One morning I left my house early and full of purpose. I had a journey to travel, a meeting to get to. I had things to accomplish; it was destined to be a fabulous day.
Two and a half hours later I was still at a train station less than five miles from my front door. I'd been spoken to badly, I felt like no one wanted to help me and my anger and stress levels were raising steadily.
To pass some time in my now much delayed journey, I decided to walk to a cafe and get some breakfast. I mentally typed the letter I would be sending to the rail company to inform them of their rude station staff who made me miss my train. As I plodded down the road I saw a man and his dog huddled into a doorway. I thought 'Now I'm gonna have to give him money and I've got no cash so I'll feel bad so saying no'. Another man approached him and started up a conversation, I felt relief as I knew I was off the hook.
As I passed him by, I felt the utter shame of my actions. As a woman who prides herself on being nice, on being kind to other people, I had managed to drop every good quality I have in an instant.
I had missed my train. That was all.
The night before I had slept in a warm bed, in a lovely home. I had food in my cupboards and I could feed my pet cat. I had more, much more than the gentleman sat round the corner with his dog. He hadn't asked me for anything. He wasn't begging. He was just sat in a doorway on a cold morning, minding his own business. My mood, my mind had done everything else.
Purchasing my breakfast roll and coffee, I doubled my order. I fully chastised myself as I walked shamefully back to where he still sat.
'I'm really sorry I walked past you earlier but I was just buying breakfast and I thought you might like some too'
I'd practiced the speech as I didn't want to sound as much of a fool as I felt. I sat on the bench next to him as he graciously and unknowingly accepted my silent apology. I watched as he warmed his hands on the coffee and fed the majority of the food to his hungry companion. We chatted about the day and where he liked to walk the dog. When I got up to leave and say our farewells he added, 'Thanks for noticing me love'.
It broke my heart as much then as it does typing it now.
I went about my day with a renewed sense of gratitude and my breakfast companion was never far from my thoughts. I didn't send a disgruntled email to the train company, instead I emailed the people I was meeting and apologised in advance for my delay.
Why should you go to bed grateful every night?
Like people of religion who take time to pray, I take time to reflect. I think it pays to be present & thankful for everything that I have in my life.
We all have times where we want more , more money, more material possessions, more love. We think that by getting more we will be happy.
I think that happiness sits in the space of feeling content. Content with where you are at that moment, wherever that moment may be. I don't think life was ever meant to be easy. I think that life is just meant to be life. We go along our road and inevitably spanners will be thrown in the works, as humans we stray from our paths and we can sometimes get a little lost. That is life for me. A huge patchwork quilt of events & moments. It is finding something in them, that I feel is most important.
When I sit at the end of my day, regardless of how that day has gone, what I am searching for is a true feeling of gratitude. "I got to live today through", "I communicated with my parents", "I had enough".
Sometimes when you are looking for gratitude what you find is a lesson, the best ones sneak up on you when you are truly lost in yourself like I was that morning. Sometimes your best teachers are those that know nothing of the lessons they teach.
I can tell you that if you want to feel great, try to feel really grateful, because in there is the start of something new.