There is a quote by Albert Einstein I really like and read often as a reminder:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

We are privileged to live in a country where we have shelter, clean water, food on the table, and we get to enjoy all the freedoms that the US Constitution provides. It’s easy to take all these things for granted and to forget that so many around world do not have a roof over their head, access to health care, or the right to vote. 

But all too often, we focus on things not going on our way that are trivial, even letting them ruin our mood and feel compelled to share “our misery” with others.

“Headphones died in the middle of a work out! So upset and annoyed!”,  read on FB recently. Someone chimed in, “THAT IS THE WORST. EVER.” in all capital letters. Hmmm….really?!

The Starbucks drive through line is too slow. Harris Teeter does not carry a favorite brand of Greek yogurt. You get what I am saying.

Practicing gratitude and focusing on all the abundance that surround us can change our mood, our day and possibly our life. Gratitude is what makes the glass full; it reminds us that we have enough and that we are enough. The way we can change our thinking, making us realize how fortunate we are, even when we feel down.

The most meaningful gifts are the ones that cost very little or nothing but come from the heart. I have been fortunate to receive several Gratitude Jars over the years, and I encourage you to either give them as gifts during this holiday season or create your own for yourself. Its simple; just find a mason jar, perhaps put a ribbon around it or make it as fancy as you like, thank you, Pinterest! Then either fill it with blank slips of paper if you give it as a present or make one for yourself to keep and write down something that you are grateful for each night. At the end of this coming year, take the time to read all that makes our life wonderful and worth living.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season filled with miracles,
Ursula and the IPY Teachers