Welcome to FLASHBACK FRIDAY,
where old posts are given new life!
Flashback Friday, introduced by Michael G. D’Agostino of A Life Examined and hosted by Jemima Pett, is a monthly blogfest, occurring on the last Friday. Michael’s directive: “Republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.” Please add your link to the list at the end of the post if you’d like to join in.
As it’s the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the United States,
I thought this might be fitting:
HOW GRATITUDE WILL HELP YOU COPE
Originally published as a guest post on Everyday Gyaan, Nov. 16, 2013.
Click HERE to view
Firstly, let me tell you that I’m neither a religious nor a spiritual person. In fact, my sensibilities tend towards the cynical and skeptical. You could even call me a hardcore pragmatist. This is bound to turn a few people off and they may stop reading, right here. No matter; my instructions for this article were to “be myself”, so, let’s get to it!
Life is not always wonderful and sometimes, when we’re mired in the depths of despair we lose sight of how privileged we really are. There’s an old Persian proverb that illustrates this so well:
“I wept because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
That’s right, folks. No matter what, (unless you’re dead), things could always be worse!
Hate your boss or your job?
Be grateful you’re not unemployed!
A few positive things you can do here:
– Picture how much worse off you would be without that paycheque. Consider it a means to an end and think about what you can do to improve the situation.
-Try not to let your work rule your entire existence. Clock out, go home and forget about it, as much as possible. Enjoy your personal life, family and friends. Don’t make the mistake I did and let the job be all-consuming. This only leads to elevated stress levels and burnout.
– Update your resumé
– Look for a better job but on your own time.
Got laid off or fired?
Be grateful for the chance to start over!
If somebody had said that to me after losing my job, I would have been angry. Once the shock wore off, however, a sense of relief crept in. It had been a toxic situation for a long time.
A couple of other old proverbs fit well, here:
“Every cloud has a silver lining.”
“When one door closes, another one opens”
This was a rough period, as my husband also lost his job. Serious financial difficulties ensued, but we survived. “It could be worse” was a mantra I had to keep repeating, because honestly, we were stressed to the max in those days. At times, it was a huge struggle to remain positive, but, in the end, these thoughts kept me going. You may also find them useful:
“At least we have each other.”
“At least we’re not sick.”
“At least we’re not homeless”
“It’s not the end of the world.”
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
“We’re not the only ones experiencing this.”
“We will find a solution and get back on our feet.”
It took several years, but we did eventually recover. The “silver lining” in the clouds was that I started my own business, doing something I love; taking care of dogs. It’ll never make me rich, but, it pays some bills and allows me to have balance in life.
Difficulties can seem insurmountable, but somehow,
“life goes on”.
Just keep reminding yourself :
“It’s only temporary”.
You WILL survive!
In 2010, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. (He and my mother had moved to San Diego, California – over 2600 miles from Toronto- in the 1970s.) This started a chain of events that continued for almost two years. All of the responsibility fell on me, an only child. I flew back and forth a total of eight times during that period. Imagine leaving your home, husband and business for several weeks at a time and trying to cope with everything on your own! When the anxiety became overwhelming, I made a point of taking short breaks and reflecting on the plus side of things. This got me through the worst times and I am most grateful for:
– My husband, who kept things running smoothly at home and patiently listened to my rantings and ravings. He was such a comfort! After more than four decades together, a certain amount of complacency had set in, but we are closer than ever now. Those frequent, prolonged absences made us appreciate each other anew!
– Good friends, who took care of the clients’ dogs when hubby was working.
– Clients who were sympathetic to and accepting of the situation.
– Music! Headphones on – hard rock blasting at FULL VOLUME!! Works every time, especially when I’m ready to explode!
– The fabulous weather and beautiful scenery of Southern California. I was especially grateful for that during the winter months.
– My laptop and online friends; when I needed a distraction.
So you see, no matter how dreadful the situation, there is always something to be grateful for!
Adversity shapes our characters and makes us more resilient to life’s battering ram.
“WHATEVER DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER.”
You know it!
How do you cope with life’s difficulties?
Looking forward to your comments!
Next #FlashbackFriday is on December 30th. See you there!
Enjoy the other entries, shown below.
Add your link if you want to join the blogfest:
Also linking to Vidya Sury’s Gratitude Circle
(this link remains open until Dec. 15 if you’d like to join in)
COMING UP AT THE DEN:
Wednesday, Nov. 30th
Greek Odyssey VI: Meteora
The amazing hanging monasteries
Thursday, Dec. 1st
A tribute to Leon Russell
Monday, December 5th
Join us, will you?