What you now have
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ― Epicurus
It’s so easy to get caught up in looking ahead to the next goal or aspiration. There’s nothing wrong with anticipation; it makes life more fun. But it’s also important to stop and realize how many things we have that we didn’t have ten, twenty or thirty years ago. Or in some cases, even one year or one week ago.
I invite you to join me today in feeling happy and thankful about the new(er) things in your life. What are some relatively recent blessings that hold promise for 2014? What do you have now that you once only hoped for?
One year ago today
This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.
- Posted in: Uncategorized
- Tagged: ambitions, anticipation, appreciation, aspiration, being present, dreams, fulfillment, gratitude, happiness, hopes, mindfulness
Good morning, Julia! For a few days, now, I’ve been considering these questions you’ve asked. Usually I have some joy or happiness fairly close and hand and ready to answer. I don’t know why these questions are posting a problem for me. I could say it’s because of Covid-19, but that just dismisses the topic and my question regarding what makes these two questions so difficult. Every night, I post something for which I’m thankful or grateful in my Gratitude journal. Things like my weekly walk with Sandy or learning to swim better, seeing sunrises or the mild winter we’ve been having, with fluffy (as opposed to heavy and wet) snow make the list pretty often. Still having both parents, too. I think it’s the “hold promise for” that I’m struggling with, and also the knowledge that all but the sunrises could go away. Hmm.
Susan, recently one of my PostCrossing friends sent me a card with this quote from Henry James: “The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have.” Perhaps a slight tweak to the familiar gratitude journal, wherein we list things we were grateful for during the day, would be a fun variation. To start, first thing each morning, with being thankful for things already manifest before we even arise. Such as, in the spirit of James’ quote, the fact that we woke up at all. That we are able to get out of bed. That we did not get sick during the night (for example, if you’ve ever had nausea that sent you running during the night, you know how miserable that can be). If you slept well. If your heating (or in summer, air conditioning) was working through the night. If your smoke alarm did not start beeping (I’ve had this happen a few times, and it’s maddening late at night when one is already tired). That the sunshine is streaming through the window, or the rain is feeding the earth. On and on I could go, but you get the idea. I’ve found that gratitude is a great way to start the day. And EVERY day holds promise! Also, as I wrote in one of my very first posts ever, “Give thanks for unknown blessings already on the way.”
I love it! Or this morning, for example, I can be thankful that the sun will rise again soon, and I have a dependable car that will very likely bring me safely through this eleven-below weather to The Marsh (health club) where I can go swimming in a relatively warm pool with big windows looking out at the marsh. And those are just the “known” blessings!
Yes! You get the idea. Perhaps each morning we can thank God for one “unknown blessing” and then in the evening, try to identify what that was. 😀
Yes! Today suddenly looks a lot more interesting and exciting!
I confess I need to be following this advice more often myself.