Saturday is my 24th birthday, so I decided to interrupt the guest posts with some appreciation of my own. A lot has changed in the past year or so, for better and worse. Change has touched every aspect of my life, from family and friends, to where I live and work. It’s been a year of loss, anger, sadness, fear and pain, but it’s also been a year of new beginnings, happiness and love. I’ve discovered that life isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people. Sometimes a lot of bad things happen at once. There will be times when we feel like the whole world is against us, and things can’t possibly get any worse…and then they will. But, the thing is, there’s always someone, somewhere, who is worse off than we are, as hard as that may be to believe. Putting things in perspective is incredibly powerful.
All of this change has caused me to change as well. I’ve learned that we have two choices when it comes to facing life’s obstacles: let them defeat you, or take the opportunity to learn and grow. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the most difficult experiences of the past year have taught me a lot about myself and made me appreciate all that I have.
For quite a while, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go with the rest of this post. I probably re-wrote it half a dozen times, unsure of what message I wanted to get across. I was going to list all of the people and things that I appreciate, but I believe that appreciation is something that should be part of our everyday lives. It’s not just for special days like birthdays, and it shouldn’t take a tragic event to motivate us to take a step back and be grateful.
If you take nothing else away from the Appreciation Revolution, I hope you realize that life is a precious gift. It is beautiful and fulfilling, frustrating and exciting, but it is also unpredictable. So, make every moment count, and don’t take anything or anyone for granted. Stop making excuses. Say things like ‘thank you,’ ‘I love you,’ ‘I appreciate your hard work,’ and ‘You mean so much to me.’ It is my hope that The Appreciation Revolution will not end when the last post goes up, but will continue to live on through all of you.
When I close my eyes and prepare to blow out the candles on my birthday cake, I won’t just be making a wish. I’ll be taking a moment to appreciate my life, and all of the wonderful, beautiful, people and things that make it all worthwhile.
In case you were wondering…
My favorite ice cream flavor: A tie between cookie dough and cookies & cream