Not all things deserve gratitude. Or do they?
No one feels grateful to stand in a long line at the DMV*. But if we are there, it means we have a CAR, for which we can surely be grateful. If we have a CAR, then we likely have paved roads to drive on, functioning traffic lights and walking paths along side and for these we can be grateful. If we are walking on paths and driving in cars, then we must be in good health and for that, of course, we are grateful.
I could keep going, but the idea of following the gratitude is an easy exercise. It’s a brilliant way to live mindfully and to remind ourselves to stay positive, to stay in the light.
Years ago when I was in college, there were times I felt my world was spinning out of control; I couldn’t find my grounded place. At the time, some classes were over my head, I wasn’t making great friends, and I missed my family. I felt deeply sad.
I called a friend (from the payphone at the end of the hall!) who suggested I focus on the good in my life and start a “gratitude journal.” Desperate to feel better, I tried it. Some days the only thing I could muster to be thankful for were small, very small, like … “Grandma’s blanket” or “my cotton flannel pjs.” But I noticed a trend; there was never a day when I could not find something to write down. In fact, most everything I was truly grateful for, was an average, ordinary thing.
I have kept a Gratitude Journal on and off for over 30 years now. I have taught each of my kids to keep one as well. It is a healthy way to move about in the world and easy to do:
- Find a beautiful blank book and designate it your Gratitute Journal.
- Write every day one or two or five things for which you are grateful. There are no rules other than that. The items can be in list-form or a narrative. Pictures, drawings, photos, all ok. Be creative, this is your journal 😉
- Repeat daily.
The practice builds on itself, and like anything else done with consistency, it becomes a habit. For me that habit carried over into my subconscious thoughts and ferried me into healthy adulthood.
Through the years, I continue to be thankful for so many things and I cannot help but continuously point out the gorgeous sky to my kids, or the refreshing rain, or the moon.
Gratitude is the key. It turns chaos into order and foggy thinking into clarity. Whether you journal at night before bed or first thing in the morning, commit to beginning each day with a grateful heart.
Below are a few holiday-inspired nuggets of small-world things for which I am truly grateful…
~ I am eternally grateful for all our friends, everywhere. You make our world complete and way, way more fun.
~ I am thankful to be able to teach (and learn!) at home/on our boat. Each day we find that we have plenty of ordinary, normal things that make us smile.
~ One of the greatest gifts our travel-school has given our family, is the gift of quiet, quality time together. I’m thankful for that.
~ I love my kids’ friends. They are each beautiful, kind, sweet. Boys and girls. You know who you are. I am thankful for you!
~ I am grateful for my supportive, loving husband every minute of every day.
~ Thank you Mom and Dad!
~ There are no words to express my gratitude for our three amazing children and their individual, adventurous spirits.
Our 2018 Thanksgiving will be spent onboard our Huckins, Timbalero. My original plan was to roast a simple chicken in our tiny galley oven, served alongside crock-pot mashed potatoes and fresh green-beans. Though, we have just been invited to join friends for the day, which sounds even better! Regardless of where we are, amid board games, dear friends and lingering boat projects, we are thankful for it all.
This holiday season, feel good about all that your are doing from the grand to the mundane. Enjoy life’s little moments and ordinary tasks, because we are lucky to have the inconveniences our privilege requires of us. And if you are not sure, start a Gratitude Journal!
*Sorry to pick on you, DMV. But really, nobody likes you. I’m sorry about that.
Boatyard photos in this post were taken this morning by Tony. TIMBALERO is happily nestled in line with her sister-ships under Huckins’ covered dock.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! xx