The November challenge is always a pleasure...because I feel the older we get, the more grateful we are. And as I look back through the decades, I feel extraordinarily lucky that I haven't experienced the numerous deaths, tragedies, illnesses, gun violence, etc that so many people have. Sometimes I wonder, when's my number up?
This is the time of year when people think of giving more: donating to a toy drive, food bank, serving at a soup kitchen. There are so very many people in need, and my husband and I do give to various charitable organizations, plus volunteer. I've never been homeless, or seriously injured, or not had enough money to repair a vehicle. Yet the stats tell us that so many families struggle to get through each day trying to make it with enough food, daycare and shelter. Sometime the situation is due to a job loss, or domestic violence, or mental illness or..whatever. Wages have not kept up with inflation and I don't believe they ever will. It's more difficult now to enter, or keep, the basics of a middle class lifestyle: owning a home, saving for college, retirment, child care, staying out of debt -- and on and on.
So I am grateful for those everyday riches that are out of reach for so many people: enough to eat, reliable transportation, a warm down comforter on my bed and a healthy family. Yes, I have worked hard for these 'riches' but I also know part of it seems like luck. I saw the car running the light and stopped so it didn't hit me; my kids didn't become addicts; my husband's prostrate cancer is treatable at this time. All of it could change tomorrow, so today, I'm grateful for the everyday riches I have. I do not take them for granted.