Counting Blessings

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Is it possible to have a crossover between psychology and religion? By jove, I think it just might be. In reading 50 Psychology Classics by Tom Butler-Bowden, I’ve discovered some happiness hints by Barry Schwartz. In addition to limiting your choices, Dr. Schwartz advises his readers to make their decisions irreversible and to constantly appreciate the lives they have.

It’s the appreciation concept that grabbed me.  Even downward comparisons that remind of us how fortunate we are compared with many others can be a boost to self-esteem and overall feelings of well-being. Instead of saying something like, “If only I had a newer, snazzier car,” instead say, “I’m so glad I have a car that gets me where I need to go. Lots of people in the world aren’t so fortunate.” Schwartz contends that not only are grateful people are happier and optimistic but they are also healthier.  I’m all for that!

So on this cool, overcast November afternoon, I’m thinking of the multitudinous things for which I am grateful. Dr. Schwartz’s advice was reinforced by reminders from church this morning, including the closing song in Relief Society, “Count Your Blessings.” Then there’s always Alma’s reminder to “Live in Thanksgiving daily.” Actually, there are beaucoup scriptural reminders of the importance of expressing gratitude; I just happen to like Alma’s.

While I’m usually pretty good at this anyway, this month I’m going to focus on the good in my life, ALL of it. In no particular order, here are a few things I’m especially thankful for today. I’m going to start with a dozen. Maybe you can add a few of your own.

*Living at this time in our history. I don’t think I’d be nearly so happy without indoor plumbing and electricity.
*My sweet, thoughtful, talented husband.
*My children and their spouses. Though I’ve read that pride is the universal sin, I can’t help it. I’m proud of the lives they’re living and the choices they’re making.
*My precocious precious grandchildren. Yes, I’m biased, and I hope you don’t have a problem with that.
*Family, including my sibs and their spouses and children. All of my in-laws and stepchildren are huge blessings too.
*Laughter. I laughed so hard at something 2-year-old Emma said the other evening that I was nearly crying. It ’s not so much what she was saying as it was her expressiveness.
*Music. All kinds. Right now I’m listening to Wanda Johnson, a blues singer that my friend Connie introduced me too.
*Friends, old and new. They have no idea how they’ve enriched my life, even the online ones.
*Health. God willing and the creek don’t rise, my brother David and I will be participating the OBX Half Marathon next weekend.
*My job and the many opportunities it provides.
*Mother Nature. Love those leaves and the cool temps.
*A loving Heavenly Father who so generously provided the above and much, much more.

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

3 thoughts on “Counting Blessings”

  1. “Living at this time in our history. I don’t think I’d be nearly so happy without indoor plumbing and electricity.”

    SO TRUE.

    You know who ends up doing all the hard labor involved with maintaining a household when no electrical devices are in sight? Women!

    Women washing clothes on a washboard or a river. Beating clothes on rocks. Women scraping plates with sand so that it doesn’t take too much water to finish the process. Women hauling water from the river, spring, or lake.

    Hayden, this is the gospel truth! Once in a while I might feel like complaining about how woman's work is never done and man's work is from sun to sun (or something like that), and then I think about how easy I really have it compared to my sisters in other parts of the world...and even in parts of this great land.

    No, thank you!

  2. I am particularly grateful to start a new month…LOL a month that does focus on our many blessings and gratitude. I think I’ll put on some Wanda myself…

    My favorite is "If I Rise in the Morning." Love it. I'm also enjoying some Eva Cassidy songs that I downloaded.

  3. i tried, put on a long blog explaining my mental health blog and hit submit and =erased the whole thing, at least 300 of my precious words of wisdom..i think your thingy here is sensative, beause i had it all lined up and then poof, anywho i wanted to explain my scitzophrenic son to you so you could understand my szitzo blog wasn’t for you, my fiends, friends….my boy 31 years old spent 8 months on a feeding tube at the state institution….my early retirement at 63 was for him…they would not let him out unless, i as a cAre taker would stay at home ….alll of those syptoms are his and he responded as well as his brother tony on comments…dan wants to be noticed as he said for him and not his illness…now you know why i have so much time to blog and the time to do it…

    Sorry to hear this. After decades of research, I don't think we're much closer to understanding the origins of this disorder. Is it genetic? Environmental? A little of both? While medication helps, it causes its share of side effects. I remember seeing a film once that sort of describes your situation. The father had to take an early retirement when his son was 19, and when the film was made, the son was 37...still living at home, still needing 24/7 care. My hat's off to you for your love and devotion.

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