Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Still counting

Yesterday we visited some friends in a rather affluent section of Mesa.

We had a great visit with them, shared in their wonderful hospitality, and then they took us on a tour of their lovely park. Like a city in itself, it has two 18-hole golf courses, several pools, lakes, fountains, ponds, streams, walking trails, green grass, concert halls, a beautiful library, a cafe, and three separate recreation centers.

Their home was very lovely with new cherry hardwood floors, a formal living room, two patios, and so tastefully decorated with southwest and Mexican art.

On our tour around the park, we stopped with them to see some other friends, who also live there. On a golf course. With a huge stone patio. A master bedroom that walks out to the huge stone patio. Furniture and furnishings that I have only dreamed of.

Such great visits, and such a fun day.

But why, then, could I barely stand to drive back into our humble park and into our lowly park model?  Poor me.

If you have ever had this experience as well, you may know the feeling.

Envy, self-pity, life is not fair: they all pervade your thoughts. Like cancer. Eating away at your satisfaction with life.

We love our friends dearly. We don't begrudge them their good fortune. So shame on me for feeling less than.

As I crawled into bed at the end of the day, I said my prayers, as usual. Intercessions for friends with serious illnesses. Family members who are grieving the loss of loved ones. A friend who lost her job. Troops fighting for freedom, separated from their families. The longer I prayed, the more trivial my feelings became.

Then I counted my blessings. And counted. And counted. And counted.

And counted.

I guess our negative thoughts and feelings are what they are. They come. But recognize them for what they truly are: transient and fleeting.

And if they ever come for you...start counting.

Today, I am grateful for my many blessings. It's a new day, and I am content and happy.

And still counting.