Friday, February 26, 2016

Accidental moments

As I sit here in the sunroom of a coffee shop, listening to the hustle and bustle of the employees and the mumbled conversations of the patrons, I am left with a moment to myself. I often enjoy moments alone best among strangers. There is something so peaceful about being alone together.

Even though I thought I was to meet a friend for coffee today (it's actually next week), I am grateful for the accidental moment of peace. I find these the most rejuvenating because I had all intentions to be productive and I get to stop and just breathe instead.

I'm enjoying my iced tea, writing a knitting pattern I have been meaning to do, deconstructing my last week, and just sitting.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Making it personal

Ever since Oprah starting talking about gratitude, it has been the go-to for many people. If only we appreciate the things around us, we will be happy.

I have watched numerous TED talks on this point and all the studies seem to say the same. If you are grateful in all things, you are a happier person.

This seems simple. Be thankful for what is around you and you will be happy. Step 1. Step 2. Done.

I'm a huge fan of steps. I love them. Give me a list and I will merrily make my way through it in order to have a sense of achievement so I can show myself and others that I have a purpose. "Look! I did the thing!"

I can do all things... as long as I have a list.

Here is the thing. While I can appreciate all the things around me, it does not always translate into me being anything else than me appreciating things around me. At what point do I have to make it personal? Where it becomes more than just noticing stuff?

I have been challenged, along with being grateful for things, to be grateful for things inside me. Things I can do, things I am, things I think, things I have the capability to process.

That's a lot tougher.

I am thankful I have the ability to write. Not just to put words down in a "See Jane run." way, but to make them flow and tell a story. I am thankful that I have the ability to tell a story, whether it be in my contact notes for work, or a letter to a friend (which I haven't done in a long time), or a blog post or short story. I am grateful for the ability to make words slide and sway and dance into a picture.

I should tell you about the time I made a cup of coffee sound erotic. It was accidental, but quite effective. Considering I was trying to be very serious at the time, my coworkers found it very amusing. Children!

I am grateful for the love of people. Not just that people love me, though that is rather fantastic, but also that I love people. Even when I hate them (which is very, very often) I still love them. I want to do good for people. I do strive for that. I'm not always good at it, but I am grateful it is in me to try and put people first.

I will have to keep thinking on this one. It's a lot tougher than being thankful for sunshine.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Grateful experience

In an effort to be more present, I am returning to a semi-regular grateful journal. After a year of not posting for personal and other reasons, this is just the best place I can think of to keep track of things.

Here it goes.

It had been pointed out to me that I do things in order to avoid experiencing things. I like to keep busy, but recognize it is often so I do not have to be alone in my own thoughts. This means, I often have my head in a book, my ears filled with music, my eyes filled with TV, and my hands filled with knitting -- often all at the same time -- to avoid. It's very true. When faced with a moment of just me and nothing else, I am bored and impatient for it to be over - likely for fear that, in those three minutes, my emotions may climb out of the neatly sealed box I have in my brain and come to choke the life out of me.

Today I am grateful for the foolish idea that I can still change myself or at least experience something in the moment I am there rather than believing if it didn't go on Facebook it didn't happen.

I am grateful for the chance to sit in my front entry and enjoy the warmth of the morning sun with my dog who is equally bored doing nothing for 4 seconds while I drink my coffee and contemplate the list of things I should do, but don't want to.

Entry light
Light through yonder railing breaks

I am grateful for texts with my husband, especially knowing it will be 3 more days before I see him for more than the moment in the middle of the night when I wake him up climbing into bed after my shift is done.

I am thankful for my dopey dog who gave me a scare this week by collapsing on the floor only to embarrass me by running and jumping the second the vet looked at him to see if he was dying. I'm grateful he wasn't dying so I could be embarrassed by him doing that thing your car does when it makes noises right up until the moment you take it to the garage.

Monty in green
Dog in green
I am grateful for a counsellor that I'm never sure I'm connecting with until the moment she says something to make me reconsider my existence and realize I'm not doing as well pretending to adult as I think I am, but I might - just might - learn how to be better.

I am grateful for a chance to write again. Maybe I will explore why this last year and a bit was so painful I couldn't put words to the page. However, I am also grateful that I don't necessarily have to.

Welcome back, Bronwyn.