Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Learning To Appreciate What I Already Have

Megan Erbacher

Sometimes in life I get restless and my mind starts to wander. I see life updates posted on social media and I’m ashamed to admit it, but sometimes it makes me want what I don’t have.

Oh wow, that’s a really nice car. I wish mine was newer.

That girl is so fit. I wish I looked like her.

My friend’s new house is so big. I wish I owned a house like that.

That couple seems to really have it together. Why can’t my relationship be perfect like theirs?

I have to remind myself sometimes the reality of social media: People post what they want you to see. They post the exciting stuff. They post the photos that show themselves in a flattering angle and light. They post about their new car or house. They share sweet stuff about their relationship.

What they don’t post are the ups and downs of their life. They don’t post the struggles they face. They don’t post the arguments they have with their significant other. They don’t post the first 10 photos they took until they got one they thought was just right. Can you imagine if kids these days had to endure the agony of shooting a roll of film, sending it off in the mail and waiting about a week to see how the pictures turned out?!

Social media tends to make people assume everyone else has it all together. Everyone else’s life is perfect, according to the internet, so what’s wrong with mine?

You see, people don’t want others to know about the mess. No one wants to share the ugly parts of their life or what they may have sacrificed to attain their goals.

Speaking of social media, I was browsing Facebook the other day and came across a meme that struck me. The phrase on it read: “I cried when I had no shoes, but I stopped crying when I saw a man without legs. Life is full of blessings, sometimes we don’t value it.”

After a little Googling, I’m still not sure who to attribute the quote to because at least three people came up as the source: Shakespeare, Helen Keller and Mahatma Gandhi. Regardless of who said it, it shifted something inside me.

Why is it so easy to lust after something someone else has than to be thankful for what I already have? All too often it seems easier to let social media throw me into a tailspin of negativity in pointing out what I think I lack rather than celebrating what I possess.

The old adage goes: “The grass is greener on the other side.”

But more and more I keep seeing a motto I like better, and I think all of us can benefit from: “The grass is greener where you water it.”

Let that sink in a bit. “The grass is greener where you water it.”

How true is that?

While there is nothing wrong with striving to make your life better, I believe it’s also important to be thankful for what you do have. Heck, each one of you reading this right now woke up this morning. God gave you another day. That in itself is a blessing I know I too often take for granted.

Someday, God will call all of us home, but the truth is we have no idea when our time will come. So instead of focusing on what everyone else seems to have, let’s wakeup each day with a grateful heart and appreciate our life for exactly what it is – flaws and all – and let’s be thankful for our daily blessings.