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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Be Thankful Challenge ... Day 18 ... Life's Lessons Along The Way ...


Years ago I started to work for a physician's group and I noticed some patients were, let's just say, grumpy.  I knew it was not personal, but it can take a toll on your spirit after awhile.  I started to notice that little by little, no matter how they treated me, the nicer I was to them, there moods would completely turn around and before I knew it, we had an office full of patients that were so nice, friendly and polite.  I started to make it a game.  I decided that I was going to turn around every patient that walked in the door.  No matter how they treated me, I was going to treat them with kindness.  I smiled, I gave them coffee, I brought toys for the kids and I always took an interest in every one of them.  In 10 years, there was only 1 patient that I could not turn around.  What I realized is when people seem like they are being rude or not being nice to you, it's really because they are just unhappy, in pain or have so many worries that they do not realize how they are acting.  When you are kind over and over, most people do begin to respond to that if it's genuine.  Unfortunately, when someone is rude to us, our initial reaction is to turn away from them or respond back rudely ourselves.   

 It's tough out there today.  There is so much chaos in the world and stress is everywhere.  It's bound to affect people. So let's all try playing the turn around game.  Next time anyone is rude to you, try to turn them around by being sweet, kind and thoughtful and see how many people you can turn around.  You will make a difference, even if you don't see it. 

I have loved doing this "Be Thankful" challenge so much.  It has been such a reminder for me to be thankful every day, no matter what life brings.  This has been quite a challenge for me the past few weeks.  We have to elevate our home because of the damage from Hurricane Sandy.  It took a lot of time to get the process going, and we finally received approval to do it.  Leading up to this, I just accepted that it was something we had to do and did not really focus on it at all.  In fact, until the builder came to our home to plan it out, I had not given it much thought at all.  Once the builder started talking about what they were going to do, I realized, Oh my gosh, we really have to do this!  All these thoughts started coming at me, where are we going to live, how are we going to pay for a mortgage and rent.  Almost everywhere I look, rent is 2,000 dollars a month or more.  Every place I called said they would not rent for just 4 months.  We will have to pay for a storage every month for at least 5-6 months, another added expense.  Then the thoughts of what are we going to do without all our stuff. How will I be able to keep my business going, keep my son from being upset without having all of his things with him, and my husband's stress load from going through the roof, not being able to have a garden this summer?  It all just kept coming at me.  every thought, one after the other.  I couldn't sleep and was in a daze for days.  All I really wanted, was to bury my head and make it all go away.

Then I remembered, what being thankful is really about.  It doesn't mean life is going to be perfect and without challenges.  I really started to think about that over and over.  I remembered this patient from years ago.  He had been injured on his job and by the time he got to our office, he had surgery after surgery and was living in constant pain. Every time he walked into the office, he had the biggest smile on his face.  He would always ask how I was and was one of the happiest people I had ever met.  He was truly inspiring and I never forgot him.  I asked him once how he was so happy living in so much pain.  He told me that he was just happy that he could wake up every day and he just focused on how much he loved his children and his family.  What he did was focus on being thankful for what he had and not what he had lost.  I realized that what I was doing was focusing on how hard this was going to be.  I have no doubt we will get through it as we always do, together as a family.

So what am I thankful for on the 18th day of our challenge?  I am so thankful for my husband and son's strength, that carries me through when I have a hard time.  I am thankful for my State for allowing us to do this to keep our home safe.  I am thankful to all the people who will be helping guide us through this process and I am so thankful to have a home that is filled with joy and love. I am thankful for having such incredible friends who have helped us through everything. I am also so thankful to all of you for continuing to read my blog and following us on this journey...

We now have a few weeks left of our challenge ...  Keep writing what you are thankful for every day and keep working on your journey to be a better person.

Follow the steps below every day ...

Write 3 things that you are thankful for every day ...
Focus on only positive things ..
Do something kind every day ...
Follow the 10 second rule ...
Play the Turn Around Game ...

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