I just typed that word up there and left it all alone on the page for hours. Occasionally I would tab back over to this window and just stare at the word. I would say it over and over in my head, each time with a different accent or emphasizing one of the syllables. Mostly the 'tude' part. Some of you (those newish to this blog) may not know how my Thankful Friday posts came to be. It started many many years ago, just before the rise of happiness projects and self fulfillment. Chris and I had recently moved in with his mother and I was really unhappy with the situation. It felt like a step back or a failure, even though we were supposedly moving in to help her out after Chris's dad passed away.
I was recently writing about this period of time for another project. During my reflection on this time, I thought about how truly awful I was then. My unhappiness with our living situation made me selfish and mean. I had never agreed to the move, but found myself packing up our things anyway. Once we were there, I didn't really feel welcome. We had lost our privacy and the comfort of our own space. This situation did not feel like a home. Chris and I argued about it and by the end of it I had agreed to try harder. I started with making a list. Every day I would write down things that I was thankful for that day. At the end of the week, I would copy that list into a blog entry. The lists were long and it reminded me that my life was pretty good. The gratitude lists helped me to find a way to make something good out of a crappy situation. I also found ways to not be there. I started teaching a whole lot of yoga during the years we lived with Chris's mom.
Happiness gurus all agree that having a daily gratitude practice makes for a happier life. Has my gratitude practice made me a happier person? Yes and no. If it hasn't made me happier, it has at the very least made me more appreciative of this life in all it's moments. It has become a valuable tool for lifting the gray clouds that sometimes float around. It has become kind of like my yoga mat, the thing I always come back to. I have seen versions of myself and versions of a person I don't want to be and this practice of gratitude keeps me from being that person I don't want to be. Today, I am grateful for this practice that keeps me grounded. I am grateful for this practice that reminds me that I am blessed.
I am thankful that there were no fireworks related injuries in our house this week. I am thankful for quiet moments. I am thankful for the busy moments I have had at work. I am thankful for dog snuggles. And I am thankful for you. Have a wonderful weekend and a super Thankful Friday!