The other night I caught myself basking in self-pity.
I was tired, the wind was getting cold, and yet again, I wouldn’t make it home before dark.
I don’t like it, but I find myself doing this sometimes — feeling ungrateful — when I know I am certainly blessed. I looked around at the setting sun and just knew I had to capture the moment so I could remind myself of the fiery beauty.
In work, I know I am fortunate to be employed, to be entrusted to care for some of God’s creatures, and to work with my husband everyday.
Yet somedays, I don’t appreciate it. I lament the weather or the hours, and I wish I had more time for friends, hobbies, or simple leisure.
I fail to delegate effectively and I end up more behind and frustrated than I should be. Then, I miss the simple wonder of sunsets, bright stars, autumn blaze trees, and contented cows that should bring joy to my work.
Many of you know we purchased a new home recently, and I should be all smiles for this blessing. While we have big plans, I catch myself feeling overwhelmed at the improvements needed and poorly equipped to care for another home.
What is the matter with me?
Am I the only one that lets things get so topsy-turvy I can’t find the strength to be grateful?
I was reading recently about the dangers of “wishing your life away.” In essence, spending so much time wishing you had xyz that you miss the present blessings surrounding you.
It’s easy to think things will be better when you take that vacation or get promoted or finally get married or have kids or get to retire.
But this is dangerous turf because it’s really not true. If you wait to be happy until things are perfect you may never get to be happy.
JR and I will often remind each other to enjoy the journey. We know it’s true that everyone faces challenges with work, home, family, balance, and beyond. So when one of us gets blue the other will try to step in with some encouragement.
Each job or lifestyle has things that come with the territory, so to speak. Trade offs abound, and you need to find a balance and rhythm that works for you.
Don’t we all have parts of our work or life that make us stressed? Or maybe there are things we wish we could change because they inconvenience us.
Instead of focusing on these things, we can choose instead to focus on positives and even the beauty in imperfection.
Are we heeding God’s call for our life? Or are we neglecting our primary roles and driving ourself crazy trying to make things perfect or pursue everything?
For me, I know I need to relax, give thanks, and quit trying to achieve the impossible. I don’t even need to beat myself up over feeling ungrateful sometimes. I can focus on the new day ahead and on doing my best to choose a grateful heart in the moment.
I thought it was fitting my 10 mile race photos recently arrived. They aren’t perfect either, but they reminded me I am lucky to have a healthy body that can run. I can afford the money and find the time to get away and run a beautiful race.
If you miss the pleasure in small things I don’t think you will truly appreciate it in the big things either.