Gratitude 365


Photo by Camryn DeVore

Jordyn Thompson

Walking past a charity bucket when I walk into a store or seeing a dressed up Santa in December always makes me wonder what’s the most important part of the winter season.
During the holiday season, most of us express our gratitude while being surrounded by family. I personally tend to be the happiest at this time because the winter time is portrayed as this magical,loving and thankful time of year. It’s during this time that we really think about what we have that others don’t. One thing that we all need to know is that gratitude should not vanish along the winter months,but remain within us. We all come together with our families and friends, but eventually that close knit community feeling goes away once the holidays leave.
But here’s a crazy thought: what we made it a habit to express our thankfulness year-round?
Around the world, people may be struggling with their lives and go through worse issues than many citizens of Western society like poverty, addictions or abuse and many more. Not many people think about how lucky they truly are for the things they have. It’s amazing how some of us don’t really think about the people we have in our life, the basic necessities or even the clothes we wear. I am completely guilty of not realizing what I have in my life. When I was younger I didn’t fully see the significance of how important my parents really are. I would get angry and would ignore them  if I didn’t get my way even when it was probably for my own good that they said no.Not until I grew up did I really realize how much I need them. I would complain and not ever thank them for the things they do for me but I soon came to learn that I need to be when I needed advice and they were the only ones who truly helped me.
It’s sad that many of us don’t see the significance of the things and people in our lives.  I believe that as long as someone is  surrounded by people who love and support them, nothing can stand in their way.
As I have grown older and more mature, I have come to realize the impact of family. When my grandma died it left my family all devastated because she held us all together so after she was gone my family including me all changed and became closer to each other. Before my grandma got sick I would always come to her house to spend time with her and we would cook, do puzzles or watch TLC .When she was diagnosed with cancer it was hard for my family and it was a scary thing. We would get phone calls that she was in the ICU. We would spend nights at a time all sleeping in the hospital waiting room. It was a hard thing to see someone you truly love so miserable. My mom and I would come to my grandparents house to take care of her while my grandpa would go to work at the Capital. and I remember being a 13 year old girl sitting by my sick grandma being scared for her and not knowing how to connect with her anymore. When she died I regretted to being able to spend more time with her at her most critical moments when she was sick. As long as I have my family, I am able to accomplish anything. As all teenagers do,  I have gone through some stressful times that I have dealt with and the only people I looked up to for advice and comfort was my family who helped me through it all.
It’s so important for us to know how thankful we should be for the people in our lives. Loved ones help us grow. They support us through our accomplishments and failures; they never judge but instead build us up to be stronger people. My advice: never forget the people who have never let you down. One thing many fail to remember is to thank the ones they  love. You never know when it will be too late, having last words of regret to them would kill you for the rest of your life so appreciate everyone in your life,and never take them for granted.
This is not to say that we aren’t  allowed to complain every once in awhile. Remembering the great things you have right now will set you up to have a greater life and make you a better person overall.
“You are stronger than you believe and you can do anything you dream of” is one thing my dad always reminds me about. One person that I really appreciate is my dad. Sometimes I have been really angry and thought he can be unfair but I soon regretted it as I realized he never fails to show me how much he loves me and his family. When I am dealing with issues that I can’t deal with by myself he is the one person I can go talk to about anything no matter what it is. I struggle with the fear of feeling like everyone is going to leave and all of my life my dad has shown me  that he is right by my side. He is a  great example of what I want  to be as a person,parent, adult or friend. I will always be thankful for him.
When I was 13 years old I  always thought my dad was very protective and I felt he never let me do anything. One day I remember I had cleaned my room and helped him with cleaning around the house and that night when he said no I couldn’t go to the movies with my friends at 9:30 p.m I was completely frustrated. I slammed my door, I was yelling and screaming I just didn’t understand why he couldn’t pick me up when the movie was over. 2 years later as I ask my dad again if i can go to the movies at an earlier time so my dad is able to take me  , I look back at those times where I would get so angry at him when he wouldn’t let me go to the movies late at night and I realize that my dad works hard everyday. He is tired and worn out and it makes sense on why he wouldn’t want me to be out late for one being only 13 years old and two because he was tired and had to work hard again in the next morning. I’ve learned that what my dad works everyday running his business so I can have the things I have. That night when I was 13 compared to being 15 I see why I should have thought of how it was going to affect more than just me.
During the holidays it’s a great time to be reminded of what all that we have. It’s a happy time of year. But with all of the bad things that go on around the world constantly, you’d think it would also want us  to come together and be reminded of all of the things we are lucky to have.
Whenever I hear a child complaining that he or she didn’t get the perfect Christmas presents that they asked for or that he or she didn’t want to eat what’s for dinner, I want to sit them down and give them this same lecture. We need to learn to appreciate everything we have and are provided with along the way.