After writing the Bitter or Grateful post, I decided that if I could cultivate gratitude in 2011, I would be happier. And what better way to cultivate this much-desired trait than to make a commitment out loud. Here it is:
Every day for at least fifteen days (I'm contemplating thirty, but am not ready to commit to that yet), I am going to record something for which I am grateful, my emphasis being not on the incremental, but on what already is.
My reason for focusing on “what is” is two-fold:
1) As an antidote to bitterness, I want to acknowledge the sunshine that never seems to hide its face, the goodness that already abounds in my life. It is easy to forget about anything that is always there. It becomes the air that we breathe. Yet if it were gone, we would die, either literally and/or figuratively.
2) I tend to think if I just had “x” then I could achieve “y” dream. Yet I overlook, even eschew, the embarrassment of resources at hand. By focusing on what is, rather than what's new, my hope is that I'll recognize that bootstrapping my dreams is a real possibility.
Day 1: My husband and children
During my recovery from surgery, I have had one of the pleasantest holidays in memory. That is in large part due to my husband and children. I enjoy strolling in the neighborhood while talking to my husband, sitting on the bed reading Les Miserables while my daughter races through yet another Percy Jackson book, listening to my son practice singing and continually reminding me that he's almost taller than me, and lounging together while watching Burn Notice et al.
I like being with my husband and children. I like how I feel around them. It's so comfortable and safe that sometimes I forget just how valuable they are to me. Which is why I have formalized how I feel about them by giving them a name — my Harborhaven Advisors.
Johnson family, Cape Cod, September 2010; photo copyright Lanola Kathleen Stone
What are you grateful for?
Is there any resolution that you want to make for 15 days that is readily accomplished giving you an early win in 2011?
P.S. I am also grateful for LaNola Kathleen Stone; she has taken photos of our family every year, except one, for over a decade. She has chronicled our lives, shown us to ourselves — it has been a gift for which I am deeply appreciative.