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Yesterday, I received a call to get our daughter from school. She was sick and would need to be seen by a physician as soon as possible. My husband called the clinic we usually attend and they were booked. To be honest, after what he told me, I was thankful I was able to get her an appointment for Friday. However, it left me frustrated because our insurance leaves us with so few options. I’m not complaining about that at all. I actually prefer it because I know that her information isn’t just out there everywhere. It frustrated me because the place we are to go for help isn’t available for help and there are more people coming but the clinic will still be insufficient for their needs as well. What good is a medical facility if they cannot fulfill their duties in its entirety for the group of people they are to serve? But I digress.

After picking her up and taking her home, I called our insurance agency to find out who we could see out in town. They gave us two places, one of which did not have a working telephone number. The other welcomed us with open arms and made us feel as if they are grateful we chose them for her care. After a brief visit with the doctor, we were able to get what we need and leave. Our daughter got the stickers and rest she needed and I got a lesson on gratitude.

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You see, I could have let my blood boil about the care the clinic we were supposed to attend gave us but I chose to see the larger picture. Our daughter’s health needed attention and if I had let the moment I was disappointed by our medical providers get to me, I would have lost focus on the goal to get her help. See, sometimes our focus on the end goal get derailed due to allowing the unnecessary to become the center of attention. What’s unnecessary in my scenario is the where. Where she was being seen didn’t matter to me. Yes, I was frustrated that it was a huge inconvenience to go somewhere else other than the clinic where her primary care physician works, but that wasn’t the focus. The focus was getting our child seen in a timely manner. Keeping my focus on the why she needed to be seen instead of the where allowed me to be able to choose gratitude.

In choosing gratitude, one must be willing to accept what it is the way it is. This includes their own feelings about it as well. I had to accept my frustration of leaving work to pick up a sick child just to find out that her doctor, or any doctor within that clinic, would not be able to see her. I had to accept that my plans of finishing things at work were not going to happen. I had to accept that any needs our daughter had would supersede my personal desires to prepare for the my this weekend. Acceptance doesn’t have to be this sweet, kum-ba-yah moment that one can find on the Hallmark Channel. Acceptance can be just sighing and moving on to finding solutions. It could be having a temper tantrum for ten minutes and then moving on. No matter how acceptance looks, the end result is moving on to finding a solution.

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In choosing gratitude, one must be willing to find comfort in the unfamiliar. When one moves on to find a solution, the territory of the solution may be in the great unknown. That’s uncomfortable. That’s nerve-wracking. That’s scary. But it must be done. Even if the comfort is in the knowing that there will be a result, one must be willing to be okay with it being in a place, in a person, in a thing that is unknown.

In choosing gratitude, one must be willing to be grateful for the entire experience. It’s not easy to be grateful and thankful for all that has happened. I’m not happy that our daughter was sick. I’m not happy that I had to leave work to tend to her needs. I’m not happy that our clinic could not see her. I’m not happy that I had to do research to find another clinic where she could be seen. But I’m grateful. I’m grateful that I have a job that will allow me to be able to go to her when she’s sick. I’m grateful that she has teachers who cared for her as if she was their own. I’m grateful that I have a car with plenty of gas to be able to pick her up and take her where she needed to go. I’m grateful that I could call the insurance company and get the help I needed. I’m grateful that the clinic answered their phone and I was able to get her in there to be seen. I’m grateful that her health is fine and that it was just a sour stomach.

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If you look at how many thing I was unhappy with versus the things I found to be grateful for, one heavily outweighs the other. The things for which I am thankful about in a situation that is incredibly frustrating exceeds the things that upset me. And that’s what I chose. I chose to find a solution instead of fuss about the issue.  I chose to not let their limitations limit me. I’ve not always done that and that makes me extremely thankful for this experience because it showed me that I’m growing.

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Until next time, try to choose gratitude in every situation. Flat tire? Choose gratitude. You never know what the time lost dealing with the tire could have brought about otherwise. Nothing in your cabinet quick and easy to fix? Choose gratitude. The food you wanted to eat may not have been the healthiest option for you. Anything that is designed to frustrate and upset you? Choose gratitude. There is a lesson about yourself you will learn through gratefulness. It may not be the easiest lesson but it will be worthwhile. No matter what, I hope it will leave you wanting to choose gratitude more and more throughout your life. Make it your daily affirmation. I know I am.

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