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Learn to be grateful

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Anne Mukei | November 8th 2015

Some years ago, I interviewed a certain lady who suffered from long term fatigue — I can’t remember the clinical term — and she would lie in bed for days on end unable to move her limbs.

Married with several small children under the age of five, it was a task to perform the most minuscule of things — like taking a dirty cup from the living room table to the kitchen sink.

The situation was so bad that she sank deep into depression, and what saved her health and sanity was family support.

If you are able to read this article, then you must be in generally good health — at least you can see and your mind can comprehend issues.

When you are in good health, and all is good with your world, it is easy to take things for granted and even complain over petty issues. But being grateful for the much or little you have can spiral even more positivity in your life.

I am still in touch with the said lady and she has become a good friend. Today, she is keen to keep a Gratitude Journal: it helps her document happenings in her life, and mostly the good. I know there are days you wake up and want to sleep the day off and find that it is already Monday, and not Sunday like it is today.

By the way, do you realise that being able to poop is a big deal (it is no wonder mothers cheer up when their little ones do so).

Only weeks ago, a middle aged woman was celebrating that she was able to perform this most basic of bodily functions with ease after several years of tummy upset.

It is then I started understanding what people mean when they say they are grateful for the gift of life.

This was reinforced when I saw a man die a couple of minutes after being wheeled into the emergency room of this private hospital. It made me think twice about life.

He died so fast from asthmatic complications. An ailment that appears easy to manage with today’s medical milestones.

The previous day I had seen a woman in the middle of the road, covered with a bed sheet. She must have been on her way to work after bidding her loved ones goodbye. Now she was no more and all plans and dreams she ever held had been brought to a stop.

That could have been my mother, I thought — worse still, it could have been me. I shivered to imagine what my boys will go through if I ever die before them. And that is when I started a gratitude journal. Don’t take things for granted.

Be grateful for a full stomach — you are no special than that man or woman who slept hungry.

Be grateful for family and friends — there are souls who have no one to turn to.

Be grateful for those free things, including air — we tend to take them for granted, not enjoying them as much as we should.

Simple things are best enjoyed when they are acknowledged.

Things do change when you focus on the positive, so start that journal and pen down what you like about your life right about now.

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