Gratitude Day 18: Little Stuff

When I think about being grateful, what comes to mind first are the big things in life -- family, health, education, a home, my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think about the big things all the time and routinely express my gratitude for those things to my Heavenly Father in prayer. Over the course of this month I've tried to focus on the not-so-big things that I have been blessed with. My life is so full that it would be easy to overlook something small unless experience reminds me that I need to be thankful for that which is small.

A recent experience by my neighbor reminded me I should be thankful for hot water. My neighbor had an issue with her central heat/air unit which required installing a new unit. When the utility company came to inspect the work, they found a natural gas leak and immediately shut down all gas to the home. My neighbor had no heat and no hot water for days until corrections could be made. Blessed with a functioning heating system, I stood in the shower yesterday and was grateful I had hot water.

This afternoon my computer was being a little "grumpy." It was running slow, the modem/router interface decided not to communicate, my Flash player crashed again, and so it goes. Reboot, close and reopen, reboot again. I was starting to rival the computer for grumpiness. Then I remembered that I had a computer that works most of the time. I have electricity so the computer turns on. I have wireless internet access at home. Many people have none of these things. I was humbled and remembered to be grateful for all these seemingly little things that really aren't so little if you think about it.

One last little thing. I've been using a small "bridge" digital camera for about five years. It was a bit better than your average point-and-shoot camera, but no where near the capability of a digital SLR camera -- the kind serious amateurs and pros use. I felt limited by my camera and have whined plenty about it for the last 2 years. I knew there was no way I could upgrade for quite some time and resigned myself to being content with my little Fuji Finepix. A few weeks ago I fell into Abrams Creek in Cades Cove and thoroughly drowned  both myself and the camera. In a moment I had no camera at all. The harsh reality of that moment hit me hard. In my want of something better, I had failed to be grateful for what I had. Suddenly I had nothing, It was a humbling experience.

The scene of the crime - death of camera by drowning
Abrams Creek, Cades Cove
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Copyright 2012 Kristina Plaas, All Rights Reserved 

My neighbor now has a functioning heating system and hot water. My computer is working for the moment and will continue to do so, however grumpy it may get at times. My little camera recovered enough to a take a few more shots, though the quality was just a little less than it was before the swimming party. Now I've been blessed with the DSLR camera I've wanted for so long. I am learning there are no small things when it comes to being grateful. No matter the perceived size, it is important to express gratitude for all things in our lives. I'm trying, really I am!


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