I am struggling with being grateful. Today I was doing the following things all at one time: On vacation, on a new business conference call, driving through Dunkin’ Donuts with both kids ordering from the back seat and heading to the grocery store. Here is the note my daughter wrote and gave to me after I got off the conference call:
I love you Mom so much. I am giving you a kiss from the back seat right now. You are the peanut butter to my jelly and the pancake to my syrup.
I read the note and realized…wow, I am so blessed, so fortunate. In all my haste, my daughter reminded me of how much I have and how infrequently I stop to be grateful. She forced me to pay attention. She was a stick in the spoke of my wheel.
Many of you may have read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Well, there is a story within the book about a small boy who got a chance to visit a king. When he went to the king, he asked to see the castle. The king told the boy that in order to know his house, he would have to carry a small spoon with three drops of oil while touring the house, and without ever spilling the oil. The boy never spilled the oil. When he went back to the king, he asked the boy if he had gotten to know his house. The boy said he didn’t notice the house, but he didn’t spill the oil. He was so intensely focused on the oil that he never saw what he came to see.
There are so many ways to interpret that story. However, for me, it means that I should watch for the important things that surround me, the signs that I am missing and by paying attention to the castle, I will have a more grateful spirit.
What is your oil? And what are you missing while you’re trying not to spill it? I encourage you in this next week to shift your focus just a bit, stop and be grateful for all that surrounds you. You’ll be happy you did!