The bright lights, sounds, and chaos of the grocery store and shopping mall unnerve me as I run my errands. I return home and turn on my computer, only to be bombarded with e-mails and ads and blog posts all telling me to buy things.
My kids are busy making their holiday wish lists. My birthday is coming soon, and my family is asking me what I would like.
I reply, “Nothing.” They don’t believe me.
Oh, sure, there are things I want, but nothing I really need.
I look around my home and see all that I have. It’s all good.
I am grateful to have a roof over my head, a car to drive and food to eat. I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful for my husband and children, friends and family. I am grateful for all the things I “get to do” that so many others cannot – things like getting to go to the dentist or getting to do laundry. I’m grateful for electricity and running water and the internet. I’m grateful for blog readers.
I’m grateful for messy closets, cluttered counter tops, and jeans that are too tight because it means my life is full. I have so much. I am grateful that I have enough.
I wasn’t always grateful. There have been times when I have bought things, only to want more things as soon as I got home from the store. There have been times that I have taken more than I have given. There are times I acted entitled and spoiled. There are times I didn’t say, ‘Thank you” when it was due. And each time that happened, I felt empty inside.
That feeling stopped when I started to appreciate what I had. You see, gratitude fills your heart. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. It fills the void with love instead of desire. It fills the void with caring instead of things.
When jealousy appears or when you feel like you will never get ahead, I want you to stop what you are doing. Grab a notebook and a pen and write down 5 things you are grateful for. Don’t argue that you can’t think of 5 things. Be thankful for the notebook if you have to be thankful for something. Just write down 5 things. It is a start to filling your heart.
This simple act of gratitude can help you form a positive attitude with the world around you. When you have a positive attitude, you open your heart to more ideas and solutions. You spread positive energy to others. You appreciate what you have and let go of chasing after material things.
Isn’t it time you had enough?
JoAnn C. says
Most mornings I make a list of the things I’m grateful for. It sets the tone for my day. This year has been a financial struggle for mom and me, but we’re still in our house with heat, lights, water and food. This post has been one of my favorites and I’m bookmarking it for times I need a reminder to say thanks. Happy Thanksgiving , Christina to you and your family.
Christina @ Northern Cheapskate says
Thank you so much for your kind words and for spreading an attitude of gratitude! Times may be tough, but there is always something… a small sliver of joy… to be found. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, too!