Today is Thanksgiving; the day where it is acceptable to eat enough food until you feel like your stomach will burst, watching football games back to back, and spending time with loved ones. And while I do believe in especially giving thanks on this day, I also believe that being grateful should be a daily practice.
And while I am thankful for my health, my family, my education, and many of the little things in life, I wanted to adjust my mindset a little bit and try to be grateful for the challenges that I am currently facing. While it may appear to be an odd concept, I'm finding that "rejoicing in my sufferings" (as what I was taught in Church) is not only helping me to become a stronger person, but helping me to be more patient and ultimately changing my perspective.
I am thankful for....
....The six block walk I take to and from my classes five days a week. It can be cold, it can be tiring, and I frequently ask myself "why in the hell did I agree to live where I live?" But it gives me the workout that I normally don't have time for because of classes and studying.
....My somewhat run-down apartment. I don't like the fact that my clothes smell like a mixture of stale smoke and mold. I don't like there isn't a whole lot of space to put stuff. Yet, I have learned that "it is better to make something out of nothing, then to have everything and do nothing with it."
....The difficulties that I've had with roommates and friends. The latter has really shown me the importance of communication and compromise. Not only that, but you have to be open to all possibilities and situations instead of zeroing in on just one particular ideal. Things change and people change, and sometimes you just have to roll with it.
....The tough economic and emotional experiences that I have had with my family. The last five years have been a testament to the fact that I can't rely on money for happiness and security. Material wealth is a temporary thing, and it can be taken away from you as quickly as it is given. I've also learned what not to do in various areas of life.
....The fact that it takes awhile to take a certain point or a goal. I've really been relishing in the fact that relationships, academics and life's work in general often takes a very long time. It's not always easy and I personally get frustrated a lot of the time. However, in the midst of getting from point A to point B, I've been paying a lot of attention to the small, wonderful moments that have occurred. I've realized that maybe it isn't about just getting there, but enjoying the process of getting there.
Remember to be thankful for every moment, in everything, and in every day.