Being Grateful

In my last post, I’ve explained my struggles with always chasing that next ‘high’; that next hobby or item that’s going to make me happy.

This has been an issue of mine for years – if not ever. You’re pushed these ideals in advertisements, in movies, and on TV. No matter what you watch, you see beautiful and happy people using these products and making you think that this is what you need. 

We tend to glamorize our lives with these items. When we think of starting up woodworking, we get visions of building beautiful things and impressing people by our handiwork. When we get skis, we imagine ourselves in some gorgeous chalets sitting by the fireplace after a long day of skiing. 

What we don’t think about is the time, money, and effort it takes to achieve those things, and in reality, it never quite lives up to the hype leaving us unsatisfied. So what are we to do? 

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of Leo Babauta’s blog Zen Habits. I’ve also been reading more about meditation and doing some beginner sessions with Headspace on my phone. 

I really like the idea of focusing on the now and appreciating what we have. We live so much of our lives living in some dream or haze that we miss out on what’s going on at the present moment. We dream about becoming rich and what we would do with all that money, we dream about our next big vacation, we dream about what we’ll be doing this coming weekend or what we’ll be doing tomorrow. We spend countless hours re-living the past. Dwelling on missed opportunities or thinking of how a certain situation could have been handled differently. 

We waste so much of our time living in the past or the future that we don’t take time to fully appreciate the now. 

I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m extremely fortunate to be where I am right now.:

  • I have a beautiful and supportive wife and daughter and two happy dogs
  • We live in a modern townhouse that has more space than we’d ever really need. 
  • I have wonderful friends and family on whom I can trust and with whom I can be myself
  • I can work from home, do a job I love, and get paid well
  • We have the choice of all sorts of quality food and have enough money not to have to worry about whether we’ll be able to afford the bill when we get to the cash. 
  • We also have enough money that we can afford some luxuries like owning a cottage and taking trips if ever we feel like we need to get away. 
  • We’re all very healthy and aren’t hindered by any disabilities or serious illnesses

This is only a short list of the many things I have to be grateful about, but when you don’t intentionally stop to think about it, it’s incredibly easy to take these things for granted and be dissatisfied with them.

If I spend my time dreaming about living in a mansion, having a big cottage with a speed boat, and driving sports cars, it’s incredibly easy to be unsatisfied with my townhouse, little cottage, and Venza.  The reality is that I likely would not be any happier, even if I did have those things. And even if I did, I’d probably be dreaming  of something bigger and better, never really being satisfied and happy with what I’ve got. 

Let me close this post off with a really poignant and relevant video I came across yesterday. 

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