A Morning Unlike Any Other…
Today when I got to school it was unlike any other I have ever experienced before. As I drive into the parking lot I didn’t see parents dropping off students. Instead I see the flashing lights of cop cars. Students weren’t walking into the school. Instead they were actually walking back to their cars. I was not sure of what was going on. I had not checked my email or texts on my way to school because I don’t device and drive. I got out of my car and walked up to the door I normally enter through to be greeted by a police officer with his bullet proof vest on holding onto his assault rifle similar to the one below in the picture.
He asked if I was a teacher and to see ID. He informed me that the school was on lock down. I showed him my ID and he let me in. Once inside I found out that there were multiple shootings in Pleasant Hill Community that morning and as a precaution the district cancelled school. Thankfully nothing happened at school but nonetheless a very thought provoking morning.
As I walked up to my office I can honestly say it was the first time I had ever been scared at school. Even though the police presence was felt and noticeable. It was down right freaky. News reports about school shootings flashed through my mind, the horror, the devastation, the kids, the innocent. Just to put myself in someone’s shoes for a few minutes that had to go through a tragedy like a school shooting was horrible. My heart goes out to anyone who has been there. The type of morning that makes you want to go home hug your loved ones tight and call those you love just to tell them one more time.
Times like this certainly remind us to practice gratitude but making gratitude an everyday thing is a health thing for all of us. Chances are there are probably dozes of things, people, and situations that we all taking for granted everyday. It shouldn’t take a tragedy or near miss to jar us into having an attitude of gratitude.
Here are 6 things to think of daily to train your attitude of gratitude (I know I certainly did today):
1) REFLECT. Think about the things that cause you stress, the situations you worry about that have not come to pass, or the times you felt incredibly lucky and not deserving of that luck. Even becoming an energy vampire for a short time can give you a reason to embrace gratitude because there is always a lesson to be learned from challenging situations, growth appears in all sorts of forms that will help us overcome our fears, and a reason to be thankful when unexpected windfalls come our way as well.
2) EXPERIENCE LIFE AND ENJOY IT. There are things all around us for which we can be grateful: sunshine, rain, green grass, (or if you live where I live, snow on the ground) fresh air, and the freedom and ability to step outside your front door to live the life that you want to live.
3) REMEMBER, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. Nothing in this world is promised to you, so even if you feel that good things aren’t happening to you, as long as nothing bad is happening be grateful for that.
4) APPRECIATE PEOPLE. They make our lives special. When was the last time you said “thank you” to the players that work so hard at practice? The assistant coaches who put insane amounts of time and energy into your program? What about a good friend who is always there for you? Or a dependable family member? There are many people who pass through and have impact on our lives. When was the last time you took notice of the people who pass through and impact your life in small or great way?
5) RECOGNIZE THE LITTLE THINGS. Warm gloves on a cold day, a good night’s sleep, having a car, a hot meal when you are hungry, a job, the opportunity to compete, money in your pocket, you get the point. Build an awareness of the little things. Write them down, text them to yourself, and you will be taking a step toward becoming more gratitude oriented.
6) BE THANKFUL FOR EVERYTHING. And I mean everything – positive, negative, good, bad, or otherwise. Embrace it all! Would you be where you are at without ALL of it? The highs, lows, and indifferent make us who we are.