**Guest post from Ashley**
Does it take a good perspective to be grateful or does being grateful give you a good perspective? Either way, I’m feeling it. And the goal is for this to be a permanent mindset and not a fleeting mood.
My place of work is offering a voluntary program that offers the ability to get a discount on health insurance. Anyone who opts in will have their weight, waistline, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides measured. If 3 out of 5 are deemed risk factors, then you must improve them by the next check in; otherwise, with no improvements, you lose your discount. If less than 3 are risk factors, and you maintain that, you keep your discount.
I overheard my coworkers talking about how invasive this was. One complained that her doctor already has this information and the company should go to the trouble of calling her doctor’s office for the transcripts. Another complained that it was an invasion of privacy for the company to request a blood sample because they could get your DNA. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, so I had to walk over and put in my 2 cents.
First of all, this is a voluntary program. Secondly, it will ONLY benefit you and the company. It will ultimately lower healthcare costs for everyone and make you healthier in the process. If you don’t want either of these benefits, then you’re more than welcome to decline the invitation. I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to get a discount *and* to learn my health risks. In the past I’ve never had the motivation to make the appointment to get these types of tests, so while it might not be pretty I’m actually welcoming it with open arms.
So I started thinking about different perspectives. (It would be exhausting to always assume someone is out to get you, wouldn’t it?) I don’t consider myself overly optimistic, but certain circumstances throughout life may have shaped my perspective and the way I look at things. Here are some more examples (in no particular order) of things I’m grateful for that others may take for granted:
- Support from my and Alicia’s family for us and our family. I suppose most people aren’t relieved or thrilled to have such support – that’s just what happens for them. But it’s not every day one finds Southern Baptist and Catholic households ready and willing to give unconditional love and support for a family like ours. How amazing is that? I realize how lucky we are. . . As far as I’m concerned, we might as well have won the lottery!
- I will be able to adopt our baby without moving to the Northeast or the West Coast. We may have to move to another county, but by golly I can do it in Georgia! After explaining all of the legal procedures and hurdles to a friend, her reply was “it’s just not fair – you’ll be better parents than most straight couples. You shouldn’t have to go through all of that.” But I don’t think about it that way, I’m just so grateful I’ll be able to adopt the baby so that she’s ours.
- Alicia has a great relationship with her mom and Elia will be able to see that and have a great relationship with her grandmother. Losing my mom so early on makes me REALLY appreciate those relationships. I saw the relationship that my mom and her mother had, and I knew it was special. I’m grateful that Elia will be able to see something similar.
- I found someone who shares my values and morals and accepts my faults who I love and loves me too. This may be applicable to everyone, but I’m super grateful for it and still catch myself not believing it’s real even after 6+ years.
- I have a job where I can put Alicia on my insurance. Most folks don’t even know if their company’s insurance has support for same-sex domestic partners, but that was one of the major requirements during my job hunt. It narrowed down the search quite a bit, but I found a great job at a great company with the benefits we needed.
- We got pregnant with the first IUI – how does that even happen!? I don’t even know, but the bank account is grateful.
I could go on, but at this point I feel like I’m going to jinx something. Even as I write this it all seems too good to be true. Other people could look at some of these things as obstacles or unfair, but life sure is better when you look at things from a positive.
And guess what — the better it gets, the better it gets!