Running Around: A little perspective goes a long way this holiday season

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:01 p.m.

I was just complaining to my husband the other day about all my aches and pains, the two pounds I gained, how I spilled iced coffee onto my car seat, which then transferred to the seat of my dress pants, my cooking, my messed-up haircut, how my computer crashed and I lost five years worth of files and all the other annoying things that seem to continuously happen to me over the course of my days.

After he tried to console me, I realized that my little problems and mishaps are nothing compared to what others are going through.

Some people have lost their homes and possessions after Superstorm Sandy.

Some have lost their jobs and struggle to put food on the table. Some suffer from cancer and don't have much time left. I'm sure they would love to switch places with me.

It's all about that very old and overused expression, “Count your blessings.” I have a roof over my head. I have food to eat and clothes to wear. I have a wonderful husband and daughter. I have a job. I'm healthy.

That's a lot to be thankful for.

When I started to think of all those things, it made me want to share my blessings with others, especially now during the holiday season.

So, while my daughter and I were shopping, we picked up a toy that my husband will take to work and donate to Toys for Tots and some other items to help a family in need. And, like many others, my husband and I donated online to the American Red Cross to help Superstorm Sandy victims.

There also are other countless ways to help.

Pressley Ridge — an organization in the Pittsburgh area that focuses on keeping children and families together so that youths with challenging behaviors can remain in their homes, schools and communities — is collecting winter coats, hats and mittens for students.

Local churches also always have plenty of programs, collections and activities for those in need, and people also can select an ornament from a Union Aid Christmas tree placed at various locations throughout the Village to buy a gift card for a family in need.

Finding a way to help isn't hard, and it doesn't have to involve a lot of time or expense.

It could be just a small gesture but still a way for us to share our blessings so that a lot more people also will be able to count theirs.

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or

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