As trite as it sounds, looking at someone's troubles can make your own seem trivial or, at least manageable.
A friend of mine is going through a horrible time. And every few days, some new burden is placed on her shoulders. I don't know how she is able to get through each day. And watching what's happening to her is breaking my heart because I feel so inept and lacking in the skills to help her. I don't know the right things to say or do. And just offering my support doesn't seem enough.
Which brings me to the gratitude bit. As much as I might complain, about things in my life, issues at work, or a daily annoyance, I feel enormously grateful for what I do have.
I have a home that I can afford. It's small, it's located in an out of the way place, but it's mine and I can make it comfortable. I am employed. At times, I've hated my job, but today, I'm loving it. I have it, it pays well, and I can be in a much, much worse situation. Seems silly now, watching what my friend is enduring, to complain about perceived slights or frustrations at work.
I have some good people in my life, some of whom I have not appreciated enough lately. This past weekend was lovely -- a nature walk with one good friend, a wonderful trip to a museum with another. Good conversations, good company. All good. Today, I had lunch with another friend and discovered that my Christmas gift was the perfect one for him. It was so nice to know that I had been able to do something that brought joy to someone else.
Lately, I've been impatient and demanding with some people. Today, I realize I should be grateful and more accepting. I have many nice things, in general, I have good health. I am financially comfortable enough to be able to afford more than the very basics. I've had wonderful vacations with family and friends. I have more than enough. I am grateful for it, very, very grateful. Today, I want to hold on to everything I have as tight as possible. I want to hold on to all that's good in my life. Today, I realize how precious everything I have is to me. And that the issues I have or think I have are nothing compared to how horrible things can become. I fear that time, so tonight, I'm going to hold on to all that's positive right now.