I’ve many a times bought myself a lottery ticket in hopes of hitting it big; in hopes that I could free myself from the everyday stress of work, of life. I wanted to take the pressure off of me – allow myself financial freedom and luxury, for me and my family.
Time after time I played, hoped, and dreamed, never winning, then I slowly came into a realization – I have everything I could ever ask for and more.
Great amounts of money won’t bring me happiness, it won’t teach me the life lessons that I have been fortunate to learn. My house is not huge and luxurious, but it is my home, an amazing, warm, comfortable home. My car is not a fancy, expensive car, but it is newer and drives great. I don’t wear all the top brands and buy my clothes at expensive boutiques, but I am warm, comfortable, and happy.
Sure the 8-5 40 hour work week is always something I dream about getting away from, but I’m greatful for my job, for there are so many people out there who don’t have one.
I am blessed for my health, my family, my life. And if you think my life is perfect and without it’s complications, ups and downs, you are mistaken. I just choose, everyday, to focus on the positive. I think to myself how I am fortunate to have what I have, and think what life would be like without all I’m blessed with.
When my family and I were living in Poland and our country was still communist, my mother would have to wait in line for butter and bread, being passed out in rations, by the government. My father would tell me that when he was growing up he’d have a bite-sized piece of meat, put it on one slice of bread, then he’d move the meat up the bread as he ate so he could smell the meat since it was too small to fit over the whole slice of bread. I can drive myself to the store and buy boxes of butter, and not have to ration. I can go to the deli, have a pound of meat sliced, of my choice, and eat it without even any bread. This may seem so little for some, but for others it is a luxury. A winning lottery ticket cannot teach you that feeling of being thankful for the little things you have.
Being grateful doesn’t always come naturally – it’s very easy to get caught up in what everyone else has as we compare ourselves to others. You have to really look, everyday, at what you have and put the effort in to appreciate it. After doing this for days, maybe months, and even sometimes years, it will become natural and you won’t have to point it out to yourself, you’ll just feel grateful.
I used to look for perfect seashells on the shore, or maybe some treasure, and not until recently did I realize the beauty in all the broken shells. All the bits of pieces, that when mixed together, are beautiful just how they are. It really takes that feeling deep inside, of being grateful for the little things we are fortunate to have, each and everyday, to truly be happy.