My day started well enough, the sun was out and my daughters and I had planned on going to the pool. It opens at 11am. It was sunny at 9:30am. As it got closer to 11 it got cloudier and cloudier, but the girls still wanted to go. So off to the pool we went. It was freezing. I guess the water was warm, but the air was not. I huddled under a beach towel and tried to read a book while my girls swam about in the pool. Then it began to rain. They were already in the pool, already wet, so they just stayed in. I moved my chair to a building overhang so I could keep my book dry and yet still see my girls. My good mood from earlier in the day was slowly leaving.
After the girls were tired of the pool I dropped them off at home and left for the grocery store. I like to grocery shop, I know some hate it, but I find it to be pretty relaxing wandering around a grocery store. On my way home I saw "the homeless guy". We have a guy in our town who is obviously homeless and he just walks around town all day. I started seeing him over a year ago, and now I am seeing him again. We have an organization in our county that houses the homeless in churches overnight in the winter. The program only runs from October through May, which is probably why I have just begun to see this man again. He always has a fairly heavy coat on, even in the warm weather. And he has a backpack type bag that must hold his stuff. I always feel badly when I see him, but my fears (being a woman) keep me from stopping and offering any kind of help to a man. Plus, what can I offer him besides a little a money? I certainly can't offer him housing or a job. (I wrote another post about the homeless last year and covered most of this stuff in that post, if you're interested: The Homeless).
Anyway, seeing that man again today made me realize how truly thankful I am for the things I have. I have a home. Not a great home, but not a shack or a hut either. It has heat and air conditioning and a roof and furniture and tv's and kitchen appliances and a fridge full of food. I have a husband who I know cares deeply for me and his daughters. He goes to work everyday to provide for us and I am thankful for that. I have two beautiful daughters who amaze me everyday. The older they get the more I am in awe of who they are becoming. I have four furry babies that delight and irritate me at the same time, but I love having them in my home. I have a yard and a deck and a patio where I can go and sit and listen to the birds and watch the bats come out at night. I can look into the sky and see stars and contemplate the universe. I don't have any giant worries that consume me. I can sit and be at peace.
When I think about how a lot of people in the world live, I have no choice but to be thankful. It is so easy to gripe and complain everyday. I can complain about the government and bad drivers and sales clerks. Or I can look at the bigger picture and realize I have it pretty good. I have a car and can drive myself anywhere I want to go. I can wake up and take my girls to the beach or the pool. Or we can go to the library, or the grocery store. We have computers and can access all sorts of information in cyberspace. The world is at our fingertips. I live in a free land and have freedom to choose what I want to do each day and how I want to live my life.
I have realized I need to make an effort everyday to find the good in every situation. My life is not so bad, certainly not when I compare it to others. Of course there are people who it seems their lives are much better than mine, they have more money and better homes and grander lives, but comparing myself to them only hurts me. Thou shalt not covet (and all that). I need to look at what I have and be thankful for it because I really do have a lot. And I need to remember to give thanks for it everyday.
He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.