Yesterday as I was browsing in the grocery store, I came upon a product that always makes me stop and think. Back in early 2004, I found myself in a pretty miserable situation. I'd lost my job and my beloved apartment, and found a new, crappy job and an ok place, but had no money because I was trying to pay off the debts that would eventually lead to my bankruptcy. I was working a swing shift, so I rarely saw people outside of work. To top it all off, I couldn't really cook, but needed to be making my own meals since I was completely broke.
For many months I made meals out of Lipton side dishes with frozen vegetables to take in a container to eat dinner at work. I haven't had one since then, but I imagine the taste would bring me back to feeling like a miserable failure. When I see the packets in the store I always pause for a moment.
But I'm not really feeling regret when that happens. I look back now and I'm thankful for where I am. There are lots of little reminders in my life of worse times. Everywhere. There was a time I couldn't go anywhere without seeing places where bad things happened or worry about people I didn't feel like ever seeing again. That's a time in a lot of people's lives when they feel like they should just up and leave, and for a while, I did too. But it doesn't really matter where you go, because you'll always be you and you just have to learn to be grateful for what you've got.
Yesterday I looked at the Lipton side dish packets and thought about my life, and then I thought about my life right now. I walked right past them and picked up other things to make. Things that require a little more work, but taste a lot better. Things I'm proud to make for my husband for dinner and pack up as leftovers for his lunch.
I got home and was greeted by the cats and a beautiful sunset view, and I waited for Garrett to get home. It's these times when I have a few quiet moments that I realize how lucky I am to not only be alive, but to be truly living.
And I'm glad there's always something around to remind me. Perspective is a good thing.
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