Learning to be Thankful

I am learning to be thankful these days. It’s easy to be lured into grumbling about things that I am not happy about. Or regretting the past. Or missing for things that are no longer here.

Lately, I am trying to change my thoughts from, “If only” or “I wish I hadn’t” to “I am glad” or “I am thankful.”

Sometimes I think about my childhood. How easy it was when I was just a kid. Everything I need was provided, and I have little care about anything else. Both my parents were still around, and all I had to do was just go to school, play, eat and sleep. I can’t tell you how many times I am tempted to wish that I could live in that past again, for the sake of living a simpler life. The longing was painful, because I knew it was impossible.

Now I change the longing into a thankful attitude. I am thankful that I had a happy childhood with good memories. I realize that not everybody is that lucky. I am thankful that I have good things to remember about my late father. I am thankful that I still have time to spend with my elderly mother.

I have no child of my own, and that is another source of unhappiness for me. Now I am thankful that in spite of that, I have nephews and nieces that I could dote on. Although I may never be a parent, I am thankful that I could be around children and have some taste at parenting.

What does being thankful do? Well, for one it doesn’t automatically make me the happiest person on earth. But it does lighten the weight. Life doesn’t seem so bad now. I used to feel like I was cheated out from the good things that I never had. Now I feel like I have gained a lot from the things I already have. As the French say, “Je suis content.”

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