Last year the boys and I did a camping trip that, while without any bells and whistles--just a lot of time in state parks, was probably still more than our budget should have handled. This year we stayed for free in a cabin in Wisconsin built and owned by my wife's sister and husband who generously let us use it when it's free (this was our first time there since it has been usable). Other than the food we brought with, we didn't spend money on anything extra--no special events or activities, no restaurants. We used the snowshoes at the cabin, played in the snow (the boys enjoyed jumping off a low-height roof into the snow), reading, playing games, and relaxing.
|My quiet-time nook|
But I was also reminded that people would pay thousands of dollars to have the virtually free experience that we had. We received a gift. And I am thankful for it.
I was also aware that there is a large percentage of children in my sons' classrooms (as well as my own) that don't get to even leave Minneapolis during Spring Break. Some of them are probably home alone (or with their siblings). Some of them are at school as part of the release day options.
That's how my mind works, though, if I let it. It looks at what everyone else has who is more privileged than I feel that I am. It doesn't think about those who don't have even the opportunities that I receive. It doesn't stop to just be grateful. My mind can be dangerous sometimes. Especially if I listen to it undiscerningly.
I've got to constantly keep myself in check, otherwise I all too easily can live in my head. And while I've got a lot of good stuff in my head, it's not a good place to live. My mind can easily twist reality into fantasy. Or I can make things worse than they really are--or think I'm worse off than I really am.
My heart needs to keep my head in check (and vice versa). I need to remind myself that my life is good. That I've got plenty to be grateful for. While I may not have everything I want, I've got more than everything I need.
|A view of frozen Lake Arbutus|
Indeed, I do have it pretty well. No matter what everyone else is doing. I have much to be thankful for.