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Last Thursday was “one of those days.” Having accidently set my alarm for PM instead of AM the night before, it failed to go off. I was rushed, but, luckily, I tend to be an early riser. So, I was still able to exercise, shower and dress for work with time to fix a quick breakfast…or so I thought. While quickly making that breakfast, I tried to stop a runaway egg from rolling off the counter – with my hip. Well, I only managed to smash it between the counter and my hip. After cleaning the counter, cabinets, and floor, I went to change my egg-covered clothes. That’s when I saw I had apparently forgotten to take the dry cleaning. Finally in the car, ready to leave the house, I looked at the dash and thought, “Oh no! I meant to get gas last night.” Eventually, after my detours to the laundromat and the gas station, I made it to work. I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, but, needless to say, my day continued in much the same manner. So much so that as I climbed into bed that night, I was thinking, “I hope tomorrow is a better day.”

Friday Morning! The alarm was set for AM – I woke up on time! I grabbed a cup of coffee and, as is my habit, turned on the computer to check the news. All the headlines were similar:

“A substantial 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck at 2:46 p.m. (12:46 a.m. ET) on Japan’s main island, Honshu, unleashing a huge tsunami which crashed through the eastern coastline”

Over the next several days, along with the rest of the world, I watched as the situation now described as “the disaster in Japan” continued to worsen. 15,000 people missing – entire villages wiped out – loved ones missing and feared dead – rolling blackouts – nuclear meltdowns – radiation levels elevated! Yet, we saw signs of resilience and strength in the face of disaster. Even before Japan’s adored emperor, Emperor Akihito, told the Japanese people to “never give up hope,” before he encouraged “all citizens of Japan to remember everyone who has been affected by the devastation, not only today but for a long time afterwards — and help with the recovery,” we were seeing images of neighbors helping neighbors.

All I could think was, “Had I really complained yesterday because I had to stop to drop off the dry cleaning?” When a disaster of such magnitude strikes, we tend to hug our children tighter, tell our loved ones how we feel, and stop to appreciate all we have. I have to wonder, is it simply human nature to take all we have for granted? In my kitchen, I have a plate given to me by a very dear friend that reads, “Count the really good blessings twice.” I know at some time in the future I will once again be complaining about some silly minutia in my life, but for today, I am going to go count ALL my blessings twice – because aren’t they all really good?

If you would like to contribute to the recovery efforts in Japan, MSNBC has compiled a list of ways to help:


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