Have you ever been told as a child, "If you don't take care of the things you have, you won't get anything else"? Well, as an adult, the same applies. No matter what it is you have you have to be thankful for what it is that you have. You have to take care of what you have. So often as a society we feel if we get more stuff our lives would be better. "If I get that new phone, car, job, or more money my life would be so much easier." Well, if you don't appreciate that raggedy cell phone, that car that has no working windows or A/C, the job that has you working odd hours or the lil bit of money you make from that job you will never be happy with anything else. At a time of the year when everyone is focused on obtaining things and maintaining resolutions, the gratefulness of the things of the previous year flys right out of the window.
Now, as with most of my blogs, I write from the heart. I write from experience. I'm writing about being appreciative about what we have today because I'm guilty of looking completely over what I have that's right in front of me, seeking things that I do not have. I miss how blessed I am, because "woe is me, I don't have fill in the blank." What ends up happening is you start to chase your own tail. You get and yet want more. My husband asked me one day, "how much money would be enough for us to be happy?" I thought about it for a moment and realized no specific dollar figure would equate total happiness. When have you ever heard a millionaire or billionaire say "I think I have enough money not to seek to gain anymore"? I tell you when, NEVER! It's never enough. Even the extremely wealthy aren't satisfied with what they have. Why? Because they never learned to be thankful for what they had. They never learned how to appreciate where they were in their lives.
When I was single and working for ESPN, I didn't appreciate where I was in my life. I was working a good job with benefits. I wasn't getting paid very much, but this was my FIRST job out of college. I lived in a one bedroom apartment by myself and managed and maintained my bills with some wiggle room. I had all of the basic necessities of life and I didn't appreciate it one bit. I was constantly complaining about my beat up 96' Nissan maxima, the lack of space in my apartment and my tiny paycheck. So, after a year of dating, my then fiance and I got married and we moved to a two bedroom apartment. I acquired most of the things I desired, so I should be happy right? Wrong! Married life was great, but then one of our cars got repossessed so we went from two cars to one car and a bike. We had to get another car, so now we're working and getting decent checks and paying a car note. After a year of that we decided to move back home. We came back to New Orleans with no jobs and $350 to our names! I got a job working at McDonald's and my husband was working at a valet service. From ESPN to McDonald's! After being verbally abused by costumers who probably wouldn't know what verbally abused meant for six months, I got a job at the United States Post Office as a mail carrier. After doing that for six months I got a job at the local news station where I'm currently working. Is this the dream job that I envisioned for myself? It's safe to say that's it's not, but I'm thankful for it. I appreciate what it allows me to do for myself and my family. And you know what? I enjoy it.
So to all of my people who believe in New Year's Resolutions, take these things into account; gratitude, gratefulness, appreciation and happiness. Notice, I didn't say complacency. People tend to get being happy where you are in life with complacency. Until you learn these things, you'll always be running, chasing things to make you happy. A vicious cycle of wants and "if I only had." When I was in high school I couldn't wait to go to college. When I got to college I couldn't wait to graduate. Once I graduated and got a job, I couldn't wait to to get into a relationship. Once I got the relationship and got married, I couldn't wait to have kids. Once I got pregnant I couldn't wait to have the baby. Once I had the baby I couldn't wait for that baby to get out of whatever phase it was in at the time. But oh! Now that I know better! I'm happy for the stage I'm at in my life. I no longer wish for a different day, because the day that was granted to me wasn't promised. If you are forever chasing your tail, you'll never see what it is you have. Being happy for where you are in life gives you the opportunity to look back at where you've come, enjoy where you are and plan and have goals for where you want to go.
So, next time single person you feel down about not being in a relationship or married, remember you get to make decisions based only on yourself. If you are married and long for kids, don't get down on yourself. Enjoy each others company, travel, explore life together, enjoy going to the bathroom without an audience. To the parents, enjoy your children. They don't stay kids for long. No matter where you are in life, a change is going to come to make you reminisce on what once was. Parents you're going to miss the days you could go out together and stay out all night and sleep in. Married couples are going to miss having your own space. Until we learn to be grateful for what we got, we'll never be happy. So until next time, be kind and kindness will find you!