An Attitude of Gratitude

Alan Schwartz

After a few years of heath issues that I still don't have under control, and losing my father right before the Thanksgiving holiday, I am trying so hard to pick up all the pieces.  My body is tired and soul is sad.

What do we do at Thanksgiving?  Give thanks.  That was what I did.  That was almost all I could do, all I had the strength for.  I gave thanks that I had 57 years with my father.  I gave thanks that my body was still strong.  I gave thanks that my boys were with me and I gave thanks to the beauty I saw around me.  I gave thanks for all the people that showed support and extended their condolences.  I gave thanks that I was with my dad at the end of his life and I knew he knew I was there!

Countless people told me how much my dad meant to them, what a great attorney he was; admired and feared in the courtroom.  Everyone said he was kind and funny, inappropriate and charming.  I don't know of too many people that didn't like my dad.  I had never really stopped and thought about it before.  He was very well thought of!

I have obviously been thinking a lot about one's legacy lately.  Ask yourself, "What would others say about me when I am gone?"  I think it is a really valuable exercise in what your legacy might be.

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel."
                                                                                                        ~ Maya Angelou

My dad had spent winters in Florida for the past couple of years.  He dreamed of spending his days golfing and enjoying life in the gated community in which he lived.  The residents apparently had an acronym for many of the men living there.  They were called PIP's, a previously important person.  I thought this was awful!  Can you imagine being considered a previously important person, as if your value had changed because you got older or retired?  Your identity was so tied to what you did, you practically ceased to exist when you stopped doing that very thing that "made you (so called) important."  Well, I can tell you the fact that my dad was a great attorney was a footnote.  He was a great man. He was generous, funny, he mentored, was philanthropic  Dad touched people.  He tried to be his best, be honest, live with integrity, love his family.  That''s how he'll be remembered.  That's how we'll all be remembered ~ if we live by the same values.

Living life with passion and purpose, expressing gratitude for what we have and those that surround us is a life well lived.  Feeling abundant because you express gratitude keeps us in the "sweet spot" of feeling joy.  Gratitude means really acknowledging all the abundance we have in our lives.  Don't limit giving thanks to Thanksgiving; write it down, say it out loud.  Tell people who mean something to you that you are grateful for them.

"Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a   successful and fulfilled life."
                                                                                        ~ Jack Canfield   


                                        I am grateful I had you in my life, Dad   💔

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