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Gratitude

It's Easy to Forget the Good Stuff

I'm sitting here in the Dunkin Donut on Varick Street in NYC waiting for another conference to start. The feeling of being in this big city is always exciting for me.

Some folks walking in look happy, and ready to take on the world. Others appear frustrated, disinterested, or downright angry. For some of us, being in NYC is an exciting experience. For others, it’s just another day.

I suspect some of these “too busy to be happy” folks weren’t born and raised here in the city. Maybe some, but I’d venture to guess most were not. Think of the excitement of moving to a town like this? For most, it’s a dream come true. An opportunity to become successful. A chance to live your dream. Bright lights. Big city. Then…

The introduction above brings me to one of my recurring thoughts. At some point, the things that are awesome in our life just become the norm. It seems we forget about them. Remember the feeling of that new job? Does it still feel the same? Remember that first date? How does the most recent date with the same person feel by comparison?

Ever heard a doctor complain about his or her job? Ever hear NFL athletes bemoan their contracts? Politicians denouncing the political process? Of course we have. At some point in our careers, our lives, or our relationships a shift occurs. We forget how awesome things are. At some point, an excited medical school student became a Doctor. At some point, a college football player became a professional athlete in the NFL. At some point, a budding mathematician became an astronaut. At some point, a student government participant became a US Senator. These are all dream-come-true careers. And, like the Dunkin crowd I’m witnessing this morning, their dream careers became ho-hum.

Think about these things for a minute. Reflect on them.

At some point, we earned the opportunity to drive a car without parental oversite. Remember that moment? At some point, Youtube entered our lives, and it was terrific. Remember getting lost in your first Youtube rabbit hole? At some point, cell phones with instant and constant access to the internet were new. Remember the first time you got online, untethered from your computer? That was also pretty great. At some point, the ability to deposit a check with the camera on my phone became a thing. Remember the excitement of not having to stand in line at the bank? At some point we got our first adult hobby toy (not that kind of adult toy). Remember how fun that boat, or camper, or whatever used to be?

Life is pretty awesome. Wherever we are, whatever we do, great things surround us. Those great things don’t change. They don’t come and go. They remain constant, for the most part. We adapt. We acclimate. We forget. We get distracted in our continuous search for shiny new things and experiences. That’s all fine and dandy, but sometimes it’s worth stopping to appreciate the things we have.

I have a family. I have a career. I have a comfortable house. I have clothes. I have my health. I have enough money to stop at Dunkin on my way to this conference.

And that is my gratitude for today.

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