Making another change and being grateful.

Life’s journey can be like a sailboat ride – not in a simple straight convenient path, but crisscrossing across the lake, changing course according to the direction of the wind. I am grateful I can make the trip.

It’s 27 April 2019. Reading my journal from 2014 set me thinking about my current situation and the changes I am in the midst of. The guest speaker at a conference shared how the death of her father shocked her into taking a leap in faith to follow her dream.

We often make change when we are forced to. Something can shock you out of your comfort zone. A death, a sudden change in circumstances, maybe a health crisis, can prompt a decision to change. I know this happened for me when I came down with shingles in 2008. It took 14 months to be pain-free. It brought me up to an abrupt halt.

I was grateful because had I continued on my frenetic way, I might have had a stroke, I recall telling myself at the time. I have promised myself never to get to that point of stress again. I have walked away when once I would have stoically trudged on.

Sometimes I needed to revisit that lesson.

Someone close to me did have a stroke – and not from living a stressed out existence. It was a purely physical occurrence – but the effect was the same. Life came to a screeching halt. The focus shifted – my priorities got shaken up and I focus on what I do have, what I am grateful for… small mercies, mostly.

My priorities are settling down now – but I have made a couple of very big changes.

I have more compassion. I have slowed down to enjoy simple little things like just being with someone. The really awful debilitating effects of a stroke escaped us – and life is pretty much normal. Well, a new normal and one that is Ok. I am grateful – it could have been worse.

I have reviewed my workload. My boss was really supportive – and gave me all sorts of flexibility – but the reality is that straddling two life styles takes an effort that I don’t want to make anymore. I have reduced my employment down to 2 days a week – and even then I wonder how long that will last. I am grateful to be working for someone who leads with compassion and appreciation. It makes it a little harder to leave.. but only a little.

I am writing my mother’s story. This research has been going on for a few years now, but I have brought it into some sort of shape. I have her childhood down in detail and I see patterns – generations of women who had to give up their education to earn money to support their families – moving abruptly from child to earner or homemaker to breadwinner. I am grateful that I had opportunities to pursue my education

I am becoming more like my mother. Grateful. She is 94 and grateful for the phone calls and visits. Grateful to the staff who care for her. I am sure gratitude has contributed to her longevity, her quality of life and her ongoing contribution to her community. I’d like the joy of gratitude when I am in my 95th year – or now!

Author: Yvonne Simpson

This blog shares my leadership journey and my passion for educating to lead.

2 thoughts on “Making another change and being grateful.”

  1. You are so right Yvonne. So often it takes a really significant event in our lives before we really understand the concept of gratefulness. We have so much that we often take things for grated – or as a right or expectation.


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