I looked down at my ringing cell phone to see the lovely face of my redheaded niece, Brittany, so I answered it with the cheeriest “Hello” I could muster only to be met with a crying voice I could not understand.
“Brittany, I can’t understand a thing you’re saying because you’re crying so hard. Are you okay?” I asked.
Remember, this is the niece who just nearly died in the car wreck, so I was concerned that she had injured her bolted and screwed together bones.
What followed was several hours of conversation with my sister and young, energetic niece who is feeling cabin fever. By the time the conversation was over, they had kissed and made up with each other. They thanked me, we exchanged loving words, and then finally hung up the phone.
I thought about all the “advice” I had given the two of them and then I started to bawl my eyes out.
If my daughter was talking to me now, she would be saying, “Suck it up Mom!” Somewhere I went wrong in her raising! (Just kidding!)
Gratitude Is The Advice
During the last five years there have been some really MAJOR events in my life that made me step back and realize how very GRATEFUL I “should” remain for the rest of my life. So I not only will tell you some of the advice and life lessons I’ve learned, I will prove that I continually talk about them by linking to a post where I wrote about the value. Let me tell you a few of them…
- My daughter lived after 5 days in a coma.
- My dad’s last words to me were, “Yes, I know it’s you Sherry. I love you too.”
- Bella lived.
- My daughter totaled her car and lived.
- My niece, Brittany, survived a near death experience.
- A doctor finally figured out why I was so sick and now I am healthy as an old mule.
- The dreaded mind sucking PTSD was eradicated from my life.
Some major things that happened that were just painful and I still don’t feel “gratitude” that they occurred nor do I think I will ever feel gratitude. I think all of them are just sad experiences…
- My marriage ended.
- I lost my job.
- My finger was broken.
- I had to move. I tried to post funny pictures during the time I was moving, but it was a very difficult experience…
Some of the advice I gave my sister and niece was…
- You can have a new beginning and a fresh start right now.
- Write a gratitude list of 40 things, read it each morning, and add one more thing to the list each day.
- Start each day in gratitude. Even Epictetus who was born in 55 A.D. believed we should regularly stop and take stock of our lives.
- Live one day at a time. That doesn’t mean not to make plans for the future, but live TODAY and don’t try to LIVE IN THE FUTURE until the future gets here.
- This bad experience of being stuck in the bed and reliant on everyone else will eventually be over. This too will pass.
Other advice I didn’t give to them on the phone…
- There’s always 10 reasons everyone can feel gratitude.
- I can only control myself.
- Being open to change requires humility and vulnerability. Pain in life is unavoidable. Absolutely unavoidable.
- Life is not fair.
“Do not take anything for granted… not a single breath or colorful sunset or plate of food on the table or roof over your head or person you kiss goodnight or friend on the other end of the phone or, or, or… Be grateful for everything even if it doesn’t match your dream.” ~ Sherry Riter / The Redhead Riter~
Are You A Hypocrite?
Definition of HYPOCRITE:
: a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs
Are you a hypocrite?
I occasionally give advice on my blog. Okay, I’ll be honest. I give advice on my blog all the time. Do I follow all the advice or am I perfect at adhering to the principles I tout as things that will improve your life?
I try. I really try to follow my own advice, however, like I’ve said many times, I am human too which means I often fail at applying these great principles. That’s why I cried today. After talking for so long to Brittany about the need for her to be grateful regardless of her present injured circumstances, I have complained all day about how life is unfair. Granted, I complained mostly to Bella, but there were a few people that I shared my frustration, anger and pain about my current jobless circumstances.
I just want a job that is commensurate with my skills and talents so that I can add real value each day. The advice seemed to be the same from ALL of them concerning a very low paying job that I may be offered. “May be offered” are the key words which means I’m not living today and I’m already projecting into a future that might not happen. This was the advice I received…
- “Work is work.”
- “Well, better than nothing!”
- “You don’t know when one job will lead to another job that you enjoy and pays more in the same company.”
- “If they offer it to you, take it.”
- “Hang in there…Life will get better. Hugs. We all love you.
- “I so understand how you feel!! I was laid off after 18 years with the same school district!!…I so know how you feel, Sherry, about the worrying and the injustice.”
- “Hang in there Sherry. You have skills.”
- “Take the job and be grateful for what you have today. Do the best that you can – today.”
Thank you to everyone who gave me advice. I truly appreciate you taking the time to listen and give me my own advice. It sounds different coming from you. LOL
In the spirit of overcoming most of the major events in my life and all the great advice that I gave you so you could it give back to me, I am going to start a gratitude list. Hopefully in the morning, Brittany will have her gratitude list well on the way since I’m practicing what I preach.
- I live in a comfortable place that is heated on this very cold night.
- I have a loving family and extended family of friends.
- I AM an intelligent woman with many talents and skills.
- My daughter is beautiful, intelligent and fun.
- I’m healthier now than I’ve been in thirty years.
- I have you and you come over here to read my blog all the time.
- I have food to eat and I know how to cook it to comply with my allergy to grain.
Well, this healthy old mule has caught a cold and I have a temperature right now, so I’m going to bed. I will take it easy all day and maybe this germ won’t last as long as usual.
“He enjoys much who is thankful for little; a grateful mind is both a great and a happy mind.” ~ Unknown ~