"Be Thankful" - Author Unknown
Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary, because it means you've made a difference.
As opposed to our younger selves, as adults, it's easier to look back on our lives at both our blessings and setbacks with an appreciation and self-awareness for how they have shaped us into the adults we are today. We can clearly see in hindsight how our challenges helped us to grow. However, as our children are growing up, it is very difficult for them to understand this. This poem provides a unique perspective around these experiences, and it teaches us (young or old) the importance of gratitude in our daily lives.
As Bowen states at the end, "It's easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks. Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings."
This poem landed in my hands at the perfect time. As my husband has been traveling much more for work lately, I've had some stressful long days with my kids. I am completely used to the routine during the week and I can manage them fine....It's when he travels over the weekends that throw me for a loop. So, when he had to depart on a 7 a.m. flight the Sunday morning after Halloween and I was left to spend a day with candy-eating-Jedi-fighting-monsters, I was ready to run and hide after a long day.
Of course, it goes without saying that I love my family and my children more than I can possibly explain. But, parenthood does not come with a user-manual, and there are many, many, many more challenges that anyone can possibly anticipate. At times, I feel that I need superhuman powers to pull it all together and parent them well....Namely, patience, patience, and more patience. But, when I see their smiling faces in the below photos during one of our last summer days at our botanical gardens, I can't help but to feel complete gratitude for them and our family. For our lives, for our health, for our blessings, for our opportunities. When the day is rough, I hope to revisit this poem for a reminder to simply be thankful.