We are often blinded to what is of real value in our lives. We are often blind-sided by material wealth and economic worth and seek to measure our worth according to our apparent successes and failures at acquiring wealth and establishing some form of economic status based on it. These high expectations can indeed plummet us into great chasms of despair when our net worth based on these rigid criteria is seemingly low or even non-existent.
At 50 I find that I appear to be worth less in wages and respect than I was when I was 25. This has been a hard lesson to learn. However I can live off less, and I realise that so much of how I have measured myself is based on unrealistic monetised criteria.
I hope we somehow teach our children to recognise and measure their value and worth in other ways.
I hope they learn to measure their wealth in the size of their hearts and the depth of their compassion.
I hope they learn to measure their worth in their ability to give thanks, in their tolerance and their preparedness to give support and guidance to others in need.
I hope that they learn that time is of value and is often underestimated.
When you put aside the desire to be the most successful, or to have the most money it gives you the opportunity to look more closely at what you achieved in life and what is of value in and around you.
I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be a mum, and for me this was not a done deal.
I am thankful that I have been able to work most of my life in a job that has been profoundly interesting, engaging and in a field that I have been extremely passionate about.
I have been fortunate and am thankful that my work has been fulfilling and challenging and that I have often felt that I am making a worthwhile and valid contribution to society.
I am thankful for my family, all of them, warts and all, a husband who has at times driven me to distraction but always been there to hold my hand and walk beside me when the road has been tough. I am thankful for my children who have made me what I am, everything I have done has been to be able to give them something of value and worth. I am thankful for my sister and my parents for all that they gave to me and all that I learned from them.
I am thankful that when I have made mistakes I have had opportunities to recover and learn and try again.
I am thankful for the friendship and love I have received over the years from people whom I have loved and cherished and also sometimes from complete strangers.
I am thankful for the world around me, the beautiful buildings with their amazing stories, the sea and the landscape, the weather and all that is nature, from the humble daisy to a seascape at sunset.
When we take time to think about what makes us glad, we are able to remember that value and worth are not necessarily linked to money.
©Alison Jean Hankinson