Today’s Writing Prompt: What are you thankful for?
Today’s writing prompt is a little different. I would like for us to write a list of all the things we are thankful for.
This year I have started a daily gratitude journal. Each day write 10 things I am grateful for. I have asked some of my friends and family to start the practice well. Sometimes they tell me it is hard to come up with 10 things each day. Oftentimes we take many of the small things for granted, but we should take time to acknowledge their importance and express gratitude for them. For instance, my love of reading and writing began at a very early age. Way back in the 1900s, when I wanted a book, I either had to order it from a catalog and wait for it in the mail, get it from a library (if they had it, or if it wasn’t checked out by someone else), or buy it in a store. Now, as soon as a book is released, I can download it and begin reading it instantly! Isn’t that something to be thankful for? When you think about it, it is truly amazing.
Also, I started this blog just as a kind of online journal of my thoughts. I didn’t expect to have any followers. As of today, I have over 1500! That may not be a lot to some, but it is to me. For that I am grateful.
Thank you to all my followers and those of you who stop to read my posts.
There are so many ideas and beliefs that have been programmed into us. We don’t usually realize how little influence we have had on our own lives. We have been shaped by our environment. I have experienced it and seen in in others. I used to wonder how fascinating it was to see families, generation after generation repeat the same life patterns. For instance, there is a family in my town of football stars. As far back as my mother’s generation, that family produced star football players. Every year a young man from that family is on the local news for their skills on the football field. People say that football is in their blood, but is it more than that? Is it more than genetics? Is it programming? Could it be possible that that family’s influence has altered the DNA of each member and programmed those skills into each person?
I often wondered how every member of that family seemed to love football. Why didn’t one of them choose art or excel in something other than football? Were they born with that ability? It is just something to think about, but I would like to expand on how our environments have shaped us.
My mother was a teenage mom. She was a very good mom, but she had me at a young age. Growing up I became friends with a group of girls who were also children of teenage moms. By the time were had graduated high school, every girl in that group, except me, had had a child during or immediately after high school. They too became teenage moms. Not only that, their daughters also became teenage moms. One would think that those young women, because of their circumstances, were bound to that fate. That is not the case.
I wondered what it was about me that rescued me from the generational cycle of teenage pregnancy. I still can’t put my finger on it, but I do remember that I knew I was not going to be a teenage mother. I knew that was not going to happen to me. I did not know how my life was going to be, but I did not see being a mother in my teenage years fitting into any plan I had. I just knew it in my gut. On the other hand, my friends, as soon as they in high school began taking birth control. Their mothers insisted on it. I did not. You would think with all of that added medically prescribed protection from pregnancy those girls would have been saved from what seems to be a generational curse. Nope. They all became pregnant. I think the difference in their situation and mine was that their mothers constantly and relentlessly drilled in their heads that they were not going to get pregnant. I believe in doing so, they placed an nagging and persistent program into their minds that gave them laser focus on that very thing. Is it possible that focus attracted a certain outcome?
I truly feel I did not follow the same path because I was not programmed into thinking that was a looming possibility. I remember hearing my mother’s friends telling her she needed to talk to me soon as I was getting older and of that age when girls can “get in trouble”. For whatever reason, that talk never came. Instead she talked to me about going to college and how much fun that would be. We talked a lot about my future, but my future did not come with warnings. She did not fill my head with possibilities of me “getting in trouble”. I wasn’t placed on birth control as a precaution. I was simply left to be.
Some people would say that my mother’s unwillingness to bombard me with talk of teenage pregnancy was irresponsible. I say it was effective. I would like all of us to think about the things in our lives that we feel are inevitable and to really think about why we feel that way. Have we been programmed? If so, we can rewrite the program. We are not bound to certain outcomes. We are in control of our own lives. The past does not dictate the future.