Within the past few months, I have realized that I am EXTREMELY gifted in the ability to take things for granted. I might even consider this "talent" a hobby of mine from the past few months, even years, leading up to the day I moved into college. Up until this moment, although I thanked God for my blessings daily, I didn't actually "count my blessings" enough; that is, LITERALLY COUNT THEM. Oddly enough, although I write down my prayer concerns to reference when I pray, I have a habit of simply saying "God, thank you for my many blessings." (God's probably saying, "MANY?! GIRL, YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!)
For a while, "Thank you for my many blessings" satisfied the "thanks" part of my prayers. Occasionally, if the Gamecocks won or I made an A on my Chemistry test or I had an especially good day, I might specify my blessings, but most of the time, "thanks for everything" was good enough.
Then came college.
All of the sudden, all of my standard comforts disappeared. I was living in a place where I didn't know everyone strolling down the sidewalk, I had to use my GPS to navigate around town and had to climb up a ladder to get into bed. I wasn't greeted by my tail-wagging golden retriever every morning, I didn't have my parents to talk my day over with, or my brother to goof around with, my friends were now miles away; the list goes on and on.
Thankfully, college quickly grew on me, but home sure didn't wear off.
Instead of (1) trying to completely rid myself of all thoughts of home or (2) mourning home, I made a compromise. I would evaluate everything about both home and college and simultaneously be thankful for aspects of both. This way, there was no possibly loop-holes that "taking things for granted" could shimmy through. A large part of this evaluation of life as it was/is consisted of being more specific about my blessings. I have learned to say "thank you" to people more, especially my family and friends from home. As for everyone I have met and continue to meet at college, I have learned to be more appreciative of them early on. It's comforting to be able to say "thank you" or "I love you" at any given time and know you are not taking anyone, or anything, for granted
So, how is this implemented course of action beneficial?
Taking things for granted is no longer a hobby of mine. In fact, I now consider this practice a bad habit. I don't meditate on the past and wish it back; instead I am now more conscious of the blessings of the past, present, and future.
As the months became weeks, which instantly became days, preceding the start of my college career, a number of people warned me how quickly college would pass, and encouraged me to make the most of my time there. These sage words came from the mouths of people ranging from recent college graduates to grandparents. They had experienced anywhere from 22 to 92 years of life; I would expect they had come to the conclusion at some point in their lives that taking things for granted just not the best way to go about living.
People say "time is of the essence." Well, I've learned love, relationships, memories, and experiences are also. When people tell you that "there's no time like the present," they're right. In life, there simply is not time NOT to count your blessings, and there is a good chance that you will regret not doing so if this is what you choose. College has taught me that, while there are aspects of home that I miss on occasion, it's best to focus on the daily activities and happenings in life than reminisce on the glory days. Through my personal experience with college thus far, and by watching friends' experiences at college, I have realized that it is all too easy to become caught up in (1) feelings nostalgia or (2) impatience to see the future. (News flash: magic crystal balls don't exist for a reason.)
SO: MY plan of action (and hopefully yours too) is to experience each day to its full potential, give thanks for the blessings of that day, wake up the next morning and REPEAT!
Like Tim McGraw says, LIVE LIKE YOU WERE DYIN'!!
Now go out and do stuff....But don't take it for granted!!