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With the decade about to end, there must be something everyone is grateful for. In case you need inspiration, here are ten quotes to express gratitude.
As the year is nearing its end, it is time for me to reflect on the most important things in my life.
What am I grateful for? My two precious kids, my loving family and my dear friends. Apart from that, the hour long early morning walks with my walking buddies on the weekends is one of the numerous things I am grateful for.
We are fortunate enough to live near a green-way walking trail. So we make it a point to breathe the fresh air, exercise while enjoying nature’s beauty all around us. I am also thankful for the multitude of topics we discuss during these walks. The topics can be as simple as a recipe that one of us tried or anything as complex as ‘what is the meaning of life?’
Thanks to my walking buddies, I return home a little wiser. One of the topics, we recently discussed was the ‘gratitude list’ aka ‘the list of things to be thankful for.’
Earlier, my friend quoted that people who take time to list things they are grateful for are happier and healthier. She said that finding gratitude and appreciation is key to resilience. I pondered on it long after the walk. On that note, here are a few quotes that inspire me when I reflect on gratitude.
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognising and appreciating what we do have” – Frederick Keonig
Are you also guilty of being depressed or disappointed because you did not get what you want? I know I am. It can be something as simple as getting stuck in a traffic jam and getting late to something more like not getting the job you wanted.
Regardless of the circumstances, I have realised it helps to remind myself that there are other things in my life that I should be grateful for. For example, instead of being disappointed about the job I didn’t get, I could appreciate the fact that I still have the job. I could be grateful that nothing will stop me from trying to get a better one.
Perhaps, I did not get the job for a reason. It may not have been the right job for me or maybe I’d learn something new from this experience, something I wouldn’t have otherwise learnt.
This simple attitude would prevent any negative emotions from ruining my day. And that’s exactly why you need the gratitude list. The list serves as a reminder of what we have instead of spending precious time wallowing over something that we didn’t get.
“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer
I grew up in a family of teachers. My father was a college professor and my mother was a teacher in high school. I have seen my father’s passion for teaching and my mother’s sincerity and love for the children she taught. So, I have high regards for the teaching profession. This isn’t just because of my parents, but also because of my first hand experience of how a teacher can impact a child’s life.
Growing up, I did not have a favourable experience with some of my teachers. It all changed when I met my Math teacher who made a significant impact on my life. I was at a point where I was giving up on Math, but she made learning fun and rekindled my love for the subject.
And I haven’t looked back since then. Each one of us have someone who rekindled the spark in us. I will be forever grateful to my teacher who ignited the flame in me.
“The secret to having all is knowing you already do” – Unknown
After we moved to North Carolina, we bought a town home instead of a single family home for several reasons. First off, we were not sure if we would like the place to settle down. And secondly, the skyrocketing prices of single family homes in that particular neighbourhood weren’t favourable to us.
I love gardening and was disappointed with the tiny yard. We had a sprawling yard and garden in our house in Minnesota that I missed. I also missed the early morning coffee I’d have in our porch each spring while enjoying the vibrant dahlias and colourful zinnias in our garden.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity and disappointment, I decided to plant a few perennials and some seasonal flowers in my tiny front yard. I added a few seasonal flowering plants in my backyard as well.
Although my Minnesota yard, I still enjoy my early morning coffee while enjoying the colours and vibrancy of the flowers in my tiny yard. More importantly, I have come to realise that I already have what I need in abundance and the yard size did not matter at the end of the day. What mattered was that I still have a home and a loving family.
“Enjoy the little things you have for one day you will look back and realise they were the big things” – Robert Brault
I was a week in to my last job when I noticed someone that I had not seen previously in the adjacent isle. Her name was Nancy and she lit up the entire floor with her positive and cheerful attitude.
Nancy stopped by my desk to introduce herself and to welcome me to the company. She also let me know that I can reach out to her if I needed any help around the office. She was always up-beat and had a bright smile for everyone.
