In times past I wrote daily in a gratitude journal. My goal was to find no less than 10 things I was grateful for each day. I began to struggle, or so I thought, to find variance in my lists. Looking back I can see how happy it made me and really how it changed my view of life around me. The things I found myself writing most were: my family, another day of life, belief in God, patience, hope, peace of heart, the Bible, and friends (listed out). This seemed to be redundant over time. Although that is true I now realize that this list of grateful redundancy does not happen to all.
Growing older is a gift not given to some. As I watched my mother take her last breath in an upstairs hospital room in the fall of 2011, I felt grateful for very little. Now….now, I am grateful for the days I had, the 33 years of life I shared with her. The way she nurtured me in her growing belly for more than 10 months (because timeliness just wasn’t my thing back in utero). The stories of my childhood and of her own that she would reflect upon. How she loved my son so very much and loved being his Grammy. I am grateful for the over 12,000 days I spent with her. I am grateful for the good times and how she taught me to be stronger during our ickiest of times.
So today, this very day, I am again reaching for a notebook to reclaim as my gratitude journal. It may fluctuate into a Facebook post or a blog entry, but grateful I will be. I want to show up in the world every thankful for the beauty I am blessed to see each day. And with the icky stuff happens, because we all know it will happen, I will be grateful for that too. For in the darkest moments we see our inner light shine. Be it flickering and dull, it is our light and we must claim it for what it is. It is OURS! No one can fully take away our fight and our ability to learn from our surroundings.
I want my children to grow into adults who are able to see past all that is horrific and be glad that they were present to grow from a life changing moment.
I sit on a couch that isn’t mine, in a 400 square feet space that has been gifted to my family of four and I could be the most depressed and dark soul. (These last two years I have been. I have not practiced what I now preach.) Yet, I vow to look outside of my tattered space and be thankful and grateful for all that I have. The heart full of love that cannot be purchased, sold, or exchanged. I vow to make 2018 a better year than 2017. Not because things may change, though I hope they do, but because my attitude toward them will change.
So that, that is what I am grateful for. Long post short; I am grateful for the ability to see the good in every situation. The willingness to accept my personal growth and my desire to spread good thoughts of gratitude onto those around me.