Choosing Gratitude

Sometimes it seems life is full of disappointments, but only if that’s how you choose to look at it. The setbacks can be unexpected blessings that feel like a punch in the face at first but turn out to be the best case scenario. Right now, we are in the face punch part. We put in an offer on a house in the middle of March, fully expecting to be out of my parent’s house by the time Ulster started at the end of June. But here we are in the middle of the month and we still haven’t closed. We have hit several hiccups and road blocks and at times it has felt like we are not moving forward at all. It would be really easy to let this drag us down, and to be honest at times it has been extremely difficult to remain positive. But what good would a negative attitude do?

Today we found out that the earliest we can close is July 2nd, which means we won’t move in until August 2nd – after Ulster is over. In my mind this was the worst case scenario. But instead of dwelling and wasting time wishing things could be different, I have decided to take some time to count my blessings and remember all the reasons I have to be grateful.

When I was in college I volunteered at a rescue mission and spent my evenings serving food and hanging out with the guys who lived there. I remember a conversation I had one day with Rob, a guy who had been living on the streets and in and out of drug rehab. When I met him, Rob was celebrating 3 months of sobriety and was making strides to turn his life around. He told me one day that no matter how bad things were in his life, there was always someone worse off. It is such a simple statement, but it had a profound effect on me. Here was this guy, who just months before had been living on the streets, telling me that he was blessed. It really put things into perspective. At the end of the day, my blessings far outweigh the burden of waiting on a house.

Sometimes we (as humans) walk around acting like the world owes us something – like we deserve for things to be better than they are. Just because. I don’t buy into that. I think this is a round world and you have to give in order to receive. And sometimes the act of giving turns out to be more of a gift to you anyway. So this summer I will give my time, money, passion, heart and soul to the Ulster Project. The house would only serve as a distraction during this time anyway. I will not lose hope because I know that the waiting won’t last forever. And I will always always count my blessings before I count my losses.

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