Ever feel like you just don’t belong here, in the world I mean?
Sometimes it seems as if everything has turned upside down, and I know I’m not the only one who has felt or feels that way, especially lately. People you feel you know do things that surprise and disappoint you, leaving you disillusioned. Events happen that make you wonder if the whole world hasn’t gone crazy.
Just think back to how we started this year – with the news that a bright, beautiful young woman was tortured and killed, her body mutilated, all right in our proverbial backyard – the beautiful mountains of our Georgia. Yes, that event that made national headlines just this past January.
Add to that the continuing concerns about war, hurricanes tearing up our coastlines, the economic mess we’ve found ourselves in, watching folks struggle to stay in their homes and then the mess of dishonesty and corruption – monetary and otherwise – right here in our own county.
So how do we cope? Well, I can’t tell you how to do it, but I’ll tell you how I manage to (most days anyway). I try to find whatever there is to be grateful for in my own life, and no matter how bad things are, there is always something.
Learning to be grateful is an art of sorts, and like most worthwhile lessons, I learned the root of this one from my mama. Mama never had much money, or material things, and her health was an issue for many years, but I remember that she always tried to find some joy in every day.
When it comes down to it, we’re not “entitled” to anything – everything, down to each breath, is a gift. I don’t want what I deserve, but it isn’t much, I hope for better than that.
Sometimes, in fact most of the time, the joy in my life comes from everyday things. Nothing spectacular or exciting happens, it’s just the ordinary peace or routine of a single day, afternoon, or even moment that can fill me with joy and a moment of being “aware” of all I have to be thankful for.
Of course, being myself, a lot of these moments are the joy and fun our family pets provide. Some of my best belly laughs have come from my dogs and cats, who continually surprise me with their intellect and their own sense of fun.
I remember my mother laughing until she cried years ago when her little Boston Terrier, Laddie, who often got in the tub to drink from a dripping faucet, jumped headlong into a bathtub full of water one night. She laughed so hard, she had to grab a tissue and go sit in the living room for a while, after toweling off one surprised little dog.
One recent weekend, except for going to church on Sunday morning, we just stayed home and enjoyed being a family. It was great – and as I got ready to face another week, I took some time to just savor the peace of home and family. We all may be facing a new way of life – things we’ve taken for granted may not come as easily as they once did. I hope to not have to learn firsthand the lessons that my parents and grandparents did – though I grew up relatively poor, I’ve never known what it was like not to have clothing or food, or a warm place to stay. I hope that I can always say that, but even more, I hope that I can always remember and be mindful to say “thanks” to God and to be grateful in all circumstances.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal.