Thursday, November 24, 2011

In All Things Give Thanks

Thanksgiving. It’s a time that forces everyone to stop and do what they should have been doing all year; give thanks. It is proof that we take so much in our lives for granted. You know that this is true by how many people whine about their lives. Allow one little thing to go wrong and their entire world comes crashing down. Yet, it’s in the sudden catastrophes that we need to stop and give thanks as well, because with the right vision within the negatives are buried positives.

The past few weeks I’ve had major van troubles, which for me is nothing new. Okay, I’m exaggerating. They weren’t major, but they did cause me to miss work some and called for some fancy maneuvering to get everyone where they had to be on time and then back home. If I can’t deliver, I can’t work and without a car, I can’t deliver, which meant no money coming in, at least not much from me.

However, in that negative there were many positives. We discovered that my income was the icing, which meant with me not working as much we could survive. It also permitted me quite a bit of free uninterrupted writing time without having to wait for traffic lights or perch my clip board on the steering wheel to get it done. It increased communication between all of us, because we needed to make sure transportation was achieved and it allowed more time on my back porch and with the girls and kids. That is well worth the chaos of a broken van.

There is so much to be thankful for that it amazes me how many people seem depressed. “It’s easy for you to be positive, Robbie. Look at the life you lead.” I have an amazing life, true, but it’s because I choose to focus on the positives and leave the negatives behind. I also think it’s because I choose a life of appreciation over complaining. In all things I give thanks.

Truth be told, I have an abundance to be thankful for. I am surrounded by three great ladies that are always supporting me and encouraging me to strive for my dreams. They also help me achieve those dreams while making sure our family is always well taken care of.

Speaking of family, the kids are pretty great as well. I’m proud of each and every one, because they are all strong individuals who have learned at an early age what it took me forty years to discover, and that is you have to be true to yourself regardless of the world around you. They are who they are and I’m damn proud of each one – even when I want to strangle them.

Furthermore, I have a sister and parents that have unconditional love for me, which is good because I’ve had the conditional kind from former friends and it sucks. My parents may not understand me or agree with my choices, but they love me and those in my life and for that I am eternally grateful.

And concerning friends, I don’t know what I would do without ours. They are the zaniest bunch of misfits any person could ask to be associated with. They’ve come in and helped the girls and I keep our sanity when sometimes it was questioned. They’ve not only kept our home full of laughter, but they’ve also kept my van running and pitched in on a couple of moves. They are the most loyal, giving people I could have every stumbled upon. They mean the world to me and if I have returned the favor then I am also thankful for that as well.

Furthermore, I am thankful that I am able to do what I love most – write. I’m also thankful that people read it and enjoy it. Outside of my family, writing has been the one escape that has kept me running in this life. Too many times I have heard people talk about their dreams and ideas and never do anything about them. I’m glad that I’ve been able to see mine grow wings and fly. Most of my dream’s fruition has been because of the love and support of all of those mentioned above. I owe them even more than my thanks.

Every year is full of its change; its disappointments and its joys. Yet, I’m thankful for each event that has shaped us into who we are today. That is how I choose to live my life – in all things giving thanks, because everything makes me stronger, makes our family stronger. Life is to be relished and each moment is a chance to thrive.

In White Christmas, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney sing “When I’m troubled and I can’t sleep; I count my blessings instead of sheep and I fall asleep counting my blessings.” It’s the same with me when I find myself falling into a funk. When a major obstacle falls in front of me that simply seems insurmountable, I start listing off all the great things that are going right in my life. With each thing I can list that I’m thankful for that negative just gets smaller and smaller.

Sometimes you can’t change the things that are happening around you, but you can choose to view them with positive eyes. It’s not Life’s actions, but your reactions that will determine your outlook. Don’t count the missteps along your journey, but rather the steps up. Focus on the positive and be thankful and with a heart of gratitude your challenges won’t seem so daunting.

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