I follow Christian author Anne Lamott on Facebook. She seems to have this uncanny ability to know when I need a pick me up, in spite of the fact that I'm kind of agnostic about this whole God-thing. My feeling is that he's up there, but there are so many people; some I know personally; who need him way more than me, that he's busy. He just sort of looks in on me occasionally and then goes back to tending the flock of those who are really in need of a faith boost.
Today, when I logged into Facebook, Anne had a picture in her feed. It's National Gratitude Day. Of course her bent was for us to be grateful to have a loving God looking over us. My take is a bit different.
I could spend hours typing the things for which I'm grateful and that list would run into the hundreds or even thousands of items. Today, for instance, when I think about it, I'm grateful for spoons. I'm grateful for the yogurt which needed a spoon to eat. I'm grateful for water and for the bottled water I'm consuming more after having gone through a summer of relying upon soda. I'm grateful for Priority Mail from the post office. I'm grateful for electricity. I'm grateful for Google Maps. (Oooh. Those houses are an hour apart. I can do an inspection and a complaint in a day.) I'm grateful for hand lotion and wonderfully smelling liquid hand soap. I'm grateful for people giving specific directions to their place of business. I'm grateful for gasoline to get me to those places of business. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
I was, ironically, thinking of this over the weekend. I did laundry and I am grateful to Patt and Pam for giving me, this summer, probably the best gift they have given me, other than their friendship. They did laundry for me. Getting ahead, having nothing that needed to be done in that month while I saved for a new washer has meant the world in terms of quality of life. In August, when I felt like I'd been hit by a truck, the knowledge that I didn't have mountains of laundry to do meant the naps I took when I came home from work were done without guilt. Both of them are so smart. They can see what I need way before I see it. This is but one example.
It's easy to fall into the "oh woe is me" trap. I know this well. When one thing happens, another thing happens and then a third thing happens and it can snowball. It's so very human of us to look at our lives and think we're never going to catch a break rather than what is good about even a bad day. I'm so guilty of that myself. When I pass through those pot holes and come out on the other side, I feel like banging my head on my desk. "You dolt! You didn't practice what you preach. It was never as bad as you made it out to be." Our human nature gets the best of us.
It's good to have a refresher. Every day should be Gratitude Day. I need to remember that every day has something for which to be grateful. I tell those going through a bad piece that it's okay to wallow, to throw yourself a pity party, but only for an hour. Then hoist up your big girl panties, as the aphorism says, and deal with the issue at hand. Plus, remember that you awoke in the morning even if it was to bad news or a slog through a figurative molasses river, uphill, in the winter and barefoot.
So, I am grateful for my family and my friends. I'm grateful for a lot of things, small as well as large. I should be grateful every day and this date reminds me to do that.
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