Don't Wait Until It's Too Late

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Do you know what I love about the cold, snowy Wisconsin winter we had (besides the fact that it’s finally over)? I love that it has made me appreciate spring even more than ever this year! And yet, as I enjoy a wonderful string of warm, beautiful days, I know the novelty is already wearing off. My memories of the brutal cold and numb fingers seem distant. Even my fascination and enjoyment of the newly arrived Baltimore Orioles, Indigo Buntings, and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks is slowly fading. It struck me that it’s like so many things in life; after the initial newness wears off, I start to take things for granted.

To help me keep that wonder and appreciation, I’ve been trying out a different kind of gratitude strategy. In addition to remembering something I am grateful for, I also spend a few moments contemplating what my life would be like without it. Recent studies show that this approach can help us to appreciate it even more and be happier. I’m finding it is so true! Even the briefest of thoughts of not having winter turn into spring renews my appreciation. But even more importantly this approach deepens my gratitude for my family, my home and my health. Remember the old saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone?” Don’t wait until it’s too late! Try this gratitude strategy for yourself and appreciate what you have right now.

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