One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. It is a time when most of us reflect on what is most important in our lives and when we take the time to express our gratitude. It is also a time when I get to test out new dishes in preparation for our Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. I know my children give me a lot to be thankful for but sometimes I have to be reminded to be grateful especially when they are testing me.
Over the weekend my youngest Ella and I were heading to Oxnard from Pasadena to watch the first half of my middle daughter’s Michaela’s soccer match. The plan was that we would then head back to Altadena for her game at 3:15pm. We were on the 118 in Moorpark when my 14 year old son Joey called to say he needed a ride home from practice, he was in La Cañada. He knew in advance that I had commitments with his sisters that morning so how he had managed not to get a ride is still up for debate. I was a ways out from La Cañada so I called a taxi company to have him picked up only to find out that taxi companies in the Pasadena area do not pick up minors. This meant I had to turn around and head back to get him and would miss my daughter’s soccer game.
Flexing the gratitude muscle
As I was driving I thought about how irresponsible he was, how disappointed I was to have to miss Michaela’s game and what consequences would work to have Joey be more thoughtful and better at planning things out in the future. After about 10 minutes (I had about 45 minute drive to plan out his punishment) I started trying to change my state of mind. I started thinking about all the things that I had to be grateful for. The time in the car with Ella reading my fortune with the origami fortune teller she had made. I thought about how I would now get time with Joey that was not planned. So when we picked him up I did not get angry with him, but told him the three of us were going to lunch. While we were at lunch he said, “Hey mom, maybe I did this on purpose so we could spend time together?” I smiled at him and said “I wish that was true and whether it is or not I am grateful to be with you.”
I learned long ago that gratitude is a muscle that has to be flexed on a regular basis or it becomes weak. We test gratitude in large and small situations. Gratitude frees us from anger and gives us a broad perspective of what matters most and allows us to have a more positive perspective.
Women business owners use their gratitude to create change
As I think about all of the amazing women business owners I have met, I’m reminded how many have turned their situations around by flexing their gratitude muscle. For example, Zoey Van Jones had to overcome many personal challenges to get her business off the ground but with perseverance and with an attitude of gratitude she took advantage of every opportunity. Today she runs one of the most successful brow businesses in the area and has taken her brow studio virtual. Women like Zoey remained grateful for what they had and even grateful for what they did not have.
I know Zoey is not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of women who every day turn a challenge in their lives into an opportunity. I am grateful that Wells Fargo has a dedicated small business resource center and small business bankers in our local stores who can help these women make their dreams come true.