I just assumed that she was probably on a vacation during my first week at my new job. A few days later, I noticed that the office was much quieter, which made me realise that Nancy was not at work again. She was gone again for 2 more weeks this time, which was a bit unusual considering she was just gone the entire last week.
I met one of her friends and asked if Nancy was on a long vacation. “Didn’t you know? Nancy had a hysterectomy last week. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer a couple of months back and has been taking treatments since then. When she is able to, she works from home. But she took rest this time due to the surgery,” her friend told me.
I was at a loss of words. When I met Nancy the next week, she said “Although my life didn’t go as planned, I haven’t stopped being grateful. The fact that I wake up everyday is something I am grateful for. I am grateful for my loving daughter’s smile for the love and support of my husband. There is a whole lot more that I am thankful for. I would certainly advice my younger self to slow down and enjoy the little things in life.”
“No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” – Alfred North Whitehead
At work, I have been on teams where each individual is so different that it is hard to find anything common between us. Yet we delivered successful projects because we overcame our differences and collaborated to meet an end goal.
When I look back at every one of my accomplishments, I realise that I could not have achieved them without the help of my co-workers, and family. I will always be grateful to my failures too without which I would not have been able to learn and become who I am today.
On the same note, you meet different people at work and you learn from each one of them. I used to meet this person in the elevator every morning at work in my previous job. He always greeted everyone in the elevator with a broad smile.
“How do you manage to be so upbeat every single day?” I asked him one day. What he said next, remained with me forever. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though, nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. I consider every single day I live in this world as a miracle,” he said with his trademark smile. His positive attitude was infectious and it rubbed on all of us, he greeted in the elevator. I am sure we were a bit more optimistic than we were before entering the elevator.
“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things that you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” – Germany Kent
Life is so unpredictable. One of my friends mentioned that her husband’s nephew who was a teenager was diagnosed with cancer. You never know what the future has in store for you. All you can do is be present and live each moment as if it’s the last one you have.
When I put this in to perspective and look at what actually matters to me, my list only includes my family, friends, health and the health of my loved ones. I realise everything else is trivial.
“This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” – Maya Angelou
I try to wake up each day believing that it is going to be a great day, although most of the days I do not feel that way due to various reasons. On those days, I try to remind myself of the multitude of things I can be grateful for.
“Having somewhere to go is Home. Having someone to love is Family. Having both is a Blessing.” – Unknown
A couple months ago, I had visited my parents in India. One of the many things I enjoy are the visits to my aunts and uncles who live 30 minutes away from where my parents live.
A week into my trip, I called my aunt and told her that I will be visiting her that evening. I ordered a cab to my aunt’s place as I normally do. The cab promptly arrived at my parents door. I stepped out and the driver opened the door for me to get in which was rather unusual. The weather was hot and humid, and he said he had a basket of water bottles in the back seat and I could take one for free.
Once I settled in, he made sure I was comfortable. I was very impressed with the driver as you rarely meet drivers like him who are so courteous. Not that I blame them either as it is hard to drive non stop for long hours, leave alone be courteous and welcoming to customers.
I asked him if I was his first customer. He said that he has already been driving for the last 9 hours with a short break in between. As I try to look around, I noticed that the cab was cleaner than normal.
A picture of a woman and a young girl of 10 on the dashboard caught my eye. I could see the resemblance and I immediately asked the driver if the girl is his daughter. ‘Yes, that is my family,’ he replied with a twinkle in his eye.
“Do you know, madam? God has been really gracious to me. I have a home to go to after my work. I have my family who loves me who is waiting for me at home after a long day’s work. God has blessed me with both. What more do I need in life?” he said.
I saw contentment in his words and happiness in his cheerful face. It was one of the most uplifting journeys of my life and I am grateful for it. I hope everyone of us is as content and happy as that man was.
Finally, I would like to end with this simple, yet profound quote.
“If the only prayer you said in your life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice” – Meister Eckhart.
Picture credits: Pexels
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