In Summary…I’m Filled With Gratitude
Written June 28, 2013
It’s been a week of gratitude. Rather, it’s been a couple of months of gratitude. As I embarked on creating the piece of artwork for my sister and brother-in-law, I quickly realized it was less about art and more about giving thanks. To see that art and read its story, click here.
My Pinterest board about gratitude got a few extra pins during this time as well. You can see those pins here.
To highlight some of those pins and my gratitude thoughts in general, I’ve started a list of things for which I’m thankful. A gratitude journal of sorts. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list and it’s not in any particular order, but it’s what I have thus far. Hopefully it sparks a grateful thought or two in you as well.
First and foremost, I’m grateful for the ability and willingness to offer thanks to anyone and everyone who makes my life richer. What? Grateful for gratitude? How does that work? Not everyone sees the value in this practice of offering gratitude and I’m so grateful that I do. It makes my life better.
I’m pretty certain it’s my only real regret in life, but I’m grateful that I didn’t major in dance in college. I sure wanted to, but it seemed too unstable and far too outside the box I was in at the time. Now I see so many ways it could have manifested and I can just feel the ache of that missed opportunity. Why am I grateful for that? Because there’s nothing like a true missed calling that makes you stay on your toes so another one doesn’t pass you by.
I have the privilege of knowing quite a few folks who see the best in me and wish the best for me. Not an ounce of judgment no matter what. Just pure joy when I succeed and understanding when I fail, or shall we say, when I take a longer road than needed. I am filled with gratitude for these people. They often see the true me long before I do and carry me along until I’m there and that sure helps a lot.
With intention as well as happenstance I have found myself in the center of a group of elder women who continue to pursue their passions and share openly their struggles and joys of growing older. They are aging gracefully and offering me the blueprint to do the same. Gratitude.
And along the same lines…as Maurice Sendak says, “It is a blessing to grow old.” I am grateful for the chance to do so. My son, Calvin, says that he sees me one day as one of those wise old crones who is so old she stays put atop a mountain and others come to her for wisdom. Doggone it. I like that vision so plan to gain all the wisdom I can along the path so it’s worth the trip to come see me.
I’m grateful for my health. Good health of course, but also the handful of health scares that have put it all in perspective in a big fat hurry.
I’m also grateful for the shifts and changes I’ve needed to make to maintain my health as I age – more solid sleep, less sugar and dairy, lots of stretching, regular exercises for balance, less alcohol, and far less stress. I used to be pretty upset that I could no longer just recover no matter what I did, but coming to grips with it all is teaching me that it boils down to listening to my body. It tells me exactly what’s needed. No big mystery there. Just the need to listen and respect.
Enough is indeed enough. If I never took another trip or ate a fabulous meal at a fancy restaurant or bought a new car, I would still be whole and happy. So grateful for that awareness as it has allowed me to slow down and appreciate what is smack dab in front of me rather than what’s around the next corner.
Family. I spent a good part of my 20’s and 30’s separating myself from them so I could learn who I was without their influence. Now I find myself appreciating our shared history, being fascinated by their interesting views, forgiving their flaws, and marveling at the people they are. I love spending time with them – every single one of them and that’s no lie. I think that might be a little rare so I’m very grateful for this group of people I call my family.
Tough lessons, disappointments, embarrassments, difficult people, failure. Grateful for all of that although I doubt I’ll ever say that when in the midst of any of them. It’s amazing to me how much I can grow when I learn from the seemingly negative things in life.
People who patiently waited for me to figure things out and tolerated a slew of missteps of mine, aka stupid things I did and said that were often hurtful or just plain annoying. There are a lot of people who need awards for this bit, but the most patient would be my husband. He pedals fast when I need him to (and remind him to) and puts on the brakes when I need to catch up. He’s far more patient and forgiving with me than I am with him and that’s a fact.
I’m really, really grateful for my ability to see and share common ground with everyone. Some people require me to look more deeply than others. Some I’ve even had to ponder for days. But it all boils down to the same thing. We’re all connected and that’s a fact.
The way I was raised by my parents. Some of it was wonderful, some was seemingly a little lacking, but all of it had its place and offered me a strong place to start on the road to learning about life. And now that I’m well entrenched in the parenting business I realize it’s not that easy. Our own ‘stuff’ can really get in the way of nurturing someone else no matter what our intentions are so I’m grateful for what they were able to give me and I’m grateful for the missing pieces I picked up along the way.
People who have been in just the right place at just the right time to be life changers for me. People like Liz Allen who reminded me to dance, Eckhart Tolle and his book A New Earth that defined in simple terms what ego is, Ilene who brought me back to a creative life, and the host of people who shared stories or thoughts with me that struck a chord and opened me up. Too many to count, but once in awhile I try so I can remember how blessed I am and how we are all connected and one thing leads to another in the most amazing way.