I want to ask you something.
If you could change one thing in your life, what would you change?
It can be any type of change. Maybe you want to be able to fly. Maybe you want to have a million dollars. Or maybe you just want to be happy. Imagine that there is no limit to what you could change about your life. Well, what would that change be?
Here is where my head is at right now.
If I could change one thing about my life, I would focus on being more grateful of life, and everything that has helped get me to where I am today. I know that it might seem a little cliche, but that is honestly how I feel.
Without the many highs in my life, I may not know what happiness looks like. Without the lows, I may not have the found the strength and belief that I have in myself now. Everything that has happened so far in my life, both good and bad, has helped get me to where I am today. And for that, I am grateful.
I started thinking about this on Thanksgiving as I was sitting at the dinner table with my parents. I kept thinking to myself, “Wow, my mom and dad did everything that they could to give me the best life.” And when I say everything, I mean everything.
There is one instance in particular that I remember from when I was a child. My dad picked me up from hockey practice on a cold winter evening, and all I wanted to do, was go and get a new hockey stick. And I was the type of kid that would not let something go. If this want or desire came into my head, I would generally annoy my parents until I got my way.
Yes, I was somewhat of a spoiled brat. Actually, not somewhat of a spoiled brat, I was a spoiled brat.
As my dad and I were driving home on our way from hockey practice, and I remember throwing the biggest tantrum. Pouting, trying to bargain with my dad, and when my dad passed the turn to go to the sports store, I began crying. It isn’t something that I am proud of, but that is how I was as a kid.
I cried all the way home until we pulled into the driveway. My dad got out of the car, went and grabbed the mail from across the street, and I stayed in the car crying. I wanted that hockey stick so badly, and I hoped that if I stayed, my dad might change his mind.
After about ten minutes of being in the car by myself, my dad finally caved. He came out of the house, started the car, and drove us to the sporting goods store to get a new hockey stick.
Of course at the time, I went from being completely miserable, to being the happiest kid in the world. All because of a hockey stick.
This was just one of the many instances where my parents did whatever it took for me to be happy. And the sad thing is that I probably didn’t even say thank you.
In looking back, it never occurred to me that maybe my dad might have said no because I didn’t need it. It never occurred to me that maybe, he was just waiting to get paid, and that funds were tight. And it never occurred to me that there were more important things on his mind than a damn hockey stick. I was so caught up in my wants, that I didn’t think about anything else.
Now I don’t think we can expect kids to understand the concept of money, paying bills, and working. I mean, I am sure that everyone has a story of where you have thrown a tantrum until you got your way. It is what kids do.
But if I could change anything about that story, it would have been to show my dad the gratitude that he deserved.
I now realize how truly blessed I was as a kid, and how truly blessed I still am. My parents have given me everything to live the best life imaginable while providing for my sisters at the same time.
At twenty-five, I roughly make the same amount of money that my parents did when they were thirty. The thought of paying bills and becoming an adult stresses the living sh*t out of me the way it is, and they did it while giving their three kids the best life imaginable.
We were a middle class family, but you would never have guessed it with how well my parents treated my sisters and me. They always made sure that we had a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, and really anything that our hearts desired. The truth is, I know that I haven’t given them the appreciation that they deserve.
So to my mom and dad, thank you for everything that you have done. Thank you for the guidance, the blessings, and the life that you have given me. Thank you for working as hard as you have to give me an incredible life. I am sorry that I didn’t say thank you as much as you deserve, but know that I am forever grateful for all that you have done for me.
With the holidays here, go out of your way to show gratitude to someone else. It can be your parents, friends, boss, or even your siblings. Just let them know how grateful you are for all of the blessings that you are gifted with in life. Be kind to others, and be grateful for the gifts that you have been blessed with.
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