There’s an old Sheryl Crow lyric that always plays in my head during Thanksgiving, “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you've got.” We are a culture of strivers. We are always striving for the newer gadget, the bigger house, the shinier car, the skinnier thighs and the more fabulous shoes. It’s always, “When we get ____, then we’ll be happy.” But what about right now? Can we all just take a breath, look around and count our blessings, even if they don’t especially look like blessings?
When I coach my clients in South Africa, their everyday inconveniences make me take stock of what I’ve got. They softly complain about having to take the containers down the road to fill them for water to cook and bathe with, and I realize how lucky I am to have water at the turn of a faucet. They talk about doing the laundry by hand, and I wince at the fact that I just complained about having to fold my clothes fresh from my dryer. Or in our world when someone’s baby, who once made mud pies in pigtails is now going into rehab for a haunting addiction that has swallowed their life, it makes my complaints about my kids being a little self-centered die on my lips. It puts it all in perspective, doesn’t it?
It’s not about having what we think we want, it's about noticing what we’ve got.
So let’s do that, shall we? Take a minute and list 5 things that you have that my clients in their tiny dirt floor huts would be thrilled to have. A car that starts every morning, a refrigerator full of food, a stove to cook upon, a dishwasher that isn’t you. The list goes on and on. Just look around at your life. Really look. And notice all the beauty that resides there. Here’s my list:
1. My comfy couch that swallows me whole, making me feel like I’ve taken an Alice in Wonderland trip to the land of giant furniture.
2. My sarcastic, kind, generous, hunky husband who still opens doors for me, does the cooking AND the grocery shopping.
3. My curmudgeonly cockapoo, who keeps me company in bed after an especially trying episode of “The Haunting of Hill House”.
4. All the gadgets and machines that wash my clothes, dry my hair quickly, carry me to and fro and allow me to see my wrinkles in 10X magnification!
5. My tiny little wondrous computer/phone that connects me with a push of a button to my girls, who are all far away. I can magically see their face in real time and hear their stories just like they were sitting beside me. Huzzah!
6. A gorgeous sunrise like the one pictured above that greets me every morning. See, I couldn't stop at 5!
What’s on your list?
The only way to navigate the stress of the holidays is to put it in perspective. We have so much in this country, not the least of which is each other. If you’re dreading the holidays, try this “wanting what you’ve got” list, AND come to our Healthy Holidays workshop on December 9th, 3:30-5:00 p.m. to get a little support in making this the most peaceful holiday you’ve ever had. Jessica Griffith and I will share tools to stay balanced, with exercises both physical and mental, to keep your days merry and bright this year. Call 850-729-0347 to sign up or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Most of all, I’m thankful for all of you, my pride of fierce, funny lionesses. Together we ROAR!