put-outted-ness say, "REALLY??"
Here was the perfect example of what I didn't want to do anymore: Express irritation about the little things.
I was still floating (though not quite as literally as I had been 20 minutes before) from all we'd experienced on our trip and I wondered how this guy could even think to be frustrated by such a minor thing. I don't know anymore about him than what I saw and understand there could have been extenuating circumstances to his response, but it was his reaction that articulated exactly what I wanted to differently when I got home.
Have I succeeded these past months? I'm not completely sure. I still want my nail polish remover to be where I left it the last time I used it and for there to be enough gas to go where I want to go when I get in the car.
But I know my awareness is certainly more with regard to these kinds of little things. And even if it's the second thought, I still might get there faster than I used to.
This morning's drive in the beautiful sunshine brought more articulation to my experience and affirmation from January.
More Gratitude, Less Gripe.
That's it. Pretty simple, really.
Consciously remembering to express gratitude and appreciation for more little, every day things and lay off the griping about the other kinds of little things.
Based on past experiences, I know that having more gratitude in our hearts brings peace and contentment.
What are some of the little things you're seeing today that you might express gratitude for?