Every once in a while I breathe in deeply and let out a breath and think, “Wow, that felt good. I am so fortunate.” And then I wonder...why?
I can recall family gatherings on Thanksgiving Day when, just as we were all sitting down to dinner, someone would suggest we all say what we are most thankful for. I dreaded that moment. Unless I was first to speak, I always felt pressure to come up with something that hadn’t yet been mentioned. I never planned ahead by making up a list of what I was thankful for. Who Would Do That? How often do any of us LIST our blessings?
So, again, why do I feel so fortunate? First of all, life itself is a miracle, so I am fortunate #1: TO BE ALIVE. It is a big universe.
2. I am healthy, not overweight or diabetic or taking medication just to stay alive. I am 61.
3. I feel loved: by a wonderful woman, by five great kids, by numerous grandchildren.
4. My mother and father are both still alive. They too, in very different ways, are among my blessings.
5. My family is supportive, including siblings and in-laws. A true blessing.
6. I am out of debt. That is the most incredibly satisfying and comfortably secure feeling imaginable.
7. I no longer hunger after any material things. At 61, those things no longer matter. What a relief!
8. I am able to write whenever I want, without feeling like I ought to be doing something more productive (well…most of the time).
9. I have found enjoyment and contentment in exercise, yoga, and meditation. A simpler life.
10. I am alive.
I am indeed fortunate. So I have arrived at this place at age 61. Why am I sharing this? Because what I have listed today as my blessings would NOT have been the same list as when I was 15, or 25, or 35, or 45. But I submit to you, and I share with you, these things WILL be among what you WISH you have when you reach my age. Had I discovered earlier in life what would be important to me in later years, I may have had a better perspective on my life, a longer term perspective, and in that way, may have been able to impart different values, goals and perspectives to my children. Giving my children a larger perspective on life would have been a good thing. I always wished that my children could learn from my mistakes; that they should be able to learn it all in an easier way, and not have to make the same mistakes I did.
I’ll bet a lot of us older folks would like to believe that.
I will never know whether it would have made a difference or not. But for today, at least, I am feeling fortunate, and am counting my blessings.