When I lost my full-time job a couple of years ago, I got two part-time jobs to maintain my income. My day job is on the northwest side of Chicago and my evening job is on the south side. I was always tired and I dreaded getting up at 4am so I could be out the door at 6am in order to deal with my long commute four days a week. When I came home in the afternoon, I would take a nap or run errands and work the evening shift at my second job. I was frustrated and angry because I felt that I wasn’t making enough money and despite several places I’d applied to, I still hadn’t found a full-time job yet.
I was constantly unhappy, angry, anxious, and on edge all the time. I didn’t exhibit these emotions (or at least I tried not to), so I just stuffed them inside; sometimes I would talk to people about how I felt but I still wasn’t sure how to deal with my feelings. I just felt like life was so unfair and wasn’t supposed to be like this. I went to school and worked hard to get my degrees so now I should be supporting myself with a full-time job; I should have more money in the bank, have my own apartment, and be able to see plays and take vacations whenever I wanted.
One day, I came to a realization: my life’s not horrible. My finances may be a little tight right now, but I can still pay my bills; I haven’t been at the point where I said, “Oh crap! How am I gonna pay this? I don’t have any money!” I can still buy things that I want and go to events as long I do it in moderation and don’t go overboard. And although I’m working at two different places, I love what I do; I love being in positive environments and being around people who encourage me and listen to my ideas. I also realized that money isn’t the answer to all my problems; in addition to dealing with my frustration of finding a full-time job, I was also dealing with a toxic relationship and struggling with my confidence. Even if I had a ton of money, drove a Mercedes, and had a gorgeous apartment or house, I still would’ve been unhappy. Now don’t get me wrong—money definitely helps with certain things, but I don’t believe that it will lead to personal fulfillment and satisfaction.
Now I start my mornings by giving thanks to God for several things:
- For waking me up every morning and giving me another day to live.
- For always protecting my family and me.
- For giving me the strength to leave my unfulfilling relationship.
- For giving me the confidence to be myself.
- For giving me the motivation to accomplish my goals and dreams.
- I have enough money to pay my bills right now.
- My car is running properly.
- I have a roof over my head.
These are just some of the things I’m thankful for. What are you grateful for?