A Sunday Chat With Myself – Sunday, December 10th, 2017

“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

I like Sundays. Sunday can be a nice time to reflect on one’s life and get spiritual, and one of my favorite spiritual pursuits is giving thanks!

There was a time in my life when I was like so many people I know: I’m getting old and feeble and grumbling that my body ached too much; I didn’t have enough money–I couldn’t go on the vacation I wanted to go on; I had too few friends, the government was out to get me and thinking only of their own greedy selves; It’s winter and cold outside: why couldn’t I have been born in a warmer climate? My neighbor makes too much noise at night … and I could go on and on, as often I used to do. My life was just one misery after another.

I watched other people, and they didn’t seem to have the problems I had. For example, I noticed that Gus, just two houses over from me, was making the very same wage that I was making ( know, because he works at the same company I worked at), yet he seemed quite content with his lot. His kids were well adjusted and did well at school. I was making twice the visits to my doctor than Murphy was–and Murphy was even handicapped!  Why, I asked. Why? What was the difference between Gus, Murphy and myself?

I decided to do some investigating and found that the one big difference between us was, they gave thanks for what they had. They were grateful–not because they knew folks who had even less than they had, or even worse handicapped than Murphy was, so they felt it was their duty to be grateful, but they were just … well, Grateful for what they already had! And there lies the big difference. They weren’t grateful because they were happy, but it was gratitude that made them happy.

I decided to try it for myself. I created a special “Gratitude” file on my computer and made a goal of finding 10 things in my daily life that I was grateful for. Not only did I try to find 10 items, but also write a paragraph on each item as to why that certain event or thing made me happy. That was the hard part, because it made me really dwell on why I was grateful for that  certain event or thing. At first, it was hard. Having been conditioned for so long to think of only negative things in my life, I really had to “dig” to find 10 items or events in my life that made me happy, let alone write a paragraph on each item as to why. But, I was determined, and after a couple weeks, it actually became easy. And, to my surprise, I found that I was becoming happier!

I found that happiness and laughter are one of the best cures for ill health. Be happy and have a positive outlook on life and it’s hard to be sick. I began to enjoy life. Suddenly it didn’t matter that I couldn’t go on that special dream holiday I always wanted to go on. We have a wonderful patio in our back yard and my wife can make the best potato salad that I’ve ever eaten, and I love to barbeque. Even the children are now looking forward to the cool evenings on our patio deck, and even enjoy our sing-alongs to the our “Golden Oldies.” We’ve even invited Gus and Murphy over a couple times to join us in enjoying our new-found Gratitude!

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” 
― Alphonse KarrA Tour Round My Garden

About Albert Schindler

I was born on the 27th of February, 1931, on a farm near Hubbard, Saskatchewan. As far back as I can remember I had a spirit that would not stay earthbound. In junior high, I remember taking first place for a short story in which I described my terrifying encounter with a dinosaur. In outer space – that is, when the teacher wasn’t directly speaking to me, I went where Buck Rogers wouldn’t dare go. I was more of a Calvin in Calvin and Hobbes type of guy, with my own, personal, very powerful, transmogrifyer always at the ready. In my ‘teens and twenties, I pushed aside my Calvin alter ego in favour of making a living and didn’t take seriously again my ‘writer’s bug’ until my late 30s. I still saw that the world as full of exciting things to learn and investigate, which my writing reflected in the several articles and a couple of short fiction pieces that I wrote and sold, including over 30 children’s radio plays for Alberta’s ACCESS Radio. Unfortunately, I abandoned my budding writing career in favour of starting my own business as a sign painter. Now that I can officially call myself ‘retired,’ I plan to resume my writing career, only this time, writing mostly fiction. Why fiction? I have lead a great, adventurous life in which I made many mistakes (the ‘adventure’ in life), that have taught me some very important lessons and allowed my spirit to grow to unimaginable proportions, inconceivable to me while still in my thirties. In fiction, I believe, one can adventure into both the inner and outer consciousness of man and the universe to infinite levels where only the boldest dare peak. Convention holds that article writing has to be factual – oh, you can be creative in how you present your information, but ‘fact’ (whatever that means) still must have its parameters in article writing, whereas fiction is limited only by the size of a writer’s spirit, and so far, I haven’t been able to fathom my limit.
This entry was posted in Points to Ponder, Quality of Life, Religion, Spirituality, Thoughts and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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