Family Circle Magazine of November 2013 published an article entitled “Attitudes of Gratitude” by Janet Taylor, MD. It was short, sweet and to the point – “the simplest way to experience more happiness in your life is by deciding you can have it.” She suggested creating a “bliss list” and checking off the good times one by one ( a much better bucket list).
So what’s on your “bliss list”? Mine is centered around my gratitude for “enough”. I have enough yarn that I can knit hats, scarves and baby sweaters and give them away. I’m blessed with wonderful children and the best spouse and business partner I could ever have imagined. And I’m grateful for a loving relationship with my mother after many years of discord. I’m blessed that my best friend from High School is back in my life. And I’m grateful for my health being adequate to see me through the end of my journey.
I didn’t come upon all these blessings by chance. I sat down and decided what was enough. Enough money, enough time, enough yarn, enough travel, enough love. I listed what was enough for me, not my neighbors, my peers, or my friends – just me. Otherwise life becomes about guilt and envy. Every ad on television, radio, or in print seeks an emotional response to motivate you to buy something based on envy or guilt. One of Mo’s columns dealt with this subject and I am sharing his list of countdown to Christmas words (written in this order):
“Guilt; gift-giving; gift receiving; re-gifting; more guilt; stuff; more stuff; a little more stuff; guilt about having stuff; drinking; guilt about drinking; eating; guilt about eating; envy; jealousy; insecurity; overcompensation; guilt; additional guilt; and fear that the neighbors/relatives/friends will have a better Christmas.”
Yes, we pile on emotional calories as well as literal ones. Do you stop eating when you’re full? Do you overcome the emotional/impulsive response by knowing how much is “enough”. Do you need more? Do you want more? Now is the time to decide. Decide what is enough and take the extra and give someone something they need who doesn’t have enough. Make it about being turely grateful for the blessings you have in your life and the people you love and who love you back, not because it’s expected.
We don’t “do Christmas” anymore. We tell our friends and family how much we love them at Thanksgiving. We count our blessings and share what we have over the “enough” level. And we leave the guilt and gift-giving routine to others because the meaning of the season is deep and abiding love for each other.
I urge you to determine your level of “enough”. The freedom from guilt and envy and the joy of sharing the extras are blessings beyond any reward of tangible receipts.
When was the last time you told everyone in your life how blessed you are to have them? Never? Maybe this is the time! If not now – when? Is it time for you to help them determine what is “enough” in their lives?
From our house to yours – We wish you enough!