- Going #2 - I hate it. And I have a shy bum. Public restrooms stress me out. I wish our bodies were designed to, just use everything that we ate or drank so that this did not have to be part of my daily routine. However, I am, after all, a human being and I truly am grateful that my body works to get rid of whatever it is that I don't need. As much as I hate going number 2, not being able to go would be miserable. I'm grateful.
- That Exercise is Hard - I do it. I have actually gotten to the point where I enjoy it and the angry sharks come out if I don't exercise, even if it just walking up and down stairs for a few minutes. But those first few minutes suck, every single time I start to run, or lift, or do pushups, or whatever. I am very grateful though, that I have a body that works and that I am able to physically do everything that I want to. I do not take that for granted.
- When People Complain All the Time - I know, it sounds like I am complaining right now. To be honest, there are not very many people in my life who complain so much that I don't want to be around them. In fact, I can't think of any. And hat is something to express sincere appreciation for.
- When People Die - It is part of life, but it is horrible. I could make a case that there has been too much of it in my life and the older I get I know that there is just going to be more of it. That being said, I am grateful that I have been taught about the possibility of a literal resurrection and an opportunity to reunite with those who have passed on before. My belief in that doctrine offers me hope, and I am grateful for it.
- Country Music - I am grateful that I am able to hear... even country music. (Except for Eddie Rabbit and the Judds. They bring back fond memories of my childhood.
- Making Phone Calls - Even to people who I want to talk to. Especially to people that I don't know. What a wonderful thing though, to live in a world where a lot of communication is done by txt message, IM, or email. If it weren't for social media, I would never interact with half of the people that I do. Even the ones that I see face to face. Because I would have to call them and I hate doing that.
- Cancer - I lost my best friend to cancer 7 years ago. I say that I lost. I should say that a devoted wife and a darling son lost their husband and father to cancer. I should say that wonderful parents and siblings lost their son and brother to cancer. For me to say that I lost my friend sounds pretentious. But he was my friend and I love him and miss him. My grandpa also lost his battle with cancer. If there was ever anyone who was prepared to meet God, it was him. What is there to be grateful for about cancer. I don't know, but I think John Greene got it right in The Fault In Our Stars when (spoiler alert) the dad tells his daughter, "It was a beautiful thing to know (them)." I got to know them, and I am grateful for that.
- Addictions - I lost my father and step-brother to drug addiction and have seen so much tragedy in the lives of those around me who struggle with addictions of all types. I am grateful to have seen how hard addiction can be and that seeing the troubles has steered me away from addictive behaviors.
- Conflict - I will avoid it if I can. It is a character flaw that I have. Because of conflict I have had to really look inward to find where I have been wrong and have had to work to change those things. Please don't point them out in the comments. I am aware of enough character flaws that it will take me forever to fix them. I am grateful that conflict has helped me to become more self aware and to improve myself.
- That Derek Jeter will not be playing this year - I hadn't even thought of this until I just barely realized that baseball season starts soon. I loved watching Jeter play. I am grateful that I had the chance to watch him play all these years... and that he made the throw to get Jeremy Giambi at the plate in Oakland.
This was an interesting list to start out with. I am a big believer in being grateful. I know I need to express my gratitude more than I do, but to figure out how to be grateful for ten things that I really dislike was a challenge. Honestly, it was a challenge to think of ten things that I hate. Up until I got to about number 8. This was inspiring though, because it forced me to think about things that I might usually complain about and see a benefit to them, even though some of them are really hard parts of life. Anyway, let's get to the list:
Mat Edvik is first and foremost a devoted husband and a push over father. He has spent the last 15 years of his life working with teenagers as a teacher, speaker, and life coach. He is the co-founder of the Teen Esteem Council and is the Co-Author of the book Dropping Him, Finding Me. He is also the author of the How To Guide to A Better Perception of You and Mom's Are On the Inside Track to Heaven.