One thing, that I often hear in my life, is the saying, “You should walk a mile in my shoes.” I often wonder why others say that, to imply that another’s life is so much worse than the person that they are talking to. Do we need our lives to be worse so we can make others feel bad for having something nicer?
I have known many others who purchase a new vehicle, build their own home or have a home filled with many nice things, say they live paycheck to paycheck and that I should be thankful I do not have to walk in their shoes. To be honest with you, I am thankful I do not walk in others shoes. The reason? Because of the old saying, “There is always someone out there who has it worse.”
I wake up at 6:30 in the morning, (it used to be 5:30) and I need a crane to get myself out of bed and ready for my ‘paycheck’ job. But my dragging feet hit the ground and the very first thought that enters my mind, every time, is thought of being grateful that I am able to simply put my feet on the ground. I then think of how many others can not walk on their own and realize that my groggy morning has started off so much better than others.
I walk out my back door and down the steps as my wife, who works at night for Toyota, climbs the steps as she comes home, kisses me and says have a good day as she goes into the house. I regret that I do not see my wonderful wife very much in a work week. I often feel like a single parent of four children. But, that kiss, followed by a wonderful smile leaves me reminded that this wonderful woman is my wife and is in my life.
I climb into my ’96 Jimmy, which looks very well still for its age and mileage, but is beginning to have transmission trouble, and sometimes think about having a brand new vehicle that I feel good driving and is dependable in the foreseeable future. I then thank my God for having a vehicle to drive, especially as the weather becomes cooler and I see others riding a bicycle to travel.
I go to my ‘paycheck’ job for nine hours and bear witness to other personalities that can be happy/sad, optimistic/pessimistic, up/down, nice/rude or mature/dramatic. Yet for those nine hours I remember why I work and when my family enters my mind, I thank my God again, while at times, overwhelmed and underpaid, I am grateful for my pay that is always correct and finished on time.
At five, I return home to my wife, who is preparing to head to work. I only have 20 minutes before she is gone again. At times, instead of being able to spend that time together, it is spent meeting the needs of an 11, two 6 and one 5 year olds needs. Hungry, thirsty, tired, where is this and where is that and he/she won’t leave me alone. Before I know, my wife is gone and I am working on Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Church, dishes, laundry and hoping I am able to work on my books before I lay down. But, I love the sounds my children’s voices make! I love that they need us, I love that I have 20 minutes with my wife in the evening and not 20 seconds as I do in the morning. Running everywhere like mad means I get to see our 11-year-old spend time with his Boy Scout friends, our 6-year-old son learn the Cub Scout promise, our 6-year-old daughter play games at Girl Scouts and our 5-year-old son jump for joy over Skylanders! Then to finish a crazy week in church with all of them and my wife leaves me feeling blessed!
I spend my evenings mowing the lawn, doing dishes, folding laundry, cooking dinner and helping with homework. If I am lucky, I am able to sit down at my desk at 9 or 10p.m. and work on an interview or an illustration or enter a contest. I haven’t written in six months which completely drives me for a loop, but my children come first and my wife is the closest second possible. Then it happens again, I am thankful for clean dishes, laundry in my drawer, food in our stomachs and homework competed. I add that on top with, writing my sixth book, having 532 likes on my Facebook page and growing, 10,050 views on this blog and two more illustrations being created by Danny Kluis Limited and I know they will look amazing!
When all is done, I am taking a shower after midnight and laying down, knowing that in five hours, I will get up and begin the cycle again. You know it then happens again! I enjoy my warm shower at midnight and love the feeling of warming up in my comfortable bed as I go to sleep.
Can someone else have it worse? You bet! Should I be glad I don’t walk in someone elses shoes? I am already glad to begin with. So, when I hear I should walk a mile in other shoes, live their life or survive on their income, a peace comes over me. With so much in my own life to be thankful for, I want to leave others the opportunity to be thankful also! 🙂
Here are a couple more quotes, I live by!
“What is necessary to change a person, is to change his awareness of himself.” -Abraham H. Maslow-
“Success follows doing what you want to do. There is no other way to be successful.” -Malcolm Forbes-
“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” -Carl Jung-
“It is not enough to be busy, the question is, what are we busy for?” -Henry David Thoreau-
Live With Passion!