In a season we dedicate to being thankful/grateful, I find that around this time of year is when we are the most hypocritical. There's always that "I am thankful" post on Thanksgiving through various forms of social media, pictures of friends and family, descriptions of everything someone has done that you are thankful for. I am in no way against these posts, by all means tell that person or those people that you appreciate them but why wait until Thanksgiving to say it? Why not express that every day? Even just once in a while for no particular reason, I feel like that is a more true representative of the gratitude you hold for someone or something. Lately, I've found myself increasingly grateful for certain aspects of my life yet decreasingly grateful for others. For example, I went home for the first time in three months over Thanksgiving and was so happy to have finally been with my family and high school friends again, ecstatic to finally run through a neighborhood without having to look over my shoulder, and relieved to again be in the high school that was once my second home. But by the second day I realized how much I truly missed every back here in college, my floor mates, my friends, my second family- I realized then how much I had taken them for granted. Its times like these that you learn the most, its those realizations that you could do better, appreciate people more, and really be grateful for the opportunities you are given. I've been given more opportunities than I can count here in Springfield one of them being an athlete on the Track and Field team here. This is one of my many examples of self hypocrisy- track is my passion, I love it more than anything no matter how much I struggle to be successful in it, no matter how awkward I appear when I do it, I have more passion for track than I have anything in my life so far. I have been given the opportunity to compete this weekend after training the hardest I ever have in my life, but today and yesterday I found myself complaining about track. Voicing some of my frustrations was justified however one of my frustrations was that I am only definitely competing in long jump, maybe hurdles...who really knows? My first thought was "I have been running twice a day and working my butt off why would you put me in one of the events I basically suck at? And why weren't my Coaches giving me criticisms while I was jumping yesterday? Do they care? Do they even know how much I put into this?" I was looking at it the wrong way and I was being selfish and here's why: I never once considered that they may see potential in me for more than I see potential in myself. While I am here believing the only thing I could possibly excel in is running, they see something in me that could eventually be good at other events like long jump. They probably want to see me jump to see how I perform in a competition environment, to see how I can improve and be successful. Secondly, there are more people than just me on the team, while its frustrating that I'm not always getting the criticisms I want and need in practice, I have to remind myself that they are doing the best they can with 40 girls and that honestly, there are bigger priorities than the freshman who can't jump. And lastly, there are people who are not given the opportunity to compete in anything whether they are physically incapable or do not have the resources, I should really just be glad I am even here and able. So basically I have told you all this and at this point you're probably wondering why I bored you with that long and whiney story- its because I learned. I learned from being ungrateful and used it to see things differently.
So if you're a hypocrite like me don't be afraid to admit it and learn from it! It's such a habit to hyper focus on certain aspects of our lives but it's so important to step back every once in a while and really look at this big picture- the whole situation. We all slip, and we can all learn something from it. Use this season as an opportunity to truly show your gratitude because through all the frustrations of daily life, we all need it.
Have a wonderful day, month, week, season, year, life....everything! And remember- you have more potential than you could even imagine, so share it with everyone you can, start that chain reaction of greatness!
~A Duck Inspired