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KellyGram – With Gratitude

 

 

My marketing manager and dear friend, Jamie Smith, and I get together each week to brainstorm KellyGram topics, and this week’s conversation led to a discussion on gratitude. Living in a society that instills in us a desire to always have more, and in the age of social media, where we see insights into the seemingly “picture-perfect” lives of our friends and acquaintances, it becomes very easy to stay focused on wanting the things that we don’t have instead of appreciating all that we already do. Practicing gratitude helps to combat this disillusion and promotes happiness and contentment in the present. And so, in the hopes of offering up a little inspiration to start your weekend, this week’s KellyGram is a reflection on my personal gratitude.

The last several years have been full of blessings and challenges in my own life, just like everyone else who is reading this week’s newsletter. I can sit here at my desk, in our my new office at 1523 Huger Street, and rattle off a long list of the problems, failures, health troubles, family issues, and professional challenges that chip away at my gratitude. When I think back on my career, with all of its successes, it’s not the thousands of people I’ve helped over the years that spring first into my mind—it’s the ones I couldn’t help. So, though I like to think that I am an upbeat and positive person, like so many of us, I have to work to ward off my inner critic when life’s obstacles arise.

To do this, I take an inventory of all of the things in this world for which I am grateful, and suddenly my handful of troubles pale in comparison. At the top of my list are my deep and unfaltering love for my family; my faith—especially my two home churches, St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields in Columbia and St. Stephen’s Episcopal in North Myrtle Beach; my friends; my mental and physical health; and my career, coworkers and clients. Each day, I have food, shelter, water, and a bed to sleep in at night. I have people I can rely on and people who rely on me. I have my local haunts where the menu is great and the company’s better, and I live in a town that is flourishing and has so much to offer. I truly am one blessed individual and am thankful to God for all that he has given me. There are things that happened (or didn’t happen) in my life that I didn’t understand at the time. But quite like the Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers” (which is rattling around in my head at this very moment!), as time goes by, I continue to look back and realize that each challenge served a purpose.

And so, as we enter the weekend, I rejoice—I am a blessed man! I hope you’ll be inspired to take a moment to practice gratitude over the coming days and come to see that you are too!

Sincerely,

 

Mike Kelly

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