“Grateful is our mindset.”
September is upon us, and the summer is quickly coming to an end, but we still have a few weeks left, and I am very grateful. Many of you know that I have made gratitude and being grateful a top priority in my life. I start almost every day reminding myself within the first 10 minutes of being awake what I am grateful for. It has really helped me see the world through a grateful lens every day.
I have been through some adversity this year. Many of you know that I was diagnosed with a rare melanoma eye cancer a few months ago, and since then, I have been even more grateful than before. My adversity was a great reminder that no days are guaranteed, and our health situation can change very quickly.
As a result of my diagnosis and my surgeries, I have not been able to do some of the things that I enjoy. One of those things is riding my Jetski on the lake. I always have fun out there, and it also brings me peace and allows me to clear my mind. At this point in the year, I have usually gone 10-20 times, but instead, I had only gone once. I missed it and looked forward to going again.
My medical restrictions have temporarily been lifted, so I was hopeful that I would be able to find time last weekend. This past Saturday, I unexpectedly had a half day of free time. I made plans at the last minute to go to the lake. I was very grateful. I also have not been able to spend as much time as I wanted to with extended family the last few years, and I promised myself during these last couple of months that I would do a better job of that.
I called my brother and my two nephews and invited them to go with me. They agreed, and I was so grateful. This was going to be a great day! I picked them up, and we headed toward the lake. We had so much fun, and it was great to spend time with them. Everybody was smiling and laughing and having a great time, and we also stayed safe while we were out there.
Eventually, it was time to go home, and we returned to shore. Everyone shared how much fun they had as we packed up to return to our car. The only thing left was to take a short ride on a golf cart back to the car. We all got on the golf cart and headed down the road. Then a few moments later, everything changed. My 14-year-old nephew Angelo fell off the golf cart while we were driving. We immediately stopped the golf cart, and all jumped off and ran to make sure he was okay.
Upon arrival, we realized we had many scrapes, and he was bleeding badly in about 10 different locations, including his face. He kept on telling us he was okay, but he did mention that his shoulder hurt. We loaded everyone up into the car and headed to the emergency room to be evaluated. A short time later, we found out he had a broken collarbone. I felt terrible! How could a perfect day which I was so grateful for end this way?
Then came the news that he would not be able to play sports or work for 4 to 6 weeks. Both of those things are something that he enjoys, and it was sad for me to hear. I went from being grateful on that day to being angry. I kept on questioning myself and running through scenarios in my mind as to how we could’ve avoided this accident. I had shifted my perspective from a grateful one to an angry one.
Thankfully a few minutes later, my 14-year-old nephew taught me some things about gratitude. When it was his turn to speak about how he felt about everything, he spoke words of gratitude. He reminded me and his father and brother that everything was gonna be okay. He reminded us that it could’ve been worse and that he was grateful that it was not worse. He reminded us that the scrapes and bruises would eventually go away, and the bone would heal. He also reminded us that he was not mad or sad and that we shouldn’t be either.
Angelo, the 14-year-old kid who just broke his collarbone, reminded us on that day of something that we forget sometimes. You can’t be grateful and angry at the same time; it’s actually not possible. This is why it’s important to be grateful and to remind yourself what to be grateful for, even in the midst of adversity. When you switch back to being grateful, you will find that your anger will go away.
Angelo is right; in four weeks or so, he will be healed, and he knows that, so what’s the sense of being angry? I am so grateful that he was able to help me feel better about the events of that day. I kept thinking throughout the next several days that I was the older one and I should be teaching him about gratitude, but instead, on that day, he taught and inspired me to continue to have a grateful heart.
I hope sharing his story has inspired you to live a grateful life and has reminded you that anger and gratitude don’t live in the same neighborhood. Next time you find yourself in the wrong neighborhood, just remind yourself what you’re grateful for, and you will find yourself back at home where you belong!
Thank you for reading every week; I am very grateful for you. I hope you have a great week and reflect on the things you are grateful for in your life. It’s a great way to lower your stress and extend your life! I love you, so I want you here for a long time so just choose gratitude, please!