Appreciation during the holidays and everyday

photo credit - clevercupcakes

“You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else that you get is a privilege.” — Alcatraz rules and regulations

So today after 8 hours of work, I drove home guarded from the blustery cold , took my wool coat and sneakers off, turned the heat on, started cooking dinner and here you are reading what I’ve written.

Did that sound mundane and monotonous to you? Did you stop reading?

Well maybe you shouldn’t stop just yet because I love that I could do those things.  Today’s Reverb10 prompt is so appropriate during this holiday season and also for every day. Day 14: Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

It wouldn’t be fair to narrow down my appreciation to just one thing, because I am blessed with so much, and I’m not even talking about materialistically. I’m focusing on the non-materialistic and most of the time, free aspects. Sure life may have its ups and downs, but those are the parts that make us stronger and make us realize that what we already have, is precious. Here are a few ( and most important) portions of  my appreciation:

the basic necessities I have access to –food, water, and shelter

my family and the way I was raised

my friends, near and far

my health

my education

me–flaws and strengths both

belief in a higher power

complete strangers and their kindness

the ability to give back to the community

life and all of its challenges and rewards

It’s so easy for us to look at the details our life doesn’t have, but really we should stop and take a moment. How do I express gratitude for what I have? Well for one, every time I think I’m in a bad situation, I hold myself back from whining and complaining, and  I stop and think–conditions could be much worse, but they aren’t. I’m lucky to have what I do have and to be in the place that I am–even if it might be a rough spot at the time. I also make the time to give back and be thankful for all that I have.

How about you?

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