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Can You Say Thank You Too

English: Mary Cassatt: Young mother sewing

English: Mary Cassatt: Young mother sewing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can you say thank you, along with “I forgive you,” even if it seems to be too late?  Mothers and daughters often have conflicts and daughters often take things for granted that they shouldn’t have.  I went through a stage as an adult criticizing my mom for how she raised me and complaining about the troubles that it had caused me.  No, I was not brave enough to say it to her face.

Then I went through a stage where I forgave her having learned that nobody is perfect and that she did what she knew how to do at the time.  No one is ready to be a parent when they become one.  Some just think they are ready.  I didn’t complain about my dad’s parenting because he was always at work or asleep.  That was the beginning of the realization that I had to forgive her or wear it forever like an albatross around my neck.

Then I started thinking about the things she did as a mother that helped make my childhood happy.  She was always a ro0m mother.  She celebrated and decorated for every holiday and I had Halloween and birthday parties.  Families were always important and you visited often and helped each other out.  My father believed that too.  Children were a gift from God and they made sure I had a religious education.

Recently I was thinking about things they had done for me that I hadn’t thanked them for at the time.  I was an ungrateful kid.  I did not thank them for the effort they made to take me to girls scouts and 4-H, the county and state fairs, and other school activities like choir, band, school gym shows, and plays.  I also was a cheerleader in 8th grade.  The biggest thing that I overlooked is that they put me through college at a private school and then helped supplement my grants in graduate school.  Of course, I earned scholarships and even worked a little; but I couldn’t have done it without them.  I couldn’t forget that when I was in college that I got $5 cash in a letter each week for extras like Sunday night supper which they didn’t offer in the dorm.  I am sure they did without.

Have you forgotten to thank somebody and now it is too late?  Have you focused on the problems in your relationship and not the things that they did for you anyway?


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Is Gratitude Your Attitude?

Road Rage*

Road Rage* (Photo credit: PDXdj)

Focus on the good things.  Look around you and see what you can see that makes you happy.  Your attitude effects others:  not only in the way they see you but also how they feel around you.  I am always saying, “thank you.”  Why should I ruin someone else’s day?  This is not to say that I don’t feel down at times or that I don’t let “things” get me down.  When talking about other people, I point out their good points when other people are focusing on their bad points.   Surprisingly enough, people’s view of me has changed and I have been told at times how nice I am.  This is not to brag but it can show how others’ perceptions of you change when you change.

Focus on what you have rather rather than on what you don’t have.  Usually there is at least some small thing you are grateful for.  There is beauty in simple things.  I happen to live out in the open spaces and frequently see lovely white clouds in a heavenly blue sky.  When I am driving (and I have to go a ways to get anywhere out here), I try to make the drive as pleasant as possible.  Other people can make mistakes either walking or driving down the road.  Do I need to make it worse? with road rage?  I am happy with an accident free drive and once I get where I am going I no longer focus on what could have happened if I or others had not been paying attention.

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