Wednesday, March 28, 2012

getting back to gratitude

This week I revived an old habit of mine: the gratitude journal.

Here are ten things I've been saying thank you for lately:

     1| Freshly ground coffee, brewed in the best pot.

     2| That my little brother is finding his way, enjoying not only success, but satisfaction.

     3| Our big, beautiful stove.

     4| To have spent a full day-and-a-half writing.

     5| To feel like I have bit of direction for my blog, and to find such satisfaction in
          working on it.

     6| SPRING. BREAK! Two whole weeks of it.

     7| That multiple people unexpectedly complimented my skills as a teacher. Why, thank you!

     8| For enough money to buy what we need, and for the ability to actually start saving more,
          now that we're settled.

     9| Delicious leftovers.

  10| An upcoming trip with great friends.

Writing about South Africa this past week was a good way to remind myself of the power of gratitude, and it allowed me to frame the experience in a new way. As I said to my mom, getting all the hard stuff off my chest made room for the positive parts to piece themselves back together, and I started to wonder if I'd been carrying around the wrong story.

Sitting here now, contemplating my time in South Africa yet again, I feel a sort of warmth -- this peaceful, joyful glow. I think of hiking Table Mountain, seeing the wildflowers in Namaqualand, and walking along the beach in Jeffrey's Bay. I remember what my host mother told me the first day I arrived: "From now on you are my daughter. You are family." She also loved to tell people we were "making the world a smaller place." I'm amazed that I could ever discount and devalue the power of human connection the way I did.

Ah, anyway. Would you ever know I have a sense of humor in here, too? ;)

I promise to aim for more lightheartedness in the days and weeks ahead. Cheers!

November 2007