I remember the day I felt like a huge a*# for complaining about life. Do you know those kind of life defining moments? And how they sometimes happen so quietly that you could miss them if you weren't paying attention?
That's what this was.
I was used to working a lot. I've worked a full time job plus a part time job, plus went to college full time at night. I was busy. When I had my first mentor to train as an appraiser, I worked for free because I got to bring my two kids with me. So I also worked a full time, paying job while I learned while working for free.
But when I had my own business going strong, took on more and more work, and had four children under 6 at home, I was losing my ability to handle things with quiet dignity. I did feel blessed with four healthy children and a job that could work around them. But four young children and working well over 50 hours a week was wearing on me quick.
Then I had that moment.
I was venting/complaining. I was so tired. I was so over-worked. All I saw was my unending list of things that needed to be attended to immediately. Honestly I don't even remember who I was talking to, although I have an idea of who it was. They were fairly quiet. Then they mentioned just a few things. They had less children, but were working just as much, for less money. And their situation was not headed to a happy ending. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. As rough as I thought I had it, there were many who had it worse.
Does their situation being worse make my situation any different? No. But it makes me different. Life is just a small percent what happens to us. Life is a lot more how we handle what happens to us. And that day, I changed. I knew I had a lot to be thankful for. And instead of focusing on how much I still had to do, I started trying to focus on the things that I had to be thankful for. I looked at how much I had done already and cut myself some slack.
The truth is, if you spend your time looking at a problem, the problem is all you see. When you spend your time talking about a problem, the problem is all you think about. And when you spend your time listening to others talk about the problem, the problem is still all you think about too. Nothings gets better that way. You just get dragged down.
Tonight I am thankful that being thankful brings peace. It brings contentment, happiness, and confidence. And those things can solve problems.