I thought I might be Gollum, you know the fictional character from Lord Of The Rings. Like Gollum, I have coveted something “precious” in the past and it has stolen my joy. But after researching more about Gollum and his psychological profile, I am relieved to say I am not him. Still, the truth is, I have envied others and it did steal the joy from that moment.

What I have come to realize is that it is up to me whether I enjoy my life. I can see the beauty in my morning walks and feel gratitude that I am able to walk safely where I live or I can resent that I have to get up and out by a certain time every day in order to keep my dog from having accidents and keep up with my work schedule. I can enjoy creating fun and different dinners each night with my husband or I can feel put upon that I have to cook. If a friend or neighbor gets a newer and fancier vehicle than mine, does that diminish that I have a safe mode of transportation?

I recently spoke with a client who expressed that she was angry with the Universe because she thought she might not get a job she had interviewed for, her gym was possibly closing and she had to delay a home improvement project due to finances, while someone she knew had just won $5000.  When we broke things down into smaller chunks, she realized life might not be all that bad. The job had not been assigned to anyone yet and she was still a candidate. Furthermore, she currently has a very good job. The gym was still open and she had also signed up for some classes in another club where she was making new friends. While the home improvement project might be delayed, she has a lovely home for her and her children to live in. So, maybe she isn’t the Universal Hacky Sack?

Her real issue was something totally different and she had begun to allow that situation to color all of her thinking. She is not alone in doing that. To some extent, it seems we all do. We allow one aggressive driver who cuts us off to change our mood for the day. If you break things down into numbers and percentages though, how much of your total day did you deal with that one incident? I am not fond of being left on hold for twenty minutes by customer service, but out of 24 hours, it is really less than one percent of my day.  When I remember that, I can choose to use the time more constructively. I can deep breathe, color or doodle, clean out my spam files; there are any numbers of possibilities. Imagine if I took that time to make a gratitude list, so that the next time I felt jealous of someone else, I could pull it out and remember why my life is so good?