As my attitude and mood mirrored the overcast skies to begin the day, I thought to myself how every day, we have a choice. We can choose to focus on the positive and to appreciate what we have, or we can choose to focus on what we perceive as negative and complain about the people, places, and things present and/or absent in our lives. I confess that today I have fought against the latter, which tends to be easier to adopt sometimes.
In the past, when I have felt anything less than positive, I have tended to throw in the towel and give myself over wholly to a “bad day”. This month’s gratitude series, though, made that nearly impossible for me to do. I have grown so accustomed to searching out moments of gratitude throughout the day that it apparently has put a kink in my pessimistic armor. Here are some of the those grateful moments that saved this Sunday from the jaws of a bad day:
- Forcing myself to do what was right, not easy. Today had all the makings of being a bad day, and I found myself drawn to self-sabotaging behaviors, such as isolating myself, engaging in a marathon of negative self-talk, indulging in comfort food, and being unproductive. As I weighed my options, I knew that if I allowed myself to take the easy, yet negative, route, I would regret it. So, I made myself get up and show up for the day. I am thankful that I have an arsenal of coping skills that enabled me to make healthy choices. As I wind down the day, I have no regrets, but lots of gratitude.
- Having a car. As I ran errands this afternoon, I gave thanks for having reliable, comfortable transportation. Most of the time, I am on automatic pilot when I make my way around my all too familiar surroundings, but when I saw a car abandoned on the side of the road, I was grateful that my car was safely on the road and that it takes me wherever I need to go whenever I need it to do so.
- Driving down one of my favorite roads. About a mile from my home is River Road, a stretch of two-lane road that has been a special place to me since I began driving at the age of 16. It is peaceful, serene, and beautiful, and as I took in the Ohio River, the canopy of trees, and open fields, I felt a deep sense of gratitude. I find refuge from the rest of the world and my own thoughts there.
- Spotting a deer. At the risk of sounding a little (okay, a lot) “out there”, I love deer and feel a connection with them. Some have said that deer are my “spirit animal”, so, perhaps, that’s the reason I am drawn to them. Whatever the reason, I am grateful to live in area where deer sightings are commonplace, and I do not take this for granted. I always am happy and thankful when I see a deer, like I did as I made my way home earlier today. To me, they represent serene reassurance and calmness, and I welcomed the lone deer’s appearance today. It seemed to be a good omen.
- Being able to squash some of my fears about breast cancer. As I enjoy the calm before the storm, so to speak, I am grateful that I was able to stave off some of the anxiety and depression that has reappeared since my breast cancer was diagnosed. I am post-op and pre-treatment, and I am trying to find a balance between educating myself and scaring myself with all of the information that is readily available. This weekend, the scales tipped toward the latter, as I researched ports, side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and survival and reoccurrence rates. The fear of the unknown and overthinking are two of my greatest foes, and I was grateful when I battled back successfully by focusing on facts, not feelings or conjectures. I am grateful that my surgeon was able to get me in to see the oncologist who is one of the best in treating breast cancer in our area; that I only will have to travel less than 10 minutes for treatment; that I have good health insurance; that I have a strong support system at the ready to help my family and me, if needed; and that I have a deep seeded belief that I am getting out of, and staying out of, this club. Those are the facts, and I am sticking to them!
I may not have felt like I had much to be grateful for at the outset of the day, but as the day concludes, I have once again discovered that I have much to be grateful for indeed. It’s not how we start, but how we finish, and I am very thankful for a positive end to this day. I am ready for the final day of the month, the first day of the week, and the end of this gratitude series.
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day