“Ugh!” I groan as if the weight of the world was resting on my shoulders. I mean, it sort of was. After waiting in line at my town’s busiest stop light, it was unbelievable to me that I hadn’t been able to move through it during the first cycle.
This is a big deal you know. I mean, I had places to go – I needed to pick up milk at Walmart, run to the gym, and get a shower all before preschool pickup at noon. I didn’t have time to be waiting at a stupid traffic light.
Yeah, yeah…there are refugees fleeing Syria and children dying in droves on that migration. There are homeless pockets so bad across the United States that laws dictating if and when and where they can sleep in public places will be allowed are contested every day. There are children displaced by abusive and neglectful parents left to drift along in the foster care system, praying to find a forever home but often being let down.
There are parents working multiple jobs to make ends meet, families living in homes that barely meet building codes, children going to school hungry and cold.
BUT I DIDN’T MAKE IT THROUGH THAT FREAKING STOP LIGHT…
I get annoyed when I can’t find the match for my kids’ shoes, never thinking how many kids don’t have more than one pair.
I get mad when the shirt I want to wear is in the laundry. My kids whine when they want to go out to eat and I say no.
Because we have too much…Too much food, too many clothes, too many choices, too much of too much.
And when you don’t want for anything, you can’t appreciate anything. Not TRULY appreciate anything…the way you do when you don’t have more waiting around the bend.
When I get down toward the bottom of my lotion, I toss it in the trash once the hassle of getting it out of the bottle outweighs the benefit of the small amount of lotion. Because it’s no big deal…I already have a back-up in the linen closet. Or I have the extra $4 to go and buy a new one today.
But do you know what my mom does? She takes off the lid and adds water…WATER! Because for so long she grew up with nothing…her parents were products of The Great Depression…her childhood was full of lacking in material things. And so she values everything.
Her motto is Waste Not, Want Not…she lives by it. She breathes it. And I can’t say I have ever met someone more thankful for what they have. A sense of appreciation that can’t be taught. It can only be lived.
And so, in this season of Thanksgiving, I am going to work on me. On finding gratitude in a world of too much. On changing my perspective.
On really focusing on what I HAVE, not what I don’t. On realizing that for today, I am promised my adoring husband, my two beautiful girls, a family that loves me, a roof over my head, food to fill my belly and love to fill my soul. Too Much of a Good Thing.
I am not promised tomorrow nor anything in it. So for today, today I will show my gratitude for all the TOO much I have.
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