During this intense political climate, people seem to be full of worry. Worry about what will happen to their social security; worry about being able to pay off student loans; worry about who their neighbors will be in the next few years. With all of the worrying (and often complaining…) I cannot help but look around and feel grateful. That is one thing that working at LPCS has taught me: gratitude.
In this same spirit, I have decided to make a brief list of the things that I have only just recently learned to be grateful for since I first volunteered at LPCS.
1. My microwave oven. Many of the people who stay at LPCS move on to be very successful, however there is a point in time when they are transitioning from living at LPCS to living on their own when money is still tight. Something that is a luxury in a new apartment is a microwave oven. I have never lived without the ability to make bagel bites, and I hope that I never have to.
2. Space. Something that staff at LPCS is always trying to accommodate is more space. Storage space for leftover food, closet space for donated appliances, floor space for extra shoes, and, of course, living space for people to stay with us. It is hard to believe that there was a point in my life when I complained because my closet was too small for all of my clothing…I will never make this complaint again.
3. Facebook Access. At LPCS, we are fortunate enough to have several computers for people to use in their job searches. We encourage Guests to spend their computer time working on resumes, searching for open job positions, or improving computer skills. What we don’t provide access to is social media sites such as Facebook. Not that I would ever spend my time at the office trolling facebook, but I have certainly learned to appreciate the freedom to do so when I go home.
4. An Incoming Paycheck. I suppose this is an obvious one, but it is worth mentioning because some people go their entire lives without experiencing a steady paycheck, and others go their entire lives never having to worry about incoming money. Since I was 15 years old and I could get a work permit, I have held jobs. The jobs I have held range from bartending to dog watching, marketing to teaching back to dog walking, and most recently, to this very job I enjoy today. Even at times when money is tight, if I could just make it to the end of the week, I know that I will be able to buy myself more time (figuratively speaking). For this, I appreciate all of the people who have given me jobs throughout my life.
5. My inconsistent sleep schedule. I currently work every Monday – Friday, 9-5. Some days I get to sleep in a little longer, others I have to be at the office into the late evening “burning the midnight oil” as Erin would say. While most days do require an alarm clock, I have practically worn out the Snooze button. An occasional roommate might awaken me during my sleep, but at the end of the day, I get to choose when my day will end. I can go to bed at 8PM when I feel tired enough, or I can stay up until 3AM to catch up on the latest season of Downton Abbey. I appreciate making that decision for myself, even when I have to deal with the consequences the next day.
These are just a few of the many things that come to mind when I try to appreciate life, rather than worry or complain. Please share some of the things that you are grateful for.
By: Meghan Freebeck
Community Relations Manager