Monday, December 31, 2012

gratitude [grat-i-tood]

the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful
Synonyms include: appreciation, acknowledgment, praise, thankfulness

It could be worse.

I’ve said that a lot this year…to myself, to other people, to the universe. I use it as a personal reminder to be constantly grateful – for the wonderful things that happen to me, as well the awful moments that make me cry.

Some moments are more difficult to pull any gratefulness from; like losing loved ones. I lost a lot of people, this year, who I loved. And whether they passed suddenly or from a longtime illness, the hurt remained painfully the same, and the reality of mortality sunk in each time. If there’s anything that comes from witnessing death, though, it’s realizing the gift of life – my life, the lives of those who surround me each day, and the lives of Tito Ruben, Tito Boy, Tito Greg and Mamang – my uncles and grandmother whose lives I remember with great fondness especially when I look back on the past year.

Like them, we each get ONE LIFE – unless we are of the feline persuasion, we get one crack at it, and know not how much time we have to live it. On this New Year’s Eve, I’m thankful for the 366 days I was given since this time last year to: turn 34 years old, develop new friendships, challenge myself to take chances, be frustrated with learning something new, be a Disneyland Annual Passholder, watch my grandparents defy age, have nonsensical conversations that end up in uncontrollable laughter, sing along to One Direction in the car like a teenager, take a random trip to Portland, teach my parents how to use an iPad, organize a huge family reunion, see my friends get married then have children, spend car rides listening to my sister talk about school and work and grow up to be someone I’m really proud of, revel in another awesome Olympics, rise and fall on the condition of the Lakers, celebrate birthday parties for godkids, nieces and nephews, gain more godkids, nieces and nephews, have dinner with friends that last for hours, own an iPhone and lastly – I’m just really thankful for the 366 days I’ve been given to BE THANKFUL.

“Thank you,” are my two most favorite words. It’s my favorite thing to hear, and even moreso, my favorite thing to say. Gratitude is a waning sentiment these days. People walk around like the universe owes them a favor. They curse at the hardships they encounter and are never satisfied with the blessings that rain on them. Many keep tabs on how often life hands them an unfair hand, and when good fortune lands on their laps, it’s either too late or not enough. This past year I learned that everything I receive is always enough (despite a few momentary lapses in judgment on my part), and sometimes it’s more than I feel I deserve. That is what comes from just being grateful for everything – you’re never left wanting.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with another year, and for filling it with people and experiences that bless my life each second.

And thank you, family, friends and acquaintances for being such blessings.

Happy New Year!

No comments: