Year’s ago while running trails at Vassar Farm an emotional epiphany stopped me dead in my tracks.
It was November, the brilliant leaves carpeted the pastel trail ahead while several stalwarts clung to steely branches, painting defiantly bold-colored swatches against a stark, grey canvas. I stopped, engulfed in silent serenity but overwhelmed with emotion. I searched to make sense of the moment, but didn’t have to look far.
I was paralyzed by gratitude.
There was no mistaking it; appreciation had set in. It occurred to me how grateful I was to be able to do what I was doing in that moment exactly where and how I was doing it.
This perfect storm of thankfulness was inescapable. Up until that point I had been taking my opportunities and abilities to participate in athletic pursuits for granted.
To this day, Vassar Farm waits for me to return, reboot, and remember.
For 10 years, which was the length of our marriage, my wife Lisa lived with metastatic breast cancer. After her initial diagnosis and the 24-hour rule, we proceeded to live life, setting our own terms whenever and wherever possible. Every so often it occurred to us that despite her diagnosis, we had a really great life together.
And for that, we were grateful.
Even today, I realize that by circuitous routes, my girlfriend Kathy and I found each other in what otherwise may never have been the coinciding of two lives.
And for that, I am grateful.
So, let’s get to the point. When are you truly grateful at work? How hard do you have to look to stop yourself in your tracks and say, ‘yes, this is what I was meant to do’?
A friend posted recently that she was so grateful she chose the profession she had, and that she looked forward to waking up each morning. I fear that more friends, however, post the ‘can’t wait til Friday’ picture every Monday, just waiting until their time becomes theirs again.
True career gratitude has nothing to do with being thankful you’ve got a job. I hear that way too often these days, that people should feel grateful or lucky they are employed, as though a paycheck wipes out accomplishment, self worth, or peace.
In a crappy economy it is great to have a regular income, benefits, etc., but it doesn’t make everything alright.
Where is your Vassar Farm? Where is that place you go to or find yourself in that fills you with gratitude? This is a place you should seek with every ounce of energy you can muster.
Gratitude is the result of living an engaged life of purpose. One where you’re calling the shots and not paralyzed by the puppeteer’s strings.
It’s never too late to find your place in this puzzle called life friends. Get on with it.