Another month has flown by and once again it’s time to check in with my OLW. This month I’m revisiting gratitude.
I’ve written about gratitude before (a LOT!) It was my OLW in 2008 and that year I made a little book and started filling one page a week with short, almost daily entries.
The pages are filled with mostly little things about work, family (Katie was in college, Sara was in high school, and Marc traveled a lot), friends (including family who are friends), and crafting. I traveled a bit, too – mostly for work, and sometimes to see friends. One of those weeks was a simple entry written across the whole page “flew to Portland and spent a lovely long weekend with Francie”.
At some point, that practice became what I do today: closing each morning’s journal entry with a gratitude list of five things. Writing that list – even when it’s silly stuff like “fresh hot coffee” – puts me in the right frame of mind to move forward with my day, no matter what I’ve shared on those journal pages.
Yesterday, Tsh Oxenreider shared a slightly different spin on the daily gratitude list
“This will probably be a lifelong practice for me, remembering every single morning to notice the good. But the practice of doing so by far outweighs the tiny inconvenience of the three minutes (if that) it takes to do so. It changes everything about my day. It’s ridiculously worth it.
On those days when I choose to remember to do this — and it is a choice, every single iota of this practice — here’s what I notice underneath the surface: the sacramental goodness that all of life is a gift. Humans have asked since the exile of Eden why God allows bad stuff to happen to good people, but that’s really the wrong question. The real question is: why is there anything good at all in the first place?”
Why is anything good? I don’t know. I guess it’s because the Creator of all the stuff is good and loves us for some crazy reason.”
I know that Creator bit won’t resonate with everyone, but it does with me. and even if we can’t agree on that, I do think we can agree that there is a fundamental connection among us that creates a vibrant community when we come together from a place of love. That short list of gratitudes put me in that place.
Here’s this morning’s list – penned about an hour before that rainy walk (see above):
- this practice [I’d just worked through what I wanted to write here today]
- peek of blue sky behind the clouds [which clearly didn’t last very long]
- 15 nights in a row [yes, this is a new record for Holly since January!]
- plans to play tennis [ha, no! again that rain …]
- meeting Deena & Karen for coffee and knitting [this did happen!]
As I wrote last fall, “Gratitude is a choice that becomes a practice that becomes spiritual muscle memory.”
We’re all being faced way more “community” than we’ve seen in over a year … and some folks are struggling (and some are behaving like outright jerks! Pantsuit Politics’ closing segment was about that this morning). Muscle memory is key in stressful situations, and this particular spiritual muscle memory feels especially important right now. I’m grateful to past me for making that choice so many years ago.
I know some of y’all have similar gratitude list practices. If you’re comfortable sharing, what are a few things you’ve listed lately?
Thank you Carolyn for hosting our meet-up and to all of you sharing your stories and being part of mine. xo.