As much as I don’t want my blog posts to ever be “cliché-ish,” I can’t really avoid it on this one. So, let’s just get it out there right away and then I’ll break it down a bit to give you some context and share the lesson I’ve learned in this season of my life.
“We don’t appreciate what we’ve got until it’s gone.”
Yes, I know, I’m brilliant! 😊 Please don’t stop reading yet!
I’ve written several times on my personal blog about how I’m handling any regrets from my life with Dale. In short, I don’t spend much time with them. It’s not that I don’t have any. One does not spend over 35 years with a mate and emerge unscathed by hurtful words or deeds – on either one’s part.
But I know in my heart that both God and Dale have forgiven me for all the wrongs I committed throughout our relationship. Yes, my mind does land there from time to time, but I do work at “taking captive” those thoughts and not letting myself marinate there very long.
No, the majority of my thoughts about Dale and our life together are of the good times. And we were blessed to have SO many of them. It’s not difficult to fill up my memory banks with those.
In fact, I just had a text conversation with my granddaughter last night, reminiscing about all the fun we had when they’d come visit us from S. Carolina. Swimming in the pond, driving Grandpa’s tractor around the acreage, going to the Iowa State Fair, fishing, riding the minibike, countless BBQ meals, and simply enjoying all the cousins being together. It makes me smile to think back on those care-free summer days.
Some of my memories are “mountain top” experiences like this one. But MANY of them are just of the day-to-day interactions we had as husband and wife. Working on the acreage together, going to dinner (at Gino’s most likely) and a movie, laughing at a silly joke, golfing, sharing homecooked meals, playing with our pets, chatting together on a quiet evening, attending church activities. Just doing life together.
But, what I’m beginning to realize more and more is that I didn’t take the time AT THE TIME to truly appreciate what I had. To a certain degree, the good times we shared were what I expected my life with Dale to be. And that is a double-edged sword. Blessed to have that kind of relationship, but somewhat blind to the rarity of it – and the need to be appreciative of it.
All this to tell you – I don’t want YOU to wish someday that you had seen the good times with your loved one through eyes of gratitude. Maybe it’s with your spouse, but maybe it’s with a parent or child or sibling or friend or grandparent.
Appreciate them TODAY! Easier said than done in the busyness of our days. But one of the best ways to do that is to cultivate the infamous “attitude of gratitude.” Oops! There’s another cliché! I trust you can forgive me for that.
Get in the habit of thanking your loved one for the little things, for the mundane, for the minutiae in your relationship. It will not only give you more peace when life, or death, separates you, but it will strengthen your relationship TODAY!
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,
Ephesians 1:16 ESV