Be thankful for the bad things that happen in life, For they open your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before.
This has been a very frustrating couple of weeks. The weather is cold, damp and overcast. My daughter has been hit with a flu-bug of some virulent strain, probably mutated from the bubonic plague or something similar, so she has been missing both school and violin practice, with international competitions coming up soon.
As for me, I have been going back and forth with Amazon, you know, that massive retailer that sells everything! Well, believe it or not I am having a very difficult time getting them to sell my new book, FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution. It’s live on their website, even with a few readers comments, but in big red letters it says: OUT OF STOCK, even though I have sent them, at great expense, several cases of book to two US Amazon fulfilment centres. Still trying unsuccessfully to speak to a live person instead of back and forth emails, not easy. It’s beginning to feel like the humans at Amazon have mutated as well. And, my wife is playing mother and wife to two miserable people, and at the same time trying to get out into the business world again. Needless to say, we are all a little grumpy this February.
And in the midst of all this, comes Valentine’s Day, a faintly pagan ritual with connections to the coming of spring and the mating of birds, now heavily commercialised. Off I went to the card shop to pick out a few cards and was horrified to find that most commercial Valentine cards cost upwards of £ 4.00 (about $6). Love is definitely keeping up with inflation.
So, being resourceful (and cheap), I decided to make my own Valentine’s Cards. I am pretty handy with scissors, tape, glitter, glue and coloured paper, so I dug into the “crafts stuff” drawer in my office and found everything I needed.
Believe it or not, I spent over an hour on two cards. I could have easily bought two commercial cards in about 1 minute at the store, and gotten much better quality, but what I learned by making my own cards was well worth the time and, for me at this moment in time, a priceless lesson in life.
So, here’s my lesson. In the hour I spent making my two Valentine Cards, I was able to get in touch with all the positive feelings about my wife and daughter that the past several weeks of hassle has crusted over. I actually spent an hour of uninterrupted time being grateful! (when was the last time you did that?)
Grateful for my lovely daughter who is going through the trials of high school, being a teenager, balancing homework, friends and violin practice. Grateful that she is curious, intelligent, sometimes surly and difficult, but always loving. Grateful for my wife who puts up with the moods of an author and writer who is trying to balance two careers, writing novels and building a consulting practice, and not yet fully winning at either. Grateful for my friends and extended family. To be honest, I haven’t taken the time to just be GRATEFUL for a long time, too long I think!
Oh, and my cards? Well, it’s the thought that counts, right?
The outside, wooden letters, colored by me and glued on, with a hand-cut paper heart.
The insides? Well, just little messages of love from an adoring father and husband.
Spend some quality time making something for the special people in your life. You might just have a similar discovery of uninterrupted gratitude.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
John R Childress