FINDING GRATITUDE IN THE RECESSION WAS THE LAST LESSON I THOUGHT I WOULD LEARN
Just as the recession started in 2008/2009, my father, step-father and four friends died in close succession. I suffered a large financial loss in my business. My former husband wanted a divorce. Finding gratitude in the darkness seemed daunting. Over night, it seemed I had no money, few prospects, and was surrounded by profound loss. Around me friends and neighbors lost their jobs. We watched helplessly as repossession men and bank representatives hauled off neighbors cars and possessions and paddle locked their homes. I had never seen so bleak a time.
I would have stayed in bed, but I had a daughter to get up for. I had chores to do, and a community to serve. I had just been elected to our city’s commission. I found myself grateful to have these things in my life. Grateful for the new people I met, grateful to help, grateful for the unconditional love I received from my daughter, ever my companion, always bringing joy to my life by her very existence.
I found myself grateful for shampoo, a dishwasher, for coupons and double coupons. I was grateful for sunshine and rain. I was grateful for the friends who invited me to lunch and the colleagues I worked with. My daughter and I picked out pretty journals and each night, we huddled together writing lists of things we were grateful for.
I was surprised by small miracles, heartened watching people help one another, and found faith as we seemed somehow able to pay our expenses as if by magic sometimes. Finding gratitude in the smallest of things in the darkest of times healed my heart, so full of fear, grieving and unsure. I am grateful to have learned gratitude. Gratitude fills my heart to over flowing. It inspires me to give, to have faith, and expands my soul.