Subtract Your Blessings

5:52 AM

 I recently read an article about blessings. Isn't it typical to count one's blessings, accrue a long list and be reminded how lucky we really are?  That's what I was taught to do and when I was feeling sad, it's what I always did.

Okay, so I have a coffee maker and three huge closets for my clothes and a whole lot of nailpolish. Oh and I've never encountered a gas station that didn't have skittles.
Whew! I'm luuuuucky!

But the article I read suggested a new way to think about things. Subtract your blessings. Imagine your life for a single hypothetical moment devoid of those things. Suddenly, everything becomes a blessing. Subtract your home. Subtract the oxygen your breathe. Subtract that key that starts your car. Subtract even that five dollar bill in your pocket which promises that even if you subtract your stove, you still have money for dinner. I subtracted my four bookshelves.....the beginnings of my dream home library. There is a jar of shells on my desk. Those shells were taken from the shore of the first ocean I ever saw. It was the first time I ever sunk my feet in the sand made wet by water that connected me to the other side of the world. I subtracted that jar. There is an empty bottle of an old prescription for an antibiotic also lying haphazardarly on my desk. It was from when I once had a ferocious toothache. I subtracted the insurance and the accessibility of a dentist that provided relief to my pain.

I was feeling pretty down a few days ago. I was remarkably disappointed about something. I guess I'm still a bit disappointed, but like a Hardy Boys novel, there was a perfect resolution to my sadness. If you are a reader, perhaps you will have experienced a similar phenomena, but I find that often I read things that relate perfectly to my life, even if they seemingly have nothing to do with me personally. Articles, stories and novels appear just when they should. I read that article and started subtracting. I probably don't have to tell you the rest of the story, but I will anyway. When you think about the things you have and compared to how your life might be if you didn't have even the simplest blessings, you can't help but be grateful. I once had my purse stolen on a Saturday night. The bank was closed on Sunday and so I was without money, credit cards or any kind of legal identification for an entire miserable day. I remember seeing a commmercial on TV for pizza and thinking somewhat sadly to myself, I couldn't even buy a cheap pizza.

It occurred to me a few days ago that I presently have every single thing I'd hoped for when I was young. I have a college degree, a fulltime job and a long term relationship with someone I care about. I have puppies and a house and a car and a bank account. This is precisely how I imagined my life turning out and all of it in the order I'd wished. Good fortune (and perserverance) had never routed me off course. It seems like I should have something bad happen to me right now, just to balance things out, but you know, even if something bad did happen, I'd still have a huge number of blessings to subtract. And here's my theory, if every day, you can manage to remember every single wonderful thing you have to be grateful for, no matter how small or overshadowed those things might be, your life can only continue to be more blessed. There are literally a gazillion uncountable things to grateful for. Isn't that incredible?

Oh! In other news, Jack got a haircut a week ago. It's hilarious, he looks like he lost about thirty pounds of fluff. If only it were so easy for the rest of us to slim down!



Boom! Skinny!

Have a great week guys!

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  1. [...] first time. I became a paid, published author. I read some great books and made some new friends. If blessings could be subtracted, I’d be dead before I whittled the math down to [...]