January 15 – Gifts

Elizabeth Beresford wrote, “Make good use of bad rubbish.” How fitting for today. My husband and I had a rather bad experience in which we received terrible customer service from a business we were frequenting for the first time. Needless to say, we will not be back. We had made an appointment for a massage, which was confirmed by telephone several days prior for 7 p.m. When we arrived, we were informed we had missed our appointment (they claimed it was at 6 p.m.) and would forfeit the amount we had paid ahead of time for the service. Not only this, but the manager was rude—cutting us off multiple times to say that it was “our word against theirs,” implying that we were lying about our appointment time when we had been nothing but courteous. Anyway rather than let this ruin our night, we decided to enjoy ourselves with a night out. We commiserated over drinks at our favorite restaurant before wandering down the street to a pub for trivia night. It ended up being a night full of good conversation, laughter, and fun despite the rather dismal start to the evening. Hence, making the best of a bad situation.

beach birds calm clouds

On the topic of gifts, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

It’s really up to us what we do with our lives. We may have been battered, beaten, molested, incested, spoiled, or over-indulged. All of us have feelings and memories we need to work through. None of us had perfect families. In fact, dysfunctional families are the norm for the society.

The question for us is how have our experiences affected us and what do we need to do to learn from our experiences, to work through those lessons, integrate them into our being, turn them over, and move on?

When we get stuck in our blame, anger, hurt, and denial, we are the ones who suffer. It is up to us to ‘make good use of bad rubbish.’”

I could not agree more with Anne on this one. Everyone struggles in life. We all face our own challenges and hardships we must work through and overcome in order to succeed and enjoy life. In my case, I was spoiled and over-indulged by my parents. I am fortunate in this way, but it has still led to hardships for me as an adult that I have had to learn to triumph over. I still struggle with the hard realities of responsibility and adulthood today as a consequence of being catered to as a child. By being spoiled, I struggled for many years with lack of self-control and poor money management resulting in a multitude of problems for myself that I had to learn to face. I’m proud to say that I did learn, and I overcame. I’ve always believed we must make the best of the cards we are dealt. I have been more fortunate than most. I’m lucky to have had such loving parents who cared for me, who were there for me, who demonstrated love and a stable relationship. Who gave me everything really. I still have an extremely close relationship with my dad today, for which I consider myself so fortunate. I have learned the hard way which lessons in life I missed or perhaps never learned, and I am hoping to teach these to my own children one day. Yet despite these, I cannot overlook the blessings I have received in life.

Really, we must all do the best we have with what we are given. Otherwise, what will your life be? If you live in blame, anger, hurt, and denial… you are only hurting yourself. Life is too short to feel anything but happy. Embrace the positive in your life, and try to focus on that. You will be far happier for it. There is always someone worse off than you. Try to appreciate what you have and be grateful every day for it. Count your blessings.

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