A remarkable thing happened on our family’s Spring Break vacation. We skied the slopes of Breckenridge. Our boys got autographs of some players of the Denver Nuggets and an autograph from Isiah Thomas (of the Bad Boys, not the Nugs). We watched an amazing game with a last second shot by the Nuggets to win. Great memories were made.
Usually, I get stressed on trips. Long drives, the boys being boys, the cost of everything, and thinking about work that needs to be done. All of this builds up, and I eventually end up losing my patience with the boys and my wife. I may snap at them or just withdraw and sulk. This energy transmits to everyone and turns what should be an enjoyable time together into a negative experience. This results in the last thing that I want to happen: my family feeling as though they need to walk on eggshells around me and not enjoying themselves.
This trip was different. My wife and I did not have one negative thing to say to one another. Although I did feel stress at times, I recognized it. I was aware of how I was feeling. Instead of transmitting this negativity, I transformed it. I used the power of Gratitude.
Whenever I starting getting frustrated with the drive, I thought about how grateful we are to be able to travel freely across this beautiful land.
When the boys’ behavior started to irritate me, I considered how grateful I am that I have three healthy boys that I get to watch grow up, make memories with, and see the joy in their eyes from the experiences of this trip.
When I got stressed about money and work, I thought about how grateful I am to have a job that allows me to go on these trips and the income to afford it, while still living comfortably.
When I saw others drinking and enjoying other Colorado products, instead of feeling resentment that I am not engaging in that, I am grateful that I made the decision to live sober. I am grateful that I can now appreciate the world for what it is. I am grateful that I can truly and clearly live and experience life. I am grateful that I am actually Present with my family when we are together.
It was the best trip we have had as a family. How can one not feel grateful when they wake up to this view:
For This and Everyday and Everything, I am Grateful.