I've tried to cultivate an attitude of gratitude lately. It's not as corny as it sounds. But I had read something a while back that stated that the more we are thankful for, the more we will have to be thankful for.
I know, I know, it has a white washing of hokey on it, but as someone who wants to see the positive, I thought about giving it a whirl. I felt obligated to in some ways.
I know there's times I dwell on the negative too often and shouldn't, so I thought this exercise would be good for me to try.
I started out, sitting on the porch with my coffee at 5 a.m., thinking of the things I was grateful for. Of course, there was my family, and especially my child, the dogs, my home.
Those were givens. My list of things I was grateful for seemed to be tainted by that inevitable ‘but' that seemed to be lingering in my mind.
I was thankful, but.
I needed this, or I needed that. I wanted this, or I wanted that. If only I had X, I could really, truly be grateful.
I was thankful, but it felt like I was pandering in some way and wasn't authentic.
But, life sometimes has a very Jagger-esque way of bringing you what you need, when you need it.
In the middle of my attempts of trying to force thankfulness, my areas to be thankful were revealed.
As I saw a mother struggle to maneuver her child's wheelchair through a doorway, I felt a pang of what she must selflessly do each day. I silently said a ‘thank you' for my child's health.
I read about someone who was homeless and realized even though small, how grateful I was for my home.
I heard about someone who was lonely and felt the thankfulness for having family and friends.
After a severe storm ripped through a state this past spring, a friend said she realized as she did her laundry, how thankful she was for having dish towels, clean and folded in her drawer because it dawned on her how those little things of having a drawer of dishtowels can be taken for granted.
My list of grateful expanded, including those overlooked things like having clean laundry, even when it needed to be folded and put away; dirty dishes in the sink meant I had eaten.
Those things that I was complaining about would seem like heaven to someone else.
My morning ritual of listing my things I was thankful for soon outgrew my allotted time frame. And when I ran out of time to list what I was thankful for, there was no room left to complain.
Sappy, whitewashed corny, I know. But I am thankful just the same.