To Be Grateful

Ralph Waldo Emerson quote about gratitudeDo you ever take the time to be grateful for all the blessings in your life?  No…….not just a passing moment and saying, “Yeah, of course I am.”  I mean……do you take the time to really STOP and FEEL GRATITUDE throughout your entire being?  To feel the depths of thankfulness and appreciation and gratitude for the amazing gift of your life?  THAT kind of being grateful?  

Thank you, TechCrunch

It’s kind of ironic, but it really makes perfect sense, because it is often in contrasting that for which we aren’t grateful that we suddenly see most clearly that for which we are thankful.  And yesterday, a tech writer for the publication TechCrunch wrote a rather silly and useless article called “Google+ is Walking Dead,” after the announcement of Vic Gundrota’s departure from Google.  I’m not going to bother debunking that article, because it’s not worth my time, and others have already done so far more eloquently than I ever could, but that’s not the point of my post anyway.  Heck, even how much I love Google+ as an online community of amazing people isn’t the point, although many of my favorite Plussers are certainly in my mind as I write this.

My Life is Blessed Beyond Belief, and I am Deeply Thankful

The Payet Family 2014As I write this, I am 42 years old, happily married to a wonderful and amazing woman, father to 2 incredible daughters, responsible for the care of 2 aging rescue dogs who’ve been with me since they were puppies, owner of my own highly successful dental practice (largely thanks to said amazing wife), co-owner of our dream home in a stunning neighborhood, with many gifts and skills and opportunities yet ahead.  Both of my parents are living and doing well, plus they live really less than 10 minutes away, which makes for great emergency baby-sitting.  🙂  My sister and 2 nephews only live a few hours away.  Basically…….life is awesome.

The Payet Family 2014And yet, I am aware that so many people are not so fortunate, for many reasons.  We do our part to help as we can, but it’s not our job to fix the world – just make it better as we can.

Not only that, I am becoming aware of my own mortality, as I reach the approximate mid-point of my life, given today’s statistical averages.  In addition, my parents are nearing 70, and my Dad has been dealing with heart issues for several years now; my Mom’s mom passed away last year at the ripe old age of 94; my sister is going through a divorce, and one of my sisters-in-law is undergoing treatment for cancer.

And Yes, I am Grateful for the Google+ Community

Over the last year or so, I had become increasingly unhappy with, and frustrated with, the level of communication on Facebook.  I’d had to unfriend a number of people, and I grew weary of the blind willingness to share nonsense and junk without questioning or critical thought.  Ultimately, as I wrote about in my post last December, Leaving Facebook?  Inconceivable!  Or Maybe Not?, I decided to basically quit.  And yes, I’ve pretty much stuck to that decision and been grateful for it.  As a number of studies have shown, people who spend a lot of time on Facebook actually tend to be unhappier.  In place of it, I dove headlong into Google+, where you can find me as Charles “Chip” Payet.  And wow, what a wonderful gift that has been, as I’ve “met” a tremendous number of remarkable people – funny, ridiculously intelligent, photographically gifted, unbelievably articulate and thoughtful.

Thankful Even for What I Don’t Have

Here in our neighborhood, surrounded by estates that kind of dwarf ours, I’m reminded that “more” isn’t the answer.  Literally, our home is barely half the average value of the others in our neighborhood, even though to us it seems like our own mansion.  It would be easy to feel that we still don’t have “enough,” or we haven’t “made it,” or whatever.  Each day, I remind myself of the simple truth that I don’t “need” any of this.  I am who I am, and that is enough.  I am thankful for the many blessings in my life, and that is enough.  As I look back at our lives and the struggles it took to get here, I am thankful for each one, because without each and every one of them, we might not be where we are now.  It takes courage, strength, determination, resolve, purpose…….and a simple contentment with what we had at each of those points, to remember that we couldn’t always know the potential value of each struggle.

And with that, I will leave you with 2 thoughts, from 2 of my favorite authors, as I get ready for kung fu training this morning.  Namaste`

Hawaii-2013-359-2

Viktor E. Frankl quote

“Remember to be grateful for what you have.  If you can’t be thankful for what you have and who you are now, how can you ever have, or be, more?”  Chip Payet 🙂