Let’s count our blessings, shall we?

I have been feeling pretty low these days. The bad financial news that keeps popping up (Or should we say down?) everyday scares me to the point of becoming paranoid. I am a natural worrier that way – my normally optimistic and carefree Libran mind is hard to reassure when I decide to start worrying about something in earnest!

So I was discussing the current economic scenario with my father last week and he was trying to reassure me. It worked, sort of, but that was more due to my blind faith in my dad than anything else, I think. So anyhow, we were discussing the financial turmoil and Baba made an interesting point I thought – folks of your generation haven’t really seen tough times so far, he said. That’s so true!

Sure, there was the dotcom bubble burst a few years back, but we were in college then and were pretty much insulated from the really bad stuff. (And that was merely a recession we were told, while this time we are headed for a depression it seems.) By the time we graduated, the market was flush with jobs. IT firms were picking us up in hordes and most of us had two or three job offers in hand before we wrote our final year exams. A lot of my friends earned more in their first pay check than what their parents brought home after decades of working. And in a couple of years, many of us bought homes twice or thrice the size of those we grew up in.

So we have had it pretty good so far, I would say. And I, for one, feel totally unprepared to deal with the financial mess we seem to be in right now. It started with the rise in gas and food prices last year. I remember watching gas prices climb from two to nearly four and a half dollars in disbelief and I remember my shocked expression seeing the hefty thirty dollar price tag on a bag of rice I had bought for just ten dollars a few months ago!

Folks around us were cutting down on their expenses, but we were both young and earning well (Or so we thought!) and these things didn’t faze us much at first. The pile of bad news just kept growing in the meanwhile and before we knew it, some of it landed at our doorstep too. The husband is applying to business schools next year, so this talk of student loans drying up is not exactly reassuring for us. And I don’t want to go into details but things at work are not as rosy as we’d like them to be. Long story short, the worry has been eating into me for a while now.

And then my father comes along and tells me stories of Thai and Filipino professionals taking shelter with their families back home in the village to weather out the 1997 Asian crisis, and how Asian families have a strong support system in their families and how we shouldn’t worry a bit if we have to pack our bags and head back home for a while and that we’re young and intelligent and healthy and happy and that’s what should count, the rest are temporary setbacks that shouldn’t trouble us at all… And lots more in the same vein, you know how fathers are, don’t you?

I sat and thought about our conversation for a long time after that. It’s true, isn’t it? It becomes especially important to count our blessings during challenging times like these, it is so easy to lose perspective otherwise. So that’s what I am going to do right now – list down my blessings, the things I feel good about. I hope you guys will feel inspired to share yours in the comment space below.

  • I am alive and kicking! And I love life and living.
  • I am blessed with the sweetest husband and the greatest parents ever!
  • I am young and reasonably healthy, although I could lose a few pounds here and there and should really try climbing a mountain without threatening to give up at every step someday. But otherwise, I’m absolutely fine. (And I just had a physical to prove it!)
  • I have a reasonably sharp mind, can think on my feet and believe I’m good at my job and at picking up new skills.
  • I work but have the freedom not to if I’d rather not. And I have the comfort of knowing I have a good education and great work experience I can fall back upon if tough times come.
  • I have had a wonderful childhood and a carefree transition into adulthood. I never had to ask for new clothes twice or worry about paying my hefty engineering fees. The toughest economic hardship I faced was being forced to travel by bus or train when I wanted to take the car.
  • I have a sunny personality and I am happy most of the time. I have been told I cheer up the atmosphere at home and something feels missing when I’m not there.
  • I have two or three friends whom I can call at 3 in the morning and still not get yelled at!
  • I have many other friends I can call up just to chat or go shopping or watch a movie with.
  • I think I am a good friend. I am a wonderful listener.
  • I share a good relationship with my extended family and a great one with some of them!
  • I have never hurt anyone intentionally so far and I don’t think I ever will. I can be mean when I am angry but I always feel bad and apologize later. And I am totally transparent and cannot be manipulative, ever!
  • I still have a childlike innocence, I am often told. I love to dream, fall asleep the moment I hit the pillow and nothing can wake me up once I enter dreamland!
  • I live in a beautiful home that I love to decorate and look after and admire each day.
  • I am a proud and debt-free owner of a wonderful home at 26!
  • I think I look good and both the husband and I find me totally sexy! I also think I am photogenic and can happily spend hours looking at my own snaps!
  • I can walk into an expensive clothing or jewelery store and buy whatever my heart fancies. The bigger blessing of course is that I am too prudent to actually do something like that! (But it’s always nice to know I can!)
  • I am not a miser but I am careful with money. I believe in saving and buying what I can pay for. I know the difference between needs and wants, most of the times!
  • I have an overflowing wardrobe, and I happen to like most of the stuff in it!
  • I am learning to drive and have not had an accident so far!
  • I am learning to sing and no one has died of boredom or terror so far!
  • I like to travel and feel blessed to have been able to travel around the world and explore India and the United States in detail.
  • I feel grateful to the husband for pushing me all the way up to my first mountain summit and letting me experience the joy of that accomplishment.
  • I am glad none of my summer plants have died on me yet!
  • I lost six pounds this year, without a single crash diet.
  • I like to read and my eyes have not given up on me yet! Plus I’ve chanced upon an entirely new reading source this year – the blogosphere!
  • I like to write and my writing has really blossomed in the past year I’ve been blogging. And I feel blessed to know so many of you kind readers who visit my blog and appreciate me!

Phew! That’s enough for now, don’t you think? I am sure there are more but I feel much better already!

Your turn now…

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24 responses to “Let’s count our blessings, shall we?

