alright alright alright

gratitude novice

Last April I started writing out five things I’m grateful for every day and sending them off to a friend.  In June I added another friend to the list and he started sending me his.  Every morning first thing this little exchange happens.  It wasn’t easy at first.  In fact, I started it because I was feeling depressed and frankly I did it out of desperation.  The first few months were like pulling teeth half the time, trying not to lie, trying to find something, anything, no matter how small to be grateful for.  But I kept at it.

Lately I’ve been spending more time on my gratitude lists every morning than I have on writing these posts at night.  As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been dogged about writing here, but lately I haven’t been writing much and I’ve been relating to it like it’s an unwelcome chore.  Lately it’s here that it’s like pulling teeth half the time, trying not to lie, trying to find something, anything, no matter how small, JUST ANYTHING to write about.  But I’ve kept at it.

Oddly it’s those gratitude lists that seem to help the most.  You wouldn’t think that something so “soft” could have such a powerfully strong effect, but it does.  I’m feeling more and more in touch with my will power as a result of simply writing out five things I’m grateful for every day and sending them to a few friends.  It’s strengthening my faith and my resolve.

There was a time when writing a few “bad” posts on here would have been enough for me to just surrender to a dark journey into self-disgust, followed by dropping it and letting it fall by the wayside, but I just can’t let it go now.  I don’t want to.

When I read this article the other day supporting Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar’s speech assertion that gratitude is reciprocal – that it was a “scientific fact” I thought, YEP.  It’s true, you know.  I started writing my gratitude lists long before I got the bee in my bonnet about writing here every day.  It’s a funny thing, because something so small, that was incredibly hard to do at the start, has made the most profound difference in my life.

I fell into a spot of the vapors tonight.  I went to see a movie by myself, which normally I love to do, but tonight for some reason I was just feeling lonely.  Driving home the icy sheet I trained myself from childhood to pull over me at the first sign of pain began making an appearance.  But tonight, rather than surrendering to it, I breathed into it instead.  In through the nose, out through the mouth.  I started to plan my list for tomorrow.

I’m grateful for two scoops of ice cream savored thoroughly on an outdoor bench

I’m grateful for cold air and wool sweaters

I’m grateful for the sads and for giving into them BUT JUST FOR RIGHT NOW

I’m grateful for a drive home late at night with no traffic and no radio.  Just the hum of my car switching gears and LA’s perfect roadways rising up to meet me

 

…there’s a fifth one but I won’t share it here.  You can make up your own.