Can’t Sleep? Try Counting Your Blessings

I can’t take credit for the title. I happened to be driving past a church the other day and noticed it on their sign board out front. I am a great believer in fate. I believe everything in life happens to you for a reason. It may not be obvious at the time, but eventually it will make sense. Eventually, you’ll be able to connect the dots. You see – things weren’t going exactly as planned and I was starting to question some of the choices I had made lately. That church sign helped me put things into perspective; it made me realize that at the end of the day, although things weren’t perfect, I was still better off than most. That sign was telling me to stop feeling sorry for myself and get on with it. Life is about choices. I can choose to keep feeling sorry for myself, or I can choose to work through it. I decided to suck it up and get on with it.

“For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You must find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour” – Mary Kay Ash

No matter how bad you think you have it – there is always someone else worse off then you. Case in point: My son and his wife had ventured downtown the other day to walk about and enjoy a cup of coffee at an outdoor cafe. They were walking through the local farmer’s market when my son recognized one of the homeless persons standing on the corner – it was an old high school class mate of his. At that moment he realized that he didn’t have it so bad after all. You see, he had been complaining about his job; about having to endure working for an ungrateful public for a measly $10.00 per hour. (His words not mine. I figure if you have a job – any job – regardless of how much you are being paid – it’s better than no job at all) However, when he put himself in his classmate’s shoes – he was thankful for the shoes he has.

“All human unhappiness comes from not facing reality squarely, exactly as it is” – Buddha

No matter how bad you think you have it – there is always someone else worse off than you. Case in point: A colleague of mine passed away suddenly, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. He went to the doctor complaining of headaches only to discover that he had an inoperable tumor on his brain and the cancer had spread down into his lungs. Life sometimes is not fair. Bad things happen to good people. My friend was one of the “good guys”. He was my hero. He was the one professor I most wanted to emulate. I was blessed to have known him because he made me a better teacher and person. His death inspired me to carry on his legacy.

“Every obstacle yields to stern resolve” – Leonardo Da Vinci

What are you thankful for? The next time you start feeling sorry for yourself, play the “Thankful” game. Take out a blank piece of paper and start writing down all of those things that you are thankful for. All of those things that you are glad are part of your life.  I am thankful for: Having known Professor Ron Knowles, my son Brad, my daughter-in-law Sam, my grandchild Chloe, my ex-wife Linda, french-fries, golf, College football on Saturdays, NFL football on Sundays, NASCAR, a glass of red wine and Annie who always makes me smile.

So the next time you’re lying in bed and can’t sleep – think of all those good things that are part of your life. Start counting your blessings. My hope is that you’ll come to realize that you don’t have it that bad after all. – Cheers