  1. Aw that’s really positive! And with an attitude like this you can face and make the best of any depression.

    Counting our blessings is an exercise I advise my kids to do too, when we were in college my best friend and I use to write ‘ten great things’ about each other 🙂 I have still got some of those lists with me.

    My blessings:
    A loving, happy healthy family.
    A bunch of loving, loyal friends.
    Blogging. Yes it features very high in making me feel good 🙂
    Within a month of re-joining the gym I will fit more comfortably into my ever tightening clothes lol 🙂
    I love the city I live in.
    I am able to drive like never before and just turning the key gives me a high like nothing can….and we can still afford the fuel!

    Loved reading this cheerful, honest and positive post 🙂

  2. It’s definitely time to be positive for the global financial crisis has a way of pulling us down deeper and deeper! As long as I have a roof on my head and enough food to eat, I shouldn’t really be complaining!

  3. ah! great post! had been waiting for ur updates. true, the crisis has put us all back. i relate to u in some points and envy:) u for other..just kidding. nazar na lage, kala tikka!u did mk me think n count my blessings but one thing i miss most while reading ur post is my dad…i miss him so very much, it actually brings tears to my eyes while m typing this.

  4. Great post! Gives me some hope too.

    And believe me, my father said the same thing to us too a few days ago! That what we’re experiencing (or not, in real terms) is nothing compared to what they went through during their childhood and later. It is so true that they felt the pinch of NOT having a lot of things compared to us. But yes, I freaked out too when gas prices went skyhigh and we actually stopped using the car (as it is, we took the car out only during weekends!) and I was going through tons of websites to look for gas pumps that offered at lower prices in our area.
    The same thing happened with rice. It rose like crazy almost overnight and some Indian stores did not have rice bags at all in our city !! I landed up buying small bags of Thai rice and we ate it until we could find Sona Masoori Rice. I was not mightly pleased with the Thai rice but we had no other go. Perhaps, these were the first few instances I felt the heat of the situation here.

    Good job again 🙂

  5. I loved you list IHM, it’s so similar to mine! I think, when we really think about it, the core things we all care about are very few…

    That’s the attitude D! 😀

    I can feel your pain Tulips. And I truly shudder at the thought… Hugs!

    Thanks M! Hope you are feeling better now… 🙂

  6. 😀

    now i imagine you to be like Kareena kapoor saying “Main apni favourire hoon!” in Jab we Met! 😀

    but seriously, its wonderful to be able to count our blessings and keep heads high during these tense times. Am sure things will look up eventually!

    till then Chin Up indeed! 🙂

    cheers!

    abha

  7. It is true that most of us have had a pretty good life so far, and have to be be thankful for that! I mean, look at your cool list 🙂
    The current economic scenario does affect most of us in some way or the other. But we have to keep the hope for better times alive. Thats the only way to move on…

  8. gosh ..this is like some telepathy ..i was just talking todayto my husband today about how things are going bad ..and might worsen (.my current contract is getting over ..and though i work for one of the biggest software giants ..the thought of being on bench is little scary at onsite )..and he asked me to think about the good things about this whole mess…and some of the things that i thought about were very similar to in your list ..(like family, financial position, someone to take care in case they ask me to go offshore and i need to quit my job (shudders !!) …how i can buy anything but I wouldn;t.how i like decorating or like myself as a person>>etc)

    this post made me happy again

  9. Haha! You know Abha, I never knew I liked myself so much, didn’t give a thought to the Geet resemblance when I saw the movie… you blog friends are amazing – pointing out things about me that I never dreamt of! 😀

    Right on Jira! And thanks!! But where’s your list? 😉

    Glad to make you happy ma’m! Why don’t you compile your own list Sumana? Post it here if you’d like or anywhere really – it’s a real happy thing to do, you know!

  10. Loved, loved, loved this entry. 🙂 Your positive attitude is shining right into the hearts of your readers – you’ve infected us with this. Hehehe. It was great to read about everything you listed as blessing; you are definitely a very blessed lady! And the best part about it is that you know that and appreciate everything life has given you.

    Everyone’s definitely going thru some tough times now, and we will have to tighten our financial belts eventually… but, during the rocky ride, we shouldn’t forget all the good things we have in our lives – our family, our friends, our health, and quite possibly whatever is left of most people’s wealth at this point. 😉

  11. Wonderful outlook ! And indeed, the only way to go through rough times is to think positive.

    My list :
    – Me and my immediate family are in reasonably good health
    – no financial burden on our heads (read : loan: )
    – loved ones just a phone call away
    – decent job (though there are times I complain a lot about it :))
    – wonderful libraries in the city where I live…am able to read books to my heart’s content
    – able to watch Hindi movies within the first week of release :p
    ……etc, etc.

    and thanks for making us count our blessings !

  12. 😉 Thanks Sindhu!

    Nice list Aparna – I loved the last point, can’t believe I missed it myself. 😀

    Thanks Manish!

  13. Don’t worry – things will look up and in any case nothing will happen that we cannot overcome with a positive outlook. look who I am saying this to – Ms.positive spirit herself. Great list. Whatever happens, nothing can take these away and that is what counts.

  14. 😀 Thanks for the compliment and the vote of confidence Usha! Been missing your posts these days btw.

    Well said, HDWK! 🙂

    Thanks Astralwicks, that’s so sweet of you!

    Loved your post too TS!

  15. Wonderful post – I like your colourful list – it reminds me of my blessings too! and assured me that there is nothing wrong with being contended with much less.

  16. Oh yes Swarna, but why think of anything as less either? Whatever makes us happy is wonderful na? 😀

    (I understand what you are saying, but wanted to point this out – too often we make the mistake of considering anything that’s not high-profile or lucrative as somehow *less*. I was just trying to question that.)

    Welcome here, btw. 🙂

  17. Pingback: Dark Clouds and Silver Lining « Sunshine Days

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