Why I’m Grateful

Every now and then, life offers up a little serendipitous moment in the midst of what can sometimes otherwise feel like chaos. I sometimes think that the real secret to happiness doesn’t require the wisdom of all those books sitting on the shelf of the local bookstore, not to mention the hundreds of self-help books you’ll find on Amazon. It simply requires finding and focusing on the good in our lives.

It seems like it should be easy, but our brains are trained to tune out the good in order to watch for challenges. When ancient humans lived in the wild, this was helpful, because if you missed the tiger in the bushes, it was bad news for you. Nowadays, though, we are more self-aware, and you would think that we would have lots of time to find these things, but instead, our primitive brains find ways to focus us back on the bad stuff.

Today is one of those days when it’s been tough to feel grateful. Nothing big and bad has happened, I’m just tired and I have a cold and my work is boring and I’m sick of eating my own cooking, and well, [insert your own complaint here]. As an antidote, I thought it might be fun to do a stream-of-consciousness post, listing as many things I’m grateful as possible in under five minutes. Here goes:

* I’m grateful that today is Thursday and my husband is coming home.

* I’m grateful that he gets to be home for the next two weeks.

* I’m grateful for my daughter and her oldest friend visiting from Iowa. I’ve known her friend since they were in preschool and she’s still one of my favorite people.

* I’m grateful for the physical therapist who worked me over this morning. (Or at least I will be when my shoulder stops hurting…)

* I’m grateful for the lovely lady from Santa Fe who bought my spinning wheel last week, freeing up space and cash for me to try something new.

* I’m grateful for NPR and particularly the Jazz station I just discovered. One morning earlier this week, they played Ella Fitzgerald singing “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.” I was spellbound for the entire song.

* I’m grateful for the choir director at the local Lutheran church who has invited me to sing in his cantata, even if so far I haven’t been able to attend rehearsals because of this cold.

* I’m grateful for Westie dogs, for obvious reasons. (Not including their mouse hunting skills).

* I’m grateful for Thanksgiving and the chance it will bring me to see my husband’s parents, my son, and the rest of the family who live near and far.

Wow, that’s a lot of things to be grateful, and I ran out of time before I ran out of reasons. I’m also grateful for the 30 Days of Thanks exercise and the people who came up with it, because it’s helping me break out of my rut and think more about the blessings in my life.

Oh, and one more thing – I’m grateful for my hairdresser, who is about to make me beautiful again (well, or at least cover my gray). Gotta run – hope you’re feeling grateful today too!

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