It’s About Time

Ruth Wong

Friday, November 12, 2004

Be thankful for
small joys

With Thanksgiving Day just two weeks away, I'd like to ask you readers, What is your GQ? (That's "Gratitude Quotient.")

It's easy to be grateful for the big things in life, but what about the everyday, ordinary things?

Do you greet the day with "Good morning, Lord," or do you think, "Good Lord, it's morning!"?

Do you consider grocery shopping a chore? Or cleaning the bathroom a bother? Or going to work drudgery?

I used to regard grocery shopping as a time-consuming chore until I heard a foreigner's comment. She spoke of how impressed she was by America's modern supermarkets that had such a wide selection of goods, and being able to shop in air-conditioned comfort. That changed my thinking. Now, when I shop, I'm thankful for the convenience of modern stores.

I used to consider cleaning the bathroom bothersome. Then I thought about the primitive bathrooms in undeveloped countries, and became grateful for indoor plumbing.

Before the recent election, I received a letter from Susan Page, whose husband, Jerry Coffee, ran for the state House. Coffee was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for seven years.

Susan wrote: "You'd think an experience like that would make him embittered over the years he spent languishing in a filthy prison cell, far from his beloved family -- not getting to meet his youngest son until he was 7 years old! But instead, Jerry has an attitude of gratitude -- seeing each new day as a blessing to savor and embrace.

"While I greet the morning with a groan, he greets each day with a resounding 'Yes!' I hear him singing in the shower. 'This is so great,' he'll shout. Seven years without hot water -- or even a real shower -- make him appreciate the small things we take for granted."

PERSPECTIVE CAN make a huge difference in our attitude and appreciation of our lives.

I believe that an attitude of gratitude not only improves health and relationships, but also aids time management, for when we appreciate each new day, a free evening or even an unexpected hour, we're more careful how we spend it.

This is the perfect time of year to increase our GQ and have a truly thankful Thanksgiving.

See you in two weeks!

"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail features@starbulletin.com



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