A Difficult Year

I have to admit it. 2015 has been a difficult year for me.

Plans I had long made for my personal improvement were painfully interrupted. I ran into several situations in my other church calling as high priest’s group leader (for my non-LDS readers, that’s the person responsible for older men and people who otherwise have been senior leaders of the congregation and their families) in my ward that either made me very sad or made me want to bang my head in frustration. Several other things were equally wearisome. It’s just been that kind of year.

One morning I awoke early and starting thinking about the situations I found myself in. I realized that I was emphasizing the negative things that were happening too much. I decided to try a little experiment. I began to list people who had been an influence for good in my life, starting with early childhood and continuing to now. I counted over a hundred people in just a few minutes – people who had been good examples and shown love and concern for my family and me. Since then, I have counted many more. I realized that each of these people has been a blessing in my life. I value them far more than all of the material things I’ve managed to accrue.

I also realize that I have received many other blessings this year. We have an awesome new grandson whose smile makes my heart melt. I have three other grandchildren whose growth and development have been a true joy to observe. One of the first words from one of those grandchildren was “grandpa.”

I also have a job that I really love that allows me the time to do things like occasionally write organ music. That’s a rare thing in the Silicon Valley where I live, and it’s made a difference in my life.

I also have a wife and family that love and support me. I also have good friends that encourage and sustain me. Life is actually really good.

As I thought about these things, I realized that I needed to change my attitude. I needed to look for the best rather than the worst. The amount of good in my life has far outweighed any challenges that I’ve faced.

By the way, as to those interrupted plans – I was able to find a way to resume them and things have worked out for the good.

Yes, this is a Thanksgiving post. Thanksgiving is a day best celebrated every day of the year.


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