The bad news has been more prevalent than the good lately. I have to really work on my psyche when this happens so the sadness doesn’t overwhelm me and inform my behavior and thoughts and choices. Last week was particularly rough as someone I’d known for years died. We weren’t close friends, but saw each other regularly and chatted at each visit.
That news was shocking and hit me at an already vulnerable time, and as I imagined what close friends and family of this person must’ve been feeling, I felt myself going down the Rabbit Hole.
Do you know the Rabbit Hole? The one where one piece of bad news leads to you reading more bad news and then all of the news seems bad and you wonder how things are ever going to get any better in the world?
I’m telling you right now: avoid the Rabbit Hole.
I know I must avoid it, so I started to think about all of the good people in my life. Obviously I thought about my family and the friends who have supported me when they had no reason to. But also I thought about the teachers who take care of my children, in the classroom and in their extracurricular activities. About doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and nurses. The people in the periphery of our lives that show up and make our lives easier and better: fitness instructors, grocery store checkers, hair stylists, receptionists, medical assistants.
We see them enough to know their first names and how many kids they have. If we ran into them outside of their usual settings, we’d recognize them and say hi. And if one day they suddenly weren’t there anymore, we’d think about them and wonder what happened. They would be missed.
Today I am grateful for the ever-present people in our modern lives who aren’t exactly friends, but aren’t exactly not. I recognize that there is more good in the world than there is bad and part of the reason is these people choose to be there to serve others.
And if you aren’t one to start up a conversation with folks and you only know the faces of these people in your life, I encourage you to chat. To know more. Engage and appreciate that this person is there for you and this moment in your life is better because of their presence.
If you doubt their importance? I want you to think of this post the next time you are waiting in a nine-person-deep line at the store and you are running late and suddenly they open up a new line and you get to be first. Or the confidence you have when you get a much needed haircut and you catch your reflection and know it was the right choice. Or the encouragement you got from completing that fitness class of which you first felt unsure and self-conscious. Or the kind word the lady at the desk offered your nervous child at the doctor’s office.
Being grateful is a choice and their is no limit to the things in our lives for which we can have gratitude. I’m choosing today to add more to my list. Will you join me?