If I don’t make little check marks on my calendar, I don’t drink enough water. It’s that simple. (Half your body weight in ounces is what they recommend). With that habit well in hand, can I apply the same method to much more demanding process of writing? I’ve even found a mother lode of stickers from when the boys were little. I’m going to give myself hearts, smiley faces, and stars for effort. Don’t we all need encouragement?
And because gratitude is a habit too, one which wiser people than I have asserted can pave the road to happiness, I am (at last) keeping a gratitude journal faithfully (well for 11 days, anyway!). It is a five year journal and this is the fifth year. There are a lot of neglected weeks with blank entry after blank entry posing a kind of recrimination.
So, I’ve pulled out a couple of old calendars so I can backfill, which is to say, to be grateful in retrospect. Who says gratitude is bound by linear time, anyway? This will also offer the chance to be grateful for things that happened in the intervals.
For instance, this time last year I was dreading doing my sister’s tax return, a chore that was necessitated by successfully getting the government to discharge her student loans. The IRS treats discharged loans as income. So in effect, we got rid of one debt and created another. It would require a special approach to her return. Dread. But that’s behind me now, and I am so, so grateful.
Today I am grateful for sunshine and cold, brisk air after a rainy and grey Sunday. For a long walk with Finn and a friend this morning. I am grateful for Finn’s company as we revert back to the empty nest. I am grateful that two new books (one on S. Carolina during the proprietorship years and one on Yoruban religion) are supposed to arrive today. I am grateful for those of you out there who will actually take the time to read this entry!
Thank you, Dee, for the reminder to be grateful. Life is layered with sadness and beauty. Focus is critical. And thank you for the reminder to go have a drink of water.
Sometimes the simplest thing can make a big difference. There is no extricating sadness or grief. In my case, habits of negativity need to be offset, though. That I can do.
I love that you are having a gratitude do-over! Hey, why not?!! I find I do better at the stuff I don’t really care about (like water drinking) when I track it, but I still find it hard to do. I did a gratitude journal way back in the mid-late 1990’s – but felt like I was repeating my self all the time. It was hard years of single parenting and teen children and finding the gratitude for more than the same 5 things just wasn’t happening. I have found in years since, that blogging has made me more aware of the little things, made me notice more and therefore more in the moment and more grateful. I just don’t always write it down, but I do try to focus on it…because it so easy for the ‘other’ to take center stage!
I can be so negative, that I feel like a gratitude practice is just to make me come out at zero!
Me too Dee. Try as I might…for years now, my cup remains half empty. It is a daily process. On te other hand, I love the quote that floats around about how all the folks at Pooh Corner love and include Eeyore no matter his disposition. Just being kind to ourselves and one another, and trying…that works.
I’m kinda surprised Nancy. You seem so full of light and positivity. But maybe that’s the kindness coming through?
Or the hard work 😉
Ah. Unseen effort bearing fruit.
I admire you both for your hard work faith and perservernce, and if inspiring others is even a small part of your “bearing fruit” then, you are doing so!
well that comment is worth a lot to me. thanks Mags
I just dug out stickers for one of my reading groups, great idea to use some for ourselves! I’m trying to work on writing more, too. Half our body weight?!? I’d better get drinking!
dreaming into being
Retrospective gratitude … thank you for giving me a new way to consider “Remember”
ah, you’re welcome! remembering can share in timelessness, even though purportedly about looking back, can’t it?!
Just wanted to let you know this inspired my blog post today … thank you.
I am kost, weight in ounces……? what’s that in metric terms?
I meant ‘lost’