A few months ago I was Facebook talking with a very smart friend of mine about the path my life has taken lately. She gave me a good talking to and told me to start focusing on gratitude.
Gratitude and I have a tempestuous relationship at best. I spent a good part of my twenties feeling bitter and unhappy. In my thirties, I focused on finding beauty in everyday life and the good in the bad (which helped me come out of my post-partum depression fog). I never felt grateful, I still carried resentment deep down. In the past two years it's surfaced when I was confronted with my husband's difficulty with changing careers. I felt life was being hard and unfair again. Everything seemed so easy for others and not for us.
Of course, I know that's not the case.
Well, I followed her prescription of saying out loud five things I was grateful for and then saying thank you three times every night before bed.
I felt a bit silly and worried I wouldn't be able to think of five things!
The very next day, I was leaving to pick up Sid for lunch, I walked out of my building into the pouring rain, sans wallet and umbrella. I got mad at myself for not checking the weather (it's hard to tell from 10 stories up if it's raining or not) and wished I brought my wallet so I could take Sid to a near by Subway instead of walking all the way home in the rain. I looked down and saw a wad of cash on the ground. A cable repair truck was right next to it, I knocked on the door and the guy told me it wasn't theirs. He told me how lucky I was and to enjoy myself.
Now, of course, that hasn't happened everyday, but it has helped my outlook.
A few weeks later I found a long lost gratitude journal when I was de-hoarding my room. Every night I write out my five things. In just over a month I don't think I've repeated very many of my blessings.
I see now that it's simple. Shit happens in life, no question, but you can choose what to focus on.
I now see scrapbooking (and blogging) as another form of gratitude, a way of celebrating and honouring the good in my life.
Here's a new page about two sweet girls I'm grateful for!
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