Finding Gratitude In the Good And Bad

It was a beautiful day for a trip to the beach.

Grabbing her cousin and her brother, Kari and her kids headed for the state park, a popular destination when both the temperature and humidity edged toward 100. The bay was almost in sight when a car ran a stop sign and pulled in front of their SUV. Fighting the momentum of screeching from 50 mph to a standstill in seconds, the cars collided, air bags inflating as drivers and passengers alike fought their restraints.

God was with them; doctors watched Kari for signs of a concussion and fitted her brother with a cautionary neck brace, but thankfully, no one was seriously hurt. But with parents scrambling in from around the state as the totaled SUV was hauled away, it hit home how quickly life can change in the blink of an eye.

Most of us have been there, not necessarily in a car accident, but blindsided by a catastrophic event. For the OolaSeeker, it was his nephew’s battle with cancer, a struggle that put his own considerable challenges in a new perspective.

And it was his nephew’s unbeatable spirit, grateful even as, holding his parents’ hands, he slipped away, that today encourages the OolaSeeker to be grateful and have faith through all situations of life.

These are the times you find yourself, like Kari, at the crossroads, shaking your fist at the fates or stepping forward with an attitude of gratitude. And the direction you take often depends on the foundation you’ve built on your journey to your OolaLife.

  • Strengthening yourself in the seven Fs of Oola – fitness, finance, family, field, faith, friends and fun – is a good place to start. Kari’s finances were in good order; her SUV was insured and it wasn’t long before she was back on the road. She didn’t have to worry about medical expenses and she was fit, key to avoiding more serious injuries. It left her free to focus on what really mattered, her family and her renewed faith. God was with her that day!
  • Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Before the OolaSeeker’s nephew Jared was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, Dr. Dave leaned on his sister Denette as he regained his Oola. And in the blink of an eye, their roles were reversed. Each found the strength they needed from the family and friends who surrounded them, Jared among them. As Denette puts it, “We’re all just one phone call from our knees!”
  • Anticipate challenges and the OolaBlockers just waiting for the chance to make the most of them. Life is filled with change; just look what’s underway in your life as you pursue your OolaLife. And again, the steps you take to realize your dreams will prepare you for the tough times. Your $1,000 emergency fund will go far in dealing with a harsh winter’s utility bills. Your revitalized relationships with family members mean you won’t face problems alone. And your strong faith in a higher purpose in life will help put these events in perspective. Never lose hope!
  • Finally, learn to appreciate life’s good moments. Maya Angelou describes how many of us look at life as “not good” or “not good enough.” She says we bite into an apple and make a face if it doesn’t taste good or mindlessly devour it without noticing the wonderful burst of flavor. Stop and celebrate life’s blessings as you move toward a balanced life. Your journey to an OolaLife isn’t about reaching a destination; it’s immersing yourself in the awesomeness of positive change. Through good times and bad, remember …

Be grateful, have faith and go get your OolaLife!