First, I want to say I'm sorry for being away from my blog for so long. I've just had so much going on between my career, my family and everything else, I have hardly been able to sit down in front of my computer, much less visit your blogs or write my own. And I've really missed seeing what is going on in your lives. It's been like I have been carrying around this empty space inside for a month at least!
Well, so I wanted to write about gratitude today. I like to relate whatever I write on in some way to the point of this blog - Aging Lite. Lots of components to being able to do that, age lite, and one of them is having a sense of gratitude in one's life: the ability to see the silver lining in difficult situations, the sense of "wow" about all that you do have no matter how bad things are.
Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology and the man who brought to light the influence that optimism and pessimism play in our lives, has a great website that offers a number of self-tests. One of them is on gratitude - your gratitude quotient! It's a great test and well worth taking to see where you are in this area.
I have numerous super reasons to talk about this topic today. First, my husband, Les and I celebrated our 7th anniversary this January. That may not seem like any great shakes, but two months after we were married, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Down the road we found out it was stage 4. He lost his left lung and three years later his left adrenal gland and two years after that, his left kidney. We joke with him that if he gets much lighter on the left side, he's going to start folding over that way!! Lots of chemo, biologics, radiation and even experimental drugs that almost killed him were thrown into the mix, but he just kept on truckin'. We have been fortunate that he has had all the things that doctors point to as giving him the best chance for survival and they were definitely all contributors. But he continues to look to the future, is grateful for every day he has and that has been huge. We call him the energizer bunny. Today he is cancer-free and we are praying he stays that way. I'm grateful that God put him in my life and that we have been able to do this journey together. Not easy, but we've grown from it without a doubt.
On March 6, a company team that my best friend and I are co-captaining will be walking 100+ strong in the Climb to Conquer Cancer. And Les will be there to help get us started in the morning. We've already raised about $7,000 and still have two weeks to go. How fun is that? I am sooo grateful he will be here to celebrate it and for the many people on our team who committed to raising money and walking for this cause. His story has been up on the Climb homepage for several weeks and that's been kind of fun, too.
Besides being grateful every day for God watching over me, a great job, health insurance, my wonderful extended family and friends, my sweet dogs and horses and so much more, I have one very new thing to be grateful for. Yesterday, we found out we're going to be grandparents again!!! Gina and Andrew are going to have their second child late this year - sister or brother to Layla who was born in June of '08. Layla is a little corker and just loves our "neighs." Not one bit afraid of them, already loves to ride and cries when she has to say goodbye to them. She's an angel and now we're looking forward to another!
I have to say that personally, I don't think a day goes by that I don't thank God for even simple things like making a green light or walking my dogs on a beautiful day or laying my head on my pillow at night knowing that there are many who don't have a pillow to lay their heads on that night.
Recognizing your own gratitude is one of the first steps to another checkbox on the road to health and that is deciding to do something about it. When you feel so much grace in your life, it's natural to want to give back, have something to live for besides your own needs. It another area/component I cover in my book. But that's a discussion for another day...
I'm grateful for you and the rich life tapestry you weave into my life. Thank you!