We are at the end of November; which means we are at the end of the 30 day Gratitude Challenge! Let me ask you all out there who have been following — did you do a 30 day gratitude challenge? Have you done one? Thoughts?
As I reflect before going to rehearsals, one of the things that I learned through doing this 1 month exercise is that there are surprisingly a lot of things to be thankful about. I think it’s easy to complain about things that may go wrong in life. Yet, just being able to pause and think about something that I may be thankful for. Given that it’s November, I have to say, that doing this has been crucial to various days that have been incredibly intense. I’ll admit that at times, I can be incredibly angry at certain things or events that have happened. Even yesterday, there was an individual that really rubbed me the wrong way such that I honestly checked out mentally while that person talked. Bad? Yes…sorry…no not really…mad and frustrated…oh yeah…being able to think about the prompt for yesterday was something that I really needed.
So, what is day 30’s prompt? It is this: What talent or skill do you have that you are grateful for?
I am grateful for the skill of perseverance. It’s not something I’m actually good at and am constantly improving on. The reason why it’s a skill that I’m learning and one that I’m grateful because it’s a skill in life that I learned growing up and as an athlete, but it’s something that I find that one needs to have in all areas of their lives. The fact of life is this — things do not always go your way.
I will say it again: Things in life, will not always go your way.
Why do I need to repeat this? Yes, it’s for myself. But more than anything, what I see increasingly, is how people, adults, teenagers….no kids…adults…act as if they are entitled to things in life, as if life, ought to be some sort of linear straight line that just keeps going up. Never mind that life is a roller coaster. Never mind that life has twists and turns. No, people literally think, in the smallest details of their life, it has to be perfect. Example: Waiting in line for coffee at a coffee shop….if there is a line, one has to wait…simple right? Oh no….for some…this will ruin their day…. Example 2: Life is hard…hey, I’m going to drive in the opposite direction because it’s faster to get to the grocery store. If you need more, YouTube has plenty. If you also need more examples, all you have to do, is go to Walmart. Hate to say it…but these days…there are so many people who think that life has to go their way or it’s the highway.
Persevering in storms, in life, in challenges are just a fact of life. I can say that it’s true for me. I applied to nursing school back in 2009, and life had its bouts and turns…and here I am, going to nursing school years later. Were there blood, sweat, and tears that went through the process? Yes. Will there be such in the upcoming year? Most likely. The thing is….despite my moments of insecurities, lack of confidence, feeling like I really want to give up, giving up even….the skill to persevere is one that I will always be grateful for.
As skills are built up, not something that is naturally occuring, here are some ways that I’ve found ways to persevere:
1. Inspirational quotes — I have a ton of these saved on my Pinterest, I also have God’s Footprints as well.
2. Watching memorable sports videos on YouTube: Now, this isn’t your ESPN Basketball or Football highlights that you can see. This is memorable sports videos like the Olympics where a marathon runner who gets injured finishes a race or someone who persevered in their sport after falling from grace.
3. Working out – I don’t just do any work out….I do martial arts like kick boxing…because that pain that I feel, that’s pain of what I may be going through in life. What happens after a day? That pain goes away. It’s a reminder for me that whatever I’m going through, it’s temporary.
4. Music — You guys…when you are down and out….music is a great source for perseverence. You all already know my love for music, so enough said with that.
5. Friends and family — As I’ve said in the past, my family has been such a rock in my life that, when I’m down or have fallen flat on my face, they have always been the one who have told me to get back up. Friends can be that source too. I know for myself, I can’t say that right now….but I do know that sometimes, friends are there to help pick you up.
So there you have it guys — perseverence. Yes, it’s a characteristic. Yet, the ability to persevere under pressure, during a storm, during a problem or issue, I find that such a skill is something to be thankful for.
So…the end of 30 days of gratitude draws to a close. 🙂